Gerard Henderson writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Friday, item 7). Eric Beecher is forever giving the media lectures about journalistic ethics, standards and all that stuff. Yet, as Crikey’s publisher, Beecher does not even bother to employ a fact-checker and continues to run anonymous rumours.

The “Tips and Rumours” section in Friday’s Crikey contains a piece entitled “Hendo’s night of taxpayer funded frivolity”. The anonymous Crikey contributor claims that he/she sat behind me at “yesterday’s ABC2 taping of the Wharf Revue to air on Christmas Eve”. He/she described my responses to the various sketches and stated that I did not appreciate “a Fred Nile lampooning”. Shucks. There was also the claim that I was so hypocritical as to enjoy “half price tickets subsidised by our ABC” and an allegation that I would surely bag the program after it was aired.

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The only problem with Crikey’s investigative journalism is that I am currently in the United States. Around the time the ABC2 was taping the Wharf Revue, I was having dinner at Ambassador Kim Beazley’s residence in Washington DC. Crikey has my email address. Had Crikey asked me, I would have advised that I was not even in Australia yesterday.

I would suggest that Beecher refrain from lecturing others about journalistic standards until he employs a fact-checker, and desists from publishing anonymous rumours.

Crikey writes: A howler. Our tipster has been shot and we humbly apologise to Gerard Henderson. Our systems failed; we should have checked with him and we didn’t.

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Peter Fray
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