Michael Owen, Adelaide bureau chief of The Australian, was recently caught out being rude to the Prime Minister, if rude is the correct word.

Julia Gillard called a media conference almost a fortnight ago in the South Australian parliamentary courtyard to announce a Labor leadership ballot to sort out Kevin Rudd "once and for all". At some stage, she referred to Rudd’s administration as PM as dysfunctional.

"How can people believe you?" Owen jumped in, raising a point about whether she had in fact positioned herself to take over the leadership well before Rudd was ousted as PM in 2010. "Well, I’ve just told you the truth," she answered. "How can people believe you when you were part of this dysfunction and you didn’t speak up …?" "That’s because I believed, well, your question is internally inconsistent …" Around this time the wheels fell off.