Aug 23, 2012

Gillard secures apology from The Oz over AWU story

The PM approached senior News Ltd executives today to complain about a story in The Australian that claimed she had set up a "trust fund" for a former boyfriend -- and she won.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

The Prime Minister approached senior News Limited executives today to complain about a story in The Australian that claimed she had set up a "trust fund" for her former boyfriend 17 years ago. And she won -- at least this round. The Australian's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell told Crikey this morning that Gillard had "dealt at group level rather than anyone on The Oz" in relation to the story, which ran in the paper and on its website, and has now been spiked. The PM's approach resulted in a grovelling online apology, with the imperious headline "Apology to the Prime Minister" that has run on News Limited sites around the country. Mitchell said reporter Ean Higgins had got one wrong word in the yarn, which richly recounted former AWU official Bruce Wilson's current life as a chef on the NSW north coast.

The original story, headlined "An old flame faded into black", was removed from the web but has been preserved for posterity below. It appeared to have incorrectly substituted the word "trust" for "slush" in reference to the fund overseen by Wilson and set-up by the PM.

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33 thoughts on “Gillard secures apology from The Oz over AWU story

  1. klewso

    Imagine this sort of whispering campaign from them, against Howard or Abbott?

  2. klewso

    And “league tables for war crimes”? Grate idea.
    As for “hairy Caucasians” does he mean like those epithets about “monkeys”?

  3. sheryl gwyther

    And that would be the same reporter, Ean Higgins who was so disgusting in New Zealand during the Pike River Coal Mine a couple of years ago….. time to pull his head in, OZ?

    “Senior Cabinet Ministers have rounded on Australian journalists covering the Pike River coal mine crisis, labelling their questions “disgraceful” and branding one a “tosspot”.

    Police Minister Judith Collins this afternoon added to the scorn already heaped upon Ean Higgins, from The Australian, for some questions he asked at a media conference this morning.

    “Frankly, those journalists need to sit down and think about what they’re actually doing. What they are doing is they are cheapening the work of other journalists working in Greymouth and they are absolutely not respecting the terrible time the people of Greymouth are going through,” Collins said.

    Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee earlier blasted Higgins as “boorish” for asking why a “local country cop” was leading the rescue operation. Collins said the question was “disgraceful”.”

  4. ian dale

    Julia Gillard, Slater & Gordon are bound by client confidentiality from speaking about work as lawyers and some sections of the media must know this yet they continue to demand, against the concept of natural justice that someone (including the PM) must answer allegations once made.

    If they had proof of anything they should just deliver it rather than their ridiculous insinuations.

    The Australian has reduced itself to the levels of The Truth and Kim Williams on one hand demands propriety and honesty from the general public re- illegal downloads but fosters an atmosphere of behaviour where the rules are malleable when it suits.

    The highly dubious sources should have rung alarm bells for News Ltd. I hope Nick Styant-Browne potential clients in the US, if he still operates as a lawyer, are aware confidentiality is not guaranteed.

  5. zut alors

    I’m underwhelmed that Crikey chose to re-publish the dreck on Pickering’s website. The fact of the piece’s removal from the website could have been reported in general terms without quotes, thereby giving it additional oxygen.

  6. geomac62

    What is Glen Milne doing these days ? After both he and Bolt promised the big story it ended up being much ado about nothing . Milne has gone into oblivion and Bolt retains his status as the high water mark of low journalism . One mistake by the Oz could be said to misjudgement but two makes it seem premeditated smear .
    What was Abbotts 700,000 dollar loan for and why didn,t he disclose it on the parliamentary register for two years ? That cropped up a few years ago but I don,t recall newscorp saying much about it . It seems odd to me . A man on good salary with a spouse earning a good salary borrows big bucks but neglects his obligation to report it on the register because he forgot ? As far as I know the reason to borrow has not been divulged . Not a new house or renovations , holidays , business interests yet a very substantial sum . Not 17 years ago but a few years ago and no statement from S&G as with the PM to say all above board and looked into .

  7. Grindrod rozza

    So what was all the indignation at the news conference about today – that the word ‘trust’ had been used instead of ‘slush’?

  8. Gocomsys

    > I’m underwhelmed that Crikey chose to re-publish dreck ………….
    I am not surprised, that is what tabloids do. Publish and/or re-publish dreck. That’s where the money is.

  9. Recalcitrant.Rick

    I used to laugh at Larry Pickerings’ work, now I just laugh at Larry Pickering!
    What a pathetic little Rascist!

  10. Dawn Baker

    Publishing the racist rant in full, allowed us a glimpse of the man behind the webpage and accusations. It’s sad that this is how he gets his kicks, and interesting that The Oz are interested in his obsessions.

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