Rudd goes radio gaga. Since his February leadership challenge fell flat, political obsessives have watched with much mirth as Kevin Rudd ups his media appearances each time Julia Gillard is out of the country. This week has been no different. While the PM has been talking up her Asian Century vision in Laos, Rudd has had an intimate chat with old mate Phillip Adams and served as a US election pundit on Channel Nine. Now, the PM-in exile has gone one better by making his debut as a regular commentator on 3AW talkback host Neil Mitchell’s top-rating program.

“We will talk about the issues that matter to people,” Mitchell wrote on his blog this morning. “We will talk about leadership, ideas, what touches you and what needs to be done. I have tried for several years now to get Julia Gillard on the program regularly. She continues to avoid me, that is her right. So be it. But despite that, these debates need to be held.” — Matthew Knott

Crusher all over. Yesterday, brought welcome news that Brett ‘Crusher’ Murray had been axed as motorsport columnist from News Limited’s Gold Coast Bulletin due to a rash of undeclared conflicts with his PR firm BAM media, as documented by Crikey (here and here) and Media Watch. But Crusher’s influence extended across the News stable.

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Last July, Townsville was all abuzz for the local V8 Supercars event, the Townsville 400. Sniffing a news opportunity, the PR rep for Bundaberg Racing organised for crack driver Fabian Coulthard and the Bundy team to be photographed with an FA-18 fighter jet with an accompanying write up by Townsville Bulletin journo Emily Macdonald. The story and pic appeared — but not in the expected weekend wraparound. Instead, it was included the Wednesday edition of the paper. Bundaberg Racing was not a Crusher client.

Bundaberg Racing were shocked when the weekend ticked around and the wraparound duly appeared — but with Crusher’s Jack Daniel’s car and drivers rather than the Bundy car. One motorsport insider was aghast: “Somehow the plan changed, the wrap around didn’t eventuate on the day Sarah expected but it did a few days later with a Jack Daniel’s car rather than the Bundy car — amazing!” The competition, it seemed, had been well and truly Crushed.

At the time, current Gold Coast Bulletin editor Peter Gleeson was editing the Townsville Bulletin. He said V8 wraparounds were routine and Crusher’s clients (which included News Limited) were never given preferential treatment. “It’s absurd to think that one team would have intentionally got favourable coverage,” Gleeson told Crikey this morning. “Last weekend we ran 14 pages of sport and there were brands and teams from all over the place.” In any case, Crusher would be replaced soon, he said. — Andrew Crook

Video of the day. It was a glum night for the pundits at Fox News. But Republican strategist Karl Rove wasn’t admitting defeat before he had to. He argued with the network’s own prediction that Ohio had fallen for Obama and he would therefore retain the White House, prompting Fox News host Megyn Kelly to take cameras behind-the-scenes and interview the people who made the call …

Front pages of the day. Obama’s late-night victory meant newspaper editors had to rush to get the result on their front page. Our favourite is Obama’s childhood hometown paper Honolulu StarAdvertiser and “HANA HOU” (Hawaiian pidgin for “again/one more time/encore”).

Meanwhile, this is just cruel. But Bloomberg Businessweek‘s point is well made …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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