Jul 17, 2013

Hartcher hits back at book, critics: I’m no Rudd man

In her new book Kerry-Anne Walsh accuses former Fairfax colleague Peter Hartcher of barracking for Kevin Rudd. Hartcher denies it. Does anyone have an agenda here, or is it business as usual?

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

Sydney Morning Herald political editor Peter Hartcher has fired back at claims made by former Fairfax colleague Kerry-Anne Walsh in her book that he backed Kevin Rudd during Gillard’s prime ministership. And he’s not the only journalist fingered in a thorough examination of how the press gallery works.

The Stalking of Julia Gillard — subtitled “How the media and Team Rudd brought down the Prime Minister” — is already into its third print run after two weeks on the shelves. The 25-year press gallery veteran, who was most recently The Sun-Herald‘s political editor, doesn’t hold back from naming and shaming journalists she believes became players in a destabilisation campaign against Gillard.

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29 thoughts on “Hartcher hits back at book, critics: I’m no Rudd man

  1. Gail

    So Hartcher has not read the book ….. but ….. he has an opinion

    says her thesis about the media’s role in Gillard’s demise sounds like a “conspiracy theory”. “This is all a bit fringe and bizarre and confected,”

    …and is not afraid to use it.

  2. Thomas McLoughlin

    Senior journalists on the drip? No surprises there.

    Personally I think alleged corruption amongst some union bosses and politicians, and the ex PM’s strong identification with some or all of those unions, was another significant factor. Health unions in Vic and NSW, ICAC in NSW.

    Was this the vibe playing into PM G’s involuntary nasal drone? The sub dialect known as English-unionist?

    Overall I’m not really sure journalists are that significant – though I do grate my teeth at the implicit white supremacism in anti boat people (read anti brown people?) in GJ’s writings.

    Was the ugly News Ltd treatment all a get square for winning based on Work Choices in 2007? I wonder.

    And what about Paul Sheehan’s bias in Fairfax (the proverbial Palid Man).

  3. John Ballard

    Hartcher cites Barrie Cassidy as authoritative on his work. He might wish to re-read Barrie’s column in the ABC Drum on 3 Dec 2012, which points out the bias in Hartcher’s coverage of ALP leadership during the year.

  4. gerri willesee

    Once upon a time the Canberra press gallery addressed MP’s as Senator or Mister. To be given a background briefing – mostly about policy matters – was uncommon. Today MP’s have very young and inexperienced media advisers who are, at the best, inept and make fools of their masters. There was a time when MP’s didn’t ostentatiously pose for pix – photographers had to be good enough to catch the moment. And reporters good enough to catch the stories. Now, as Tony Abbott once did publicly, MP’s offer to “do it again for the cameras”.

    There’s now a total over-reliance on a reporter ‘capturing’ an MP to be his/her “contact”, while MP’s (try to) capture a reporter. Who wins? Not journalism. I was also saddened to see Peter Hartcher’s stories veering more and more to the 1KRudd camp as the phoney war went on. I too turned to Lenore Nicklin for actual news. We need desperately for media bosses (editors etc ,not owners) to review the way we operate in the gallery, including the continuing mixing of comment and ‘analysis’ with news. Hartcher deserves a carpeting. However, he will hopefully analyse his errors of judgement. But now it’s a game between the gallery and the MP’s – who can capture who first and who can be the winner.

    I just don’t understand how Peter Hartcher could tolerate having to spend so much time with psycho Kevin. And I would like to know if Peter ever gave advice to 1KR.

  5. klewso

    “Don’t play with the media if you have a conscience”?

  6. Flickknifetipsy

    I remember being horrified at the amount of criticism that Peter Hartcher levelled at Mr Rodd before Ms Gillard took over. I think that in the early days of Ms Gillard’s term as PM Mr Hartcher gave her every opportunity. However, Ms Gillard made many mistakes and contributed to
    her own unpopularity and she had never been truly accepted after she took power suddenly and in what was perceived to be a violent manner.
    As for the gender card, I don’t think Ms Gillard used this. From my recollection it was the CEO of Westpac, Gail Kelly, who first pointed out the mysogynistic tone to the media coverage in relation to Ms Gillard. Unfortunately Mr Abbott took the lead in disrespectful, vindictive rhetoric and far too many followed in his wake, many with apparent delight.

  7. Brigid Tancred

    I could not agree more with Kerry-Anne’s comments about Peter Hartcher’s dislike of Julia Gillard. I read the SMH every day and was constantly struck by the hostile attitude he took to her. It was a bit like reading opinion in the Daily Telegraph. It was so personal that it made me wonder whether she’d knocked him back some time.

  8. Paul

    The thesis is correct, the media wanted to shaft a PM and they did.
    So a variation on a theme of faceless men is that 2 PMs have lost their jobs, one courtesy of mining companies and another by the media, including the ABC.
    Crikey, New Matilda, The Conversation (sans Grattan), Independent Australia and thank god for The Guardian are the only media outlets worthy of the name.

  9. drmick

    Nailed the leader of the conga line of suck holes. I would be surprised if he had read the book. More so that he could read. Any wonder the paper is closing down.

  10. Frank Birchall

    As a daily reader of the SMH, I felt Hartcher’s pieces were more pro-Abbott than pro-Rudd, though both positions are consistent with anti-Gillard.

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