Roger Corbett on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:

“I think it’s quite sad that the Labor government made the decision to go with Kevin so late in the period. I think if they come undone in these elections it would have been much better that they come undone with Julia Gillard leading them than Kevin Rudd. In my view Kevin Rudd is a leader that has been really discredited by his own conduct.”

On Opposition Leader Tony Abbott:

“I think he will probably be a pretty good PM because he’s a very sincere, nice type of human being and I think he will be very dedicated, focused in the job and we certainly need in the economic times we’re about to go into some really clear and good leadership.”

On the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme

“I think the parental scheme is a good one because you don’t expect … to go on holidays at half your rate of pay and you don’t expect to take your long service leave at half your rate of pay.”

On the release of Coalition costings:

“Providing they do it in the next day or two and there is adequate time, a few days for the electorate to be able to understand that and for a debate to occur, I think that’s quite reasonable.”

Never mind that Corbett, the former boss of Woolworths, is a member of the supposedly independent Reserve Bank board. The company he currently chairs — Fairfax — is proudly spruiking its “Independent. Always.” status on the mastheads of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times and The Age.

How is Corbett’s partisan screed, via an interview on Lateline last night, any different to News Corp tsar Rupert Murdoch’s public campaigning for Abbott?

Fairfax’s share price is the best example that Corbett has little idea how to run a media company. His outrageous intervention into an election campaign is just another example of how the credibility (and independence) of a great media institution can be compromised by ignorance.

Peter Fray

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