CloMo threatens to sue Sydney rag. Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore is threatening to sue community paper Sydney City News — a free weekly paper distributed in the City of Sydney council area — over an article containing allegations she is “unprofessional and corrupt”. Moore’s lawyers Makinson d’Apice sent a legal writ to the paper’s owner last Friday demanding a full apology and retraction. Yet a week later the article, concerning a Surry Hills resident’s rejected development application, remains online with the inflammatory comments.

According to Moore’s lawyers, the article is defamatory because it suggests Moore is: a) corrupt; b) unprofessional; and c) is worthy of investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. City News owner Lawrence Gibbons was involved in a stoush with the council last year when he was ordered to muzzle his dog Oscar after it attacked a cat, a mini-fox terrier, a Sharpei and a man in Darlinghurst. Gibbons argued his dog suffered from arthritis and anxiety and did not deserve to be declared dangerous.

A spokesperson for Clover Moore told Crikey: “The claims being made against the City and the Lord Mayor are baseless, they have been investigated previously, and the Lord Mayor has asked the CEO to refer all material to ICAC so that can be confirmed.”

City News editor Peter Hackney, who wrote the story, said: “I believe I wrote a fair, balanced piece which presented both sides of the story … I do not personally believe the Lord Mayor is corrupt, and I respect and admire Ms Moore in many ways. However, I was writing a news report, not an op ed, and deemed my personal feelings irrelevant. It is unfortunate that the Lord Mayor, or at least her advisors, have taken a stand against impartiality in this instance. I will continue to report on matters relating to Ms Moore, Mr Harper, the City of Sydney and anything else in a fair, balanced and impartial manner, irrespective of threats.”  — Matthew Knott

A staff error? We think someone at The Guardian put the wrong photo with a story about Anthony Watts, a rugby league player who bit another player’s penis. We are guessing the story had nothing to do with the honourable member for Indi …

Sophie Mirabella Guardian

Full disclosure. ABC management, from managing director Mark Scott down, should order the producers of the organisation’s myriad news and current affairs programs to clearly identify lobbyists when they appear on programs such as AM, PM, Q&A, The Drum or other News 24 political chat programs (Capital Hill, for one). As Crikey pointed out yesterday, there’s a flood of Tory carpetbaggers making their way to Canberra to attach themselves to the public teat. But on The Drum last night on News 24, there was Peter Collins described as former New South Wales Liberal leader, which he was, years ago. More recently he’s been a lobbyist, but this was not mentioned.

Appearing on some of the ABC’s programs is gold to lobbyists, especially if they can appear without disclosing who they are. The ABC should also demand a list of lobbyists’ clients and purviews. The ABC is big on the need for transparency and an end of opaque arrangements in politics, business and other areas of Australian life. Surely the same applies to the taxpayer-owned broadcaster. — Glenn Dyer

Front page(s) of the day. Bill de Blasio has come first in the Democratic primary vote, making it very likely he will be the next mayor of New York City. But as the New York Daily News knows, the real winner is son Dante’s hair. The New York Post focuses on the losers: Carlos Danger (aka s-xting Anthony Weiner) and Client 9 (aka prostitute-visiting former New York governor Eliot Spitzer). We could not choose which pun we liked best …

New York Post, Daily News

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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