On Nova Peris’ leaked emails

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Public interest in the eye of the beholder in Spurr/Peris email leaks” (Friday). I find Crikey’s editorial position on the NT News’ publication of emails to/ from Senator Peris and her foreign lover very bizarre and a bit prudish. Whilst it is sad for Senator Peris personally that she has had her secrets published, you have a duty to tell us these stories — isn’t that what Crikey was founded on? I recall plenty of occasions when your founder Stephen Mayne broke salacious and at times unsubstantiated, stories — that’s why we subscribed!

Let’s remind every journalist, editor, and publisher: if you decide not to publish stories about our elected politicians, who are paid for with our money, then you are in the wrong job — go and work with Annabel Crabb on Kitchen Cabinet, where no-one asks difficult questions. Your readers and customers will desert you over time. Not only is the Senator Peris story about her allegedly improper use of government agency money for her own benefit (even if it was to get laid), it’s about values and integrity. As any HR person will tell you, for human beings, past performance is the best guide to future performance. So what Peris did and how she behaved when she was a PR/communication executive is a very good guide to how she will behave now and in the future. That is why the NT News was right to publish.

Peris was doing what men have done for millennia — use their position of power and influence to get laid. Why should she get favourable treatment by the media?

John Kotsopoulos writes: It’s not just the lurid way that Nova Peris’s private life has been exposed that rankles with me but the general decline in standards by the tabloids and  an even a once respected one time broadsheet. It indicative of short term thinking focused on chasing readership that is both borderline stupid and counterproductive. How can they expect people to buy the hard copy of their newspapers and read them in public when page after page has screaming headlines and stories with content that belongs in a soft core paper back?  The coverage of the gigolo murder is one example and so is the latest story about the alleged sexual misbehaviour of a clergyman which included graphic detail of the sexual interaction that is the basis of the complaint.

In days gone by most men would never read the very racy Truth newspaper in public and fathers would never leave a copy of it lying around.  The daily press is now stooping far lower and parents must be thinking twice about bringing newspapers into the home.

On the call for a “mature debate” on federal/state relations

John Richardson writes: Re. “From class warfare to patriotism — the hypocrisy of Abbott’s ‘mature debate‘” (October 29). While Bernard Keane thinks Prime Minister Tony Abbott a hypocrite for calling for a “mature debate” on federal/ state relations and others that he is simply trying to take Australians for fools, many would argue that the lycra-clad ignoramus who gave us “Gillard won’t lie down and die”, “climate change is absolute crap” and “‘western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that” is just our latest village idiot. Alternatively, he could be suffering from a serious boxing injury, withdrawal symptoms from the monastery or he might still be recovering from the intellectual challenges of studying as a Rhodes Scholar.

Peter Fray

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