Newman sues. So who’s telling the truth on that house-call Newman made to Alan Jones? We’ll find out lots more about the encounter after Newman and Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney filed a defamation suit against Jones and broadcaster 4BC in the Queensland Supreme Court on Thursday. The documents reveal law firm ClarkeKann is acting for Newman and Seeney. According to the Brisbane Times, the Premier(s) are suing for “the sensational language, tone and prominence of the matters complained of”, and “the Plaintiff’s knowledge of the falsity of the matters complained of and of the imputations conveyed to them”. Their counsel has alleged Jones made his claims “knowing them to be false or with reckless indifference to their truth or falsity and lacking an honest belief”, and that he failed “to inform the Plaintiffs of his intention to publish, and/or allow them any opportunity to challenge the allegations”.

Jones addressed the case on his hour on 4BC this morning, saying he’d been waiting to hear from Newman “for a long time”. “Goodness knows how many times I’ve communicated with him on a range of issues and those communications have been unanswered,” he said. “So imagine my surprise yesterday when I did receive correspondence running to 35 pages from him and his sidekick, Jeff Seeney. Nice to hear from you Mr Newman, you might have been Premier of Queensland for three weeks but you remain a bit of a political novice if you think that’s the way to win an election or to silence people. You need to actually think again, but thanks for writing.”

It is reported that the LNP and not the Queensland government will pay the legal fees in the case. — Myriam Robin

Speaking of Jones … “Don’t adjust your dial”, RN Breakfast’s Summer host Hamish Macdonald told listeners after playing an interview with controversial conservative broadcaster Alan Jones this morning. It was a strange experience to hear Jones on Aunty, but one that left us transfixed, unable to stop listening. Stephen Mayne called for Media Watch to return early from holidays to examine Jones’ broadcasts, but Macdonald didn’t go too hard. He questioned Jones about his special programs on 4BC in the lead-up to the Queensland election and his personal vendetta against Premier Campbell Newman. Jones called claims that he was the Left’s new best friend “laughable”, but also said, “I don’t really care who is supporting what I’m saying, whether they’re Greens, I don’t care who’s marching out there, but this has got to stop. You cannot go on saying that all things begin and end with mining”. Jones was in high spirits and when asked if he would apply the same blowtorch to the federal government, he said: “You’ll have to wait with bated breath.”

We’re just getting over the shock of hearing Jones on the ABC — if he attacks Tony Abbott in the same way he’s gone for Newman, we might need a Bex and a good lie down.

Zanny on top. The Economist magazine has its first female editor in its 172 years. The wonderfully named Zanny Minton Beddoes, a veteran writer and editor at the paper, was overnight named to replace John Micklethwait who is off to run Bloomberg News in New York.

Minton Beddoes joined the magazine in 1994. Unlike the two other shortlisted candidates, digital editor Tom Standage and foreign editor Edward Carr, she is also a trained economist, having worked for two years at the International Monetary Fund, after taking degrees at Oxford and Harvard. She was most recently its business affairs editor (overseeing the newspaper’s business, finance, economics, science and technology coverage) and, before that, the paper’s economic editor (a key role for a paper called The Economist).

The Financial Times reported that 13 people applied for the post, which was not advertised externally. The paper saw a dip in paid sales last year as it cut back on heavily discounted subscription offers. Profits doubled from 2006 to 59 million pounds last year under Micklethwait. — Glenn Dyer

A victory for political correctness? Nothing like a bit of contrarianism to shake the jaded jowls of Fairfax readers, so yesterday The Age published a fatuous piece of nonsense condemning the demise of The Sun‘s page-3 girls as “victory for political correctness” etc etc by Daily Torygraph contributor Stephen Bayley. Most readers could suss that Bayley wasn’t the Currant Bun’s key demographic when he noted that his contact with the paper was limited to glancing at the copy of the little man he gets his fish and chips from. Torygraph readers would know him better as an all-purpose tosser notorious for appearing on an episode of the quiz show Have I Got News For You, banging on about “the neglected culture of common people”, and then mystifying the rest of the panelists by talking Ee-Kay-Ar. Ee-Kay-Ar? He was talking about IKEA. “That’s how it’s pronounced,” he protested.

Still, on page 3 what could possibly go wrong — apart from it restarting, making it clear that its demise was all a publicity stunt. Page 3 will go soon, but not before Rupert has mil- has squee- has got all he can out of it. — Guy Rundle

What feminism loses … Now that it seems The Sun will, after all, be keeping its page 3 girls, we can take a step back and appreciate what came out of this most marvellous week for subeditors. Yesterday, The Times had the stupendous “storm in a D-cup” heading atop a story about The Sun’s backdown/stunt. An interesting post on the “bare facts” about page 3’s origins was published in The Guardian. The Sun, of course, described the absence of page 3 girls for the few days before yesterday as a “mammary lapse”.
Front page of the day. American teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has had a bad few years, not helped by former CEO Mike Jeffries celebrating the “exclusionary” aspects of the brand that only marketed to “cool kids”. The cover of Businessweek takes its cue from the retailers traditionally suggestive advertising.

Peter Fray

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