Gossip served cold. The top story in today’s Media Diary is a curious tale of a bike belonging to ABC journo Tim Palmer that he believed to be stolen. It turned out the bike was taken by accident by his good friend, ABC investigative journo Stephen Long, who had thought the bike had been abandoned by its owner. Police were called when the bike was believed stolen, but after the explanation came out the ABC decided to handle the matter internally — Long had only taken the bike because of an email saying that bikes sitting idly in the bike shed would be disposed of.

Much of this is in today’s Oz, though one detail is missing. The story, media diarist Sharri Markson wrote, “continues to captivate” ABC staff. Which is a bit unlikely, according to Crikey’s sources, given the incident took place in December 2012. Ms Tips understands several journalists have been told the story over the years but have decided not to run it, because it was all a misunderstanding and because, by now, it’s just so damn old. So why was it leading today’s Media Diary?

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Peter Fray

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