Yesterday we told you some at News Corp were rather unhappy with Tim Blair’s piece on domestic violence leave at the ABC, which they felt undermined the solid reporting on the issue done by News Corp papers (particularly the Herald Sun) in recent years.

Wrote Blair:

“Evidently the ABC employs so many victims of domestic violence that they require their own special leave allowance category — which is interesting, given how many ABC employees are married to or shacked up with other ABC employees. What kind of carnage-strewn bloodhouse are they operating over there? Is that why ABC staff work so few hours — because they’re always recovering from the previous night’s beatings? Why are staffers not pressing charges instead of seeking leave?”

Well, now even his colleagues have officially taken umbrage.

This morning News Corp’s national union house committee sent a letter to News Corp head of employee relations, Andrew Biocca, expressing their dismay at Blair’s piece. The letter reads:

“The national News Corp House Committee was disappointed to read Daily Telegraph opinion writer Tim Blair’s piece on family violence, published in the early hours of Monday morning.

“Blair’s misguided attempt at humour undermined the great work News Corp has been doing to combat family violence through campaigning journalism across the group.

“We point out that family violence leave is part of News Corp staff’s log of claims in the most recent negotiating round, which was recently endorsed by members across the country.”

The letter calls on News Corp management to reject Blair’s comments and “recommit to campaigning against the scourge of family violence”.

Blair’s blog makes little comment of the controversy surrounding his remarks, other than to sarcastically accuse Guardian media writer Amanda Meade, who used to work at News Corp and wrote a piece about the blog, of being bitter about her departure. Because what other reason could there be to think Blair’s remarks in poor taste …

Peter Fray

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