Kristina Keneally’s colleagues are baffled by her decision to raise a formal complaint with management at Sky News over comments made by fellow presenter Mark Latham on air on Tuesday evening.

Keneally lodged the complaint over comments made about her time as premier of New South Wales, that included a reference to her as “Eddie Obeid’s protege”.

Latham made the remarks as part of an ongoing tit-for-tat between himself and Peter van Onselen, which Media Watch covered on Monday night. In the same spray, Latham called van Onselen a “man toddler”.

Latham had used PVO’s wife Ainslie in a segment ridiculing those who work in diversity in corporate and government roles. PVO and Keneally used their show a couple of days later to hit back, leading to Latham’s response on Tuesday night.

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Despite reports of a civil war between presenters, in reality Sky has a mostly congenial and professional workplace behind the scenes. This, of course, is outside the regular barbs presenters sling at each other when they have the microphone (or log on to Twitter).

One Sky News presenter told Crikey some people within Sky News were bewildered by the decision to lodge a formal complaint, given that most presenters would address concerns publicly via their shows, rather than through complaints to management.

“I prefer to state my views publicly, but then I’ve always been a journalist. We have many ex-politicians at Sky and many of them have mixed records in government,” the presenter said. “We should be able to comment on their performance, and our own, just as we do current politicians and media figures without fear. That is why I enjoy working at Sky. “

The regular weekly podcast of the program, Jones and Co — i.e. the show on which Latham made his comments — has still not been uploaded to the Sky News website as usual.

Sky News did not respond to Crikey‘s request for comment before deadline.