Attorney-General Christian Porter
Christian Porter (Image: AAP/Richard Wainwright)

What an absolute REDACTEDup Another twist in the saga of Christian Porter’s defamation case against the ABC. Yesterday the Federal Court released a tranche of documents regarding Jo Dyer’s (ultimately successful) application to have Sue Chrysanthou SC restrained from representing Christian Porter owing to a conflict of interest. As has been a theme of the case, a great deal was redacted.

Except … as a tipster pointed out to us this morning, at least one document wasn’t redacted properly. For a while, you could simply highlight the redacted text and copy it into another document, and the redacted content was right there, clear as day. The file now appears to have been taken down entirely, and presumably won’t be back up until the court is certain the redaction has a little more efficacy.

ABC corrects the record Still on Porter. In keeping with its general approach to coverage of the details of the settlement, we got some snarky correspondence from the ABC this morning regarding the following paragraph in this morning’s Worm:

Elsewhere, The Australian ($) rather joyfully reports that ABC lawyers issued an apology to the Federal Court on Monday after Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour tweeted the news before the judge has formally finalised the matter.

We’ve been told this was wrong: “The Australian was told twice last night that it is wrong and have published it anyway. Please think twice about repeating claims you read in The Australian without fact-checking.”

In defence of the rigour of our beloved Crikey Worm, it’s not incorrect to report that The Australian has said this happened. Still, the denial of the apology is noted.

That was then this is now Former finance minister Mathias Cormann is now Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development general-secretary, an inspiring story of a man who made it to the top with nothing but a dream and tens of thousands in taxpayers’ money.

He’s used his inaugural speech to call for what’s being reported as “ambitious” zero emissions targets for countries. It’s such a shame that during his time as a senior member of the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments he wasn’t able to coax anything better than — as UK Labour Party spokeswoman for trade Emily Thornberry put it — a record of “denial, inaction and deeply retrograde steps on issues like emissions trading, carbon pricing, and fossil fuel investment”.

Ah, these guys again Oh hey, remember the Victorian Liberals? They’re the Australian opposition party with the best chance of making headway during the COVID-19 crisis after a catastrophic outbreak in their home state during 2020. And with another lockdown, this how they use that opportunity, via member for Brighton James Newbury:

How many minor personal slights aimed at a man recovering from a broken back do they think will make them electable? It’s only a generational annihilation for the WA Liberal Party earlier this year that makes “most ineffective laughable opposition” another poll the Victorian Libs can’t win.

Cock-up or conspiracy? With the renewed attention being given to the “Wuhan lab leak” theory, it’s worth noting two things. First, while an investigation has been commissioned by US President Joe Biden, no new evidence has actually emerged supporting the theory and, indeed, according to most experts it still seems most likely to have come from animals.

Second, as Vox pointed out back before all this happened, most governments do research on viruses, sometimes making pathogens more deadly in the process, and toxins do sometimes escape. It quoted one expert: “If an enhanced novel strain of flu escaped from a laboratory and then went on to cause a pandemic, then causing millions of deaths is a serious risk.”

As the article points out, it was only a rapid response and healthy dose of luck that stopped the leak of smallpox from a Birmingham lab in 1978 developing into a full-blown pandemic. Something to remember when you hear some of the more conspiratorial explanations for the pandemic.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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