(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Morrison watch We have a new entry for our Dossier of Lies and Falsehoods series:

Morrison [when asked why the government supported Clive Palmer’s High Court action on Western Australian borders]: “The member must be misinformed, because the Commonwealth did not pursue that case, and it is erroneous to suggest that that is what the government did. The government did not pursue that case at all. We did not pursue that case. The Labor Party continues to push this falsehood around the country…

Question time, August 30, 2021

The truth: On June 12, 2020, the Australian government solicitor, on behalf of then-attorney-general Christian Porter, filed a notice of intervention under section 78A of the Judiciary Act 1903 in the matter of Clive Palmer and Mineralogy v the state of Western Australia and WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson. The notice states: ‘The attorney-general intervenes in support of the position of the plaintiffs.

Source: High Court filings, June 12 2020

Can’t believe they Wran that The saga continues surrounding the ABC’s three-part series Exposed, which concerned the 1979 fire at Luna Park and the legacy of late New South Wales premier Neville Wran. Coverage of the series — including Crikey‘s — has clearly rankled the ABC a great deal. It got in touch overnight to testily take issue with our use of the word “leak” when we described the information it provided to Nine and Guardian Australia about a then-unreleased review of the series conducted by journalist Chris Masters and academic Rod Tiffen. It was merely a statement, the ABC said, not a leak.

It also went to pains to point out that some of the publications attacking its coverage had previously treaded very similar territory to that covered by “Exposed”. This is a fair point — indeed ABC journo Caro Meldrum-Hanna has put together an illuminating thread showing that The Australian had reported many of the things it is now attacking the ABC for covering.

Still the point remains that the ABC’s response — as Media Watch pointed out last night — of simply accepting the laudatory elements of the Tiffen and Masters report and airily dismissing the legitimate criticism has left a fair bit to be desired.

We asked the ABC the obvious question: in light of the review, does it still stand by the story? We are waiting for a response.

Forrest for the trees We can call off the search, everyone. We’ve found it — the most Australian Financial Review headline of all time, about Andrew Forrest taking a hard trade stance with… the Taliban:

Forrest reads riot act to Taliban on Afghan investments

We’ve previously noted Forrest’s dilemmas in areas like this, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Aussie Aussie Aussie! So, sure, New South Wales letting the Delta variant slip from its buttery grasp and eventually putting roughly 60% of the country into lockdown was grim for a lot of us (at the very least 60% of us). But it wasn’t bad news for everyone. The rest of the world suddenly found Australia extremely newsworthy in June and July. London-based media site The Press Gazette compiles a monthly list of media notes, including the top global news websites, and guess what? A little trio of Aussie sites that could — 9News.com.au, abc.net.au and news.com.au — all scored big.

The top global news website in July (if it can be called that) was for the website of celebrity and royalist news magazine Hello!. Year-on-year visits were up 34%, from 46.3 million in July 2020 to 62.1 million in July 2021, according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb for the Press Gazette.

But the Australians made up three of their top five fastest growing news sites. Via the Gazette:

The second-fastest growing site year-on-year was that of leading commercial Australian news broadcaster 9news.com.au, which saw visits increase 33% from 42.6 million to 56.7 million. It was followed by abc.net.au, which saw visits up 31% from 103.4 million to 135 million, while news.com.au was the fifth-fastest growing site with visits up 16% to 113.1 million.