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Bossing the media – Stanhope style

By johnboy - 21 May 2009 51

[First filed: May 20, 2009 @ 12:17]

The Liberals have come into the possession of a very interesting email and have kindly put together some supporting documentation which they have punted on, we assume not just to us here in the RiotACT bunker. Keep an eye out for who picks up on this, who does not, and how much government advertising they receive.

(If reading the email the supporting documents are: Document A, Document B, and Document C.)

First point of interest is the email being sent by Jeremy Lasek, the man who can take a trip to WIN and come back with the scalps of the Chief of Staff and a political reporter when displeased.

I also love that the same email seeking a brief on the situation can also contain a command to start “attacking the reporting”.

In any event it confirms a lot of suspicions about the way things work down on London Circuit.

UPDATED: Zed Seselja has now put his views on the issue, making a two good points which I hadn’t considered.

First is that Government advertising was ordered here for expressly political considerations. Again most of us all suspected it, but this confirms it. The other is that the supposedly arms length LDA is jumping through hoops like a trained poodle.

FURTHER UPDATE: Last night WIN lead their bulletin with this one, also deeply un-impressed with the line about “attacking reporting”. Also the Canberra Times has lead with the story.

What’s Your opinion?

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51 Responses to
Bossing the media – Stanhope style
Loose Brown 1:59 pm 20 May 09

Ha ha ha ha Harold what a load of rubbish!

haroldbeagle 1:54 pm 20 May 09

>>>But should the CM not be allowed to complain about an article he feels has got the wrong end of the stick

Absolutely. But does this extend to placing a half page add in the paper – using public funds for what is clearly party political purposes?

And a letter to the editor that highlights any errors or inconsistencies would be fine. But a bullying letter “attacking the reporting and the Canberra Times willingness to work together with the Lib leader” is far from reasonable.

Unbeliever 1:33 pm 20 May 09

Email sent 8.38am. Requests for all drafts by 11 am. Who said public servants are lazy and can’t work fast?

colourful sydney rac 1:31 pm 20 May 09

Starting to wonder about the Liberals strategy behind this…is it a good idea to paint the only newspaper as cowardly and submissive to the government? I think the might be shooting themselves in the foot.

caf 1:17 pm 20 May 09

But should the CM not be allowed to complain about an article he feels has got the wrong end of the stick, just to protect fragile little journos? I reckon everyone has a right of reply, even the Government, and journalists tend to have thick enough skin.

It’s not like the letter to the editor or the ad made any personal attacks – in fact they ended up pretty mild. The worst of it was: “It is disappointing to see you emphasise one small aspect of the scheme.” – is the Chief Minister’s disappointment really so cutting that it will make journalists give up and just regurgitate press releases?

(We don’t know what was said in the Chief Minister’s phone call to the editor, of course – it could have been quite bad, but like I said – no smoking gun).

Loose Brown 1:16 pm 20 May 09

If the CT didn’t think the letter had merit they would not have published it. 99% of letters from pollies go straight into the bin.

S4anta 1:12 pm 20 May 09

Or the journos of this town can develop a spine and do their fraking job, rather than rolling over like a pommeranian being mauled by a grizzly bear.

johnboy 12:55 pm 20 May 09

Before dismissing this have a think about the chilling effect it has on journalists (particularly young ones) to be the target of concerted attacks like this.

Much easier to just go on the Government’s drip.

Loose Brown 12:52 pm 20 May 09

Good to read the CM is passionate about his projects to make housing more affordable. I’d say this strategy is completely transparent seeing as all the action items turned out to be publicly available docs. Yawwwwwwn.

p1 12:51 pm 20 May 09

I think, as JB noted in the post, that the interesting bit will be not that these docs exist, but rather who reports on them. Of course if no one else reports on them then maybe it really isn’t a story at all…

Clown Killer 12:43 pm 20 May 09

Agreed. It’s insight into how they operate but that’s about it. Perhaps if the ACT Libeals spent some time thinking up better ways to run the place they’d fell less need for desperate grasps at relevance.

caf 12:27 pm 20 May 09

I’m struggling to see a smoking gun here.

johnboy 12:26 pm 20 May 09

They’d have to give us lots of money for “advertising” first.

colourful sydney rac 12:26 pm 20 May 09

No different to what Carnell used to do…Stupid to put it in writing…

Thumper 12:23 pm 20 May 09

You start publishing stuff like this JB and you’ll have Stanhope and his cronies bullying you. That is, if it doesn’t already happen.

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