Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, July 07, 2004

"I always say that the ABC saved my life", Mark Latham reported to George Negus in easier times.

This week Auntie is helping keep Mark alive politically by making the Government's "dirt unit" the issue.

So completely has Auntie neglected those aspects of Latham's career that give us cause to doubt his fitness for office that the name "Frank Heyhoe" has not been mentioned in one ABC programme to date.

Even the pugilistic Don Nelson was granted only a flash-card appearance.

Instead we have an awful lot of speculation about what a "dirt unit", whatever that is, may, or may not, have done to promote media interest in aspects of Latham's life that were not raised in Ross Coulthart's Sunday report, and were not aired publicly until Latham himself counter-attacked on Monday last.

What Auntie has not done is provide even a whiff of evidence that Coalition operatives were behind either the Coulthart revelations or the wilder rumours.

Nor does she remind us, as Michael Costello did just a little while ago,
He has made, as he said himself in the Daily Telegraph, "I have made my personal story and my family story my political story, "a story about what I believe in and what my political values are "and my policies are" and he himself said, "Therefore you have a right to examine that."
No you don't. Unless you're prepared to flatter the man.

Do you recall a similar conspiracising when Women's Weekly was running spreads on Liberal leader John Hewson's former wife's complaints?

When it comes to protecting the Labor leader, rumour needs no support whatever on our ABC.