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A Humiliating Backdown – Really?

Christian Porter just doesn’t know when to leave sleeping dogs lie – he just has to have another twist of the tail, another kick in the guts.

After agreeing during mediation to withdraw his expensive defamation action against the ABC and their investigative journalist, Louise Milligan, to wear his own legal costs, not to insist that the ABC report in question be taken down and not to receive any of the damages he had been hoping for. He took these body blows like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail responding that this was just a scratch, a mere flesh wound, and that the ABC had been forced into a “humiliating backdown”.

The facts of the matter are that he was wisely advised during mediation to drop his dalliance with defamation which, had it gone into the court room could have left him with a shredded reputation and very light on in his bank account; although it had been rumoured that a well-heeled and ABC hating Liberal Party donor was funding his legal costs.

While Porter was trumpeting that he had had a win and the ABC a humiliating backdown, the ABC issued this statement:

“Christian Porter has decided to discontinue his defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan.

All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further. No damages will be paid.

The only costs that the ABC will be paying are the mediation costs.

The ABC stands by the importance of the article, which reported on matters of significant public interest, and the article remains online. It has been updated with this Editor’s Note:

On 26 February 2021, the ABC published an article by Louise Milligan. That article was about a letter to the Prime Minister containing allegations against a senior cabinet minister. Although he was not named, the article was about the Attorney-General Christian Porter.

The ABC did not intend to suggest that Mr Porter had committed the criminal offences alleged. The ABC did not contend that the serious accusations could be substantiated to the applicable legal standard – criminal or civil. However, both parties accept that some readers misinterpreted the article as an accusation of guilt against Mr Porter. That reading, which was not intended by the ABC, is regretted.

The ABC stands by our investigative and public interest journalism, which is always pursued in the interests of the Australian community.

The ABC stands by Louise Milligan, one of Australia’s foremost and most awarded investigative journalists, and all our journalists in their independent and brave reporting on matters about which Australians have a right to be informed.

Media contact

Sally Jackson | ABC Communications”

Perhaps Mr Porter could learn something from Kenny Roger’s The Gambler – all together now:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done.

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22 comments

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  1. Harry Lime

    Like”Butterfingers Irving” Pusillanimous Porter has gunned himself down.Outsmarted himself again,and as for running again next election..I don’t think so,whatever reputation he thought he had,has also been shot down.Three cheers for karma.

  2. GL

    I almost choked on my coffee from laughing at Porter’s pathetic behaviour. To me it was fairly obvious that after Sue Chrysanthou, because her conflict of interest, had to back out that he knew he’d lost his best source and probably only hope of getting a shit load of cash. The only humiliating backdown was from Coward, I mean Christian, Porter himself.

  3. Josephus

    The man has a history of demeaning women so good riddance get out of our lives asap

  4. Gangey1959

    While he was suing the ABC for publishing the truth, and swaggering around like he had ” A full magazine and one in the chamber” our former ag and pm aspirant should have been advised that’ using ones’ own arse as a holster will end up with more than a wounded ego.

    I’ll bet that sitting down hurts for a while yet.

  5. Ross

    Christian Porter’s reputation was shredded the moment he went on record as the unnamed senior cabinet minister in the now infamous Four Corners expose. You could say Mr Porter’s margin in his seat of Pearce has also been shredded.
    I’ll bet you a shiny penny Scotty from Marketing has pencilled in Porter as toast and will find him a nice cushy well paid public post if Christian does the right thing and resigns from parliament.
    A future position on the ABC board might be just the ticket to tempt young Christian to fall on his sword.

  6. paul walter

    Cringeworthy climbdown that has him a laughing stock.

    I feel not a jot for him. Remember ROBO debt, for lives messed up?

    Has anyone noted the whereabouts of the gormless malady that goes by the title PM lately? Cute that,

  7. New England Cocky

    The alleged rapist Porter now waits to see if the Courts continue the embargo on certain prrts of the ABC evidence that IMHO should be released to the public.

  8. RomeoCharlie29

    The fact that he, apparently, did seven media appearances in each one traducing the ABC, smacked of desperation. But as Harry and Gangey have observed, instead he has ended up with a self-inflicted wound. How long is it going to take Scummo to tell him to shut up, or perhaps having him continue to dig his hole deeper will make it easier for Scummo to cut him adrift. Either way he’s yesterday’s man.

  9. Claudio Pompili

    Porter’s arrogance and sense of self-importance, and his refusal to acknowledge let alone admit the allegation of rape, will drive him relentlessly forward. Pity that the ABC capitulated and didn’t pursue the truth defence strategy. The evidence will have had to be made public. If he’s innocent, he’s got nothing to fear.

  10. HENRY RODRIGUES

    The rapist, oops, ‘alleged’ rapist just doesn’t get it. Instead of realizing, as any intelligent person would, that the game is over and to retire while he still has some control over his fortunes, he digs himself a deeper hole. I am waiting for his erstwhile boss, the chief dickhead also recognized as Scummo, to somehow fall into that same hole. Such a delicious thought that is.

  11. Vincent

    And he got to be AG. How?
    Who let that one by ?

  12. DrakeN

    Vincent, that is the crux of the matter, really.
    The Prime Minister has the responsibility for selecting his cabinet.
    Admittedly, he had a dodgy list of candidates – none of them have demonstrated any intent to “…serve the people (as a collective) of Australia”; rather, they have chosen to serve a select few and, to an even greater degree, a number of foreign investors and corporate interests.
    Only the rich are worthy of God’s endowments; the poor suffer as they deserve to – as the Pentacostal religious cult to which Scott Morison and several other Ministers of the Crown belong to believe.
    So the desired result is a return to:

    “The rich man in his castle,
    “The beggar at his gate,
    “God made them high and lowly,
    “And ordered their estate.”

  13. Phil Pryor

    In the dictionary of political perversions, we have, near each other, Porter, poxes, P M’s, prevarication, platitudes, predatory penetrators, pontificators, panic, and much more. But, superstition strengthens…

  14. Bruce White

    They way I like to see it is that it is a type of karma. A type of retributive justice. But Christian Porter hasn’t had to wait for his next incarnation to receive it! I find it impossible to feel any sympathy for him at all.
    He has brought this on all by himself.
    When he deliberately and proactively and knowingly went after Witness K and Bernard Collaery was the last straw for me to have any residual empathy. Some good old style catholic suffering will be good for him. Can he develop the strength of character to reinvent himself? Or reincarnate himself? It’s doubtful. But then, I don’t care. He might have to go into exile. America. The escape/refuge of rogues and a big market for scammers. I’m sorry for what the honest, everyday Americans have to put up with.

  15. paul walter

    Drake N.

    Morrison is involved in so many of the corrupt and brutal events involving the government over the last decade, yet the imbecile public STILL votes him and his creeps in.

  16. Peter F

    DrakeN, I love you quote from that favourite hymn, ‘All thing bright and beautiful’…all CREATURES great and small. A perfect example of how the CHRISTIAN church was used to control the thinking of the ‘lower’ classes.

  17. Max Gross

    No ABC retraction, no ABC amendment to the original article, no ABC payout to Porter, no ABC apology to Porter. What has Porter “won” other than infamy???

  18. HENRY RODRIGUES

    Max…. Infamy plus the warm admiration and unspoken heartfelt thanks of Scummo, his boss, who was dreading going to an election with this lodestone around his neck.

    Gang of rascals and ratbags.

  19. Zathras

    All the ABC did was to report the fact that a letter had been sent to the PM and a couple of MPs and made no specific allegations against Porter. The rest of the media got on board and it was Porter who “outed” himself.

    The ABC was simply the easiest (and traditional) target and a handy distraction from addressing the allegations themselves.

    However when he discovered the ABC had 27 pages of evidence and failed to have them suppressed or dismissed as evidence he dropped the case.
    Maybe he was worried about what extra information would be revealed.

    It was in no way a victory for Porter.

  20. Mrs Wobbly

    An expensive journey for the ABC budget which has already suffering from the LNPs; cuts to silence them one opinion suits all and now Murdoch’s, with Porters privileged position and the defamation case, guilty or not, he must have known he could not win and didn’t other than costs that the taxpayers will now pickup. It’s the lastest insight of his and the LNPs true colours and the culture of disrespect for women in general and has been the in trenched culture in parliament for generations, but if on the poverty payments benefit, its sticks and carrots for pittance dictated by politicians whom have free range with no accountability . Porter is just another demoted member of his own makings and a member of the feral right and it’s ideology. Demand better Australians on how taxpayers funding is spent, by political parties so they are made accountable, which at the moment isn’t happening by this so called leadership.

  21. Terence Mills

    The ABC has confirmed that it paid $100,000 towards the mediation cost and has paid its own legal costs of $680,000 to defend the matter prior to Porter withdrawing. The ABC estimate that their costs would be more in the region of $1 – $1.5 million (excluding any damages that may have been awarded had they lost) had the matter gone to court.

    Porter has not stated what his legal costs were but it can be anticipated that they far exceeded those of the ABC with the legal team that he assembled (Sydney barristers Bret Walker, SC, and Sue Chrysanthou, SC – she later withdrew with conflict of interest issues, possibly the reason Porter pulled out – with Rebekah Giles, of Company Giles, acting as his solicitor.)

    Porter was clearly not in a strong position to negotiate and had to concede any damages, did not obtain an apology or even have the Four Corners program withdrawn.

    Even so, it is good to see these issues go to mediation as it cuts costs significantly. Not something that has been seriously considered in the Ben Roberts Smith case against Channel Nine it seems.

  22. Richard Seeto

    Time Aunty ABC takes a bit of a beating as she has been profligate with bs news especially those concerning China and Chinese affairs.

    Perhaps, China should also make an example of this lazy, incompetent and lying media.

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