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.
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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