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They should know better

At a time where the government admits a considerable number of Australians are feeling cost of living pressures and the Reserve Bank seems intent on a policy of ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves’, what is the media talking about? Cost of living pressures – nope; the creation of more affordable and social housing – wrong; the implementation of measures to ensure we don’t cook the planet before our kids hit middle age – wrong again. They are talking about who knew details around a rather sordid affair in former Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ office late one night after a staff party well prior to the last election.

Without going into what is claimed to have happened (because we weren’t there and neither the owners of this site or I can afford the lawsuit that would probably follow any discussion), there are two sides to the story. After a court case that was aborted due to the actions of a juror, there have been claims of defamation and a Board of Enquiry into the actions of the Australian Federal Police who are responsible for policing the ACT, lead by Walter Sofronoff KC, the eminent former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal and former Solicitor-General of Queensland.

We can talk about the constant reporting of ‘fascinating’ new information about the events in Senator Reynolds office and its effects on others who have been through similar alleged experiences. Certainly, the Opposition seems to be of the opinion that the ends justify the means by pouncing on the ‘revelation’ that the current Finance Minister, Katy Gallagher, may or may not have known about the events in Senator Reynolds’ office before it was public knowledge and said nothing at the time.

The ‘airing’ of text messages on an individual’s mobile phone is not conclusive of anything. The Opposition should be aware of this as they spent public funds on advertising around cyber security for years to scare the naive into believing they were at risk if they voted against the Coalition. Assuming the text messages are genuine, there may be a lot of reasons why it was deemed to be best to keep the knowledge private. To claim that is a breach of some Parliamentary convention while Howard ‘core and non-core promises; Abbott ‘carbon tax’, and Morrison’s ‘multiple ministries’ are all considered acceptable practice by the same people that are now baying for blood is beyond contempt.

Not that the media is any better. Why was this matter considered worthy of a 15-minute discussion on the ABC’s Insiders last Sunday (11 June)? Did any one of the so called experienced political reporters actually think about what damage continually bringing this matter up would do to viewers who have undergone similar alleged experiences? Of course not. One of the panellists last Sunday was heavily involved in the initial reporting of the matter in Senator Reynolds’ office and seems to have an agenda to defend her reporting at all costs. Despite the claims of caring about the truth or the physical and mental health of the participants in this case, the conversation might have been acceptable around the water cooler ‘back in the day’ when gossip regarding the behaviours and infidelities of others was conversation fodder, but not on national television in 2023.

The initial reporting of the incident elevated the discussion around the toxic work environment at Parliament House and the rights of all individuals around consent and acceptable behaviour. Highlighting the poor behaviours was a good outcome. But it seems we all left the moral high ground some time ago and we’ve ended up down in the gutter talking about the latest rumour and innuendo.

If these people are Insiders, they should know better than continually bringing up an issue that causes genuine hurt and distress to many. If any of the Insiders panel do have evidence they believe the Board of Enquiry is not considering appropriately, as ‘insiders’ you would imagine they would have the knowledge and ability to contact Mr Sofronoff’s office. If they don’t or won’t, really they are no better than the self-proclaimed Outsiders on SkyNews ‘after dark’ talkfest most weeknights where ultra conservative agendas are pushed without any sign of balance or fact checking.

For most of us, remembering what we have for lunch last Tuesday is not that easy, let alone the words that we used in anger two years ago. We have all said and done things in our past that in retrospect we aren’t proud of. The Opposition should be ashamed of holding others to a higher standard than they hold themselves. The behaviour of Peter Dutton and those that are promoting this salacious gossip as news show no remorse for their past behaviour and more tellingly, no intention of holding themselves to a higher standard now and in the future. Those in the media who have reported on this obvious Coalition muckraking as newsworthy should hang their heads in shame.

Reporters are supposed to hold politicians to account for their actions, not join the dogwhistles of a political hit job. The talking heads on Insiders last Sunday should know better.


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  1. New England Cocky

    The Insider talking heads would have to leave the office to discover any news ….. and that is anathema.

    The obvious question is ”How did the Merdick Media get hold of personal text messages? Did they import the skills from the disgraced and now defunct News of the World?

    It is time for Australian voters to demand that the Albanese government begin considering the need of the Australian voters who elected them to office rather than the foreign owned multinational corporations, especially the gas and other fossil fuel conglomerates, plus the electricity generators presently jacking up prices so that gouging is a polite understatement.

  2. Clakka

    Excellent article – I agree wholeheartedly. Seems typical LNP strategy of mainly self-obsessed and desperate numbskulls. They certainly appear not to care one iota about Higgins. Of course they are relying on the pump priming by certain sections of media. Their guileful persistence may well turn back on them with very very dire consequences – heads may roll.

  3. Phil Pryor

    Who gives a fat rat’s ringostarr about this stale, tired, unclear, newsless topic except depraved sexthoughtdwelling fixated fools?

  4. Keitha Granville

    top piece, exactly. Who the hell cares, it’s over, done. We are all on one side or the other and it can’t be proven either way.

    Focus on ACTUALLY solving the problems we are facing today.

  5. Roswell

    Great read.

    It’s the unanswered question: Why do the Libs also get a free run?

  6. Frank Smith

    ‘ERE, ‘ERE! Well said.

  7. andyfiftysix

    insiders is a program i have come to hate. I was an avid absorber but even i got too much clever “inside info”.
    Its the same old gate keepers talking the same old political points. I absolutely hate those swarmy types who make assertions and try to act as if they are the only ones who know. Only I am allowed that luxury in my home.

    With its shift to balanced reporting, the ABC has infact shifted to the fact free zone. How do you give equal time to climate change scientists and LaFarge? Facts vs made up shit.

    Its far more of a comfortable fit to speak truth to power when you have a left leaning mind set. You are free to question the assumptions and lies.
    The right has abandoned rational debate. Its comfortable in knowing the well is so poisoned that they wont be given the once over. They know that lots of people are too fucking stupid to ask questions. And the carpet baggers on the right just accept any old shit that is the current liberal talking point. Just listen to Trump supporters to see what happens when your mantra goes mainstream. Rational thought goes straight out the window. Fox after dark………….need i say more?

  8. Roswell

    I thought this would be fitting:

  9. Stephen S

    Broadly agree, 2353. Sadly, I’d already ditched Beltway Insiders for good, just the previous Sunday. There was Speersy with Spokesboy. Having their fake crocodile-tears discussion, about the very real and very distressing rental/housing crisis.

    Never once in 20 minutes, did ABC Pravda raise the extraneous elephant in the rental room – Mad Albo’s deluge of 715K migration over 2023-25. No better than Woke Guardian or Costello Nine. Cynical state-propaganda. Barrie Cassidy is well out of it, presiding over Old Parliament House.

  10. Max Gross

    Can anybody sue Lehrmann and get him into a court room where he actually must tell the truth? Surely he would welcome the opportunity to clear his name? And no, a limp commercial TV “interview” is no subsitute.

  11. frances


    And where there is a smidgeon of consideration for anyone else it’s in the form of a Lifeline/BeyondBlue number which not only hives off responsibility to a crumbling revolving door mental health system (read privatised) but – in its tokenism – provides a rider for open slather.

    No one needs to think about anyone else – because it’s all taken care of.

    And – win/win- it’s bums on seats.

  12. frances

    @ Roswell

    I’m suggesting the contact numbers provide a ‘disclaimer’…

  13. Pete Petrass

    Since all this “leaked information” re Brittany Higgins was purposely not released into the public arena…………….is it not contempt of court to be publicly discussing it???
    We already know the Lieberals give zero f$%ks about the welfare of Higgins since they all just ducked, weaved, dodged, lied, claimed to know nothing, denied, procrastinated, etc. The simple fact that a Lieberal staffer who was allegedly raped in a Lieberal Minister’s office, just down the corridor from a Lieberal PMs office……….had to go to Labor Ministers for empathy and support pretty much says it all about the Lieberal Party as a whole. And the way they are carrying on now is just disgusting. What is their end game apart from wasting everybodys time??? What is the real point of all this.
    The ONLY question that should be asked at the moment, by anybody and everybody, is ……………….who, what, how, when, where and why this information was leaked???
    Apart from the obvious trauma Higgins must be suffering now what must all other women be thinking right now??? What of those who have and those who will be sexually assaulted??? Particularly if the Lieberals are in power. Come forward, get interviewed by your boss on the couch on which you were raped, get shuffled off to the end of the earth (in Perth) before being forced to quit your job, get called a lying cow, have your boss give every assistance to the rapist, have your boss trying to take your case to ICAC to strip you of your compensation payment (cause they don’t like it), have all your personal information leaked to the public to suffer endless public debate.
    If I was a woman that had any association with the Lieberals…………I would be quitting my job today.

  14. Martin

    I have yet to hear anyone consider Lehmann’s position.

    His name has been smeared and he must surely be suffering too!

    Even an earlier comment here seems to suggest that he might have something to answer for! FFS!

    The whole sorry sage smells.

  15. leefe


    It’s only a smear if Lehrmann didn’t do it. Given that the officially-claimed rate of false complaints of sexual assault are somewhere between 1-3%, consider the odds of his innocence.

  16. Roswell

    Whatever our assumptions of guilt or innocence – which we are free to express – under Australian law you are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. I would like to think that all evidence of guilt is irrefutable, but history has shown that is not always the case.

    Nonetheless, if the man is guilty then he should face the consequences.

  17. Terence Mills

    We now have another politician being accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault in parliament house, he’s actually been stood aside by Dutton and will sit on the cross-bench.

    What worries me is that Senator Thorpe who is making the accusation some two years after the alleged incident now says she will not report the matter to the police.

    This is just not good enough : you cannot make serious allegations under parliamentary privilege and then just walk away.

  18. leefe


    Yes, it’s just not good enough. We are still seeing the ongoing treatment – and it’s hard not to write “mistreatment” – by the system (police, courts and media) of people who bring accusations of sexual misconduct, however well-supported, against politicians or political staffers or celebrities, and here’s another woman who refuses to endure at least some part of that. How very dare she?

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