Journalists and reporters work in the most distrusted occupations in the community – they rank lower in terms of public trust than Federal or State politicians. The of actions of the trio (Michael Brissenden, Paul Daley and Tony Wright) in reporting now (in the leadup to a Federal poll) comments claimed to be made by the Treasurer Peter Costello during a convivial, boozy evening in a restaurant in June 2005 – more than two years ago – bring no credit on them or their profession.
They had agreed comments were ‘off the record’ but broke that undertaking. Brissenden regrets initially taking the story ‘off the record’ so, eventually, they outed the Treasurer. If the facts were so important why wait more than two years?
Keep the secret until it becomes OK to release conversations held in confidence and then divulge them. And what a pointless non-secret it is! That Peter Costello wants the leadership position! That he is angry with John Howard for not giving it to him! Is there anyone aged 15+ in Australia who is not aware of this.
The Treasurer was naïve to believe journalists can be trusted to keep their word. Don’t send them Xmas cards Peter and dine out with your mates – not these nasties.
Look at the whole institution of the written press in Australia and ask what is going on. The Australian newspaper has for years put a pro-Coalition slant on all aspects of the news while The Age - the most biased major newspaper in the country - consistently and invariably supports the Labor Party. In terms of TV coverage I wonder how the ABC will continue to function given that so many of its journalists are standing for Labor seats. We are not being well served as a community.
Incidentally Michael Brissenden was very confident of the factual details of the meeting but the notes he took were dated March 5 in 2005 not June 2. He is sure of his memories though!
But I am absolutely sure of other things about this trio.