All those in the Press gallery who declared the Gillard/Wilson scandal a “non-event”, “without legs” and “going nowhere” now have a decision to make: Follow the old gurus’, Grattan and Oaks’ blind empathy for Gillard, or act like real journalists and start asking questions.
The problem with journos who have taken a pro-Gillard stance is that, as a matter of course, they will ignore the negatives. No-one wants to waste time probing something they don’t believe exists.
This is why Gillard’s Press conference in August was anything but august and is turning out to be yet another massive McTernan stuff-up.
You can safely forget Grattan, Oaks, Bongiorno and the ABC. Sky, and their deniers Van Onselen, Richo and Murray have painted themselves into a very tight corner.
They do not want to admit they were wrong and therefore will ignore the story as long as possible.
Yet, had they acted like proper journalists, and read the material available with open minds, they would have seen an explosive story with the potential to utterly destroy a Prime Minister.
The material, the damning Cambridge Affidavit, was not written by sexist, misogynist nut-jobs, but by members of her own ALP; Rob McClelland and Ian Cambridge. An avalanche of incriminating material has surfaced since that affidavit was written.
Now, if someone in the Coalition had authored an affidavit as criminally damning of Tony Abbott, is there any doubt that the Press gallery would have been all over it like a rash?
You see? As surely as a paedophile will gravitate to the boy scouts, a Leftwinger will gravitate to the media. And of course, while a career paedophile will gravitate to the priesthood, a career Leftwinger will gravitate to the ABC.
So this current Press gallery malaise is totally predictable.
This is the scenario of August 23, 2012:
McTernan walked into Gillard’s office. Gillard was discussing Nauru with Chris Bowen and what they would both say at a Press conference due in a few minutes.
“Sorry to interrupt” said McTernan, “but I’ve just stuck my head in the Blue Room and no bugger’s there, just the kids and Bongiorno. Might be a good time for that Wilson thingy.”
“What Wilson thingy?”, asked Bowen. “Shutup Chris, just leave me alone with John for a minute”, said Gillard.
Bowen left. McTernan put both knuckles on Gillard’s desk. “You won’t get a better time Julia. I’m telling you the kids in there don’t know bugger all about the Wilson thing and Bongiorno won’t ask anything hard anyway.”
“Are you sure?” asked Gillard. “I don’t need egg on my face over this!” “Look Julia, I’ve spoken to these kids and they love ya… I happen to know not one of them has heard of that Cambridge affidavit, let alone read it!
“Just go in there and announce you are holding an impromptu Press conference to clear this thing up once and for all. They'll be nonplussed. Tell them to start firing their best questions at you!”
“Okay John, I’ll do it. It will mean cutting Bowen off at the legs but I can apologise later”, said Gillard.
“Go for it baby… get out there and spend an hour talking about nothing. I guarantee you will not get any embarrassing questions because they simply don’t know of any.
"Then, when you get asked in future by anyone who does know something, you can say you were on record, exhausting every question, for an hour!”
“You’re a fornicating genius John! Let me at ‘em.
“By the way, are you married?”