Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Media Watch -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) So many exclusives, from just the one interview. but all, of course, taken its very large stable. which News Ltd had shared around News had paid big bucks of the 'The Latham Diaries' to the publisher the very first. so it could be doesn't always deliver. But the cheque book last week News took the ABC to court

and 'Lateline' to try and stop 'Enough Rope' Latham interviews first from running their and News Ltd lost. So what went wrong? 'Lateline' viewers Tony Jones told his the following night:

the following night: of the publication of his diaries On the eve was always going to be interviewing Mark Latham for journalists. a competitive business got TV producers Months ago his publishers actually to speak to him. to pitch for the right audience figures, They were asked to bring along and a marketing strategy. flow charts In the hands of such people to a product a public figure had been reduced market. to be traded on the media is not so easily reducible. Well, I'm happy to say Mark Latham so let's go back and tell this tale. Legal threats are still flying,

On the 16 June this year, Chris Mitchell, the editor of the 'Australian', University Press. met Louise Adler from Melbourne the substantial amount of money MUP wanted to recoup some of for his Diaries they'd paid to Latham as an advance the best deal. and News were offering over $80,000, They would not only pay MUP to promote the book. but could use all their papers

exclusive extracts from the book In return, News would get to Mark Latham. and exclusive access gave this affidavit to the court: Syndications editor Bruce Loudon There was just one exception. A week from publication from the Diary. the 'Australian' began teasing

'Strewth', The 'Australian's gossip column, the exclusive nature of their deal. was enlisted to talk up

Well, most journalists perhaps. inside with Latham and the kids But 'Lateline's Tony Jones was last week. as he told Richard Glover Jones made his kitchen visits or News Ltd. unbeknownst to Latham's publisher He told Media Watch about the Denton interview that News were more worried and their newspaper rivals.

Producer, Anita Jacoby, But 'Enough Rope's Executive who passed it on to News, assured Melbourne University Press, that nothing would leak the interview was due to air. in the four days before on Wednesday. Denton recorded his interview

nothing in the papers The next day there was a leak. that showed there'd been But News Ltd were rattled. They started publishing early - could glean from Latham's Diaries snippets of the juiciest bile they of 'exclusives'. filled pages and pages publication date of their prize - And they brought forward the the first Latham interview. what they'd paid for to be and betrayal But intrigue, opportunism aren't confined to politics. At around 3pm on Thursday just by chance Andrew Denton learned from the ABC's 'Lateline' that Tony Jones earlier in the day. had interviewed Latham

should have told his colleagues We asked Tony Jones whether he at 'Enough Rope'. of Current Affairs, John Cameron. ABC-TV's Sue Lester rang the head Denton wanted an absolute assurance would not run before his. that the 'Lateline' interview Cameron told Media Watch an instant commitment. he wouldn't give "all's fair in love and war" He agrees he told Sue Lester but also told her: Cameron rang back 15 minutes later the 'Lateline' interview to reassure Denton till late Monday night. would not be running But it was too late. that night anyway. 'Enough Rope' had decided to run Denton trusted no-one now. publishers He'd been told that Latham's interview, knew nothing about the Tony Jones

so in his view all deals were off, to wait till Monday. including his own agreement

With 'Enough Rope' 'Lateline' going early as well. there was nothing to stop what they planned to do. The ABC didn't tell News Ltd in the ABC's press release But News of course read it

and saw the promos. Australian politics. The controversy rocking to put my name to it. I'm having my say and I'm proud since his resignation Mark Latham's first TV interview 8:30 tonight. at the special time,

legal action So News Ltd started going to air. to stop the ABC interviews to the Supreme Court, At around 6.30pm they headed off seeking an ex parte injunction - its case to the judge a legal action where News could put

without the ABC being heard. The ABC lawyers were unimpressed. But a chance phone call and News Ltd's barrister between an ABC lawyer let the cat of the bag

rushed down to court. and the ABC that they had News Ltd told the judge arrangement with Latham's publisher an exclusive contractual undermine their deal and the ABC would went to air. if either of their interviews

'Enough Rope's executive producer They showed the judge an email from sent the week before.

The ABC was unprepared of News at 8:15. and Justice Palmer ruled in favour 'Enough Rope' at 8.30 just saw this: People who sat down to watch due to a legal injunction We wish to advise that tonight's Enough Rope interview we are unable to bring you with Mark Latham. 'Spitfire Ace'. In its place please enjoy 'Enough Rope' off air But as the ABC pulled at the court an ABC staffer arrived News Ltd papers. with a pile of recent the injunctions dissolved. And the ABC moved to have

News Ltd's own articles convinced the judge that there was little in the ABC interviews that News had not already published, so no confidences would in fact be breached. By 10.15pm the judge had lifted the injunction against both programs.

'Lateline' was due to air at 10.30. ABC managing director Russell Balding had decided that the Denton interview should run first. 'Lateline' would have to wait until the next night. But either way News Ltd had been gazumped, and as we said right at the start, they're angry. They hit back with this piece in Saturday's 'Australian' Well, we don't need Russell to explain that one. The ABC ended up in the Supreme Court because News Ltd took legal action against it. News might like to explain that to taxpayers themselves. But News still maintains:

It's hardly surprising that MUP, Denton and the ABC all deny that they've acted dishonourably. 'Lateline's Tony Jones put his case like this: Though a lot of the material was already out the 'Australian' still had their exclusive. Their rivals at Fairfax were reduced to running phoney lures like this: Inside, readers found an extract not from Latham's book at all, but from a book about Latham written by a Fairfax journalist. News Ltd had exclusive access to the Diaries and ran stories highlighting Latham's attacks on most of his former Labor colleagues and most of the media - including me. Their deal gave them the power to set the agenda and put their spin on the story of Latham and his book. There is no tragedy of course for Mark Latham and his interviewers -

'Enough Rope', 'Lateline' and the 'Australian' all had a go, and the battle to be first just generated publicity and sales

for Latham and his publishers. The book is out today and Denton's Latham interview is coming up next. We're telling this story to highlight our concerns

at the attempt to buy and sell control over the biggest political news story of the year. Until next week, goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.

This program is captioned live. Good evening.

An end to three years of diplomatic brinkmanship today with North Korea pledging to dump its nuclear weapons. In an historic agreement, North Korea will abandon its nuclear programs and rejoin the non-proliferation treaty More claim and counter-claim as Mark Latham's vitriolic diaries went on sale today. Kim Beazley's daughter's defending their father saying he doesn't keep dirt files.

Mr Latham responded saying it's sad that Mr Beazley has decided to roll out his daughters. Shocking revelations of cannibalism