An unsurprising take on the Labor leadership brawl from a Canberra insider, has this to say about the Rudd camp’s cultivation of Press Gallery journalists:
Once deposed, Rudd’s toxic ambition appears to have been either to return to the leadership, or to destroy both the government that had dumped him and the woman who had replaced him. In this pursuit he was abetted by political journalists who became pawns in his comeback play, channelling the Chinese whispers of his spruikers and giving credibility and substance to exaggerated claims about the pretender’s level of support within the parliamentary party for a comeback
in the political shorthand of media reporting, the extraordinary circumstances that forced such an outcome were boiled down to winner and loser, victor and vanquished. The deeper reasons became too hard for many journalists to explore.
Channelling Rudd, Oakes asked whether, in a private meeting with Rudd that fateful night, Gillard had agreed to Rudd’s plea to be given until October to improve the government’s standing, and if he couldn’t he would stand aside voluntarily. Furthermore, he asked if Gillard then left the room, consulted colleagues, returned and told Rudd he didn’t have the numbers so she was backtracking on the deal, and would challenge anyway.
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