Mood: accident prone
Topic: big media
The Harper Valley Hypocrites are out in force in the big news media today over alleged use of prostitutes by an MP.
Here is a comment which may or may not be allowed through on today's crikey.com.au editorial where they suggest Craig Thomson MP should chuck it all in.
Let me recall that chicken dinner in company with Graham Richardson in 1994.
It was down at the take away tables in front of what is now the Swiss Grand Hotel. It was the end of a fundraising walk along the scenic eastern suburbs cliff line in aid of The Wilderness Society. The former federal MP, former environment minister, was in need of some pro bono PR kudos. He had fallen on hard times and needed the non aligned cred of a high profile organisation that was busy ramping up tens of thousands of submissions in favour of environmental heritage in the lead up to the critical state election in March 1995.
As NSW campaigns coordinator I chose to lead that walk to mix with the fallen fixer. You see he was implicated in a scandal involving … hookers. The tabloids were burning him alive in reputational terms. He needed some charity in his PR sails. I had no doubt he wanted to use us for his own ends.
Ironic to read his pontificating in The Australian today to feed off the big media employment in light of the above.
As the wikipedia entry notes:
“Four weeks later, on 25 March 1994, Richardson resigned both positions and retired from parliament, citing ill-health. However, at the same time, allegations were mounting that Richardson was involved in acquiring prostitutes for his personal use, supplied by Robert Burgess and Nick Karlos. Karlos reportedly had been accused of having serious criminal connections; meanwhile Richardson had signed a letter of support on Ministerail letthead for Burgess which was then used to set up a meeting between Richardson and the senior executive of a US defence company, where Richardson discussed Burgess’ interests. Richardson denied the allegations.” [Refer “The fixer in a fix”. The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 13 December 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2010.]
Even more ironic to read Simon Benson reference another scandal involving the Touch of Class brothel … located opposite Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney about 200 metres from … News Ltd headquarters (innocently noticed from my bushwalking club meeting at Forresters Hotel the other day). A quick google indicates at least another ten in the Surry Hills area with News Ltd the biggest employer presence in the suburb. Coincidence? I wonder if the shareholders are briefed on News Ltd corporate credit card use at that and other close by brothels?