Topic: election Oz 2007
Picture: The AFR get the headline right 24/9/07 while the Oz buries the lead?
....Mr Abbott said the election campaign would be about Mr Rudd's political character, not his personal character, and that he was not interested in news that the Labor leader had had a heart valve replaced 14 years ago.
"It's his credibility, not his heart, that's the issue," he said.
"It's his political character that's in question, not his health."
The clash came after Sydney's The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that a Howard government minister was a homosexual who visited gay bath houses and was married to a woman as a front to hide his true sexuality.
Veteran Nine Network television reporter Laurie Oakes told The Sunday Program that he had heard the same claim, but from a Liberal Party source.
The source who last week told The Australian about Mr Rudd's heart operation 14 years ago has denied doing so as part of a political conspiracy to hobble Labor's election hopes.
The Queensland health professional - who passed information about Mr Rudd's medical history to one of this newspaper's journalists on Monday - yesterday admitted being a Liberal Party member, but denied acting at the behest of anyone else.
In particular, the source denied discussing the matter with any party official or MP - despite Opposition claims that the surfacing of the rumours in a Nine Network news bulletin was the work of a Liberal Party dirty tricks machine.
"There's no Liberal Party plot here as far as I'm aware," the source said yesterday. "It's an absolute nonsense."
We have just noticed this subdued headline the day before in The Australian at page 21 of the Saturday issue by Franklin's superior on the food chain there, Dennis Shanahan, which reveals similarly the real Liberal Party member fingerprint, but 'no conspiracy': "At the heart of a conspiracy theory" possibly offline.