June 18, 2003


Stephen Mayne is publishing lies about me. Subscribers to Mayne's Crikey site may recently have read these letters in his e-mail bulletins:

What's with The Australian giving Tim Blair AND Dick Morris the space to slag off their ex-employers? One sacked for incompetence and the other for gross unprofessionalism and no disclaimer to that effect. I wonder if Chris Mitchell is going to give space for anybody fired by Rupert Murdoch to slag him off.

Iíve never been sacked for incompetence or gross unprofessionalism; actually, as Mayne knows, Iíve never been sacked. That letter ran last week - this week the idiot publishes another, in response to Crikeyís call for nominations for Australiaís shallowest journalist:

My nomination would be Tim Blair - but does he qualify as a journo? He is as shallow as a midsummer puddle in Perth, and has the dubious distinction of not cutting it in the Oz, where fellow shallowers like Miranda Devine flourish.Tim hates Pilger, whose work he derides as having a lie on every page but I believe that Tim should be re named Tim Bliar.

Clever readers you've got, Stephen! Again, I left The Australian. I wasn't fired. The Australian wanted me to stay. (Incidentally, Miranda Devine works for The Sydney Morning Herald, not The Australian).

Iíve written to Mayne about this and so far have received no response. Beats me why I ever supported the bastard, or contributed to his site, or helped him when he called asking for advice before a television interview. Have fun going broke, mate.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 18, 2003 02:33 AM | TrackBack

Don't let the jerk get to you, Tim. You're a great writer and that will always incite others to be jealous of you. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: Kashei at June 18, 2003 02:49 AM

You want I should come down there and break his bones?

Posted by: Bruno at June 18, 2003 02:53 AM

so no 'gross unprofessionalism' eh? just the more pedestrian type? ;)

seriously, you should put this on your masthead and display it with pride:

"shallow as a midsummer puddle in Perth"

best regards, and keep up the good work!!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 18, 2003 03:02 AM

This puts one in mind of the old story about W.R. Hearst, who said of some old friend turned bitter adversary, "I don't know why he hates me, I never did him a favor."

Posted by: Mike G at June 18, 2003 04:41 AM

Crikey is full of crap.

Posted by: Jonny at June 18, 2003 06:04 AM


That site blows. Who gives a shit what they say, nobody reads it anyway.

Posted by: DKNY at June 18, 2003 06:48 AM


You should take a leaf from Evelyn Waugh's book, and explore the recreational & financial benefits of suing half-wits stupid enough to libel you in print.

Posted by: Craig Ranapia at June 18, 2003 07:28 AM

It's Crikey, Tim. You don't write a letter, you sue!

Posted by: Robert at June 18, 2003 10:29 AM

Like Tim I too was an early subscriber and supporter of the Crikey site. I'm a slow learner so it took me a while to fully comprehend Steven Maynes manipulative nature.

Given some of the total dribble I have seen him come out with on financial issues and his ability to misunderstand even the basics it has always amazed me how he managed to score a commerce degree. This should be regarded as an embarrassment for whichever institution handed out this cornflakes packet degree.

I may be wrong but my recollection is that my initial introduction to the Tim Blair blog was from a mention on the Crikey site where Steven Mayne applauded him with some kind of award for best resignation letter (Tim, was it just an email saying "see ya I'm outa here" or something like that?). This hardly seems consistent with claims of being sacked. But then consistency was never Maynes strong point.

Shallowest journo should go to Mayne himself for some of the inane 'lists' he frequently publishes on his site. Mayne likes to publish 'lists' because they take up space and save him having to think or write !!!!

I still have my Crikey subscriber T-shirt which I now find useful for cleaning toilet seats.

Posted by: Thersites at June 18, 2003 10:33 AM

Well Tim,

I was mightily pissed off as a crikey suscriber to read the post concerning you.

Crikey is turning into another left wing rant, with newsworthy stories white anted by Mr. Maynes' advertorials for a family member and his own personal biases.

I have no beef about people expressing their views. Predictably, there were comments about yourself, Miranda Devine and Andrew Bolt. I see no mention of Ms Margo.

I will not be renewing my subscription.

Posted by: nic at June 18, 2003 11:08 AM

Ditto - I've let mine lapse for similar reasons.

Posted by: Jim at June 18, 2003 11:19 AM

Lay the boot into the sod, Tim. He seems to be one of those poor misguided lefties who are just begging to be put upon. Like all such tossers he craves victimhood. I don't see why should deny him his wish.

Laugh with the Cavaliers

Posted by: Toryhere at June 18, 2003 11:39 AM

If you were going to sue, you probably shouldn't have republished the allegations.

But then, journalists in general shouldn't sue one another - you are a journalist, aren't you?

Both you and Crikey churn out low-quality tendentious crap - this could be a fun fight to watch. Pass the popcorn!

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 18, 2003 11:44 AM

Want the name of a good defamation counsel? The silly bastard has been dumb enough to put it in print, but proving it has been made public could be difficult given the state of Crikey's readership (and I don't think the damages would be collectable- he had to take out a second mortgage for his last trip to the District Court).

Posted by: paul bickford at June 18, 2003 11:44 AM

Sue Mayne's ass off! - Crikey is a crock of shit

Posted by: David at June 18, 2003 11:48 AM

Where do we contribute to the sue Crikey fund?

Posted by: Mike Hunt at June 18, 2003 11:54 AM

The bastards!! They obviously haven't been in Perth in the middle of summer when it rains, because if it does it is normally the remnants of a cyclone from up North and it dumps down and because its the middle of summer all the drains are blocked with sand, leaves and litter and your up to your knees in it! At least they could use an accurate insult - or perhaps that was accurate!?

Anyway, Tim you rock along with Mark Steyn.

Bugger sueing, people like us should be allowed to carry guns and remove idiots like that from the gene pool.

Posted by: Razor at June 18, 2003 11:55 AM

Stephen whom?

Posted by: Kim du Toit at June 18, 2003 12:10 PM

I was thinking about taking a subscription with Mayne's little rag but after checking out some of his 'iron clad information' it turns out that not only is he completely full of shit, but he wouldn't know a takeover target from an archery target.

Forget him Tim, nothing pisses of a lefty more than irrevelence.

Posted by: Todd at June 18, 2003 12:12 PM

Mayne is self-destructive. I don't have to sue him; he's engineering his own collapse. Besides which, after recent legal debacles, he has very little to sue for. A retraction or correction would be enough for me ...

Posted by: tim at June 18, 2003 01:11 PM

Mayne's a dud in targeting a market. He came along at the right time with a good idea and maximised his promotional opportunities. Then he blew all his ''independence'' credibility by being just another sounding board for lazy, dumb, chardonnay socialist media types.

Posted by: slatts at June 18, 2003 02:12 PM

slatts, a perfect summation, spot on.

Posted by: nic at June 18, 2003 02:38 PM

I'm another one sorely disappointed with my Crikey subscription. What a waste, I just can't beleive some of the crap they print. Matthew Rushford wouldn't be that stupid.

Posted by: PJ at June 18, 2003 02:49 PM

mate, bullshit to that dickhead. he is stupid, mate. he, mate, he has no idea. fucking poof.
allright, mate, youse just keep on going rightwing, okay, and if he gives you any bullsit just call me and me mates, and we fix hum up, okay mate.

Posted by: Tony at June 18, 2003 02:50 PM

What happened with the Australian edition of Sports Ill. anyway?

Posted by: JB at June 18, 2003 02:51 PM

The Australian SI was a victim of the advertising turndown. Still publishes a local swimsuit edition, however.

Posted by: tim at June 18, 2003 03:58 PM

I once subscribed to Crikey but decided fairly quickly that Steven Mayne is thick as 2 short planks and morally perverse with it. In short, a total prat.

Despite several requests to remove me from his mailing list, this has never happened and I have consigned the Crikey domain to my spam killfile.

I cheered when I heard that Nick Bolkus had won his judgement.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at June 18, 2003 04:28 PM

"Where do we contribute to the sue Crikey fund?"

Is this like an investment? We hand over cash and get twice as much back when Mayne gets done... I'll be in on that.

And if you're reading this Steve-o can I blag a free mention in your scandal sheet? I had one once before, but that was as part of a scandal. Thanx!

Posted by: Adam at June 18, 2003 06:41 PM

I too used to subscribe to Crikey. I've since discontinued. The guy is reminiscent of a private school boy putting on a show for his mates. He is also capable of holding 4 or 5 contradictory opinions at a time. He is in need of a course in Logic 101, but first of all, he needs to go back to the three Rs as he can't spell or write to save his life either.

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 18, 2003 06:53 PM

Hey Pete W:

I couldn't help notice the similarity in style and content so I have to ask you: are you the guy who turned in this little number?

Posted by: Preston Whip at June 18, 2003 07:15 PM

Report him to mediawatch. They report errors no matter the ideological bent of the offender.

Okay, seriously. You have a column in the Bulletin, unlike most mortals. Use it.

Posted by: Andjam at June 18, 2003 09:28 PM

Even if he only published it to his mum and dad, he could be had up, but perhaps for not much more than the contents of his tip jar. However, by LINKING to his slurs, you have done the money, as K Packer pithily put it.

Posted by: Dave F at June 18, 2003 09:52 PM

Crickey has a picture of what looks like Howard about to give Costello oral. I saw the picture last Friday on "The Glass House" and wondered if it were a photoshop job. I'm not saying that the photo is from Crickey or that it is a photoshop job, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: Andjam at June 18, 2003 11:16 PM

Swimsuit issue? Did someone say "swimsuit issue"?

Posted by: Keith at June 19, 2003 09:49 AM

I usually advise clients to cool down and think twice about suing. It's very expensive, and by the time it gets to court Mayne might well have gone terminally broke.

At the same time the commenter who suggested you'd caused yourself problems by "republishing" the allegations is wrong. You're entitled (and in some respects obliged) to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damage done by a defamatory publication, and it's difficult to undo the damage by explaining that the allegation is untrue without actually explaining the context.

I'd certainly slag him in your Bulletin column (if they'll allow it), and I'd have some enquiries made to see whether he really is worth suing. The mere fact that he spread a story that he had to take out a second mortgage on his house to pay the last damages award doesn't mean it's necessarily true. Is Crikey's circulation really all that bad? There seem to be quite a few of your commenters who've been conned into paying up for a subscription (although I'm not one of them). What other sources of income does he have? I'd still be tempted to sue him if his asset and income position merits it, and if he doesn't promptly retract and apologise.

Lastly, if he really did know you'd resigned (as one commenter suggested), that would tend to indicate malice or recklessness, which would bump up the potential damages significantly (although that's not much good unless he's got the money).

This isn't legal advice and all relevant disclaimers are inserted.

Posted by: Ken Parish at June 19, 2003 11:45 AM

Even if he is hardly worth anything, isn't it worth sueing him in order to make him declare bankruptcy. Then, hopefully, he will stop wasting the valuable time of all those companies he keeps trying to get on to the boards of (grammar?).

I don't mind a bit of shareholder activism but let the ASA do it.

Posted by: Razor at June 19, 2003 12:23 PM

The most recently posted article on Crikey seems to be claiming the Mayne man is away at the moment ...... how convenient !!!!!

Posted by: Thersites at June 19, 2003 07:50 PM