July 13, 2004


Where did the Mark Latham wedding-eve video rumour begin? At Crikey.com.au, dragging down the reputation of Internet news sources since 2000. As Media Watch reports, "the rumour leapt effortlessly from Crikey to the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald":

The Labor leader is yet to respond to other revelations - reports of a raunchy video taken at his bucks' night before his second marriage.

According to Media Watch -- who’ve done good work on this; see how rapidly the program identifies SMH misreporting when it involves a Labor leader? -- Crikey sent this note out to subscribers on July 2, sparking wider media interest:

Now there are rumours of a potentially embarrassing videotape of Latham's bucks’ party ahead of his last wedding.

Here’s something Media Watch missed. That July 2 update didn’t rate a mention in Crikey’s July 7 summary of Latham’s rumour-filled week:

Mark Latham's colourful background has kept the media very busy over the last few days and Crikey has been watching the whole sorry affair from the safety of our bunker.

Oh, please.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 13, 2004 01:25 AM

It all depends how you wanna take your crikey. If you read it in the way that you read The Australian/The Age/Green Left Weekly, treating its words as gospel and all claims as substantiated, then you've got it wrong. You've got to read it in the way you'd listen to The Rumour File et al - plenty of muckraking, authenticity questionable, but usually a nugget of truth.

Posted by: Ari at July 13, 2004 at 02:59 AM

Things do slip miraculously under the radar, though, when it comes to Labor figures.

As an avid watcher of Lateline over the years, I'm surprised no-one has pursued the tape of a Latham-Chris Pyne exchange one Friday night during La-La's interregnum on the backbench.

Apropos of nothing, Latham had a swipe at Pyne's sexuality, making reference to what he'd heard said by others at Parliament House. This is the same Mark Latham who cried about the evil deeds of the 'Dirt Units'?

The remark demolishes the image of Latham as a victim or as a sincere proponent of the view that baseless gossip should on no account be publicised maliciously.

Pursue that one Crikey.com - there's actually something there to find.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at July 13, 2004 at 03:12 AM

There is also a "Kerrywatch" blog by the way, but it's not what you think it is. It's a blog by someone or a group of people who think that the US media is BIASED AGAINST JOHN KERRY!

Posted by: Joe at July 13, 2004 at 03:37 AM

lol.."bucks' night." i love australians. =)

Posted by: samkit at July 13, 2004 at 07:16 AM

Samkit - I agree. A "buck's night"? That's too funny. I've heard of "stag parties," although that term hasn't been used since the 1950's and isn't specific to bachelors, but "buck's night" is a tad more, er, animalistic, isn't it? :)

Do the girls get a "doe's night", too?

Posted by: Kimberly at July 13, 2004 at 08:33 AM

They do. It's called a "hen's night".

Posted by: amortiser at July 13, 2004 at 09:43 AM

Ha Ha. No,not Crikey? Defender of the faith? Battler of the right, actually starting the fire that may well consume its own 'love child' and see its arch enemy triumph.

Ha, this is better than the movies, chortle.

Posted by: nic at July 13, 2004 at 10:37 AM

Any so-called news source that adopts Steve Irwin's favourite oath for its masthead deserves all the laughs it gets.

Posted by: Paul Pottinger at July 13, 2004 at 11:16 AM

I am a life member of Crikey. I became so in order to financially support a corporate stirrer. In days past Crikey attended lots of AGM's and often attacked "the boys" who ran large companies for their own benefit.

Of late he has concentrated on scandal and I admit I am less interested. It is also ground on which he opens himself to error of fact and judgement.

The pressure of writing, editing and financing a daily journal of the size of Crikey appears to be degrading the quality. I hope he comes through it as he is a valuable player in the corporate market and independent media is needed

Posted by: Allan at July 13, 2004 at 12:11 PM

I'm very disappointed to hear the bucks night might just be a fable; in fact I'm going to refuse to believe that it isn't true. It's only their private lives that make politicans interesting: MPs who crash cars while blind drunk; pollies fornicating with strippers for their mates'enjoyment; or who take their boyfriends on o/s holidays at taxpayers'expense - all remind us that these people are sleazebags, regular guys just like us.

Besides, the thought that there might just be somewhere a video of Marky up on stage, rooting like a rabbit, is extremely appealing. I could almost vote for him if it were true.

Posted by: Freddyboy at July 13, 2004 at 02:33 PM

So Latham was a yobbo. Hold the front page.

I want the skinny on John Howard - how he spiked the cordial at a meeting of the Earlwood branch of the Young Liberals in 1958 with lemonade; the time he deliberately wore his school prefect's badge on the incorrect lapel of his blazer; how he'd have impure thoughts over Women's Weekly pictorial spreads of the young Queen Elizabeth.

Posted by: Paul Pottinger at July 13, 2004 at 06:02 PM

Mark Latham is a actually a SNAG, according to talkback caller "Scottie" on Jim Ball 2GB radio Sydney last night. It's the new reading to the kiddies Mark, 'Mark 3'. And that is SNAG as in 'Sensitive New Age Gough'.

Posted by: Softly at July 14, 2004 at 06:14 PM