7 Nov. 2007

WTF??? Rudd, Costello meet with News Limited execs

This is absolutely bloody disgraceful! From ABC Online:
Federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Peter Costello have both taken time out from the election campaign to address News Limited executives in Canberra.

Mr Costello did not announce his meeting with the powerful media players and Mr Rudd did not tell the travelling media of his plans to address the conference this morning.

Heading in, he was again reluctant to talk about why he was so secretive about being there.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to talk to media representatives," he said.

Mr Rudd spent close to an hour with the News Limited bosses and on his way out joked there was nothing unusual about the meeting.

"I tell you what, Mr Costello was here earlier today, it's perfectly normal to speak with News Limited editors and I'm very happy to speak to the ABC board of management at any time if you'd organise that for me," he said.
So Costello was there earlier, and Rudd turned up later. And they didn't tell the media. And they won't say what was discussed????

WTF is going on??? This is HUGE!

Is this the reason why Larvatus Prodeo (longtime critics of the Murdoch spin machine) has been taken down by a spam attack?

Come clean, Mister Rudd! Tell us what went on in that room!

Is Rupert Murdoch now the man who decides Australia's next Prime Minister?

Was a deal done?

My God, who would have believed we would live to see such a day?

UPDATE 1: Where was the media pack when all this was going on? This story (from News Ltd, ironically) gives a clue:
Nothing is announced in advance on this Tour.

No times, no destinations. Just a text message instructing when to board the bus...

While Mr Rudd has fallen short of the excesses of 1993, his travelling campaign circus was awakened at 4am in Sydney before an 8.30am visit to a Tullamarine plastics factory.

Mr Rudd then spent the rest of the morning in strategy meetings on how to deal with the interest rate rises.
Meanwhile, Jeremy has picked up the story and even Tim "Inside The Tent" Dunlop has posted my comment (usually he spikes them).

UPDATE 2: The Age and ABC Radio pick up the story, with nothing new to add. The real question is why Rudd and Costello did not tell anyone about these visits, and why they refuse to discuss what happened in the meetings.

But OzBlogistan's lack of interest in this story tells you all you need to know about how Murdoch and his friends get away with this shit. Tim Dunlop posted my comment... and that's it. Jeremy didn't let it interrupt his usual stoush on another thread. The only halfway astute comment came from Mark Bahnsich:
The “secret” meeting might be a sign that Rupe is about to switch sides and back the winner. It will be hilarious to watch Shanahan, etc, all start furiously spinning Rudd’s way. That’s assuming they don’t have a shadow editorial team and punditariat hidden in a basement somewhere!
Murdoch-watchers know he has a habit of changing horses in the home straight if he can see he is going to lose: it maintains the illusion of his power as a King-maker.

Is that what this meeting was about? Maybe not - Murdoch wasn't even there. But he could have dialled in for a teleconference, in which case everybody in the room would have been hanging on his every word.

I guess the attitude at the GG towards Rudd in coming days will be the only way we'll ever know what happened.

Reminds me of the 2004 US Presidential election, when Bush and Kerry both refused to talk about their Skull and Bones club days. What a tragic farce.

UPDATE 3: A noticeably toned-down Australian today. I guess tomorrow's weekend edition will be the clincher.