When is an “exclusive” media story not an “exclusive”. Today, obviously with two News Corp outlets claiming an “exclusive” for stories based on the same ASIO briefing handed to them by the Morrison Government.
Basically the briefing apparently suggests that up to 1,000 asylum seekers would be pretty much immediately eligible to head to Australia from their offshore detention camps under a Bill on medical evacuations proposed by the Independent Member for Wentworth, Dr Kerryn Phelps.
The Australian leads its front page with the story (main picture – top) and blames Dr Phelps for all the horrors her Bill would supposedly release.
The page five story by The Courier-Mail’s federal political editor Renee Viellaris (main picture – bottom) didn’t miss the chance to rope in the Labor Party.
It said the “Labor-supported asylum seeker laws” would be to blame if the ASIO (pictured right) predictions came good.
The headline didn’t miss the Labor Party either, evoking images of a flotilla of boats with people seeking to invade our nation all courtesy of the Labor Party.
But sadly for both The Oz and The Courier, their “exclusive” stories also popped up in other New Corp outlets written by other reporters.
The Herald Sun in Melbourne started its story on the front page (pictured right) and spilled it to page 10.
The Melbourne paper went further than The Courier-Mail and not only tied Labor to the Bill, but failed to mention the fact Dr Phelps was sponsoring the Bill, or even use her name in the entire story.
In Sydney, the Daily Telegraph acknowledged the proposed laws were the work of Dr Phelps but mentioned Labor only in passing (pictured below).
In fact its headline proclaimed “fears” that Dr Phelps and her Bill would “allow murderers and rapists into the country”.
No doubt Rupert Murdoch won’t be very happy that the opportunity was lost to tattoo those ill effects on the Labor Party and not the cross-bench doctor.