30 YEARS OF THE BUG/FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Through its history, The Bug has never taken a backward step in righting wrongs.
If it heard some scuttlebutt that it knew was untrue and hurtful – either through a basic instinct for knowing solid fact from squirty bullshit or through rapidly conducted research that dug deep until it unearthed a kernel of truth – it went into immediate action.
A classic example was in the early 1990s when rumours swept Brisbane – indeed Queensland and beyond – that the new Labor Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley might be gay!
Now there is not a homophobic bone in the bodies of the journo/publishers of The Bug and for that reason, we had no real interest at all if Jim drilled for Vegemite or, as they say, enjoyed riding the chocolate cha-cha! He could lift shirts for the rest of his life as far as we were concerned. Punch freckles ’til he’s exhausted. We’d be happy for him.
But such accusations could prove fatal to a person’s political ambitions and The Bug simply could not stand for that!
We sent research teams out into the field and before too long we uncovered intimate letters from Soorley to his girlfriend Mary. They put paid to these salacious rumours about his sexual preference and The Bug was more than happy to splash that fact on our front page and put and end to the shameful yet damaging scuttlebutt once and for all!
While we won’t run Jim’s letters here – this all happened a long, long time ago – but Bug aficionados can probably guess at their content: they had all the heat and passion of a AA battery held in the hand.
A homesick trainee priest’s letter to his mother from the seminary would be more risque.
Still, The Bug stepped in and did what had to be done.
Footnote: Lord Mayor Jim Soorley was conducting a media conference when someone at the back held up this issue of The Bug and said something along the lines of “What about this then?”
Soorley reportedly returned fire: “That’s not true!”
But then Jim thought about it very quickly and corrected himself: “I mean, yes, it’s true!”
Tomorrow: As we did for Jim Soorley, when public mischief-makers started to cast doubts on James Scott’s snow cave tale of survival, The Bug came to his defence!