BRISBANE: An attempt by The Courier-Mail editor Chris Jones to resign for “gross negligence” has been rebuffed by world media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Jones (pictured at top) told an early-morning meeting of staff at the News Queensland Bowen Hill HQ that he was absolutely shattered to miss the big news of the day – a stinging rebuke of Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his public savaging of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over the Queensland Government’s initial refusal to allow an ACT woman to travel north for her father’s funeral.
Jones reportedly told staff: “The girl’s sister has given the PM both barrels for the way he shamelessly used the issue to attack the Premier politically and that his intervention had made the family’s suffering much worse.
“Considering we went so big over recent days on that scandal and other border-closure family tragedies brought on by a heartless and cynical and vindictive Queensland Premier and we would have been duty-bound by our strong journalistic ethics and balanced reporting standards to give equal treatment to this latest development, I’m simply stunned that we’ve missed it.
“It’s all over the SMH and The Guardian and I’m just so bitterly disappointed it slipped under our radar.
‘I’m in charge and the buck stops with me for this gross negligence on my part.
“I take full responsibility so I rang Mr Murdoch in New York and offered to resign immediately, especially after I also missed that yarn about all the resignations in the administrative ranks of the Queensland LNP a few weeks back. That was another big yarn with an election pending.
“Mr Murdoch simply said ‘keep on doing what you’re doing’ and sweetened my remuneration and conditions package substantially which was nice of him under the circumstances.
“He also made me feel better by explaining that we wouldn’t have had room for that shocking new development in the Morrison-Palaszczuk funeral/bullying brouhaha anyway, what with our front-page splash on a key LNP law-and-order election issue, the rampant African crime gangs, the Peter Beattie godsend we were expecting because he had been out of the limelight for a little while and, of course, the two pages we simply had to devote today to protecting Peter Dutton.”