Uhlmann, Coorey sacked!

SHOCK MEDIA DISMISSALS:

Two of Australia’s top politics reporters have been summarily dismissed from their workplaces overnight for “gross incompetence”.

Seen packing their work things at their respective workplaces were Chris Uhlmann at Channel 9 News and Phillip Coorey at The Australian Financial Review (both pictured above).

The Bug understands both men, the political editors at their respective news outlets, were given their marching orders by Nine Entertainment Co. chairman Peter Costello for, amongst other things, “a woefully inadequate understanding of how the Australian electoral system works”.

In a statement to be released later this morning but one that has already fallen into The Bug‘s hands, Mr Costello explains that a complete review of the organisation’s coverage of the 2022 federal election had revealed serious failings on the part of Uhlmann and Coorey.

Both had “wilfully, wrongly and totally unprofessionally repeated the absurd notion that if all the major opinion polls proved correct and the LNP and Labor had a similar primary vote in the mid-30s on election day then that would invariably end in a hung parliament and mean a destabilising minority government that the nation could ill-afford”.

Mr Costello writes: “Both totally ignored the Greens vote at between 12 and 14 per cent and either downplayed or ignored the strong two-party-lead to Labor of between 54 and 55 per cent.

“A novice politics reporter on their first day in the Canberra press gallery would cop a dreadful pounding from just about the entire media corp if they sprouted such nonsense.

“Labor came close to winning the 2019 election with a primary vote more than 8 per cent below that of the LNP. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Australian politics and our compulsory preferential voting system and who wanted a career in writing about it would know that.

“For Chris Uhlmann and Phillip Coorey not to know all those facts is a terrible indictment of them and displays a complete lack of knowledge of basic politics. Basically, it’s gross incompetence on their part.”

But Mr Costello said his board regretfully, sadly, also had to address another possibility; that both men knew what they were sprouting was “utter rubbish but did it anyway”.

“When I called both men into my office in Sydney late yesterday afternoon, I asked them if all their ‘better the devil you know’ talk and dire warnings of political instability were designed to frighten voters back to the LNP fold.

“They both winked at me and said, albeit in slightly different words, that they only did what they thought was expected of them”.

Mr Costello said the sacking of both men gave a crystal clear message to all journalist employed at Nine Entertainment Co. mastheads and at Channel 9 and affiliated radio newsrooms around the country that anything other than fair, balanced and professional reporting would never, ever be tolerated “by any board I lead”.

The Bug understands Chris Uhlmann is considering becoming a trainee Catholic priest once again while Phillip Coorey hopes to move into writing political fiction thrillers.

“I think I’d be good at that,” he is reported to have told now former colleagues as he left the AFR newsroom last night.