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September 07th 2011 print

Michael Connor

What are they hiding?

The Australian withdrew a story and apologised to the PM, Andrew Bolt was censored, Glenn Milne kicked off the ABC’s Insiders, Michael Smith suspended. Is it because Bob Kernohan named names in the interview 2UE won’t play?

In June there were news stories that the unauthorised biography of Julia Gillard by Christine Wallace, to be published by Allen and Unwin, had been dropped. No explanation was given even though it had been promoted as a book that could shake the Labor government.

Two weeks ago announcer Michael Smith, on Fairfax owned 2UE, promoted a new interview with former president of the Australian Workers Union Bob Kernohan which was to be played the following week.

Monday last week Glenn Milne published an article in The Australian. This was withdrawn from the newspaper’s website within hours of publication and the newspaper published an apology to the PM – after she rang News Corp CEO John Hartigan to complain.

Glenn Milne was then kicked off the ABC’s Insiders program.

Andrew Bolt’s blogs, dealing with Michael Smith’s interview, were censored by the Herald Sun – and Bolt considered resigning.

Michael Smith’s advertised interview was stopped.

Michael Smith has been suspended.

In a snippet of the Kernohan interview, which Smith played the week before Milne’s article was published and which was on the station’s website, the ex-union official claimed that efforts had been made to silence him in the 1990s.

Kernohan alleged that he had been offered bribes, which he refused, and then seriously beaten up. The alleged bribes included the offer of a safe ALP seat in return for his silence. These are allegations he had previously made in a Statutory Declaration.

However, in the part of the interview Smith played Kernohan named names – though these were blanked out in the audio.

Is this the reason Smith has been silenced?

What is being covered-up? Who is being protected?

UPDATE: Bob Kernohan’s Statutory Declaration is widely available on the net including  here… Though it was only written last year some parts of the media are saying this is an old story and does not deserve any attention.