The Age’s War on colourful and feisty Victorian Liberal MP Inga Peulich has massively backfired on them today with admissions by them they relied on a forgery in a front-page attack on the high-profile MP on Sunday.
Gutter-snipes Royce Millar – infamous in media circles for illegally recording telephone conversations and cybercriminal hacking of private databases News of the World style – and eyelash-flutterer Melissa Fyfe wrote the erroneous albeit amusing account which suggested, in the grand traditions of local government, that Peulich’s son, promising Paul, had committed both to developers and local greenists diametrically opposed positions on the development of “Green Wedge” land. Even if true, and it’s in The Age, so it’s safe to assume it isn’t, he would certainly not be the first to straddle both sides of the barbed wire fence of local councillor decision-making.
But the part that has landed the Age in hot water is their reliance on what appears to be a forgery for part of their attack on promising Paul’s mum, Inga. They claimed to be in possession of a smoking gun email purportedly from Peulich, that was supposedly proof of her meddling in the local council on behalf of her boy.
And while the whole question about whether local government is to be treated like a court where its decision-makers are to act like judges not elected politicians is a complex one for another time, it is certainly a radical anti-politician re-interpretation of local government to deem it villainous for a state MP to have an active role in municipal affairs. The Age appears to want politics to be illegal, so that “non-political” (yet often extremely left-leaning) council officers can run the show.
Having been caught in the act of relying on a forgery for a front-page splash, what did The Age do? It published a begrudging “clarification” on page two of its august journal today, without a word of apology or contrition.
We have been pretty tough on Inga Peulich in the past, even reporting on the sensitive subject of her publicly-funded electorate office outhouse, and no doubt will find reason to be again, but she does have a go, she is enterprising and tough and feisty and all those things that are in very short supply in elective politics. There’s too much vanilla and not enough fruit and nut flavours in the political ice-cream shop, in our view. And Ms Peulich is certainly not vanilla.
Patriots on both sides of the aisle will hope she sticks it right up The Age for this latest disgraceful episode, in the Press Council and in the courts. She’s got them on toast.
WEDNESDAY 6PM UPDATE: Well-placed Liberal sources tell VEXNEWS that there’s every chance all of the emails referred to by The Age are forgeries and that the ailing newspaper has refused to provide copies of the forgeries when asked by representatives of Ms Peulich. They can run but they can’t hide.
Further, they say that local media tomorrow will report that Ms Peulich plans to sue The Age in defamation over the forgery snafu and is currently consulting lawyers on the matter. Developing…