Fairfax reporter Ben Schneiders launched an extraordinary attack on Andrew Landeryou under the guise of criticising Labor's selection of the former Vex News creator's wife as Stephen Conroy's replacement in the Senate (Image screenshot smh.com.au)

Fairfax have a grudge against Andrew Landeryou and they will use every chance to attack him — even via attacking his wife, writes Peter Wicks.

BILL SHORTEN has raised some huge questions with his support of Kimberley Kitching for the Senate position left vacant by Stephen Conroy and the media is all over it.

So let’s have a quick look at the real questions regarding Kitching’ s elevation to the position of Senator, along with some of the answers.

Is she qualified for the position? Yes.

Has she dedicated her life to promoting the Labor cause? Yes.

Was she elected to this position? Yes, almost unanimously.

So what else is there to ask? Oh yes that’s right her days at the HSU and her factional alliances.

Factional politics is nothing new, this is not bold new ground. It is particularly prevalent when it comes to Senate positions and it also applies with all of the major political parties. It happens with Labor, it happens with the Liberals and it happens with the Greens. In NSW, the Greens are at breaking point over the factional brawl for Upper House seats.

Yes, Kitching was heavily involved with the HSU. She was part of the team that helped to bring down union thug Marco Bolano and his factional leader Kathy Jackson who now awaits trial for the alleged theft of over $1.4 million from Union members. That's not something to be ashamed of.

It is true that the Royal Commission recommended police look into allegations involving right of entry exam irregularities with the possibility of charges being laid, however this has amounted to zip thus far.

It is hardly surprising that the Jackson team would have some allegations to throw at Kitching. However, it should be remembered that this is the same team that alleged that an Australian journalist joined Craig Thomson in a jacuzzi at a brothel with some hookers, despite the fact that the journalist in question was in the United States at the time. The same team that had Marco Bolano intimidate witnesses and media at the Royal Commission, to the extent that Kitching herself was advised by police to hire a bodyguard during her appearances.

So, reliability is not what I would refer to as a strong point with these accusers.

So, if there is really nothing to smear Kitching, then why not utilise the Donald Trump method and smear her for the alleged actions of her husband?

That seems to be the mainstream media way of dealing with this. Beat up on the woman because they don’t like the husband.

My, how far the women’s movement has come….

Kimberley’s husband is Andrew Landeryou, the "infamous" founder of the former website Vex News.

It is fair to say Landeryou has amassed himself a tidy pile of enemies. I have had my disagreements with both him and Kitching over the years, however none of that diminishes Kitchings talent or suitability for this position in any way.

Fairfax, who perhaps have one of the largest axes to grind, said this about Kitching and Landeryou:

'Ms Kitching, the wife of notorious former political blogger Andrew Landeryou…'

While Fairfax may be amazed that a husband and wife may have a mutual interest in politics, I’m certainly not.

What I find highly offensive are the shameless attacks on a woman who is being elevated to a position of authority due to opinions and perceptions about her husband.

Fairfax goes on to describe Landeryou’s work as an

'… aggressive and often defamatory blog.'

Is it just me or does that sound like an aggressive statement to make?

As for the 'often defamatory' allegation, how many defamation claims have been made against Fairfax over the years? One high-profile one involving Joe Hockey springs to mind.

The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind.

As I have reported recently, those writing the story at Fairfax have an axe to grind as Landeryou exposed them for criminal conduct in one of his articles, something they admitted to in court.

This involved a Labor Party laptop that was stolen by a Greens Party Councillor and candidate and ended up in the hands of Fairfax journalists. Charges were laid and guilt was admitted to in court by all four men.

Maybe if their wives run for public office one day, we can hold these charges against them?

Needless to say, the Melbourne offices of Fairfax have been keen to put the boot into Landeryou at any possible opportunity.

I would have hoped that Fairfax would be bigger than this sort of tit for tat reporting — but, alas, it would seem not.

Anyway, while those in the media continue to judge a woman by the actions of a man, I’d instead like to extend her my congratulations.

Good on you, Kimberley.

Peter Wicks is a former NSW State Labor candidate. You can follow Peter Wicks on Twitter @madwixxy.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

Monthly Donation


Single Donation



Share this article:   

Join the conversation Comments Policy

comments powered by Disqus