The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

AFR corrects Rinehart spin

The AFR and other Fairfax papers have repeatedly reported that Gina Rinehart wants the right to "hire and fire editors". This always struck me as an exceedingly odd and unlikely demand for a 20% shareholder. You only get that right if you own the company in its entirety. My intuition was that this was spin being applied to make Rinehart look crazy in the battle for board seats. An AFR journo, Ben Holgate, has gone some way to correcting this misconception in two excellent articles on Rinehart's advisor, Jack Cowin. Today:

“Gina’s point of view on that is she doesn’t want to be muzzled from being able to express her point of view.” Asked if Rinehart wants the right to hire and fire editors, he says: “I don’t think so. I think that has become sensationalised.” Nor should directors instruct journalists what to write, he says.