Nine Network lawyers are going for broke. They have served a notice to produce on Fairfax to finger the source of the publication in The Age of the spicy affidavit of former Nine news director, Mark Llewellyn.
What started as a battle between Llewellyn and his former employer, the Nine Network, has turned into a war between the Packer interests and Fairfax.
Bruce Wolpe, Fairfax’s director of corporate affairs this afternoon (Friday, June 30), said:
“The Nine Network’s notice to produce directed at Fairfax and The Age is unprecedented and outrageous. By demanding that we disclose our sources, Nine is seeking to eviscerate a principle that is indispensable to the operation of a free press in a democracy. That a leading media company such as Nine would willfully undercut such a fundamental tenet of broadcast and print journalism is a disgrace.”
It didn’t seem so long ago that Nine supported Fairfax’s submissions against the government’s anti-terrorism laws. There was a shared concern about the government being able to compel journalists to disclose their sources. Similarly, Nine supports the introduction of a national shield law to protect journalists’ sources.
Is cant the word we are searching for, or something similar? Self-respecting reptiles at the Fast Eddie’s flea-pit should be downing tools in protest.