Flat White

Peta Credlin stood up for accountability. We don’t know about Twitter has-beens, but that’s what all good journos do

10 October 2020

4:40 PM

10 October 2020

4:40 PM

Forget that a bungled hotel quarantine program led to the deaths of 800 largely helpless Victorians. The real scandal is that Peta Credlin asked questions about who was responsible.

Twitter went into meltdown after the newspaper columnist and television host grilled Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in a tense exchange at his daily coronavirus press conference on Friday.

Her crime was to have made the Victorian Premier uncomfortable. Never mind the dead.

“Peta Credlin is NOT an accredited journalist and should have been thrown out of Dan Andrews’ presser,” tweeted Louise Gill, whose comment quickly received thousands of likes.

Apparently, our elected officials can only be questioned by state-sanctioned ‘accredited journalists’, by which the twitter mob presumably mean socialist, Andrews supporting, ALP card-carrying puppets – or the ABC, for short.

But so-called accredited journalists have sat meekly through 98 press briefings over months of disease and lockdown, ogling the Premier as he has trampled civil rights and obfuscated over who was responsible for citizen deaths.

They have seemed more interested in who Daniel Andrews is backing in the footy than why, after $5.4m spent on an inquiry, we are still clueless as to who caused the death of 800 people and sent Australia’s second most populous city into a draconian lockdown.

Peta Credlin showed up to one press briefing and took just a few minutes to expose the utter inadequacy of much of the Melbourne media.

Wouldn’t phone records reveal who it was that phoned police chief Graham Ashton to advise private security guards would be used at quarantine hotels? And wouldn’t it clarify things if the Premier and other key figures provided their phone records?

Good questions. But wait …

More important than who made the fateful decision over hotel security is to decide whether Peta Credlin is a real journalist.

Veteran Courier-Mail columnist Terry Sweetman tweeted: “Sky can employ anyone it likes but after 50 plus years’ experience I am offended #PetaCredlin is called a journalist. Real journalists have shovelled shit, reported courts, covered councils or parliaments and made educated decisions about the legality of what they write or say.” 

A real journalist wouldn’t argue about who is or is not ‘a real journalist’ when questions about who was responsible for the death of 800 Australians remain unanswered. They’d put the public’s right to know — accountability — ahead of who has what piece of paper.

Perhaps the give-away that Credlin was not ‘a real journalist’ was that she sounded well informed, well researched and determined to get to answers.

Real journalist Mike Carlton tried to assure the #IStandWithDan crowd that Credlin’s questions would not upset the status quo in Daniel Andrews’ Victoria.

“Look, Credlin doesn’t matter. She has an audience smaller than the crowd at a weekday country race meeting. She is utterly irrelevant,” he tweeted.

If a conservative commentator dismissed say, ABC host Leigh Sales as “utterly irrelevant” he would be immediately called a misogynist.

Peta Credlin may be a woman, but she is the wrong kind of woman.

So the tolerant mob did not hesitate to dismiss her as the “Sky after dark vampire”, “a flapping yapping mouthpiece”, “abbott’s bitch”, a “menace to the public”, “a hack who loves the sound of her own voice” and “Peta Cretin”.

Not an accredited journalist? “Peta Credlin is not an accredited human being,” wrote one compassionate Lefty.

Many of these same people had only hours earlier been frothing at the mouth because they perceived US Vice President Mike Pence had not been sufficiently respectful of his female opponent.

All this because Peta Credlin dared to forensically question the man responsible for one of the greatest government failures in Australian history.

The Terry Sweetmans and Mike Carltons of this world may well care about the qualifications of the questioner, but the rest of us just want answers – regardless of who asks – as to why 800 of our fellow Aussies are dead.

Keep going Peta … real accredited journalist, or not.

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