Fairfax Editor Darren Goodsir has denied being a “filthy copycat” despite damning evidence The Sydney Morning Herald’s Thursday edition carried an opinion piece stolen from an employee of The unAustralian in the dead of night.
The 800 word piece entitled “Why ABC’s Vote Compass Doesn’t Work For Me” and attributed to the almost certainly fictitious Patrick Batchelor was so obviously the work of The unAustralian, the paper is looking forward to “an absolute shirt-load” in damages.
Lawyers acting on behalf of The unAustralian said the headline itself was in the exact same ‘voice’ as headlines appearing in The unAustralian such as “NSW Election Ballot Papers Officially Halal Certified”, “Greens Call For A Ban On Election Day Sausage Sizzle” and “QLD Votes”.
Barrister Siobhan Beard SC has singled out two quotes as being particularly egregious: “A Labor or Liberal candidate contesting an inner-city seat will almost certainly be far more progressive than their respective parties’ state platforms” and “I’ll vote for my local Labor candidate because I want to see progressive reform implemented”.
Ms Beard said both quotes have long been considered part of a drinking game in The unAustralian’s lunch room and whilst the fact The unAustralian is unable to prove how Fairfax obtained the article is ‘concerning’, an internal investigation is underway and several senior contributors have been asked by HR to hand in their passports and photocopy cards.
Marie Sharkson, age 22 ¾ with Tim Govers