Splashed across the front page of The Daily Terrorgraph, Rupert Murdoch’s low brow Sydney tabloid is the following headline:
Exclusive: School excursions hit by Swan budget cuts
Taking The Lunch Money
The story is written by Steve Lewis, the “journalist” responsible for the “Utegate” fabrication, and up to his eyeballs in the Slippergate scandal as well. With a pedigree like that, i guess we shouldn’t expect too much from him. It claims:
CHILDREN visiting federal parliament will be deprived of free bottled water and fruit treats as Treasurer Wayne Swan plays Grinch to school groups.
In the latest budget crackdown even teachers who shepherd the kids through the building will no longer get tea and coffee — all for a saving of $235,000 a year.
The axing of the schools ‘‘ hospitality program’’ will infuriate MPs — themselves the recipients of generous meal allowances — who cherish hosting school groups from their electorates when they visit Canberra.
It follows with a quote from serial buffoon Joe Hockey,
It is pathetic. This is just another example of this Labor government’s priorities and its inability to be tough on itself.
That quote from the serial buffoon is probably the only truth in the whole article. The rest of it falls within the realms of pure fiction, if not utter bollocks.
Treasurer Wayne Swan has already issued the following statement in response to the above fabrication demanding that an apology, and correction be issued and published on the front page.
Story in News Limited Papers Wrong
The story by Steve Lewis in today’s Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser and Courier Mail claiming bottled water and fruit snacks for school students visiting Parliament House have been cut is completely wrong.
It is entirely incorrect to say that a single dollar of estimated $235,000 cost of the service has been cut from the House of Representatives hospitality program.
This service has not been cut and to suggest otherwise is dishonest and grossly inaccurate.
The parliamentary departments have confirmed that the program has not been cut – bottled water and fruit snacks will continue to be provided to students who visit Parliament House to learn about our political system.
Despite this, News Limited papers have decided to run this fabrication of a story, including The Daily Telegraph which placed it on page one.
It is also grossly irresponsible and sloppy of Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey to criticise the program being cut while failing to check the facts about the program.
Given how these newspapers have misled their readers, papers which published the story should publish a correction of equal prominence tomorrow morning, which for The Daily Telegraph means page one.
We shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for that to happen.
The Murdoch Virus in action again.