Downfall - How the Labor Party ripped itself apart
For all those who remember the light on the hill. With sympathy.

Howard Sattler of 6PR in Perth suspended over interview with Prime Minister Gillard


Statement: Howard Sattler Suspended


Today Howard Sattler, Drive presenter on Perth radio station 6PR, put a number of questions to Prime Minister Julia Gillard regarding the sexuality of her partner, Tim Mathieson.

These questions sought to establish if there was a basis in fact to rumours circulating about the couple's relationship.

The PM answered Mr Sattler's questions with dignity and some patience.

Fairfax Radio management has reviewed this interview and considers that the questions posed by Mr Sattler were disrespectful and irrelevant to the political debate.

Mr Sattler apologised later in the program for his line of questioning. The management of FRN also extends its sincere apologies to the Prime Minister and her partner.

Mr Sattler has been suspended from broadcasting on 6PR pending an internal inquiry.


Gauche, very poor manners and out of place in a news/current affairs format.   It was also train-crash radio to listen to I thought.   I'd have been interested in their future plans together, marriage, a split, and in particular his driving record in her taxpayer funded car.  But I don't think the gay thing is going to get you very far in questions of the PM.

But the reaction to the interview and what I think was a fairly straightforward question put to one Australia's most senior political journalists Philip Coorey is off the scale when it comes to rudeness, inappropriateness and an abject lack of respect for his readers.

When I, you or anyone publishes something to the internet or Twitter it's as published as if it was in ink and paper with a Sydney Morning Herald or Australian Financial Review masthead.

After the Howard Sattler story gained some prominence last night, Philip Coorey, the Australian Financial Review's Chief Political Correspondent published this tweet.


Philip coorey
That elicited some discussion with a fair bit of conversation between Mr Coorey and Mark Textor, the conservative political campaign strategist.   That resulted in this observation from Phil Coorey

Phil coorey 3
My father instilled into me the old "do unto others as you would that they should do unto you."

I've interviewed Ms Gillard plenty of times along with her ministers and lots of prominent people.   I'd never treat her differently from how I'd treat any listener on my radio show.  To me everyone has the same dignity entitlement regardless of their position.   It's just basic manners and courtesy.

So one of Phil Coorey's readers, observing the conversation on twitter asked Coorey, the AFR's Senior Political Correspondent about a matter of much more weight for the nation than whether it's rude to ask about Tim's sexuality.   Here's his tweet:

I don't know that the AFR or Fairfax in general have so many readers that they can afford to speak with them like that.