Talkback host Michael Smith told to sign gag order
BROADCASTER Michael Smith must make an undertaking not to broadcast material from an interview with Bob Kernohan, former president of the Australian Workers Union, before he returns to air on Sydney's 2UE.
Smith was suspended on Tuesday as Fairfax Media and 2UE management investigated material to be aired in Smith's interview with Mr Kernohan, including allegations of misappropriated union funds.
Yesterday, 2UE management issued Smith with a document requiring his undertaking not to broadcast material from the interview unless the station has evidence to support any claims that will be made.
"If he signs the document, he'll be back on air tomorrow (Friday)," said Fairfax's head of radio, Graham Mott. "If he doesn't we'll have to reconsider our positions."
Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood had no qualms over the suspension. "That was Graham Mott's decision, which I fully support."
The afternoon host remains indignant about the neutering of his questioning of alleged misallocation of union funds by Bruce Wilson, with whom Julia Gillard had a personal relationship before she entered politics.
"This country's pretty screwed up if decent, working people can't turn to a free and open media to have their say," Smith said last night.
- See more at: The Australian