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Julia Gillard and the media

There's a book out fairly recently called 'The Stalking of Julia Gillard', about Kevin Rudd's long-term campaign to regain the Prime Ministership and the role played by the media. I have only read the first two chapters, and to be honest it seems fairly boring. The book is a kind of diary-style recount of The Saga of Julia and Kevin and the media's treatment of it, though unfortunately it ends in March 2013 and so doesn't quite get to the tale's conclusion.

Anyway, maybe it's interesting, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend reading it. In particular because I think the most important point is made by the Appendix, which I'm going to write out here. The Appendix is a chronology of predictions and assessments by journalists - not all journalists, just a select few - about the Labor leadership. It leaves out, also, all the critical commentary that was written about things not strictly related to the leadership: the carbon tax, mining tax, Malaysia solution, and so on. It doesn't even include the reams of commentary written about the various destabilising non-scandals - remember the AWU thing? - Gillard faced down. And it doesn't go later than the March anticlimax; so it doesn't include The Age editorialising that Gillard should resign. Let's not forget, either, that when the leadership actually did change the action was kicked off by rumours swirling around a petition which, as far as I understand it, nobody ever confirmed seeing.

Does this prove the media were in some kind of conspiracy against Gillard? No. It doesn't, by itself, prove that they did anything wrong at all. But anyone who can read to the bottom of this list and say that everything's working fine is -- well, probably an Australian political journalist.


December 16 - Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun: Gillard should resign

April 11 - Bolt: Gillard is finished as Prime Minister
June 6 - Bolt: Gillard will be gone by December
July 7 - Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald: Gillard is down for the count
July 25 - Chris Kenny, Australian: Rudd is Labor's last chance
September 1 - Graham Richardson, 3AW: Government won't survive another year under Gillard's leadership
September 1 - Andrew Bolt, Steve Price, Melbourne radio: Gillard should resign now
September 2 - Coorey: Doubts over PM's leadership
September 2 - Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun: Tick, tick, tick: Gillard's authority lost; time to weigh up whether to resign
September 2 - Hudson, Simon Benson, Daily Telegraph: Gillard fights for her leadership
September 2 - Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald: Gillard government like a house on fire
September 2 - Piers Akerman, News Ltd: PM's leadership lost at sea
September 2 - Steve Price, 3AW: The whiff of prime ministerial killing season wafts around Canberra
September 3 - Hartcher: Is Labor prepared to forgo its only realistic leadership hope - Rudd?
September 6 - Philip Adams, ABC: Resign, Julia
September 9 - Jeremy Thompson, ABC: Gillard is finished
September 22 - Benson: Support for Rudd growing significantly
September 23 - Coorey: Rudd nine votes from toppling Gillard
September 23 - Hartcher: Gillard government on torture rack; Kevin could end the pain
October 1 - Denis Shanahan, Australian: Rudd gathering numbers
October 7 - Richardson: Senior journalists tell me Gillard will be gone by Christmas
October 14 - Richardson: Talk of a challenge will not go away
October 19 - Bernard Keane, Crikey: Barring an improbable Gillard recovery, Labor will return to Rudd
October 20 - Benson: Support for Gillard collapsing
November 3 - Simon Benson, Steve Lewis, Daily Telegraph: Labor powerbrokers plot coup for this month
December 4 - Samantha Maiden, Sunday Telegraph: Rudd to mount a challenge within months

January 29 - Cosima Marriner, Fairfax: Rudd a strong chance of returning after the March Queensland election
January 31 - Fran Kelly, Radio National: A Rudd challenge now inevitable
January 31 - Benson: a showdown in March or April
February 1 - Shanahan: All the signs of a leadership challenge there
February 2 - Coorey: Gillard in danger after Queensland election, before budget
February 3 - Emma Griffiths, Sabra Lane, ABC: Gillard tenure terminal
February 3 - AC online: Gillard in deep trouble, challenge before Queensland election
February 6 - Benson: Momentum swinging towards Rudd
February 6 - Hartcher: Doomsday clock for Gillard set in motion
February 18 - Shanahan: Rudd will strike in the final March parliamentary sittings
February 18 - Hartcher: Rudd will again become leader
February 19 - Maiden: Gillard should resign now
February 20 - Benson: Half the cabinet has switched to Rudd
February 20 - Hartcher: Likely Rudd will return to the prime ministership within weeks
February 20 - Shanahan: Gillard delusional, in retreat
February 20 - Matthew Franklin, Australian, Support for Gillard among key cabinet ministers collapsing
February 21 - Niki Savva, Australian: Too late for Gillard to save herself
February 23 - Benson: Assassins are reaping what they sowed
February 23 - Hartcher: If Labor wants to be electable, Rudd should return to leadership
[February 24: Rudd, from the US, announces he will return to Australia and challenge for the leadership]
February 26 - Peter van Onselen, Sunday Telegraph: Gillard's chances of recovery are very low
February 27 - Ben Packham, Australian: Rudd leaves door open to being drafted if he loses ballot
[February 27: Rudd is defeated in his leadership challenge, 71-31. 5 Ministers publicly supported Rudd; 21 publicly supported Gillard.]
February 27 - Hartcher: Rising caucus panic will fuel a second Rudd strike in the year ahead
February 27 - Hudson: Gillard has six to eight months or she'll be tapped on the shoulder
March 2 - Benson: At best she has four months left
March 3 - Shanahan: Gillard's leadership was finished if she hadn't appointed Bob Carr
March 26 - Gemma Jones, Daily Telegraph: Gilard's party is about over
March 26 - Richardson, Daily Telegraph: Gillard will lose, and lose badly
April 21 - Richardson, Sky News: Gillard will be gone by end of May
April 26 - John Masanauskas, Herald Sun, Fresh leadership challenge by August
April 30 - Michelle Grattan, The Age, Gillard should fall on her sword
April 30 - van Onselen: Gillard's demise inevitable
April 30 - Chris Kenny: Gillard government terminal
April 30 - Richardson, Sky News: Gillard won't last another month
April 30 - Bolt: Gillard must go
April 30 - Akerman: The Gillard government must go
May 1 - Savva: Gillard must vacate the leadership
May 1 - Hartcher: Even Gillard supporters looking at Rudd
May 2 - Sid Maher and Tony Bramston, Australian: Inevitable Labor will dump the PM, maybe in a few weeks
May 2 - Shanahan: It's only a matter of time for Gillard
May 3 - Gemma Daley, Australian Financial Review: Gillard's leadership will be reconsidered as early as end June
May 3 - Richardson, Australian: Gillard one move away from checkmate
May 7 - Hudson: Gillard has until AFL finals in September
May 18 - Richardson: Gillard and Labor doomed
May 19 - Akerman: The party's over for Gillard
May 26 - van Onselen: The only option is to change to Rudd
June 11 - Coorey: Gillard will be gone by the end of the week, end of June, late August or December [!!!]
June 12 - Shanahan: Gillard's leadership looking terminal
June 24 - Maiden: August strike against Gillard likely
June 25 - Shanahan: Gillard will be removed before the end of the year
July 6 - Richardson, Australian: All Gillard can do is wait for the end
July 17 - Simon Cullen, ABC: Gillard for the high jump; only a matter of time
July 21 - Mike Carlton, Sydney Morning Herald: Gillard must quite, or she'll be tapped on the shoulder, probably in late August
July 23 - Leo Shanahan, Australian: Gillard in big trouble
July 24 - Franklin: If no poll recovery, Gillard should fall on her sword
July 25 - Paul Kelly, Australian: Gillard's prime ministership being cancelled; it's Rudd or oblivion
July 29 - Geoff Kitney, Mark Scully, Australian Financial Review: Time is running out for Gillard
August 11 - Akerman: Gillard's hold on power slipping
August 20 - Neil Mitchell, 3AW: [The AWU saga] is the final straw for Gillard's leadership
August 20 - Jennifer Hewett, Australian Financial Review: A bad poll tomorrow could see a leadership move
October 9 - Geoff Kitney, Australian Financial Review: Gillard has failed the leadership test
October 18 - Coorey: Rudd back counting numbers
November 5 - Hartcher: Gillard is hanging by a thread
November 24 - Hartcher: Knives out for Gillard
November 29 - Akerman: Gillard's goose is cooked
November 30 - Akerman: Gillard is floundering

January 5 - Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald: Support for a Rudd challenge getting closer
January 31 - Jones: Gillard vulnerable to leadership switch if bad polls ahead
February 2 - Mark Kenny, Coorey, Speers: Government in shambles
February 3 - Mark Kenny, Jessica Wright, Fairfax: Labor in crisis, Gillard on back foot
February 3 - Grattan: Ministers desert Gillard's sinking ship
February 5 - Mark Kenny: Rudd within striking distance of Gillard
February 14 - Benson: Leadership issue coming to a head
February 14 - Grattan: Increased pressure on Gillard's leadership
February 15 - Shanahan, Sky: Caucus and press gallery ready to go off at slightest spark
February 19 - Mark Kenny: Gillard, beware the knives of March
February 19 - Mark Day, Fairfax: Gillard is a dead woman walking
February 19 - Benson: Gillard's support base slipping away
February 19 - Hewett: Nothing will save the PM
February 19 - Packham: Desperate caucus eyes leadership switch
February 19 - Tory Shepherd, Fairfax: Gillard gone if next Newspoll bad
February 19 - Age editorial: Time for a new leader?
February 19 - Tony Wright, The Age: Rudd's in storage, waiting for sun to shine
February 19 - Mark Kenny: Showdown between Gillard and Rudd inevitable
February 19 - Coorey : Leadership could come to a head when parliament resumes
February 20 - Alan Stokes, Fairfax: Julia, it's time for an exit speech
February 21 - Richardson: PM should go for the party's sake
February 22 - Richardson, 3AW: PM should go quietly
February 23 - Katharine Murphy, Fairfax: Gillard may not recover this time
February 23 - van Onselen: Gillard risks her legacy by not ceding to Rudd
March 2 - Hartcher: A Rudd leadership could be transformative
March 10 - Maiden: Powerbrokers canvas option of asking Gillard to stand aside
March 10 - Richardson: The chances are 55-45 leadership change will happen in the next fortnight
March 11 - Hartcher: Rudd leadership could transform the election contest
March 12 - Mark Kenny: Gillard backers must move against her for the greater good
March 12 - Mark Kenny: Momentum growing for leadership change before September election
March 13 - Hartcher: Why is Labor not replacing Julia Gillard with Rudd this week?
March 15 - Bob Gosford, Crikey: I'll call it now - Gillard will be gone by next Wednesday
March 16 - van Onselen: The momentum for change now exists
March 18 - Hartcher: Slow motion mass political suicide if Labor won't undo its mistake in deposing Rudd
March 19 - Laurie Oakes, Nine network: Move against Gillard, probably on Friday
March 19 - Hartcher: Momentum growing for return to Rudd
March 20 - Bolt, Twitter: All that's left is the trigger for the switch
March 20 - Bolt: Gillard leading Labor to defeat and a legacy of shame
[March 21 - Cabinet minister Simon Crean calls for all leadership positions to be contested in a fresh vote.]
March 21 - Malcolm Farr, News Ltd: ALP set to inscribe another fresh page by dumping the first woman to be Prime Minister
March 21 - Richardson, 2GB: A slim victory to Rudd
March 21 - Richardson, Sky: Gillard will win, but she's dead in the water anyway
[March 21 - ten minutes before the scheduled votes, Rudd declares he will not stand in the face of a massive defeat. Gillard is re-elected unopposed.]