Every time a federal Labor MP announces he or she will not stand at the next election, the lazy and predictable Canberra Press Gallery rushes into print with the same old names of possible candidates.
How often have we been forced to read speculation that former Premier Steve Bracks, former Premier Morris Iemma, former Premier Anna Bligh or former Premier Peter Beattie is considering a comeback in Canberra?
The story hangs in the media ether until the political has-been issues a statement that he/she will NOT be a candidate.
The latest to issue a public statement rejecting a move to Canberra is Iemma. Yet only a few weeks ago he was being confidently touted as a successor to Robert McClelland, the former Attorney-General, in the southern Sydney seat of Barton.
The story was complete nonsense. Iemma was never going to give up his family life to spend weeks away in the ACT and there was the question of his heavy political baggage – a premier sacked by his own caucus 18 months after his election.
The peddlers of this form of journalistic guano are the same people who wring their hands about the decline of the mainstream media. They seem oblivious to the fact that they are partly to blame.