August 21, 2007

Two Stripped

Media group Fairfax have sacked Walkley award winning journalist Jack Marx for posting a satirical post on his blog "The Daily Truth", which was pulled off the Internet yesterday.

Marx was sacked without notice, on his birthday, for a post in which he imagined what Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd got up to in a New York strip club.

For the "offending" post that cost Marx his job ... read here.

Not my idea of a hanging offense, but it's safe to say that it was not the imagined strip club scene that did it. Read to the end - Marx has been done like a dinner for imaging what a bloke might do in the privacy of his lonely hotel room after visiting a strip club; that's my guess. The papers are being coy about spelling out the nature of that single paragraph.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd's sister-in-law has admitted to her no longer secret past as a stripper.

"Okhola Rudd, the wife of the federal Opposition Leader's brother Greg, said she spent several months at a Brisbane strip club in 2001 working as an "exotic dancer".

"I didn't need to dance as an exotic dancer, it was just a stage that I went through," she said.

"Some people go through drugs, some people choose to dance as an exotic dancer.

"It was fun for me. I am from the part of the world where I had never experienced that kind of stuff, so I just did it because it was there and it was fun to do."

Husband Greg is tetchy:
"Greg Rudd yesterday said his wife had been unfairly dragged into the federal election campaign.

"Everyone's been trawling through my life and our family's life since Kevin became opposition leader," he said.

"I met Okhola in a coffee shop in Albert St in Brisbane one Sunday afternoon.

"Yes, she did tell me she was a part-time exotic dancer. Yes, I did visit her at the club where she worked.

"Do I think it's fair on Okhola to be dragged into an election campaign for having a few months of fun seven years ago? No."

Oddly, tacked onto the end of a piece about interest rate rises .... here.

This story has grown more legs than it deserves and Marx did not deserve to lose his job.


If you've always wanted to indulge your criminally-run club / stripper fantasies, here's you're chance:

Now that The Sopranos is over, the owners of the real-life club that played the part of the Bada Bing will auction off the 3.6-metre stripper poles and other relics from the HBO drama on eBay.

Other items going on sale later this week include a pool table, a disco ball and the fluorescent purple men's room sign often seen in the background as mob boss Tony Soprano conducted business.

Good luck with your bids!


  1. Anonymous1:10 PM

    I think Marx crossed the line with this sleazy piece Caz.

    I actually felt uncomfortable reading it.I kept thinking of Rudd's family.(Kath cringes)

    Just gutter journalism and soft porn, in my opinion.Best reserved for publications like "Playboy."

    It wasn't just any bloke either,it was Kevin Rudd.I would wager that Rudd would have been infuriated, and exruciatingly embarrassed by that graphic piece.

    Wtf is this bloody obsession, the press have with this strip club incident.
    Rudd went to a strip club four years ago and got pissed. It's obvious he is not the salivating lecherous type. The guy made an error of judgement. Time to move on I think.
    Actually the press are really pissing me off of late.They are sinking to all time lows.

    What's the difference between a Journalist and a Politician?

    Answer: Nothing!

  2. I think the Marx piece was ludicrously gratuitous Kath and sleazy reading - what was he trying to achieve, what point was he contributing? None.

    But, pulling the post and issuing an apology should have been enough. Sacking him seems over the top.


    Do you think he should have lost his job over it?

  3. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Probably not Caz,but he should have been severely castigated, and given a first and final warning, that any more trash like that would result in him getting the sack.
    I put myself in Therese's shoes. How humiliated would she feel!

    You've got to draw the line somewhere.

    To impugn Rudd's character, thus causing hurt and embarrassment to him and his family is inexcusable!

    Put simply, having a wank on Kevin Rudd's behalf, is just not on!

  4. It was a puzzling piece, I think. I suppose its satirical motive was in the final lines: if Rudd is going to pretend he can't remember anything (except the fact that he did nothing "inappropriate",) then he can't complain if make up stories of what might have happened and what was going through his mind.

    Still, if the description of his thoughts was witty, instead of just porn-lite, it may have been an amusing read that still its mark.

    I agree that it should have been pulled immediately, but not deserving sacking.

  5. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Actually Caz,
    I read somewhere that Marx reckons he wasn't so sure he was sacked for THAT piece.
    Whilst Fairfax digital are saying that this was just the latest in a long line of indiscretions.
    If that's the case why have'nt they tackled him about it before, I wonder?

  6. Anonymous6:43 PM

    I don't for the life of me see what the piece was supposed to achieve.

    Visualisations of the club act are fine. The last is simply gratuitous nonsense and entirely unnecessary.

    In any case, it's all over...almost. How bloody boring. Next we'll be adopting the US line and demanding to know who porked whom and when did who know about the porking.

    Speaking of pork, I notice we now have the infrastructure pork barrel. This "belt the intercourse" out of the states routine is becoming as boring as Rudd's "me too" bit. By the time we get to election day, Howard will be proposing to achieve all of the old "socialist" Labor aims to render the states irrelevant. At least we'll then have a national "plebiscite" on it.

    After election day we'll be receiving our electricity bills from Canberra; our rates will be efficiently levied by Canberra and, most importantly, our water will be supplied and billed from federal government. It is, after all, a national resource.

    With a bit of luck, to make housing more affordable, the new federal state government might abolish stamp duty as inefficient. After a plebiscite, of course.

    I wonder if the children's school will be federally funded if it is jolandered (refer Harry's blog)?

    Thank you for the kind card Caz. It was not necessary but appreciated.


  7. "Put simply, having a wank on Kevin Rudd's behalf, is just not on!"

    Ah, Kath, you're a woman who calls a spade a fucking shovel. Beautifully said.

    Can't say I've ever read more than a couple of Marx's blog posts, so don't know if he's prone to such self-indulgent drivel on a regular basis, perhaps he is, perhaps he is a little infatuated with what he believes to be with his own "creativity" - that's how the piece struck me, a bit try-hard (no pun intended).

    " ... the latest in a long line of indiscretions"

    Perhaps we'll hear more on that front. But, as you say, why no warnings? It's standard practice to let someone know if they're not meeting expectations, and explaining what the problem areas are; his employer appear to have by-passed that courtesy. Then again, maybe they have "had words" in the past and Marx hasn't taken it seriously? We'll see if anything more leaks out.

    Even the visualisations of the club act seemed to be for his own benefit, his own indulgence, I think, Father. Heck, we've all seen the Nado's chicken ad. :-D

    Indeed, the long lead in, I suspect, was entirely for the *payoff* at the end. Just my guess, of course, but it appears that he probably came up with the hotel scene (and thought he'd done such an artful job of the prose), then he needed a narrative to support the punchline.

    My thought is that the pollies on both sides are making light of the Rudd story because they are very conscious of not wanting the local adoption of "the US line and demanding to know who porked whom and when did who know about the porking".

    Pollies in Oz are used to being a protected species in that regard, and they want to keep it that way. Have to say I agree, too, with rare exceptions (Evans / Kernott - jeez, the journo's should have been all over that at the time it happened; it was "in the public interest").

    I'll have to pop over to C.C to find out what is being jolandered.

    No probs; it was the thought of sending you some beers that counts, right? Best I could do. :-)

  8. Anonymous8:17 PM

    And...I am having one as I type.

    'Twas a good idea - the perfect Bertie card!

  9. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Caz, did you see the PM on the 7.30 report tonight?
    Was interesting to hear him saying that Rudd had no substance, or (original) policies. That Rudd was aligning himself with him. Agreeing with most everything the Pm said! Or, beholden to the unions on the IR issue.
    In short a follower not a leader.

    It's what a lot of other people have been saying too.

    This election is going to be very intriguing indeed!

    Gets the blood pumping eh?

  10. Steve - yes, yes.


    Pushing the genre severely, I feel.

    It was certainly devoid of anything resembling wit, which may have helped compensate for the lack of satire.

    Kath - I have a hunch that I'm going to be glued to the telly with a perpetually lurching tummy on election night, much like watching a grand final when your team is in it.

    Speaking of which: will we both make, do you think? Is it going to be your boys against my boys this year?

    I think Howard is trying to pull himself together. Released a statement yesterday about why he wants to continue being PM - his "vision" stuff.

    I also think we can anticipate one stream of Liberal ads during the election: "here's our policy on "A, B, C"" and, oh, lookey here "there's Rudd's policy on "A, B, C"" - it's exactly like ours!

    The Libs have a ferocious campaign and advertising team. They'll be up for the fight, for sue.

    The gov't now has a nice $17B surplus to crow about too.

  11. Anonymous12:34 AM

    Well, I am sure about one thing, Geelong will be in the Grand Final. They are streets ahead of the rest.Just hope that the Eagles are the other team!

    Totally agree with you about election night Caz." much like watching a grand final when your team is in it."

    Fascinating stuff I reckon!

  12. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Personally, aside from the repeated line - as often as allowed - about the unions, the PM looked very uncomfortable. He seemed accompanied by many shoulder shakes and coughs.

    He did not - for a nanosecond - enjoy the questioning over the Haneef verdict. We now get down to the Wheat Board defence: there's an appeal; cannot predjudice it by speaking of the case in the public domain.

    That, of course, did not stop him declaring - at least four times - that this (senior judge) has made a judgement and that these first judgements are very often overturned on appeal.

    In other words, he's a goose and is wrong. Oh spare me the bullshit and weasel words.

    As KOB pointed out: "I would argue that they are most often not overturned".

    Didn't stop a desperate PM repeating that these judgements are very often overturned.

    That's right, don't talk about a judgement that's under appeal. Simply continue to plant the perception that it is wrong and will be overturned.

    Desperate stuff

  13. f - unfortunately I didn't see the interview.

    Must agree with:

    "As KOB pointed out: "I would argue that they are most often not overturned".

    I'm glad he made that point; I would have been gobsmacked if he hadn't.

    It was a ludicrously arrogant thing for Howard to suggest that our higher courts routinely get it wrong and are routinely corrected.

    Bloody hell! That's plain dumb-arsed.

    Maybe Howard really has lost the plot after all.

  14. Anonymous1:20 PM

    Err...that was me. What became of the rest of the name??!!

    And yes, that is exactly the import of Howard's words. He was at pains to correct KOB on the judgement - which he didn't want to canvass in the public domain, appeal and all - by insisting that judgements in the first instance are often overturned. "With no disrepect to the judge":

    JOHN HOWARD: Yes, but judges at the first instance are often overruled by appeal courts and until -

    KERRY O'BRIEN: I suspect more often they're not...

    JOHN HOWARD: Kerry, I don't think we should act as the full Federal Court. I think we should leave it to the judicial process. We believe that the action taken by Mr Andrews was correct and we're appealing. And until that appeal has been dealt with I don't think you can say the final word on the matter...

    JOHN HOWARD: We have a judge in first instance, at first instance making a decision - we don't agree with it. I'm not casting any aspersions on the judge, we just don't agree with his judgment, and it's now gone an appeal and I think the sensible thing is to wait for the outcome of the appeal.

    KERRY O'BRIEN: But we've now had two courts, two different situations involving the Government and Dr Haneef. In the first the case collapsed; in the second the judge has ruled against you.

    JOHN HOWARD: It is often the case that decisions made at first instance are overturned on appeal. I cast no aspersions on the judge. He is a senior judge. But senior judges are often overruled on appeal, and I think, you know, we're going over the same ground.

    KERRY O'BRIEN: No, but do you agree with me that more often they're not overruled on appeal.

    JOHN HOWARD: Well look Kerry, even if this were one in 100, if it was overruled that would be all that would matter...

    To another question..

    JOHN HOWARD: Kerry, I'm sorry, there's an appeal. I'm not going to prejudice that by commenting on the judge's ruling.

    You get the drift. The mealy-mouthed, disingenuous hide of the bloke.

    He's just as much as told anyone credulous enough to believe him that that Justice Spender's ruling is wrong and will be overturned.

    It's all about hiding the matter behing judicial proceedings until after the election. Which - on that rationale - will be as soon after APEC as respectable.

  15. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Have to say Mike, missed the beginning of that interview.( Just now, had a peek at the transcript.)

    Silly old obfuscating bugger!

    Howards demeanor didn't seem much different to me Mike. 'Same old (boring) same old' I thought!

  16. Oh darn - I thought I had a new mysterious reader in "f".

    Well, I'm beginning to think that Howard really is running on empty and unlikely to get his second wind.

    He'll be relying heavily on his campaign team and his ministers, because if he is the face and force of their election campaign, they'll be cooked.

    Both parties will be fighting like rabid lions to win this though, it will be fun to see what they each come up with.

  17. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Funny thing Caz, I've always thought that Howard was a boring old fart anyway.
    Now it appears we may be in for another boring old fart, only a younger version.

    Your right Caz, it's gonna be fun to see what they both come up with.

    Can't wait!

  18. Anonymous2:47 PM

    The shoulder shifting and cough/grimmacing two step was in full flow during the Haneef part - the first few minutes.

    The PM was most uncomfy. Most unHoward like in fact.

    He often shoulder shifts but the cough/grimmace (like a monkey with an unfortunately ripe haemmohroid) followed by the "oops, how do I stop this" slight head nodding was something new.

    Doesn't bode well for the "debate" - whoever moderates.

    Reckon I'm off to the TAB. October 20th looks a strong bet. Lose to the full bench of the Fed Court and appeal to the High.

    Couldn't go to an election with the full bench, Spender and a Magistrate's Court all telling you Andrews is a git.

  19. With a name like Okhola... well, it was inevitable.