Six years ago Savva wrote another book in which she confessed that “as a journalist I lied often, usually about my sources, but about other things, too”.
At the start of that book Savva paints a picture of the Press Gallery in the 1970s and 1980s, or “the beast”, as she calls it, as infatuated with the progressive left, fuelled by political intrigue and underwritten by sex, booze and scandal.
Today’s Old, Sad and Savagely Envious Savva mounts a Vile attack on Peta Credlin and Tony Abbott that Stinks of Hypocrisy and Betrays more about a Jealous Old Bitch and an Un-elected Prime Minister.
March 9, 2016 10:38pm
THE smearing of Peta Credlin in a new book as a hysterical control freak who probably slept with Tony Abbott has backfired.
This vile attempt to destroy Credlin, chief of staff to Abbott as prime minister, has instead exposed the author as a self-confessed liar.
More importantly, it has exposed the ABC as two-faced and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a small man gripped by hate.
Credlin is the target of journalist Niki Savva, who obsessively attacked her as a columnist on The Australian and now savages her in her book, The Road to Ruin, purporting to explain why the Abbott government fell.
For Savva, the key failure of that government was the relationship she repeatedly calls “weird” — between Abbott and the tall and striking Credlin.
Old, Sad and Savagely Envious Savva mounts a Vile attack on Peta Credlin and Tony Abbott that Stinks of Hypocrisy and Betrays more about a Jealous Old Bitch and an Un-elected Prime Minister.
Historically a progressive lefty reporter for Fairfax and the Age, this poisonous snake slithered across to the Coalition when once they took government and wrapped itself around then Treasurer Peter Costello, the supposed anointed one expected to seamlessly follow John Howard into the Leadership and the Lodge.
Oh how disappointing it must have been for Savva to have sat there for so long in expectation she had made the jump right onto the driver’s cab, only to find the car had been shunted.
A rancid and odious mix of Resentment, Obsession and Bile, just simmering, ready to be dumped on the Target of her hate.
There is little doubt of what Savva is trying to suggest.
She doesn’t just portray Credlin as an abusive, temperamental and teary martinet, but as a domineering married woman in an unhealthily intimate relationship with her pussy-whipped boss.
Savva quotes anonymous people claiming Credlin fed Abbott at dinner with her own fork and that he in turn gave her a playful slap on her bottom.
And to put a label on the smear, Savva quotes NSW Liberal conservative Concetta Fierravanti-Wells telling Abbott last year he had to dump Credlin because “rightly or wrongly, the perception is that you are sleeping with your chief of staff”.
It is extraordinary for Fierravanti-Wells to break a confidence and feed this damaging story to a known Abbott hater like Savva.
Savva, too, has possible vested interests she has been reluctant to disclose.
Her husband is on Turnbull’s staff — a fact Savva angrily insists is irrelevant.
But there’s more. Six years ago Savva wrote another book in which she confessed that “as a journalist I lied often, usually about my sources, but about other things, too”.
She admitted she had a rule that politicians were either sources or targets and that “I learned to slice and dice anyone who … spoke to others and not me”.
And fact: I know Credlin and Abbott would not speak to Savva. They would not feed her stories.
They knew Savva was no friend. As Savva wrote in 2010, she was even then keeping a “loser’s file” of cuttings on Abbott, someone from whom she’d “recoiled in horror at the prospect of (being) leader”.
That contempt for him led to Savva’s big miscalculation: not asking Abbott and Credlin for comment before publishing a book strongly suggesting they could have been having an affair. Savva’s excuse is that they were both liars who’d lie, so why bother? “My view was: why should I peddle their lies?”
Savva even recycles as fact a self-serving claim by Bronwyn Bishop that she was all set to apologise for her Choppergate scandal — charging taxpayers for a short helicopter ride to a Liberal fundraiser — but that bad Abbott had stopped her.
In fact, both Abbott and Credlin do deny having had an affair and there’s no evidence of one.
Nor can Credlin be the office monster that Savva describes, given she successfully served three opposition leaders, including Turnbull himself.
Indeed, Abbott as PM had a lower turnover of staff than either Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard, which suggests that good staff liked working with him and Credlin.
Most who were there at the end had spent at least six years with them.
So why have so many people who should defend Credlin stayed silent?
And that is so damning of so many.
It is only because Tony Abbott and Peter Credlin achieved the position of leadership that this evil piece of work so craved that lead to them becoming the designated targets of such venom.
Savage Savva missed out on the prize, the role she had coveted for so long she was convinced it rightly belonged to her, like some stalker convinced he has some right to own the focus of his obsession.
In winning the popular vote at two Federal polls the Abbott, Credlin team achieved what Savva never could and knew at her age in reality never would, so she turned feral and fetid, ready to do anything and say anything to undermine this other woman.
Every step Abbott and Credlin would take, was unbeknown to them being judged against a fantazmaligical alternative reality.
An alternative universe where Peter Costello had rightly been handed the Liberal Leadership and with Niki Savva at his side to guide him had automatically and effortlessly won the election, allowing Savva to rule Australia, a place where people like Abbott and Credlin were not fit to kiss her political arse.
Why has Turnbull refused to stick up for Credlin, saying only: “I don’t want to buy into all that commentary”?
It would have cost him nothing to tell the truth: that Credlin was a great staffer for him and Abbott, the party owes her plenty and she does not deserve this trashing.
Saying so would make Turnbull seem a healer.
Saying nothing makes him seem too hate-filled to heal the party he tore apart with his leadership coup. It makes him seem small and mean.
Like Savva Turnbull was once a journalist and was ousted from the Liber leadership by Abbott in opposition.
Golly Gosh some people are just plain rotted out from the inside and this is what really sick looks like in the context of the Journalist obsessed with their own political ambition to the point of hallucination and psycho projection of an imagined and desired reality.
And what about his many ministers who won’t speak in Credlin’s defence, either?
Fierravanti-Wells actually fed Savva her deadliest lines, but what of Michaelia Cash, Turnbull’s minister for women?
On Tuesday Cash gave a sanctimonious speech to mark International Women’s Day, declaring it was our duty to help “drive gender equality through respect” for women.
Yet, asked by a journalist to then speak up for Credlin, now being humiliated by the age-old sleeping-with-the-boss slur, Cash refused to say a word: “I’m not going to comment on commentary.”
It should shame the Liberals that the strongest condemnation of this smearing of Credlin comes not from a Turnbull minister but from Nicholas Reece, a former senior adviser to Gillard, who damned it as “the most pernicious attempt at character assassination”.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has also defended Credlin as Turnbull won’t, calling her “extremely professional” and adding: “I feel some sympathy.
The hypocrisy runs through the media, too.
Savva was treated as the oracle on the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday as she continued to shop these rumours — “perceptions”, she calls them — of Abbott’s sexual relationship.
But the ABC and Insiders had a very different reaction three years ago when another columnist, Piers Akerman, discussed rumours of the sexual relationship of a Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard.
Akerman referred on Insiders to rumours already made public that Gillard’s partner was gay. Unlike Savva, he made clear these rumours were false and nasty and he backed the sacking of a radio host who had confronted Gillard with them.
Yet the ABC did not give Akerman the hero treatment it now gives Savva. It formally reviewed his comments and concluded they were “inappropriate”, adding: “ABC News will be reviewing when and under what circumstances any future invitations for Akerman to appear on Insiders might be issued.” He has not been invited back since late 2013.
But where also are the feminists?
Silent, with the exception of Louise Adler, head of Melbourne University Press.
Where are the journalists to criticise Savva for not even offering Abbott and Credlin a right of reply?
Silent, bar a couple of exceptions, notably investigative reporter Hedley Thomas, Savva’s colleague on The Australian. The press gallery looks after its own.
The hypocrisy stinks to the heavens.
Abbott, Credlin and George Pell, too — all know that no consideration of principle will save a conservative from this pack.
It’s the side that counts and the enemy may be destroyed by foul means as well as fair.
Weep for our country being in such hands
Former minister defends Credlin against bullying claims
The book also contains direct quotes from a former staffer who worked with Ms Credlin previously and described her behaviour towards her as “bullying”.
However, former health minister Kay Patterson said that Ms Credlin being tired could have caused her being “short and annoyed”.
“I think there are two things that happened. One is that she demands perfection. And she most probably was very tired and may have been sometimes short or quite annoyed with people,” Ms Patterson told 7.30.
“I know, as I was in the ministry, I sometimes thought: ‘I don’t like the person I am today. I’m very tired and I haven’t been very polite to people.’
“You’re never going to be perfect, but I can’t imagine that on a constant basis Peta was like that, from the Peta I know.”
Tony Abbott responds to Niki Savva’s book, labels Peta Credlin affair claims ‘scurrilous gossip’
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has responded to a new book detailing the final months of his leadership, parts of which he has labelled “gossip and smear”.
Nikki Savva’s book alleges affair between Tony Abbott and chief of staff Peta Credlin
Abbott says affair claims are “scurrilous gossip”
Liberal backbencher Natasha Griggs and former leader John Hewson join in dismissing revelations
The book, written by political commentator Niki Savva, tracks Mr Abbott’s rise to power and his demise, arguing that his chief of staff Peta Credlin shouldered a significant amount of blame for what went wrong.
Savva’s book revealed that Mr Abbott was told to dump Ms Credlin over the “perception” they were having an affair, which Mr Abbott dismissed as “scurrilous gossip and smear”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, he said he would not respond to claims made in the book and was instead focussed on the election of the Turnbull Government.
“The best response to this book is the objective record of the Abbott government,” he said.
“After fighting Labor to a draw in 2010 and winning a strong majority in 2013, the Abbott government substantially delivered on its commitments.
“A dysfunctional opposition couldn’t win an election and a dysfunctional government couldn’t have got so much done in just two years.”
Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells confirmed she confronted both Mr Abbott and Ms Credlin about rumours circulating among colleagues that he was “sleeping with her”.
Both denied the affair.
Liberal backbencher Natasha Griggs said it was offensive that people would weigh in on the allegations without putting their names to their comments.
Ms Griggs told 7.30 it was “pretty sad” that the revelations were making news on the eve of International Women’s Day.
“We’ve got lots of scuttlebutt around from commentators about a hard-working, professional woman that has worked with a male,” she said.
“I mean, I thought those days were gone.”
Former Liberal leader John Hewson also dismissed the revelations as “political gossip”.