Many thanks to Gerard Henderson for finding the about face reported below. It follows the comment I recorded of Malcolm claiming the media treats politics as "personality or the game" - which here on in I'm going to call "celebrity or the contest".
If Michelle Grattan had focused on reporting and analysing the policy rather than its electoral appeal she wouldn't have got into this mess.
GREAT MEDIA U-TURNS OF OUR TIME (CONTINUED)
Michelle Grattan On Why Julia Gillard’s East Timor Solution Is Oh, So clever.
Julia Gillard is devilishly clever. Her asylum seeker policy is a masterstroke of improvisation. And she’s tapping into community hostility to boat people with an empathy driven by Labor’s focus groups, while keeping her tone oh-so reasonable, scolding Tony Abbott on the way through. No wonder some refugee advocates initially weren’t sure whether to like or hate it…. The core of Gillard’s policy is a proposed regional processing centre in East Timor. - The Age, 7 July 2010
Michelle Grattan On Why Julia Gillard’s East Timor Solution Is Not So Clever After All
Julia Gillard is dancing an election jig atop a tightrope. Her bold pitch on boat people shows how much she is willing to dare for the sake of votes. It has also raised wider issues of what she stands for, the way she goes about things, and even whether she will be up to the job… Gillard might have been deputy PM for the best part of a term, but how she would go as a long-term leader is anybody’s guess - and, arguably, becoming harder to predict as she shifts position to get rid of problems and then to deal with subsequent consequences. - The Age, 9 July 2010.