The media has been buzzing all day about THAT menu. The mock menu allegedly created for a Mal Brough fundraiser back in March. The menu that refers to a number of Labor MPs, but specifically to Prime Minister Julia Gillard in less-than-flattering terms.
And by "media", I mean ALL the media. Newspapers. TV. Social media. Radio. It's been everywhere, and other stories (such as the 260 Target workers made redundant in Geelong) have slipped through the cracks.
This evening, there was a twist. Apparently Joe Richards, the owner of the restaurant where the fundraiser was held, has claimed responsibility for the menu, and says it was an "in-joke" that was not used at the fundraiser.
As reported on The Age website only a couple of hours ago (at 7:46 pm, to be precise), Richards wrote a letter to Brough explaining the situation after seeing it reported on the evening news.
Bullshit. Here's why.
At midday, this story was released on the ABC website, written by Latika Bourke. "Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough apologises for 'offensive and sexist' menu which mocked Julia Gillard's body" the headline screamed.
The third paragraph of the article states:
Mr Brough says the menu was drawn up by a non-party member who thought it would be "humorous" and "didn't mean any harm by it," but is now "deeply apologetic".
So. At midday, Brough was aware that the menu had been drawn up by a non-party member, who was now deeply apologetic.
How could Brough have known this, if Richards didn't write to him until later in the day?
Remember, Richards didn't write his letter to Brough until after seeing the story on the evening news.
And in his letter, which was subsequently distributed by the LNP, he stated the following:
As you know no one at the dinner was privy to such a menu, and it is so unfortunate that an in-house joke between myself and my son has caused you great problems and embarrassment.
How, then, could Brough have known that Richards, a non-party member, was responsible for the menu when the ABC article was published at midday?
It doesn't add up.
Brough made statements, reported at midday, containing details that he couldn't have known until later in the day... if he and Richards are to be believed.
I'll let you be the judge of that.