Journalists in Australia received a 10 page file on a member of John Howard's government claiming that he was gay, that he attended bathhouses, and that he was having male affairs with members of his staff.
No paper published that accused's name, however a few places did accuse the opposition Labor government of trying a smear. But this morning one of the veteran journalists revealed who had given him the file in the first place.
In Australia there is an widely agreed upon deal between the media and the Government. Journalists classify any non-illegal actions by politicians outside of the government "private matters" will not publish them. This applies even at the times of greatest interest, such as our current run up to the election.
This, along with Australia being more tolerant of gay members of Parliament then some countries, means that we care less about who they spend their lives with and more about how well they do their job, so this wasn't quite the news story the leaker wanted it to be.
It is looking likely that an internal enemy of this person was watching the recent sideshows in the US and thought that he could stick the knife in and get a similar result in Australia. But at least some of our media still holds themselves to a higher standard and chose to look beyond the initial story to see what the background was.
Accusations fly about 'dirt unit'
While interviewing deputy Labor leader Julia Gillard today about the personal smears tarnishing federal politics, Mr Oakes revealed he, too, had been fed the material about the minister.
And he pointed the finger at the Liberal Party.
"I'm interested in this, you see, because I've been fed the same allegations about this minister, and they were fed to me by a Liberal," Mr Oakes said.
Not all of our media was so nice. The original story and veiled accusations came from Australia's own "Poison Dwarf", Glenn Milne, who spun the story this way in, yes you guessed it, Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd paper
'Gay dirt' blamed on Labor
THE dirt fight between the Federal Government and Opposition is in danger of spinning out of control, with allegations a Coalition Minister regularly visits gay bath houses.
The Government is blaming the Labor Party for circulating a "fact sheet" on the married politician, which alleges he has sexually harassed other males in political circles. It also claims his wife is known within the Liberal Party as a "beard" - a term for someone acting as a cover for a gay man.
If you visit that link, you'll see that by the fifth paragraph the story has already been updated to report that it looks like it was an internal assasination attempt. Yet for some unknown reason, the headline still has not been updated...