Sky News commentator Peta Credlin has apologised on air to Kevin Rudd for saying his petition calling for a royal commission into the Murdoch media was a data harvesting exercise.
The apology on Monday night was part of a confidential defamation settlement.
After Rudds petition reached a historic high of half a million signatures in November, Credlin accused Rudd of gathering email addresses to bombard people with hard-left propaganda and urge them to boycott the Murdoch media.
The former Labor prime minister immediately called for Credlin, a former chief of staff to Tony Abbott, to apologise for her lies but she did not withdraw them.
My lawyers have just sent Murdochs Credlin a formal letter demanding an immediate on-air apology for her lies yesterday. She lied that I was data harvesting petition signatures. The parliamentary petition site simply makes that impossible.
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) November 13, 2020
On 11 November last year, while commenting on former prime minister Kevin Rudds petition to the House of Representatives for a royal commission to ensure a strong, diverse Australian news media, I said the petition was a data harvesting exercise and that Mr Rudd now had more than half a million email addresses to use for his own political purposes, Credlin told viewers of her eponymous program on the News Corp-owned Sky News Australia on Monday.
That was false. Mr Rudd did not have access to the email addresses in the petition because they were the property of the parliament. Nor did he seek them. The misuse of the email addresses as claimed would have been a serious invasion of peoples privacy. I apologise to Mr Rudd for any damage caused to him by my false statement.
Rudd told Guardian Australia the terms of the settlement were confidential and had been negotiated by lawyers from both sides for several months.
Im pleased to say that the Murdoch medias Peta Credlin has settled my defamation complaint against her and apologised on air for her false claims, Rudd said.
Im fortunate to have the resources to take on the Murdoch media, but there are so many who cant. Ordinary Australians are targeted by these bullies on a daily basis, and they have no real means of fighting back. The Murdoch media abuses its monopoly power with impunity and must face a royal commission.
In the November editorial, Credlin also took aim at the former Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, for conniving with Rudd by supporting his petition and criticised him for bringing the Guardian to Australia.
She said the real threat to media diversity was not the Murdoch media but the ABC, an intellectual monoculture, not subject to market forces, rolling over the top of news organisations that do have intellectual diversity, and are subject to intellectual theft by big tech and ideological blackmail from green left groups like GetUp and others.

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