ABC, Murdoch go to mat over Latham

SYDNEY — Oz pubcaster ABC and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have locked legal horns over an interview with Mark Latham, former leader of Australia’s Labor Party.

The fight centers on Latham’s appearance on “Enough Rope With Andrew Denton,” on which he was to promote his memoirs of political life, “The Latham Diaries.” Yakker was moved forward from a regular Monday slot at 8:30 p.m. to Thursday to capitalize on growing media interest.

News Corp., however, had pacted with book’s publisher, Melbourne University Press, for an exclusive interview and extracts from the diaries to be published in newspaper the Australian. It took out an injunction stopping the ABC broadcast.

In a last-minute legal ruling, the injunction was overturned and the interview aired at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Latham quit after losing the last election. The allegation getting most media attention has been that current Labor leader Kim Beazley spread false accusations that Latham was involved in sexual harassment.

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