By Josh Fagan
NSW transport minister David Campbell has been outed by Channel Seven and exposed as leading a double-life.
Footage exclusively captured by Seven caught him leaving a gay sex club in Sydney. The husband and father of two used his government car to get there.
Campbell duly resigned, a move NSW Premier Kristina Keneally described as “a decision that is right for him and his family.”
But as dodgy as the situation sounds, there are questions.
• Were his actions enough to lose his job?
• Was it fair for channel Seven to stalk him at the club?
• And the perennial question when politicians are tainted by scandals, does it affect his public service?
The Premier herself said in an interview it’s not illegal or wrong to use government cars for private use. So nothing immediately sackable there.
He’s also not the first politician to visit a seedy venue. Our Prime Minister gained in the polls when it was revealed he went to a New York strip club.
To whether it has affected his role as minister, Campbell’s progressed through state parliament over the last twenty years and Keneally said this morning he’s lived with his secret for twenty years.
The role of the media is the dubious one.
Channel Seven used their own judgement and discretion to choose to follow Campbell. It was as tawdry an assignment as you can get, the cameraman would have felt pretty lousy waiting outside the club.
But you have to acknowledge, the reality for politicians who demand high profiles is that they get this paparazzi treatment from the media.
Is it any of our business?
It’s clearly something we’re all interested in. Stories like Campbell’s are the highest rating, most read and most talked about political stories.
There’s also the fact that Campbell, like Buswell and Della, was in a state funded job, and used his image as a family man to get elected to that role.
It’s an odd story that reflects poorly on both the minister and the media. An all-round perfect topic for water-cooler discussion.