Someone has to tell Howard that whenever he hears an exciting bit of news he should stop and count to at least ten before he blurts it out to Parliament or 2UE or whoever. Here he is retracting his earlier claim that the female body found in Falluja was Margaret Hassan’s. Meanwhile, media outlets from the UK to the UAE are reporting Howard’s scoop, perhaps scratching their editorial heads over how come their own governments didn’t have access to Howard’s intelligence and are still waiting on stupid old DNA tests.
Remember the Jakarta embassy bombing SMS? Remember a certain maritime incident involving children? (If you do, you’re a rare voter.) Howard is like the schoolyard kid who’s worked out that if he runs around going “Guess what?” he can at least get people to roll their eyes and say “All right, what?”—good enough for a few moments’ attention. At least he’s taken it back this time, after looking around and realising nobody was out there with him. And even if it turns out he was right this time, that doesn’t make it any less irresponsible.