Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Murdoch press are out of control

Occasionally, the more decent of our politicians are willing to acknowledge this problem:

... SIMON LAUDER: On the day 173 people were killed by bushfire Christine Nixon was still Victoria's top police officer. Last month's revelation that she went out to dinner on the evening of the fires triggered a barrage of criticism and calls for her to resign from her current role as the head of the Bushfire Recovery Authority.

The royal commission into the bushfires won't make its final report until the end of July, but today's Herald Sun newspaper quotes from the draft final submissions which will be made by the counsel assisting the commission, Jack Rush, QC.

The paper says Ms Nixon will be accused of deliberately misleading the commission in the witness box, by not revealing that she'd gone out to dinner on the night.

It's the second leak of a royal commission document this week and the Premier, John Brumby, says he's gravely concerned.

JOHN BRUMBY: I think they undermine the work of the royal commission. They cast, in part, a cloud I think over its work. They, through this leak, deny natural justice to any of the individuals that are named in counsel assisting's report.

SIMON LAUDER: The first leak revealed plans by counsel assisting the commission to accuse the state government of a substantial policy failure that put lives at risk.

The leaks come as the royal commission enters its end-game, and they pre-empt its final submissions, which won't be heard until later this week.

John Brumby says the royal commission should investigate.

JOHN BRUMBY: I obviously hoped that the commission itself would take some steps to try and determine where this leak has come from.

SIMON LAUDER: There is no comment from the royal commission on the latest leak and it is not sitting today but the chairman of the commission Bernard Teague released a statement on Sunday criticising the leaking of counsel assisting's submission on state government matters.

He says the leaks show only one side of the debate and the commissioners won't make their final decisions until after the royal commission has heard the matters in full.

The leaks could have come from any of several parties who have leave to appear at the commission and are given copies of submissions in advance. ...
Unfortunately, the hopelessly Murdoch grovelling ABC (and virtually all other) journalists don't share the ability to level fair criticism at these clowns and their shameless, and occasionally criminal, disregard for truth or democracy.

Can you count the number of times a politican, media commentator or academic has publicly criticised the Murdoch machine?

And when politicians like Premier Brumby do it, they are hardly robust.

State politicians are constitutionally limited in what they can do to reform this imbalance of media power (other than stop placing government advertising in these trashy rags), but our federal politicians aren't.

And it is an election year after all, so ask your candidates what they'll do about the media ownership laws.

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