Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do you really think Murdoch wants to save the whales?

Footage of the 'Sunday Times'' entrapment of the National Director of Fisheries for the Republic of Guinea, broadcast on 'Lateline'

Last night [17/6/10] the ABC's 'Lateline' ran a report based on an unethical "sting" conducted by the 'Sunday Times':

... Undercover reporters posed as representatives of a billionaire conservationist who was willing to, in effect, buy the votes of those countries to change from pro to anti whaling.

Europe correspondent Philip Williams spoke to one of the reporters involved,
Jonathan Calvert, who requested his face not be shown on television. ...

This is yet another example of ethically corrupt behaviour, universally common across the Murdoch empire. Curiously, the fact that this entrapment is unethical was not even mentioned in the 'Lateline' report.

With regard to clandestine devices and subterfuge, Britain's Press Complaints Commission's "Editors' Code of Practice" states:

i) The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held private information without consent.

ii) Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, including by agents or intermediaries, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.

Attempting to suggest bribery and corruption by engaging in bribery and corruption proves nothing. It's like a journalist sneaking into your house and shooting you, and then publishing a headline: "Householder Involved In Shooting Crime". It's false logic.

The "public interest" must be proven by the person "engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge", and in this case it wasn't. If there is corruption, then evidence of that corruption should be obtained. Creating new corruption just makes News Ltd. a bunch of crooks and proves nothing.

It seems as though all of Murdoch's properties get a turn to rotate around the ABC. Was it the 'Sunday Times'' turn last night?

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