Friday 10 April 2009

Cairns Post 'Busted' 2

Just in time for the Easter long weekend, I welcome the return of my 'Busted' column - focusing on our local daily, the Cairns Post, watching when they stray from the line of proper journalism.

News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch and ultimate owner of the Cairns Post, has been in the news recently after being exposed for publishing lies yet again: this time the Sydney Telegraph claiming that sleazy photos it had bought were of former politician Pauline Hanson.

One of its arguments for publishing these photos was the public interest - that the public had a right to see the photos. As is usual with News Corporation, this was total crap as well.

Everyone in the world knows that the only motivation for publishing the photos was to increase circulation and to make more money for Mr Murdoch, a US billionaire.

When its honesty was questioned, NewsLtd went into one if its habitual cover-ups, publishing more ridiculous stories to try to draw attention away from its own gross culpability, incompetence and negligence.

The people responsible for publication of the photos remain in their positions. News Corporation has done nothing other than make a half-hearted apology to Ms Hanson. This occurred at a time when company executive John Hartigan was due to speak at a public seminar on the public’s right to know.

News Corporation is at the forefront of a public campaign to give journalists completely unfettered power to write what they like, irrespective of whether it is true, in the public interest, or potentially harmful to ordinary people like you and me.

This, from a company whose journalists are accountable to no-one and who regularly thumb their noses at honesty, integrity and responsible journalism. News Corporation represents hypocrisy and dishonesty on a grand scale.

It is in that light that perhaps Cairns folk need to look at the last week’s Carter Files [Cairns Post, page 18 - Saturday 4th April], which offers some food for thought.

New regular columnist, Denise Carter, rightly protests about the sleazy new Cairns tourism campaign which promotes wet t-shirt competitions as a highlight for tourists. Carter describes the campaign as sexist, and questions whether it is appropriate.

The problem for Carter's augment is on page 153 of the same edition of the Cairns Post.

News Corporation has always made a motza from sexism and exploitation of women (not to mention illegality - some of these services may well be out and out prostitution).

Under Classified Advertisement headings such as 'Personal', 'Exotic Relaxation', 'Adult Phone Services' and 'Adult Services', the Cairns Post allows advertisements for services that are far more inappropriate than wet t-shirt competitions.

More hypocrisy, anyone?

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