Friday 24 April 2009

Cairns Post trying to save face

This morning's patch up job in the Cairns Post, is lame and b-grade at best.
After yesterday's front page scandal exposed and indited the Mayor, the Post, like the Council, are all over the place trying to sort this mess out.

The Post have ignored uncovering the perpetrators behind this entire fiasco. Yesterday I produced a numbers of emails to show who orchestrated the whole affair, and how it unfolded. CairnsBlog attracted an additional 3,400 hits, over normal daily figures, as people clambered for the real story.

Yet the Post's coverage was deliberately skewed, carrying a provocative headline, and a large photo of the mayor, gluing the two together in the minds of the unsuspecting public. It wasn't until the last few sentences, and on the following page, that a small right of reply was aired from the Mayor, denying any knowledge of a financial deal with 4CA Radio. It is this, that should have been the headline:

Yesterday the Post claimed that CEO Noel Briggs "ordered an investigation." This was not the case at all. Yet, today's Post says the Mayor had ordered Council CEO Noel Briggs to investigate the matter.

They had the same 'leaked email' that I was privileged to view, and it clearly showed that the Mayor demanded Briggs investigate the whole torrid affair. An important and mitigating difference.

Val Schier campaigned on a platform of honesty, integrity and openness in decision-making and anyone who knows her and read the email audit trail knows that she would have gone no where near any financial deal to talk on McKenzie's radio show.

Yesterday's snipe, by an ill-informed editor (or his stand in) wrote:

  • "The cash for comment question that has surfaced at Cairns Regional Council is an issue that should never have arisen.

    Mayor Val Schier should have taken every opportunity presented to present her case to the community, and like it or not, talkback radio is a forum that was open to her.

    Instead the potential of having to pay for airtime is now going to give Cr Schier's opponents the chance to drive a gap between her leadership and the community."

What appalling, slanted and twisted shoddy journalism. The Post knew that a deal was done behind the Mayor's back, with some knowledge from the CEO and Council's Media Manager, who was told to leave the office indefinitely yesterday afternoon.

It is the Cairns Post, together with some selected Councillors and very senior staff, that are trying to drive a gap between Val's leadership and the community.


Other commentary


Dutchie said...

What a ridiculous comment.

In fact, Val held her head up high, and fenced off John diplomatically as any respectable person would and should. There's no point in engaging in fights that John clearly tried to provoke.

Fact is also that bugger all people listen to John compared to the other stations, so indeed, when it comes to value for money, it may very well be worth while reconsidering whatever commercial agreement they have with 4CA, particularly following John's cheap shots this morning. Why bother?

If I was the Council, I would spend the $25k elsewhere.

And while I am at it... Kerrie Hull's $130k pay packet could be spent more wisely too. Regardless of this affair I fail to see what job she does to warrant such pay.

Tony Hillier said...

In the wake of "toupee-gate", regular readers of the ComPost should bombard the freshman editor with complaints about the (on-going) pathetically poor and prejudicial level of council reporting.

Paul said...

And old media wonders why we are all gravitating towards new media. The only role I see left for Newspaper, TV News and radio News is to use them to work out what it is they want us to think.

Cairns Resident said...

It is to be hoped that Val will get to the bottom of the Briggs
investigation in the media affair.
Briggs does appear to be working in an underhand manner against Val.
If he is found to be guilty of any underhand behaviour,Val should promptly send him packing.

Constance Lloyd said...

I echo the sentiments of Cairns Resident. But following on from what “Deep Throat” has said elsewhere, there does appear to be an anomaly; who is investigating Briggs?

Regardless of what our political allegiances may be, what is happening at the moment with the CRC is a joke. Twelve months is enough time for the current (motley) crew of Cairns Councillors to get their act together for the benefit of all ratepayers. And to get the bureaucracy behind them- supporting councillors enabling them to do the job for which they were elected. No-one expects all senior staff to like each and every councillor; or agree with every decision they make. But surely we have the expectation that those staff will act to support the elected arm.

I think the American system has it right when an incoming President appoints departmental heads for the term of their presidency. Just imagine if the Executive Management team was automatically up for replacement at each CRC election. I can think of a few faces that many Cairns residents would like to see disappear.

Councillors, Staff – enough is enough. In these times of economic downturn we need you to be working together to support Cairns and Far North Queensland. No undermining each other to score some pathetic personal points in efforts to maintain your own self-esteem. Do your jobs (the ones for which you are all handsomely paid) first and foremost.

Work for Cairns. Is that so difficult?

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

Rugnut and the Cairns Post deserve each other. Neither can lie straight in bed.