Weekly round-up 5 July, 1998
Murdoch media blitzes Hanson
Rupert Murdoch, one of the world's richest and most powerful men, has ordered his editorial staff to use the full power of the Murdoch media empire to destroy Pauline Hanson and her fledgling One nation party. This is the only conclusion that any fair-minded person could reach after witnessing a week of the most disgusting abuse of media power ever in Australia. If you thought the Murdoch journos were digging the dirt on Ms Hanson last week, then this week they delivered it in truckloads.
The Australian editorial staff went ballistic with their anti-Hanson crusade in the Tuesday June 30 edition. The front page headline screamed 'Hanson's nation hijacked'. Most of the front page quoted the bitter comments of one Barbara Hazleton, a disgruntled former secretary to Pauline Hanson. Not one word of balance or comment from One Nation. Never mind Article One of the journalists Code of Ethics.
The anti-Hanson crusade continues throughout all of pages four and five.
The attack continues in the page twelve editorial. It rails against the idea of David Oldfield acting as a minder and adviser to Pauline Hanson. The editorial writer seems in great fear that "One Nation is being heavily influenced by a man who is an accomplished political operator." What an incredible statement. Is One Nation only allowed to have unskilled people working for it?
"One Nation starts to crack" screams the front page headline over a carefully posed, smiling photo of Hazleton, on Wednesday July 1. With very little new information, The Australian devotes most of the front page attempting to back up its headline. There are references to various unnamed disgruntled One nation members. Only one supporter is named. Mr Paul Trewartha had voiced concerns to Pauline Hanson. Most of page eleven reprints the bitchy statements from Hazleton with embellishments from reporter, Nicholas Rothwell.
Let's put all this hysteria in perspective. A political leader's private secretary resigns. She is not a senior executive of the organisation. She is bitchy and disgruntled. She runs to a newspaper renowned for attacks on Ms Hanson. She bleats out a tale calculated to impose maximum damage on her "dear friend". The newspaper does a massive beat-up. It clearly has a political agenda to get rid of One Nation.
The hacks writing this rubbish should be ashamed to call themselves professional journalists. They are clearly in breach of their own code of ethics.
Article one of the Australian Journalists Association, Code of Ethics states "They shall report and interpret the news with scrupulous honesty by striving to disclose all essential facts and by not suppressing relevant, available facts or distorting by wrong or improper emphasis".
Article four says, "They shall not allow personal interests to influence them in their professional duties."
What a joke.