Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Herald Sun eats crow: Spits chips

Australia's most popular newspaper. The Herald Sun was forced to eat humble pie in its recent battle with Bob Brown and the Greens.

The Australia Press Council upheld a complaint made by Sen Brown that asserted that The Herald Sun made false claims about the Greens in the lead up to the last election.

The Australian Press Council viewed the article as "irresponsible journalism"

What's more the APC has ordered the Herald Sun to print the ruling in full in their newspaper. In effect forcing the paper to admit to its readership that it engages in irresponsible journalism.

But does the Herald Sun take this lying down. No

In a fine sensationalist flourish it turns a bad situation to its benefit.

It starts its piece with these three sentences - just to set the tone:

THE Australian Press Council's ruling on Senator Bob Brown vs the Herald Sun shines another spotlight on the radical dreams of the Australian Greens.That harsh light confirms that the Australian Greens is not the warm, tree-hugging party that voters might think. Instead, the Greens have the most radical set of policies and goals of any party in Australia's parliament.

Only by sentence four do we get a sense that there might be something else in play

The Press Council's adjudication (published in full below) is sharply critical of the Herald Sun's August 31 report.

The article then goes on to carefully pick and choose the most damning clauses from the Greens policy. It refers you to a URL to confirm their story: ( www.Greens.org.au/policies/drugs/). However this takes you to a page saying "Our apologies the item you requested no longer exists" - What more proof can one need. the Greens have removed the evidence.

But, no sorry, just the wrong URL. Try this instead. http://www.greens.org.au/policies/society/drugssubstanceabuseandaddiction

And there you can find them. These shocking clauses, designed to undermine the moral fabric on Australia. But, they just seem sort of, I dunno, reasonable when you read the whole thing.

The list goes on and on. The Herald Sun proving that the Greens are a danger to society, and then finally, in a Fair and Balanced act of full disclosure, appended to the end of this damning evidence against the Greens, they gallantly and openly offer their reader the full, text of the APC's finding.

How can one not fail to be impressed by the fairness of The Herald Sun. Always prepared to show two sides of the story.

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