March 18, 2009

Now the hunted

If publication of the alleged photo's of Hanson were deemed tawdry by one and all, how much worse is it to see Channel 9's A Current Affair offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who will lead them to the 'real' woman in the photo's?

With lines like "we will find our woman" and "we are on your trail" they made it sound like a new fun game - it's almost enough to make a viewer dry wretch.

Apart from ACAs clear amusement over their "hunt her down" caper, they're treating the 'real' woman - if there is such a person - as someone who has committed a deliberate fraud. Yet, has anyone eyed the originals, dated them? *Someone* is being defamed and implicated as a criminal, based on nothing.

Holy moly. Slow learners our media.

"Expert" face analysis here ... yet, the jaw line looks the same, contrary to other pics that Hanson put forward, and claiming a short neck in the photo's under debate is a bit dumb for any expert, given the position of the woman, etc.

Best discussion of the whole thing comes from Jack Waterford of The Canberra Times (thanks to Kath), who draws attention to why this story really matters:

"It is doubtful, however, whether any public interest defence, even with an extended law, could protect the Hanson publication. Just how does seeing the photos, or even knowing of their existence, help us, as citizens, know anything important about Hanson's capacity in public life? The more so given that whatever she is, or has argued for, she has never set herself up as any moralist and cannot be accused of hypocrisy.

Like Hartigan and his industry-wide Right to Know Coalition, I would like to see a considerable extension of the media's right to know what is going on in public affairs, and to tell the public about it. In general, the practical difficulties of doing so increase each year.

But big media is deeply compromised by the behaviour of some of their organs. It is the primary reason why politicians, judges and others are able to resist greater scrutiny of government and public institutions and public figures by journalists and citizens. Tabloid television, celebrity journalism and the hypocritical and shameless exposure ''journalism'' exemplified by the Hanson episode sit uneasily alongside claims of acting in, or pursuing the public interest. So, alas, do the profits from it."

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