The quality and culpability of the Australian media

As a former Soldier and a former public servant, and as a person trained, some years ago,in the contents of Federal Crimes Act and Public Service Act, I am very well aware that it is illegal to impersonate an officer of the Crown under any circumstances, for any reasons. Where that impersonation includes the motive to gain personal information to which the the impersonator/s are not entitled, a breach of Federal Privacy Law has also occurred.

(which reminds me of the time I took, as a public servant, a phone call, from a woman who asked when her government money, to which she was entitled, would be available. As I could hear her being punched and smacked during the phone call, I realised that a male was forcing the woman to make the call in order to gain the information from government, information the woman already knew but was not prepared to discuss to her assailant.

I asked the woman if she was under assault and she was unable to answer. I asked to speak to the male.

After the conversation, and with the woman still on the line, I asked my supervisor to advise the Federal Police. She refused, saying “that’s just what they are like”. I asked for permission to report the situation to the police, but that was denied. I asked for permission to report the situation to the official social worker for the worker, and I was told not to waste too much time on the matter. As it turned out the social worker was not interested as 1. It was Wednesday – the day the social work staff held meetings to discuss how best to serve the public 2. A visit to the woman might make matters worse. Despite the possibility of the opposite occurring. I asked the woman if she wished police attendance and she was unable to answer.

Shortly after that my employment was terminated. Good riddance.

Forcing the disclosure of private information under false pretenses is a crimes. A serious crimes.

And so it was that an Australian radio station, acting as the typical dickheads Australian commercial media generally is, contacted a hospital and falsely pretended to be officers of the Crown, seeking private information relating to a member of the Royal Elite upon which Australia’s Constitution acknowledges as the source of its authority.

The radio station staff, either through being typical Australians, or by blindly following illegal orders, rang the hospital and pretended to be the Constitution Monarch of Australia, the Queen of England seeking personal information upon Royal relative.

That alone, in my understanding of Australia, warrants consideration under the Crimes Act and the Privacy Act.

The nurse who took the fraudulent and illegal call, so distressed at her part in the breach of Royal Privacy,
left 3 notes and hung herself to death.

In Germany it used to be a criminal offence to induce suicide.

It should be law in Australia.

Will commercial media in Australia please start doing its job?

2Day FM falsely stated that it was acting on Her Majesty’s Service, in fact the staff stated the call to the hospital was from the Queen. The people involved should be tried in a court of law according to the provisions
of Federal Australia which prevent such false claims in an attempt to breach the Privacy Act and to gain
financial benefit by false means in process. In this case by increased ratings advertising revenue.

2Day FM knew very well it was not acting OHMS and thus is aware of the breach both legally and morally in its attempt to “cut down a tall poppy”, a feeble Australian pass time.

The part of me that is a British citizen is outraged and grief stricken at the death and suffering this crime
produced. The part of me that is an Australian citizen has gone into hibernation out of shame at the utter
cruelty and ignorance and dilution of the law which has occurred in Australia since he 1980s.

The fact is in Australia, any subject citizen who demands their privacy rights in the of government is often viewed with suspicion by government paid underlings as a result.

The drive for efficiency in government should not be at the expense of effectiveness of government.
If government respected privacy laws, if it were a legal and cultural norm,the dickheads who pretended to be he Queen would have refused to follow the illegal order from management. And a life would have been spared.

In my opinion. The Queen, prima Facie, is an Officer of the Crown and it is illegal for anyone, including dickhead DJs chasing ratings, to impersonate Her Majesty.

The Australia media has spent many words defending itself in this. The fact is, it has broken more than one Federal Law.

And as a result an innocent has died. The Djs involved may justify their ignorance anyway they like, but it will not produce anything but a self serving defense in order to 1. improve ratings. 2.Slake the guilt borne of discovery.

The radio station celebrated and broadcast the fraudulent recorded conversation even after the death of the nurse involved had been known to have died.

Many here blame victim, not the perpetrator. 2 Day FM. In my opinion.

Ignorant red neck Aussie hicks.

Of course, the phone call I got in the early 1990s might have been a couple of radio hacks trying to induce me into breaching privacy by staging a phony request with an alleged citizen under mental and physical duress.

Just for the fun of it.

This post has nothing to do with nuclear history. But I think we have gone downhill a long long way since the Costigan Royal Commission. Which, in large part led to the Privacy Act. It is an offense to disadvantage anyone by the misuse of personal information. And that includes information gained under false pretenses, but pretending to be someone authorized to know, when in fact they are not. It is a very serious offense and heads should roll, particularly given the tragic and lethal consequences in this case.

The day after the call I took in the 1990s still lives with me. The day after it, I scanned the newspapers for any report of the discovery of a body.

And so the Fraudulent call (as I consider it to be as a layperson) to the London hospital is a phony attempt to gain personal information by 2 Day FM brings that horrific call I took in the 1990s flooding back. In attempting to apply would I had been trained to do in a previous period of employment in a different era (ie fulfill the mission statement and comply with duty of care in common law) resulted in my spending 2 hours trying to locate a qualified person prepared to check on the welfare of a customer.

If is a grave shame Australian media so lightly considers the impact of its fraud, which pass as pranks, and it is tragic that the deliberate dilution of knowledge of individual rights, led by government, has encouraged sections of the Australian media to act in total disregard for the consequences of its actions. So far its self defense has amounted to “Toughen up, this is Australia”. But nurses in England and anyone anywhere, have a right to expect the best of Australia, rather than its worst.

The consequences for me of the 1990s episode turned out ok. I got a much better job, doing the midnight to dawn shift at a homeless shelter. No crank calls from 2Day FM there. Plenty of other exciting stuff though. Real stuff. Stuff the employer empowered its staff to act upon and resolve, because that was the mandate.

Funny how when the official institutions, media or government, fails in its duties, its the individual who pays for has to pick up the pieces and cope with the results. Nothing’s perfect, but deliberate blind eyes to telescopes in order to gain profit, reduce costs, or to maintain some phoney status is insufficient and often criminal.

2 Day FM is of course free to disagree and in so doing, blame the victim.

Which reminds me. Decades ago, in my first stint as a public servant after I left the Army, I and every other newbie who would be in contact with the public was shown a documentary made by the department in question. The doco was made in response to the deaths of 3 customers whose deaths were contributed to by departmental delays.

One man suffered heart disease and in the months it took for his legal entitlement to be paid, he was reduced to poverty and squalid housing. In the lead up to his death his diet suffered and he did not have enough to eat. His requests for assistance, to which he was entitled, were met with departmental responses which emphasized departmental needs and discounted client need. From memory (this internal doco was shown in the 1970s. It was narrated by Anne Deveson) told how a simple fix would have solved the problem, and kept this man and the two others, alive.

When media pull pranks involving personal information they must be aware that they are initiating a process which ignores the valid needs of their victims, with potentially fatal or unfair and illegal consequences.

It is pointless blaming the victims’ state of mind where that state of mind, for a person who gives their life for their job and duties. in the recent London /2 Day FM tragedy, the person gave their life for their job. Because of fraudulent and unfair actions of a radio station. This is my opinion.

One Response to “The quality and culpability of the Australian media”

  1. CaptD Says:

    The Media is siding with their Owners, the Ultra Wealthy, instead of reporting on what is best for their readers…

    The relationship between Government and the People is changing rapidly, for the worse…

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