Saturday 23rd May 1998

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Since October 1995

Before the Australian Press Council

The Australian Press Council (APC) is the body which determines whether complaints against newspapers and magazines are justified or not.

I was called before if yesterday at 3.45pm to discuss my complaint against Queensland Newspaper's Courier Mail.

The Council Committee is made up of a number of senior editors representing major media groups such as News Limited, John Fairfax Holdings and Australian Consolidated Press.

The new chairman of the Australian Press Council, who was at the meeting, is Professor Pearce.

When I arrived to present my case to the APC there was another matter still being discussed by the Council. The half-walls did in no way prevent me from hearing what was being said and this particular comment regarding a race-based complaint was of particular interest.

One of the Council members: Is there a degree of antagonism in your paper against this group’.

But obviously this stand only applies in politically correct areas because the blatant anti-One Nation stand in the mainstream media does not get treated with the same delicacy in reporting.

I was invited to join the distinguished group at just before 4pm being followed in by Peter Charlton the author of the two controversial MAI articles presenting the secret MAI treaty in a good light.

I read from my transcript which I had prepared for the meeting and then Charlton responded.

I felt very confident that my case against The Courier Mail was very sound, and launched my attack against the paper on the following basis:

I was able to remind the committee of the statement I had overheard earlier: ‘Is there a degree of antagonism in your paper against this group’.

It was my personal belief that Peter Charlton came totally unprepared for the meeting or maybe he is just ignorant (or should I call him ill-informed) on what the Internet is and how it works. His response to my complaint would have, perhaps, scored five out of ten, in a School of Politics studying how not to respond to the issues raised.

I was asked questions by two of the seven member panel both of whom represented newspapers none of the other council members raised issues. I realised immediately that the implication of their questions was that my complaint was not so much mine but ‘hers’ (Pauline). I made it quite clear to the committee that this was not the case and that I had paid for my own flight to Sydney and my own accommodation because I felt so strongly about the case and how I had been misreported and misrepresented.

The other comment made to me was that I should not expect the automatic right to a right or reply to which I concurred but again drew the committee’s attention to the imbalance in the reporting, the request for a shortened reply and the manner in which my right of reply had been taken out of context in the second article.

Charlton denied that most of the material used on the MAI came from my web pages presenting two piles of papers, extracts from mine about 1 cm high and extracts from ‘others’ about three inches high.

I challenged Charlton and the committee to provide me with a copy of the ‘Conspiracy Theories’ article so that I could point out how I could make this allegation. Charlton was not willing to take up the challenge.

After the meeting as we took the lift downstairs Charlton turned to me and asked, ‘What professional qualifications do you have?’ To which I replied ‘I have not even done any tertiary studies’. ‘What I mean,’ he said, ‘is are you a qualified lawyer, accountant or doctor?’ ‘No’, I replied, ‘but what difference should that make to my professional reputation in my field?’

Charlton simply shrugged his shoulders and I walked off very confident that the APC will accept my stand on this issue.

The outcome of the meeting will be known in about ten days time. We will report on this once it has been delivered.

Download a transcript of my speech to the Australian Press Council in Word document format.

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Recent stories exclusive to  (how to) subscribe/rs of the Australian National News of the Day:

Launch of One Nation's Queensland leadership.- 22nd May 1998
Protest over closure of National Australia Bank branch in Ipswich - 21st May 1998
Pauline Hanson meets the people of Blair
- 20th May 1998
Unethical trifecta expose Courier Mail's intellectual prostitutes - 9th May 1998
MIGA - son of MAI exposed - 8th May
Just me and Pauline
- 5th May
One Nation breakfast - 4th May
Just who are the Mont Pelerin Society - 3rd May
The Internet and the DEATH of the MAI - 30th April  
Launch of Pauline Hanson's re-election campaign - 29th April  
Second One Nation protest surprises Bob McMullan - 28th April  
Sultan of Brunei buys up big tracks of Australia - then negotiates Indonesian "settlements" 25th April
Maritime Union of Australia win in the Federal Court 22nd April

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