The Sunday Mail attack GWB

Introduction by Scott Balson editor Australian News of the Day:

The article below is demonstrable evidence of how the media collude with favoured political parties to upstage those who would challenge the status quo that they share and enjoy.

The journalist, Sid Maher, is The Sunday Mail's Queensland State Political Roundsman who is "in the ear" of State politicians all the time. I have absolutely no hesitation in drawing the conclusion that the "beat up"/story was contrived by Maher and/or others in The Sunday Mail together with senior federal and state Labor politicians, like Jim Elder, because of the Internet feature "Making the News" as well as the factual information that we carry on Labor hopeful Wayne Goss and the Heiner Inquiry into the shredding of court documents by his government in 1990.

It is quite astounding that such a distorted story should gain the position of lead story in the Sunday Mail after 12 pages of pictures and articles about the funeral of Princess Di.

In fact, in recent weeks, it has become blatantly clear that Sid Maher and his Sunday Mail political off-sider, Michael McKenna, have little regard to the journalistic code of ethics as they ride rough shod over the truth.

Here are further examples of these journalists alleged practice of distorting the truth.

The article in red below is a direct transcript of what appeared in today's Sunday Mail.

The comments below the article, in black, provide insight into what I personally, two days before the article appeared, discussed with Mr Maher whose journalistic ethics are, at best, abysmal - and I openly challenge him to dispute the comments that I make below the transcript of the Sunday Mail article.

Heading: "Pic link to plates ad"

Sunday Mail, September 7th, 1997

by Sid Maher

Queensland Transport has been advertising on an Internet site which last week allowed access to a compromising photograph of a celebrity.

Queensland Transport advertisements for its private number plates business were appearing on an Internet site run by the World Wide Websters which also promoted an Australian News Today service.

On August 28 that service which accesses "News of the Day", published a compromising photograph of a Queensland celebrity lifted from a private video taken several years ago and distributed without the celebrity's consent.

In the past year the News of the Day service has frequently published material supporting Independent Oxley MP Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party.

It has also carried critical gossip about a former senior Australian political figure.

One of the partners in World Wide Websters is One Nation member Scott Balson, who through his company Global Web Builders designed the Queensland Transport private plates advertisement.

Another partner in World Wide Websters is Barry Corrick, a member of the Strategic Liaison Committee which provides advice to Transport Minister Vaughan Johnson.

Mr Balson said he was editor of News of the Day, which he ran through Global Web Builders. It had no connection with World Wide Websters.

Mr Balson and Global Web Builders also worked for Queensland Transport on the Townsville Port Access Impact Assessment Study home page.

Mr Balson's news service brought a blast from opposition Transport spokesman Jim Elder, who said Mr Corrick had been compromised by his association with Mr Balson.

He said it showed the Government had made no progress on its promise to clean up government use of the Internet after revelations last year that Environment Department staff had used government computers to access pornography.

But Mr Balson said he did not see and problem with the fact Queensland Transport was advertising on the same news service.

Mr Corrick emphasised yesterday that he had no involvement in the development of the private plates business for Queensland Transport and no involvement in Mr Balson's Global Web Builders. He said he was not politically aligned.

After being contacted by The Sunday Mail, Mr Balson said he had removed reference to the celebrity and the picture. But he said there was "nothing pornographic" about the picture and he had a policy of not using pornographic material".

Mr Balson also moved to disconnect access to his News of the Day service from the World Wide Webster site.

On Friday , Queensland Transport executive director of land transport and safety, Paul Blake, moved to have access to the private plates advertisement disconnected from the World Wide Webster home site. Mr Blake said Queensland Transport had not been aware of the contents of the News of the Day and the link to World Wide Websters and that most "hits" of its private plate web site came through Queensland Transport's own page.

Sunday Mail Article Ends.

email the editor

We respond:

The Sunday Mail article

On mid-Friday morning, the 5th September 1997, I received a phone call out of the blue from Sid Maher of the Sunday Mail.

He was obviously well researched before phoning me and his comments and line of story being compiled were obviously associated with my pro-Hanson stance.

He asked me about my association with a business called the World Wide Websters - a business that I am a partner in. He then asked me about the work I had done for Queensland Transport Private Plates and when I had done it. I told him about a year previously. His line of questioning was strange but I co-operated while asking him what his point was.

He then referred me to a link from the World Wide Websters to the Australian National News of the Day which I edit and a harmless comment I had made in relation to a celebrity on the 28th August 1997. On that day I had linked a single image of a celebrity from a third party web site fully clothed and smiling at the camera... the image was apparently taken from a video which was allegedly copied without the celebrity's permission and then distributed. The image, which is widely available on the Internet, was of very poor quality and the celebrity was not recognisable. Mr Maher conceded that there was nothing remotely pornographic about the image.

The image and the comment was nothing more than a segment of "net news".

In fact the image was less intrusive than the image shown on page 5 of today's Sunday Mail being a frame taken from the Ritz hotel video showing Princess Di and Dodi leaving the hotel in Paris on the fateful night she died.

What makes their unethical stance even worse is that this glory seeking Sunday paper is part of News Corporation which allegedly paid Br Stg 50,000 for second rights to the unauthorised intimate pictures of Di and Dodi. The paparazzi feeding frenzy escalated after the photographer involved reaped over Br Stg 1 million from the sale of these pictures.

Talk about a pot calling a kettle black!

Maher asked me what I thought Queensland Transport would think of having a link from the World Wide Websters home page to this 'compromising' picture. The picture then became clear. GWB's One Nation support and attack on the Four legs of Australia's Trojan Horse was now coming home to roost...

The Sunday Mail cover-up of the ALP's promotion of the Lorenzo Ervin Sydney 2000 Boycott.

I then suggested that in fairness I demonstrate a 'linking example' which would make his hair stand on end. He agreed. He phoned me back when he was on-line and seated with The Sunday Mail's Internet researcher. I then personally took him to the ACTU home page and through to one of their national organisations Left Link. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is the political wing of the ACTU.

I demonstrated to him while he was on-line the links to Militant, Sinn Fein, the unmoderated gay and lesbian mailing lists and, worst of all, the archives with the current post by Lorenzo Ervin calling for a 'Boycott of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games' and giving account details on how to financially support this move. GWB has kept an exact copy of the post by Left Link while obscuring the contact details.

Mr Maher saw the links between the ALP and Left Link and he also personally saw the original post by Left Link on Lorenzo Ervin through the Left Link archives. He said to the man in front of the computer "Can we copy that to our computer" to which the response came, "Yes", I personally heard this conversation over the phone.

You can now, follow the exact path that I took Mr Sid Maher - I started with Maher at the ACTU home page. This was done on Friday the 5th September 1997 with the reporter and the man who ran their Internet machine at The Sunday Mail.

I originally contacted Mr Geoff Summerfield, a journalist at The Courier Mail, on the 1st September about the Ervin post. As a result it was referred to by The Courier Mail in an article two days later which also totally ignored the source of the boycott promotion on the Internet. This despite the clear link between the ALP and Left Link being demonstrated to and the arguement being supported by Mr Summerfield.

Remember both The Courier Mail and The Sunday Mail have refused to report this association between the ALP and the promotion of a boycott of the Sydney 2000 Olympics by Lorenzo Ervin. For several days from the 28th August this Ervin post appeared on the front page of the Left Link archives.

I had a verbal undertaking from Mr Maher following our discussion on Friday to run this information if he ran a story on my company. This undertaking was broken.

This was, of course, because the information was highly damaging to the ALP.

Mr Maher then contacted my business partner Barry Corrick who is involved in one of the Queensland Transport committees asking him about his association with the department.

The line of questioning was becoming clear. I phoned Sid Maher back and confirmed that GWB had established direct contact with the Queensland Transport clients he referred to (ie the World Wide Websters were not involved in the marketing in any way whatsoever).

In deference to the celebrity the quite harmless article was removed from the page on the news on 28th August as I was sure that the Sunday Mail beat-up would create a lot of interest in an issue that had, through our pages, been a passing 'net-event'.

Finally the "senior Australia Labor Party member" referred to is Wayne Goss who has put up his hand to stand against Pauline Hanson in the seat of Oxley. His government's involvement in destroying documents sought by the courts is not gossip.

It is fact - but again extremely damaging to the Australian Labor Party.

It has been pointed out to me that Mr Maher's article in The Sunday Mail could have been edited. The disjointed nature of the article points to the subs removing certain parts of his original story. If this is so Mr Maher is most welcome to contact me and inform me what parts of the story were removed and, more importantly, why.


So why did the Sunday Mail do it?

I suspect, quite simply, because they are now embarking on a direct assault on my company to try and terminate its factually based article "Making the News" which demonstrates, quite clearly, how the mainstream media is colluding with mainstream politicians to distort the news to their own end. It is a sad tribute to the state of Australia's democracy - and the reason Pauline Hanson is so obviously misquoted.

The distorted reporting by Sid Maher and The Sunday Mail on this story has nothing to do with publishing "compromising photographs" (which GWB do not agree with and would not do) but everything to do with our support for One Nation and the impact that our on-line efforts are having in "returning the pendulum" to a more democratic Australia.

In effect their publishing this article just adds more undeniable proof to the arguement that the media empires should be broken up so that balanced reporting can return to Australia.

Yesterday I bought a copy of Packer's New Weekly magazine from the Karana Downs news agent. The headline on the day of Princess Di's funeral?

"Di and Dodi making love for the cameras."

The inside cover headline? "Paparazzi with attitude"...

Inside are several intrusive pictures of Di and Dodi taken just days before they were killed. But its OK for Packer to sell such a product without question...

Return to Australian News of the Day.

Further allegations of Sid Maher and Michael McKenna distorting the truth in-
News Limited's The Sunday Mail

Reporting on the Prosper Australia Rally - Sunday Mail 5th October 1997.

Reporting on Pauline Hanson and guns - Sunday Mail 12th October 1997.