Chris is not happy

October 10th, 2008

How? Oh, some bullshit technicality, it would seem. I’m still disgusted- with the actions of Fairfax, for starters, and with the result of the trial. Still, the law is a crusty old bitch and there ain’t no getting around that. I mean, that’s the best, or at least, least bad we can do. Big trouble is, of course, that the article I linked to is on a Fairfax website.

Alright, so I’ll accept the judges verdict. Fairfax was not in contempt of court and therefore the solicitor-general had no business bringing those charges, but Fairfax still broke the law:

However, they [the judges in question] said the articles breached some suppression orders and the law banning unauthorised publication of extracts from intercepted communications. Prosecution for both these types of breach would be a matter for the police rather than the Solicitor-General, the court said.

And of course all that is chased up with the predictable self-righteous media bullshit about free speech. I’ll grant you your free speech when you grow up and accept the responsibility that entails. Because Fairfax still broke the law, and even if the judges found that they did not compromise the accuseds’ right to a fair trial, Fairfax still decided it was above the law, and not only that, but acted highly irresponsibly, and broke the law. And the law in question exists for a very good reason: To guarantee the right to a free and fair trial for all those who find themselves accused of having broken the law. That right, and therefore some semblance of justice, can not be guaranteed unless the media pulls its head in and accepts the responsibilities that freedom necessarily entails.

So, if I were the not very benevolent dictator of New Zealand, I would order Fairfax to publish only the work of 5 year olds on the front pages of its newspapers [and magazines, if they have any] and websites and to change its name to ‘Free of facts’ and I would have all its higher mangement exiled permanently to Campbell Island (haha! Google maps doesn’t know what island I’m talking about! If you follow that link, just imagine a tiny, tiny speck of land roughly one third of the way between the southern tip of New Zealand and Antarctica).

In other words, I am thoroughly disgusted at stupid, stupid “journalists” who would completely fuck over other people’s rights to a free and fair trial because they are

  • Maori
  • Environmentalists (in a few cases)
  • From an Iwi that never signed the Treaty and which has always had an, [ahem] “difficult” relationship with the government
  • Accused, dubiously, by the Police of “Terror”
  • Involved in a ‘story’ which is just drippingly ripe for media manipulation into collossal huge ratings/circulation

In other words:

  • No country has ever needed “anti-terror” laws. I honestly can’t think of anything stupider. All terror crimes are covered by perfectly ordinary laws. All “anti-terror” laws have nothing whatsoever to do with “Terror” and everything to do with fucking us over and keeping us under ever tighter control. It really is that simple.
  • Fairfax is thoroughly irresponsible and cares not a whit for the public interest. Fairfax’s only interest is circulation, and therefore profit. Therefore Fairfax does not deserve free speech. Freedom means responsibility, and responsibility means putting one’s own desires aside and considering the needs and interests of others. In order to have freedom, one must first be responsible. Really. You let your two year old run around everywhere unchecked because that’s freedom? No. You restrict your children’s freedom until they are old enough to take responsibility for their actions. Not only that, you gradually give them more and more freedom as they show more and more responsibility. Sadly, in this case, Fairfax behaved like a 2 year old, running straight for instant gratification, because that’s all a two-year-old is capable of.

My reading of that somewhat-less-than-objective article is that Fairfax didn’t so much as win, but not lose that case. That’s alright. Congratulations, for what it’s worth, considering the ref ruled that a different opposing team should’ve been on the field.





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