Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you’ve heard about these two bits of news. One is about Victorian Police flexing some muscle in an attempt to tone down bikie related crimes. The second one is about the Human Headline, about the one guy in a media who’s got the guts, the balls, the chutzpah to tell it like it is, without a fear of losing his job, or getting in front of a judge. I am talking, of course about Darryn Hinch.
So what is Hinch’s crime? His crime this time, just like it has been in a previous half a dozen run-ins with the law is very simple. He names names. Names of people (and I use this term very loosely) convicted of sex related offences. People convicted of murder. People associated with organized crime.
His punishments vary from being jailed for 12 days and fined $10,000 to 5 months home detention, to receiving a death threat from one of the most notorious underworld figures. All this for caring about people of Australia. Caring enough to put his own career/health/wellbeing on a line.
Now let’s have a look at the Police conducting coordinated raids against bikie gangs. Police are there to protect us, so if this operation resulted in some weapons being taken off the streets, I say boys and girls in blue have done great job. However, I find the way media handled it questionable, to say the least. Faces of couple of the arrested men were visible to the camera, their names were named. Yet, not one of them has been convicted at a time of the news segment going to air. Last time I checked, in Australia we are following the principal of presumption of innocence. What it means is that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.
So the question is – why is it that Derryn Hinch is being punished for making public the names of people already convicted of their offences, but our big media – Channel 7, 10, ABC, CNN, Fox, and some other news sources make names of people suspected of a crime known to the whole world, without any fear of getting in trouble with Australian court system?
Now, I am not a whinger, BUT…. a little consistency from our legal eagles would be nice.