A highly respected member of the Canberra Press Gallery has recently raised two issues during questioning of Prime Minister Gillard. Most of you will be aware of the matters to which I refer (links above). These issues related to matters that any politician, depending on their allegiance at the time, would consider confidential. So confidential, in fact, that it would be highly unlikely to elicit any revelation in response to questioning.
The simple fact of the matter is that there was never any possibility of the "right" answer being provided. Why? Simply because there is no proof on the public record capable of establishing the truth, or otherwise, of the matters raised.
The highly respected journalist posed questions that may, or may not, have been sourced from reliable and verifiable information. The journalist proffered no follow up question that could have suggested strong evidence supporting, what amounted to, allegations.
I have no problem, whatsoever, with a politician being "outed" for misleading or inappropriate conduct. There must, however, be verifiable proof when such allegations are made. The posing of questions, in truth innuendoes, without the ability to provide evidence that turns innuendo into fact, is not only unprofessional, but also profoundly political.
This style of behaviour, from persons of immense journalistic authority, serves only to lower the standard of an already mediocre election campaign. It also deepens, further, the public distrust of a profession upon which we so heavily depend as protectors of our democracy.
Whisper, whisper, nod and wink,
Don't look now in case you blink,
While we're watching, waiting for the tip
That little leak, the subtle drip!
This is an election and anything is just,
Revealing a fault or a policy bust;
Any little thing, to hell with the truth,
Give me something that will hit the roof!
The campaign stumbles toward the day
When the people, confused, might have their say!