In a salient display of a free press and journalistic independence, the Australian government-owned national broadcaster has taken the Australian government’s Federal Police to court to block them reading documents seized when officers executed a search warrant.
Who grants search warrants? Is it the Prime Minister, any elected official or bureaucrat in their employ? No. It’s a judge, or a trusted and accountable registrar with their delegated power who Federal Police had to persuade of the merits of their application for the warrant to search.
Australian and international media have howled with indignant outrage at the notion they and their sources are accountable to “onerous” national secrecy laws. All of their commentaries is largely one-sided and entirely self-serving. No consumer of news should put any more weight in their opinions on this matter than in the opinion of outlaw bikies on anti-association laws. They are impossibly biased, and a more objective analysis is required.
As I opened, if accusations of a police-state dictatorship were credible their legal challenge would never have been permitted. Now that judicial authority has not only granted the original warrant but also upheld the appropriateness of the properly authorised and executed a search and its fruit, cries of “foul” are merely the boy crying “wolf”.
There is nothing to see here except an elite tantrum by the unrivalled voice of mainstream media collective agreement. The ABC and other whining journalists defaming the Federal Police investigation as nothing more than “an attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their job” are following an old legal saying.
“When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.”
The judiciary is separated from the government and law enforcement. They don’t actually get together over drinks in darkened rooms with upturned trench coat collars and decide on outcomes. I find it hard to believe this entire saga is a far-reaching conspiracy between the Federal Government, the Australian Federal Police, and the federal judiciary with an objective to protect Scott Morrison’s popularity polls.
The table-pounding claims about the public’s “right to know” has not been circumvented and no journalist has been criminalised.
According to the USA’s institutional leftists, a “whistleblower” is a long term Democrat activist trying to politically damage an incumbent right-wing government.
This stoush between journo’s and the AFP is merely an old-fashioned legal disagreement where one party emotionally claims their source is a “whistleblower” to be venerated and the other party claims the source was an illegal leak of classified Defence papers to be prosecuted. The legal system is how the dispute is settled, and it’s not unprecedented for the loser to blame the referee.
The objective observer can decide for themselves if the national broadcaster is pounding the facts, the law or the table.