IN MELBOURNE today, Derryn Hinch returns to the airwaves after five months’ silence imposed by a judge who regretted not being able to put the then-ailing 3AW host behind bars. Hinch’s crime was to name a pair of convicted kiddie fiddlers, whose anonymity the courts rated a much higher concern than that of the newly released molesters' oblivious neighbours. Rob a petrol station and your name will be published. Send an allegedly risqué email to colleagues and that also will see your identity splashed across the newspapers. But dare to name animals who delight in goosing children and the full majesty of the law comes crashing down.
Hinch may be just a tad wary of returning to the subject, but if he is up for it listeners might appreciate being directed to this US site, where a few clicks bring up sex offenders' names, mugshots, addresses and places of employment, all sortable by postcode.
If Hinch feels the urge to be particularly cheeky, he could even place an on-air telephone call to, say, Justin Pack, of 161 West 16th Street, New York City, and ask his opinion of efforts by lawmakers and judges on the other side of the Pacific to conceal his buggering brethen's identities.
And perhaps Hinch might even suggest that Pack would be well advised grab the next leaky boat and seek asylum in Australia, where Hinch's sentence suggests the molester would be welcomed and protected as a victim of intolerable abuse.