Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's In The Mail

A WALKLEY AWARD must be a very nice thing to have on the mantelpiece, where it might be displayed to visitors as proof that a reporter is master of all his or her craft's noble skills and fearless attributes. Accuracy, the layman might think, would be high on that list and, not far behind it, a professional disdain for presenting unsubstantiated gossip as verified fact.

If so, Channel Ten's Hugh Riminton will probably be on the way to the Post Office this very minute to send back his Walkley award. That would be the All Media Scoop Of The Year he shared with Channel Ten colleague Matt Moran for exposing the nest of sexism and Skype-worthy cadet-on-cadet action at the Australian Defence Forces Academy.

Here is one of the several reports on the matter which earned Riminton his occupation's highest honour. If time is short, go straight to the 5:00 minute mark of the clip, where you will see and hear the Walkley winner with the spirit very much upon him:

Breathless stuff, especially Riminton's assertions toward the end of the clip in regard to the female cadet's bastardisation "after she went to the media". Did you catch it all, that litany of torments the poor girl was forced to endure?

Upset at the gross injustice of it all? Well don't be, because not a Walkley-winning word of it is true.

Here is how the folks on Red Russell Hill summarised their investigation's findings, as reproduced this week in a press release issued on behalf of Defence Minister Stephen Smith:

In relation to specific allegations made in the media, the Inquiry found:
  • The Commandant did not order or advise the female officer cadet to apologise to cadets in her Division for having gone to the media;
  • The female officer cadet was offered counselling in her meeting with the Commandant;
  • No Sergeant had spoken offensively to the female officer cadet on leaving the Commandant’s office;
  • The female officer cadet was not abused by cadets in morning assembly on 6 April 2011;
  • No speech of apology was cancelled because of the volatile mood of cadets and fears it would fuel anger directed at the female officer cadet by fellow cadets; and
  • The female officer cadet’s room was not plastered with shaving foam.
It is a pity the Finko & Rickety Review has finished its business, as co-author Matthew Ricketson would almost certainly have wished to include a few words about Riminton's inaccuracies in the finished document.

Ricketson, you see, has served five times as a Walkleys judge. Perhaps, when Riminton returns his Walkley, he should mail it straight to Ricketson, who knows exactly what to do when professional standards are not observed.

And if you think Ricketson needs to be reminded of ethics, the need for accuracy, the danger of unbridled enthusiasm and, most of all, the oddity of a would-be censor teaching journalism, let his boss know all about it:

Phone: 02 6201 5000
02 6201 5036
Postal Address: University of Canberra ACT 2601
Executive Assistant: Ms Alexis Johnson
: 02 6201 5000
02 6201 5036

UPDATE: If Riminton wraps up the Walkley, colleague Matt Moran can pay for the string, brown paper and stamps:

UPDATE II: Regardless of the reports' other deficiencies, does a scoop which cannot spell the name of one of the drama's chief players deserve to be honoured?

Just so Riminton and Moran will know when they express their regrets in a note of apology, it's "Kafer" not Keefer.

(many thanks to reader Learned Friend for reminding the Professor of Riminton's career-crowning accolade) 


  1. "The folks on Red Hill ..."? Surely, Professor, you mean "The folks on Russell Hill ...".

    1. Gorephil: Fixed. Golly, I could get a job as an award-winning TV journalist after a mistake like that!

    2. I didn't have time earlier to reflect on how the folk on Red Hill might have summarised the findings but, now that I come to it, I suspect the separation of Lake Burley-Griffin would make next to no difference. It's the difference of two ends of a common brass commute. Perhaps I was too quick to correct, in which case your Walkley, Professor, is safe (at least on this count).

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    The ADF is being turned into a mix between one of those 1970's style Wimmin's Consciousness-Raising Groups (led by the usual highly-paid ideological female suspects) and a rag-tag parade of supporting Beta-males brandishing unearned Walkabouts. A tip to the ADF: hire some better 'cultural' advisors for a start.

    Seems as if soon the ADF will be forced to apologise for the likes of those World War 11 heros who, with insouciance, put pics of Rita Hayworth on their Spitfire nosecones as they flew away to offer their lives in the service of the Nation. Weren't those airmen disgraceful? There must be a Walkley there for some flabby Watermelon to unpack that mess of male chauvinist pigginess; judges known and nudged, and winner's names already out of the hat.

    God help us if there is a war near us anywhere any time soon.

    Today's 'robot word' (Take One) is Meduce. I've allocated it to mean something similar to Merde in French. A good word to use for the Pinkie Finkie Inquisition and also useful to describe a large dump of it at the ADF.

  3. Fair go Prof. Young Hugh has all the correct credentials for a Walkley and apparently chosen by ex-father Paul Bongiorno, with the same breathless delivery, to protect the leftist fools like the hapless Smith in Defence. Do we have a younger version of Oakes yet?

    How much longer must this nightmare continue?

    -Carl the perplexed

  4. I sometimes wonder why our military cops so much shit from the Left. Then I think of all the institutions the Left has control over, public service, media, education, even big business is sipping the pc multikulti cool aid.

    Really the Military is the final hold out. This no doubt enrages the Leftists no end. I think this goes some way to explaining the vitriol directed at our military.

  5. PhillipGeorge(c)2012March 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Women are victims because they are women and everyone under the age of 21 is really just a child - so what more do you need to know?

    a quasi judicial body takes 3 years to look into embezzlement. Gaytopia Prof.

    Where does the word "bad" fit in? White South African pedophile gun running drug dealers I suppose.

    Prof, someone saith in another place; when the people you are complaining to are the people you are complaining about you have a problem.

    Catch 22. If we got the Chinese to high altitude bomb the desal plant Victorians could save a large fortune. Joseph Heller was altogether too sensible.

    And - when will it all end? People who believe in biological abiogenesis will fall for anything. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.

    Prof. Dead trees don't tell lies. Stomatal densities is where its all at. While idiots and ideologues are dangerous enough, bad ideologues are particularly hazardous to communal well being.

    Bad - not mad, not sad, bad.

  6. This female cadet got all she deserved. She broke regulations by agreeing to have sex with the male cadet in the first place and the had the gall to complain when it was shown to the guy's mates on Skype. What she deserved was to have his mates actually join in and have sex with her themselves, to share her consent, so to speak.

    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      Now Don, you know that is a bit rough. Such angry thoughts and emotions about this girl's behaviour are best left in the head until they cool down a bit and you can offer your side of things in a better frame of mind. Anyway, I think you might be trying to stir a bit here?

    2. @Don

      What a low, vile thing to say.

      Says more about you than that hapless cadet.

      If your comments are indicative of the general attitude of our military, then its level of decency is in a parlous state.

      There are men and then there are xy chromosome bearers.

      Guess which one you are.

    3. Either we have a military, or we don't - and trust to blind luck,

      Either women are in that military, and subject to all the same things as men, including character-building rough-housing,

      Or, as Joseph Conrad said, they must be kept out of it.

      The military is not a Princess performance arena.

      I'm with Conrad, and I'd go a lot further.

  7. When the Prof spoke of RedHill did he mean Parliament House ( both of them) ?

  8. Best everyone at the ADF take a few deep breaths and all hold hands on the parade ground and break-out into a few rounds of kumbaya. They're not there to learn how to kill ... they're there to become nancyboys!

  9. While on mongreling Kafer's name, it shits me to tears when I see media and Minister both referring to him as "Commander." The man is a Commodore for pity's sake, and the position he held at ADFA was "Commandant." Three big, hard words, all starting with "C"; therefore, they must be interchangeable.

    Heaven help us.

    1. Maybe these memory joggers might help Supplice.
      Commander; leader of men in military operations; Rommel, Montgomery, Russell Crowe.
      Commodore; rank in navy or boss of local yacht club, usually wears a white uniform.... also see Lionel Richie.
      Commandant; Officer in charge of a training establishment....also see Col Klink Commandant of Stalag Luft 13.
      Even Smith should be able to cope with this.

  10. SMH in the running at this years awards for this piece that omits a key fact about the new ABC CHairman's past. Yes he was a former Labor Party Advisor to no less than the great Cough.

  11. Yes my comment above may have been a little over the top, but the point I was trying to make still stands. She was guilty of a gross breach of discipline in agreeing to the sexual encounter in the first place, and in my view that overrides any entitlement to protection from her superiors. Her complaint should simply have been used as evidence against her in a disciplinary hearing, after which she deserved to be forcibly drummed out of the services. Commandant Kafer was being far too soft in his treatment of her. The army is no place for wilful disobedience.