Crimes Against Journalism

Nothing makes me madder than stupid, incompetent journalism. The Sydney Morning Herald’s latest entry in this category is here. if you read nearly half way into the article you find this:

This week the Independent Commission Against Corruption named Mr Hartcher, the member for Terrigal, and his fellow Central Coast Liberal MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber in an inquiry codenamed Operation Spicer due to hold public hearings from April 28.

ICAC is examining allegations that the MPs, along with former Hartcher staff member Tim Koelma and electorate officer Ray Carter, ”corruptly solicited, received and concealed payments from various sources in return for certain members of Parliament favouring the interests of those responsible for the payments”.

Solid, important news. But is that what the article leads with? Sadly no. Instead this –

ICAC: Former Liberal minister Chris Hartcher had ‘secret computer network’

Former Liberal minister Chris Hartcher is alleged to have run an ”off the grid” computer network in his electorate office before the 2011 state election – a period being investigated as part of a major corruption inquiry.

A source familiar with Mr Hartcher’s office has said the then shadow cabinet minister bought computers that were installed in his electorate office at Erina on the Central Coast.

The source said there was one computer connected to the official parliamentary network but that ”every other computer in the office was a computer that was bought by Chris Hartcher and worked on a separate network”.

Mr Hartcher’s explanation was that he feared his email and other data could be monitored by ”Labor cronies” due to the party being in government at the time, the source said.

Absolute spurious nonsense.

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