Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

The hypocrisy … the monumental hypocrisy … ?

Although sport is not the forte of Tasmanian Times, may I raise a matter of sport and the law and the media which I believe is most unsporting.

It’s about the recent Front Page publication by News Ltd papers of photographs showing a teenage Aboriginal footballer apparently sniffing cocaine several years ago.

The youth is Harley Bennell, a player with the Gold Coast Suns in the Australian Football League.

Bennell hails from dusty Pinjarra in outback West Australia. He has eight brothers and sisters.

One tends already to be on his side.

A hypothetical question: If a similar photo of a News Ltd executive, let’s say hypothetically one of the Murdochs, became available, would it be also be run on Page 1?

One tends to hesitate before answering.

The Launceston Examiner in the days of Edmund Rouse had a policy of publishing the names of drink-drivers … with greatest prominence given to the company’s own executives.

Chairman Rouse, company secretary Brian Clarke, and editor Michael Courtney all popped up in the headlines.

Fair enough. Drink-driving threatens the lives of other people.

But back to young Bennell. His offence threatened no-one other than himself. And it was years ago.

Subsequent media reports suggest that teenage Bennell was seduced into trying cocaine by the adult supposedly caring for him in his own house.

While bearing no ill-will towards News Ltd and no support for the likes of cocaine, one might humbly wish for three things —

1 – That a Murdoch will be copped but escape penalty for sniffing something dodgy, and an appropriate photo published,

2 – That the person who provided the Bennell photos to News Ltd suffers similarly, and

3 – That Harley Bennell successfully uses the Bill Clinton defence: “I did not inhale”.

*Sydney Swans Fan is known to the Editor

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wining Pom

    July 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    ‘One tends to hesitate before answering.’

    I wouldn’t.

  2. TV Resident

    July 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I am in agreement with the author of this piece…But I also believe that ANYONE with some kind of authority or anyone who is supposed to be an example for the young, ie sportsmen, politicians, journalists etc of all kinds, aboriginal or caucasion, should be made to be publicly answerable if they break the law. Without that respect is lost. There cannot be one law for the moneyed people and another law for us peasants, which is just not right. There are far too many ‘coverups’ to prevent mates, donors etc.

  3. Mick

    July 7, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Would it matter if he was non aboriginal? Here we have a kid in his early twenties taken into a club with many other kids all paid very well and nothing much to do outside a few hours of training each day. It’s a recipe for disaster and the AFL drugs policy lends itself to covering up drug use until a third positive test. Perhaps if this chap had been tested and given support he wouldn’t be in so much trouble. In ten years time he will be an ex footballer with a habit unless he gets the help needed. Maybe the front page of the paper will wake him up?

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