‘Scandal’ story misses key fact

News Corp Australia’s daily Brisbane turdbloid The Courier-Mail runs a big story today about a “scandal” involving Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

It seems Ms Palaszczuk was on hand recently to witness one of her cabinet minsters and others having their heads shaved to raise funds for a domestic violence charity.

One of those doing the shaving was a Brisbane “celebrity hairdresser” who, according to The Courier-Mail’s story, is facing “serious criminal charges”.

Hence the “scandal” claim – the Premier being in close proximity to a person facing serious charges.

The story run on the front page (main picture) and over two pages inside (pictured) mentions the “serious criminal charges” numerous times but unfortunately never once says what they are.

There is not even a line explaining why the charges are not mentioned, if indeed a reason exists such as a court order against publication.

Our MGH researchers believe including such a basic detail might make readers better placed to determine for themselves if the “scandal” label is justified.

We also think it is a serious lapse for a newspaper that regularly publishes stories and editorials about the public’s right to know.

Our researchers also point out that the strap line “Scandal on the Premier’s lawn” betrays the newspaper’s basic lack of knowledge.

We don’t mean to be pedantic. Oh, fuck it, yes we do. The whole event in question happened on the lawns of the Queensland Parliament on 3 December.

Students of the Westminster system with even a passing familiarity with the doctrine of the separation of powers would know that the parliament does not belong to a premier or any member of the executive government. Just saying.

We also note that the online version of the story does not allow readers to comment.

Perhaps too many are asking the simple question we have posed here?

By the way, on this occasion we’ll ignore the lack of a question mark in the front-page headline which would normally provoke comment by some of the more pesky members of our MGH teams.