Tuesday, June 07, 2005

obligatory corby post.

I wasn’t going to post on the Corby case … but (and you knew that was coming) but when reading about it today, a couple of things came to mind. I can go on about this for a while, but I will try and keep things somewhat to a minimum.

I agree with Ken Parish that the initial evidence does sway me towards thinking that she’s guilty. Cited in support of this Troppo line is Federal Court Judge Ronald Sackville who says;
“having a large amount of a prohibited drug in a person's luggage is ordinarily enough to establish a prima facie case against an accused in any legal system.”

Despite this that we can’t really know because we haven’t heard the evidence ourselves, and I for one don’t know anything about criminal law in Indonesia (or Australia, for that matter) anyway.

Throughout all the bullshit being slung around, I have become aware of the case of Chika Honda and her three fellow Japanese tourists who were convicted in Australia for trafficking heroin 13 years ago. This case has a number of striking similarities with the Corby case, and was discussed by both Sushi Das and Guido. One of the things that struck me about this case was I had no idea of it whatsoever before I came across Guido’s post, yet this has been going on for 13 years, and there is still a campaign to have Chika Honda’s conviction overturned. We didn’t care about it at all then, despite the same protestations of innocence, claims of people being used as unwitting ‘mules’, and allegations of bias in the foreign court system that we have been shouting so loudly. Listen to the discussion on this morning’s Radio National if you want more information on this case.

Other interesting facets of this saga are the initial reaction and outrage (pretty girl, big tits, lets have hoax a terrorist attack on the Indonesian embassy, take our money back, I’m not going to Bali anymore …), and the ensuing reaction to the reaction, including Piers Ackerman and Andrew Bolt telling the rednecks to chill out (!) — which, despite the seriousness of the matter, is quite amusing.

The sheer amount of bollocks that has been spread around by the wider media has been covered extensively in the media. And then you have the sheer amount of bollocks that is being spread around on the sheer amount of bollocks that is in the wider media. Go to Liz Jackson’s Mediawatch for an exposition of the spineless and pandering News Limited written media shock jocks of Ackerman, Bolt and Kelly.

It must be recognised that this bollocks is by no means limited to News Limited. My own (comparatively mild) example of this, that struck me this morning, is the use of the Roy Morgan poll on the Corby case that was used in the Age.

On Saturday, they used the poll as a basis to claim that,
“Most Australians believe convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby is innocent”

They go on to say that a *massive* 51 percent of those polled thought Corby was not guilty.

Today (Tuesday) they come out with the question, “Corby: what do most believe?”, and answer their question with the statement that,

“Australians are far more ambivalent about the Corby verdict than her supporters and the media coverage have suggested to date… For all of the vociferous outcry on talkback radio and the vigorous campaigning in some sections of the media, the results suggest a healthy degree of public scepticism about the way in which Corby's plight has been portrayed.”

Using the same poll, they point out that only 17 percent think that Corby was definitely not guilty (which means that 34 percent think that she was probably not guilty). Nice cutting of the data, guys.

The same criticisms that Liz Jackson levels at the News Limited parrots apply here — the Age is willing to run with the hype when it suits them, but when it is recognised that the unsavoury public reaction to the Corby verdict is a direct function of the sheer bullshit that has been heaped on the public, then they are totally unwilling to admit any role that they have had themselves.

That is enough ranting for today.


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