Relatives and friends of Jacintha Saldanha should be gravely concerned by Assistant Secretary Jared Henry’s statement that “the ACMA is investigating.”
Whilst that statement may sound reassuring, a close examination of how the ACMA Broadcasting Investigations Section actually conducts investigations may leave you firmly believing that “ACMA” is a four letter acronym that stands for “All Cover-ups Made Authentic.”
[Note: The short link for this URL is: http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-dc ]
Check out just how the ACMA works an investigation and then ask yourself what is going on?
The ACMA does have statutory powers that enable them to investigate alleged violations of criminal laws by broadcasters as the above statement from a senior ACMA official clearly reveals, i.e. the ACMA investigators are “Federal Investigators.” However, they are nothing like ATF or FEMA federal investigators in the United States. In fact, I suspect that their investigation technique would be considered unique anywhere in the world!
Fraud and Murder!
Those are very serious allegations and Jenny Briggs letter makes it quite clear that the ACMA officials were fully aware of the scope and seriousness of the allegations made against SAS 7 . Now have a look at just how the ACMA handled such grave complaints?
THE ACMA HAS A 30 DAY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON CRIMES SUCH AS FRAUD AND MURDER.
“… a person is only entitled to refer the matter to the ACMA if they have first complained to the broadcaster …a time limit of 30 days … the time limit has now applied.”
- Using the ACMA methodology of crime solving, if you have been brutally assaulted, raped and robbed, please write to your assailant first.If you don’t like their response, only then will we accept your complaint.
- Is that crazy? Yes it is but it gets much worse.
- How about this? After 30 days, no matter how serious the alleged crime, if you have not written to the alleged perpetrator(s), then don’t bother writing to the ACMA!
- The first allegation is that SAS 7 engaged in fraudulent misrepresentation by knowingly withholding information that made it easier for a federal government agency to defraud welfare recipients by concealing the 6 Week Rule, a statute that requires Centrelink to waive debts caused by Centrelink errors.
- NOTE: many of the target victims of this fraud were/are functionally illiterate if the Australian Bureau of Statistics is to be believed. (Check out”http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/F55F20618CA23DA1CA2573A000114B25/$File/4228055002_2006.pdf )
- The second allegation is that the broadcaster was aware that welfare recipients had been defrauded by the Federal Government and that the Federal Police had refused to investigate this fraud and any fatalities caused by this fraud.
- My viewpoint is that SAS 7 was an accessory after the fact to fraud and murder because no effort was made to expose either the fraud or the fatalities.
- Lawyers for the 7 Network argued that these were legitimate editorial decisions.
- The Federal Police refused to investigate because of the (political) “gravity/sensitivity” of the deaths caused by the alleged fraud (Quotagate); hardly reasonable grounds for refusing to undertake a murder investigation.
- Even worse, fearful of being held accountable both at the polls and in the courts, the Australian Senate classified the Federal Police decision as confident in November 2005. (Check out the 6 documents at: http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-3v 1-07-12 )
- What better better way to cover up this government initiated genocidal slaughter than to exclude the accused from the investigation?
“The ACMA does not investigate politicians or participants in broadcasts.”
- The source of that remarkable statement is Rochelle Zurnamer, the manager of the ACMA’s broadcasting investigations section, i.e. the chief investigator.
- It is totally inconsistent with Australia’s constitution which makes it quite clear that the law is binding on the people. No exemptions are specified for either politicians or people participating in broadcasts
- Anyone involved in the inquest should ask for the Record of Evidence and then closely scrutinize this ACMA letter. (1 November 2011. ACMA file reference 2011/9-15 C21620)
“All Cover-ups Made Authentic.”
By the Numbers: How the ACMA conducts a federal investigation in 10 easy steps.
- Step 1: The abused or exploited victim(s) must first write to the alleged offender. This may be difficult if the victim is one of the 46% of Australians who are functionally illiterate. It may also be difficult if the victim is too traumatized to approach the alleged perpetrator of the crime(s). It is even more difficult if the victim has been so traumatized that they have committed suicide!
- Step 2: Once Step 1 is complete, do it all again but this time write to the ACMA who will then launch an investigation that is restricted to exactly what the plaintiff writes.
- Step 3: The plaintiff is not interviewed to obtain further information. Absolutely nothing beyond what is put in writing by the plaintiff will be considered.
- Step 4: No attempt is made to find or interview other victims.
- Step 5: No attempt is made to find or interview any witnesses.
- Step 6: No attempt is made to cross match case files looking for serial offenses by the alleged offender.
- Step 7: No fieldwork is undertaken; not even phoning the plaintiff to gather more specific information about the allegations made as this would seriously violate the investigative procedures set out in Step 3.
- Step 8: The alleged offenders are automatically exempted from the investigation.
- Step 9: After months of drinking cafe latte; oops sorry, that should be, after months of ‘investigating’ the complaint, the team presents a report to management.
- Management determines that there is “no evidence” to support the allegations made and an official ACMA report is released.
If Detective Chief Inspector James Harman or any other New Scotland Yard detective involved in the investigation of Jacintha Saldanha’s death takes the time to look at the history of complaints lodged with the ACMA, a most disturbing but not surprising trend quickly becomes apparent.
- About 1 complaint in 20, i.e. the EXTREME cases that are ‘intense’ or ‘severe’, are upheld by the ACMA. If the ACMA deems them to be ‘mild’ or even ‘strong’, then the ACMA will not act! What sort of safety standard is this?
- Unlike News of the World which was shut down, serial offenders do not lose their federal broadcasting licenses. In fact, the ACMA flatly refused to consider this penalty!
- Penalties applied by the ACMA are grossly inadequate, which may have been a major reason why 2Day FM management chose to ignore laws that prohibit the secret recording of telephone calls.
“Thrown to the lions.”
Forget Victim Impact – that is not on the ACMA’s radar.What counts is the response by an “ordinary reasonable viewer”, i.e. the perception of the audience, not the person or group directly affected by the offending broadcaster.
- This is directly comparable to ancient Rome where Christians, slaves and captives were thrown to the lions as a means of entertaining the public.
- The impact upon those being slaughtered was not the key issue; public approval was far more important.
- Again, the question has to asked, what sought of public safety standards are implicit in the ACMA statement, especially given that 1 person in 5 in Australia has a mental health problem and suicide by depressed people is more common than being killed in a car accident?
Instead of it being reassuring that the ACMA is investigating Jacintha’s death, relatives and friends should be gravely concerned that “the ACMA is investigating.”
Sadly, Jacintha Saldanha’s death is one of many in which Australia’s mass media has played an active role over a period of decades. Given the appallingly shoddy “cowboy country – anything goes” standards of self-regulation, is it any wonder that the mass media lacks any social responsibility for the consequences of its insensitive actions. The current concealment of these other fatalities makes it imperative that Jacintha’s death be downplayed and swept under the carpet.
Because of these other mass media triggered deaths, the potential problem is that the obvious solution, i.e. she killed herself, will be used to smokescreen the fact that she was driven to do so by an Australian radio broadcaster that had deliberately committed an indictable offense. Like News of the World, which also secretly recorded telephone conversations, 2Day FM should be shut down and the management personnel responsible for the train of events that killed Jacintha should be held accountable in a court of law.
If the inquest into Jacintha’s death rules that the illegally recorded 2Day FM phone call was a per-disposing factor or a catalyst factor that played a role in triggering her death then, if the New South Wales justice system prevails, 2Day FM personnel could face a raft of indictable charges and the primary charge could possibly be MURDER.
Ronald Medlicott – A Christian advocate for welfare justice.