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Just when is enough actually enough?

It’s a question that I would have hoped Heath Aston of Fairfax might have contemplated before penning the article I am about to delve into with despair.

On Monday we learnt care of Aston and Fairfax that the long-suffering Craig Thomson has not just been sitting at home licking his wounds, he has in fact been attempting to promote Australian business overseas. For Aston at least that is some sort of crime worth reporting on.

Aston’s article was full of little digs such as referring to Thomson as one of the mining industries “rough diamonds” and making a pseudo joke about Thomson not having a company credit card with the firm Xbauxi that he was acting on the behalf of.

To make matters even worse Aston even acknowledges that Thomson has told a court of his “mental health problems and suicidal thoughts”, these issues have clearly been brought on by the intense media intrusion into both his life and that of his family. It is clear from Aston’s article that even when there is nothing of significance to report on unfortunately this is a trend that is likely to continue.

In the offending article Aston seeks to ensure that the facts don’t get in the way of a less than lame yarn.

Aston describes Thomson as;

“The former member for Dobell, who famously blew more than $5000 of union money on prostitutes…”

While that may sound punchy it is more punch drunk than a serious right jab because the facts tell a completely different story.

Craig Thomson was famously found guilty of spending LESS than $5,000 of union funds. This total that his been grossly exaggerated by Aston in his claim that contradicts the courts findings.

It is also crucially important the court found that none of that less than $5K Thomson was found guilty of spending was spent on anything at all connected with prostitution, brothels or pornography.

Thomson being found not guilty of the vast bulk of charges, including all related to brothels and prostitution Aston describes as “Mr Thomson narrowly avoided prison”. By narrow I’m guessing he is referring to the word “not” that came before the word guilty?

If being found not guilty is to be described as narrowly avoiding prison than there are an awful lot of very lucky innocent people out there.

Thomson who was clearly contacted for comment by Aston defended an act that needed no defending by saying he had “two young daughters to feed”.

Since when did someone need to defend themselves for trying to earn a living to feed their family?

Craig Thomson - Buckling under the pressure Image - News Ltd

Craig Thomson – Just when is enough enough?
Image – News Ltd

It would seem that Aston has appointed himself as some sort of judge of whether someone is fit to work or whether one should collect welfare. Chief Aston, Commissioner of Employability has deemed that Thomson should be a burden on the taxpayer. Quite a judgement given the taxpayer is no doubt still paying off the millions spent on the witch-hunt to convict him.

Journalism has clearly hit a low point and how this story managed to make it past the Fairfax editor’s desk must have some now scratching their heads in bemusement.

No matter what you think of Thomson and clearly there are a variety of views, at the end of the day Thomson has a life to lead and a family to support. He has endured more than most of us can contemplate, has been driven almost to bankruptcy by legal fees and is clearly still the butt of jokes and smear articles.

But more than that, Thomson has a family, two daughters and a wife. Add to that he has a father and a mother who have endured years of what must have felt like emotional hell.

Thomson’s family deserves more respect than this.

As do Fairfax’s readers.

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10 thoughts on “Telling Stories – Craig Thomson still a target

  1. Just when it looks as though the MSM can’t sink any lower, you read something like this. Too disgusting for words.

  2. I wonder if Craig Thompson could alleviate some of his financial worries by suing the pants off Aston and Fairfax. A really big successful suing of that sort might put the dampeners on the enthusiasm of others who might be tempted to write this obnoxious, vicious, dishonest stuff.

  3. That’s very funny Peter. No doubt Fairfax board goaded him into writing the piece but other jornos would have said no. Its so hard to judge whether its the jorno or the boss sometimes but in this case Aston (called him Heath on Twitter, oh well and so what) deserves to be culpable.

  4. You congratulate The Australian’s reporting of Kathy Jackson, yet criticise pretty much the same reporting by The Sydney Morning Herald of Craig Thomson.

  5. I gave up my subscription to the SMH after it printed a fake document on is front page that purported to be a facsimile of Craig Thomson’s credit card statement. As you pointed out in an early Jacksonville article, Peter, it had Thomson spelled “Thompson”. The SMH has never explained this or admitted to its failure to investigate the allegations against Thomson made by Kathy Jackson and accepted by the Herald editors as factually reliable.
    After the evidence produced since then of Jackson’s criminality, most of it by you, a competent mainstream journalist would have taken a second look at Thomson’s speech to Parliament in 2012 and checked what he said against the facts that have since emerged. That speech looks pretty accurate now, but which media outlet has the courage to say so after they all adopted a policy of persecuting him and now refuse to take the risk of getting egg on their face? Powerful vested interests stick together t look after themselves regardless of the human cost to those they malign.
    Neither has Thomson been helped by the practice of law in Australia which takes by the British and American adversarial approach rather the wiser investigative approach which takes less time, costs less for people to defend their good names, and ensures that judges are properly trained to judge rather than simply being promoted from the ranks of very highly paid barristers. Just read Evan Whitton’s great book “Our Corrupt Legal System”.

  6. I don’t see reporting of this nature on Jackson anywhere
    However The Aus ran many articles with misleading information on Thomson that both myself and the magistrate hearing the case were highly critical of

  7. I contributed toward Craig’s defence fund last year and would like to support him again now. The old fund site seems to have disappeared. Is there a new one?

  8. Looks like Fairfax has grabbed the Murdoch press baton and is running with it.
    The article is pure Abbott/Murdoch garbage and Fairfax should be utterly ashamed of themselves to stoop so low, to continue to harass and persecute someone already judged by the courts.
    Shame Fairfax Shame!!!!!!

  9. This really gets me down. The lies spread by the MSM can ruin individual lives, keep populations ignorant of forces working against them, and whip up enthusiasm for wars which destroy entire countries. Yet people keep reading the rubbish and swallowing it hook line and sinker. Ethical journalism is essential to democracy and the Rule of Law, yet honorable writers and media outlets are few and far between and those that do exist don’t have the reach of the muck-rakers. It seems to me the 1% have won and there’s no going back, at least in the short to medium term.

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