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Media Watch, 1
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
PRESUMPTION OF GUILT
When you're the greatest journalist in the cosmos, kindergarten principles like the presumption of innocence carry no weight. Especially when there's an opportunity to niggle at Australia's military capacity in the Middle East.
On tonight's 7.30 Report, Kerry O'Brien and reporter Mark Bannerman take up the grievance of a female naval officer against a medical naval reservist now serving in the gulf.
The Officer's complaint has been taken to the Western Australian medical regulator, which will look into the matter in its own good time.
In the meantime, the Navy, being in possession, as it believes, of the details of the Officer's complaint, decides that, pending the Board's determination, they have no grounds to judge the doctor unfit for duty. He goes off to serve his country.
That means you have decided that he's innocent, Kerry accuses the Navy's Rear Admiral for flak-catching. You've pre-empted the Medical tribunal.
Outrageous, Kerry, just outrageous. Time for an egoectomy.
(Transcript not available at time of posting).