I guess you know the answer Mr Rist as well as I do.
The answer I gave the politician was simple - “Don’t examine the message, just shoot the messenger”.
It is not uncommon for journalists to take interest in local Tasmanian stories, especially controversial or unresolved ones. Media also have the habit of initially deferring to the authorities or government liaison personnel for their response.
As you know Mr Rist, certain government officials closely watch Tasmanian Times and some feel obliged to respond with personally attacking and ridiculing comments under anonymous names.
Media enquiries directed to government liaison personnel on these matters are usually allayed or fobbed off dismissively as beat ups. If the government liaison personnel haven’t picked up on the latest news themselves, they usually ask the journalist where they got their information from.
When ‘the names’ or the authored sources are mentioned the focus shifts to the messengers. If the authorities can kill a story off before journalists research the message for veracity, that counts as success for the government operatives.
Regrettably Ian that is what you’re up against. DPIPWE, DPAC, in fact most Tasmanian government agencies now employ political scientists, embedded journalists and public relations specialists whose job it is to extinguish other people’s stories and ensure their employer’s message gets sole coverage. These spin-doctors are constantly briefed by senior operational managers on any perceived foes and difficult people; their job is to put out the government storyline everywhere and feed it into the mainstream media constantly.
I trust Canberra may be seeing that such protracted exercises in deception and fraudulent appropriation of taxpayer funds have been sustained on secrecy, lying and systematic silencing of anyone who challenges the government storyline.
Ian, our Premier has said on numerous occasions that his public policy is based on data and evidence. As you are well aware the very close interconnections between state and national operatives eager to maintain the Tasmanian fox program for as long as possible have created a massive fire wall against all who challenge their evidence.
As I expressed to the politician, I believe this has gone well beyond mere scientific fraud to obtain tax-payer funds through deception where the government can claim “plausible deniability”.
I believe, this is yet another of State Labor’s political scandals.
Dr DAVID OBENDORF
Dear Mr Rist,
I must congratulate you for your tenacity and unswerving doggedness over many years of unravelling the twists and turns in the Tasmanian fox saga.
A Tasmanian politician rang me and asked a pretty simple question: “David, why isn’t the media taking more interest in your views?”