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Quality Newspaper?

There is an old saying 'Never let the truth get in the way of a good story'.

Well it seems that the Melbourne Herald-Sun newspaper is one who subscribes to this theory. They are the paper who continue to claim that the Victoria Police are perfect or so close to being so that it doesn't matter. This is even after the litany of woes documented in the books Victoria Police Corruption 1 and 2 (published in July/August 1999), and even after their own paper confirmed many of the corruption cases in the books that their journalists were trying to fob off as mere flights of fantasy on the part of Author Raymond Hoser.

Recall that the statement in Hoser's book that Jane Thurgood-Dove was probably murdered on instructions by a serving policeman. The news media initially wrote this off as proof that Hoser is prone to wild conspiracy theories as said by Police spokespeople. Okay, so the papers belatedly admitted Hoser got it right in front page stories in early 2000. Likewise for the stuff Hoser said about Police raping defenceless women at Maryborough and elsewhere, oh and the stuff Hoser wrote about Police hiding illegal guns and drugs in their police stations so that they can plant evidence on innocent people. Hoser's been saying this for over five years since The Hoser Files came out in June 1995.

Okay, so now the Herald-Sun has admitted Hoser has got it right by rewriting up the evidence from Hoser's books. Of course a lot of this "old news" has been re-written by the Herald-Sun as "investigations" by their two-bit journalists.

But one must keep their sense of humor when reading that paper. You see, even after all this nefarious activity by Victorian Police was exposed, the Herald-Sun still decided to run with an editorial saying that the Victoria Police was squeaky clean. It'd be nice to think that the editors were joking when they wrote this, but they were actually serious.

Likewise when on 18 May, 2000 when they decided to try to drum it into their readers that their rag was a "quality newspaper". At the top of page two was the thick type which read "Victoria's quality newspaper". Sure thing! Just to make sure that readers didn't miss this, they put it in a large bold blue typeface.

Then their hack-journalists come spin-doctors were onto the same "quality newspaper" idea. On the same page was a "story" about SOCOG allegedly using Herald-Sun readers to decide who should carry the Olympic Torch instead of disgraced Silvertail Kevan (Salt-Lake City) Gosper.

The paper quoted SOCOG torch relay spokesman Brian Dale saying "We will take into account the views expressed in the columns of the Herald-Sun, a fine newspaper of the highest quality".

Now I'm sure he told a packed press conference those exact words the night before. Why would the Herald-Sun lie about this? In fact we are sure that he must have said the same thing several times. The only thing being that he substituted the title of different Murdoch press newspapers each time he repeated the same line.

e.g. "We will take into account the views expressed in the columns of the Daily Telegraph, a fine newspaper of the highest quality".

Okay so we are cynical. By way of example, let's go through some of the other crap that was published in the "quality" Herald-Sun newspaper on the same day (18 May).

The "quality" centrefold of the paper was a colour spread of photos under the heading "Creepy Critters". It's nice to see that they chose such an unemotive heading. Prominent was a photo of a Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). The Herald-Sun had it captioned as a "Frill-necked Lizard". Okay, so they're both lizards, but that's about all they have in common. So much for their "quality" and accuracy. On the opposite page was a Bell Frog erroneously labelled as a "Growling Grass Frog".

Now if you think that their quality merely lapsed on 18 May, then think again.

Just the next day they ran a story about a Burmese Python. With the story they had a picture of an Olive Python. The two snakes differ more than Mohammed Ali and Madonna!

Maybe they should take a leaf from the Age newspaper. When they do reptile stories they usually get their facts 100% correct.

They use a reliable reptile book as a reference such as Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser. The Age even go so far as to scan and use photos from that book just to make sure that they get things right. At least that way they have quality pics and correct captions.

The only problem is that Hoser is D-noticed the Age cannot report on Hoser or his books. That's what a D-notice means. Therefore the Age lie to their readers and pretend that the information came from elsewhere. They've done this a number of times!

There are quality papers available in Victoria, but we doubt that they are either the Herald-Sun or the Age. Try reading publications like Strategy, Anarchist Age Weekly or Exposure. They might not have the mega-budgets of the Herald-Sun or the Age, but at least they get their facts straight and have the integrity to correctly admit the sources of their information.

The Age and Herald-Sun erroneously paint these other publications as "far right" "far left" or far anything else in order to scare their readers from daring to look behind the lies perpetuated in their own rags.

This release and other supporting material can be found at:


The Herald-Sun was at it again on 8th June 2000. This time they had a colour magazine called "The greatest wildlife pictures ever". Being from the Herald-Sun the title may have been more appropriately called "The greatest pile of bullshit ever".

The photos themselves were in reality pretty ordinary. This is in spite of the Herald-Sun still calling itself a "quality newspaper". One of these photos was of a large Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea). This is one of the most regognisable species on earth - that is to everyone except the crew at News Limited - or so it seems. They had it captioned as a Cane Toad. Now they are nothing like tree frogs and aren't even in the same family. One is green and smooth and has large suction caps on each toe, the other is brown and warty and no suction caps. But then again I said that perhaps their publication should have been called "The greatest pile of bullshit ever".


The Herald-Sun was at it again in more ways than one on 8th June 2000. This time they also had a "Knight" drawing of a Frill-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingi) running next to Ayers Rock. This was in the editorial section of the paper. Someone should tell the editors at the rag that these lizards don't occur here or anywhere close either. You'd have to travel several hundred kms north to find one... But like we've said, since when have the Herald-Sun been interested in accuracy? Maybe the Age were onto a good thing when they relied on Hoser's reptiles and frogs book as their reference source. It's just a pity that they were too low to admit to it.


Same day, same paper (8 June) - this time it was the back cover of the Herald-Sun. Page 112 to be exact. There they had a large colour photo of swimming star Ian Thorpe with a large Burmese Python (Python molurus) draped over his neck. The Herald-Sun in their never ending quest for misinformation had to have this picture miscaptioned as well. They labelled it as a "boa constrictor". Sorry - wrong again. The two snakes are more different than Idi Amin and Jesus Christ! One is from Asia, the other from South America. One is a python and one is a boa and quite frankly other than the fact that both are snakes, they have very little in common. Now bearing in mind that the photo was taken at Steve Irwin's reptile park, we are sure that there is no way a reptile expert like him would mislead the paper. Thus the full blame for yet another lie must be sheeted home to the staff at the "quality" paper.

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