I first became aware of this some hours after it happened, and I find it hard to fathom what was going through Morrison’s mind, such as it is, when responding to a question from a journalist. At a press conference, said journalist asked Morrison what he thought about “the man that’s been charged over the death of the missing nine-year old girl”. Strangely, Morrison said he had been following the case ‘privately’ and, in response to the question, said: “I can‘t imagine what the parents and their community have been going through. And I – look, you know, hope for the best and pray for it but it doesn‘t always occur. My thoughts and prayers frankly are with the family today and that little girl. And I hope she’s alright. I really do. I’m sure we all do. Let’s hope that that has a good ending”1.
The fact that the day before the press conference, the girl’s body had been found in a barrel alongside the Colo River2, clearly indicates that Morrison’s ‘following the story’ was another of his lies. The fact that the journalist who asked the question used the word ‘death’ and it wasn’t registered by Morrison, clearly shows that he does not answer questions; he simply spouts talking points or platitudes, whether or not it has anything to do with the question. This is one of the major problems with modern politicians. They do not answer questions. It is also a major problem of the modern corporate media, in that their journalists let the politicians get away with it.
Later in the press conference, Morrison was informed (again) that the girl was dead and that her body had been found. He responded: “I’m sorry. I hadn’t seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news. I’m very sorry that… since early this morning, I’ve been engaged in other issues, as I’m sure you can imagine. Having heard that news, that’s… it’s just… devastating”2. That sounds more like arse-covering than anything else.
To demonstrate the abysmal quality of some journalists in Australia, you only have to read an excerpt from the Daily Mail story on Morrison’s press conference. The Daily Mail is known among some journalists as the Daily Cut-and-Paste for its propensity to pinch others’ work. The author of the Daily Mail piece, one Michael Pickering, in his first paragraph gave the dead girl’s name, and in the second paragraph said that she “cannot be named for legal reasons”2. Sometimes, I despair.