media

Australian Media Not Allowed To Invade Privacy Of Gay Sex Club-Visiting Lawmakers, Unless …

David Campbell, the married Australian lawmaker who resigned after he was caught on tape leaving a gay sex club, and insisted leaving office was not tied to allegations he’s a gay man, probably won’t find solace in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s ruling that Seven News has avoided censure — but only because Campbell ended up resigning. The media outlet, the country’s most prominent, was slapped with two complaints (neither by Campbell) that it invaded the lawmaker’s privacy by filming him leave a public business (a sex club.)

The authority investigated two complaints, neither from Mr Campbell, who maintained his low profile yesterday and declined to comment. He leaves politics at the election next month. It found that while Seven had invaded his privacy, the commercial television code of practice provides defences including an identifiable public interest to justify the breach of privacy. Of the defences Seven proffered, just one was found to have merit: the public interest in knowing why a politician had resigned.

The authority dismissed Seven’s justifications that Mr Campbell drove to the club in a taxpayer-funded car; that he portrayed himself as a family man in Christmas cards; and that as a former police officer he could have been open to blackmail. Yet it said the ”need for a deeper explanation of the circumstances behind the resignation” provided the public interest defence, so the public could better assess whether Mr Campbell’s performance had been improper or compromised.

Which means the only reason Seven News got off was because of what happened after (and because of) its reports. Which is bizarre.

In the meantime, there’s plenty of debate left as to whether Campbell even deserved to be outed.

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2 Comments

  • asdf

    What on earth does “most prominant” mean? I can’t manage to watch it for more than 10 minutes due to its aparent need to fill its newscast with irrelevent garbage

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