Whitehorse Leader “journalist” Jon Ryan has used a blog on a News Limited website to attack one of his colleagues’ stories as promoting a “low grade dirty trick”.
The thinly veiled smear has shocked observers in the company. Particularly in circumstances where it might have been reasonably expected Ryan might have been able to get the story for himself.
Ryan was referring to the Sunday Herald Sun story that revealed corrupt Whitehorse ex-councillor Peter Allan’s abuse of council expenses to claim back the cost of attending a “strip club”. VEXNEWS has previously reported – but cannot yet prove beyond reasonable doubt- that Allan in fact visited a brothel. Either way, it was a blatant act of theft.
Allan’s spin is that it was all a big mistake.
The problem with that explanation that Jon Ryan didn’t have the wit or local knowledge to see is one simple question: How did this story leak?
It was an open secret in the Whitehorse council ranks, among senior officers and councillors. Why? Because the corrupt ex-councillor boasted about it. To at least two councillors, one of them now deceased. It appears they were concerned and told others.
Jon Ryan – who poses in front of Australian flags in promotional photographs for his newspaper – needs to consider very carefully what journalism in the English-speaking non-totalitarian world is all about.
Is there really any need for these low-grade dirty tricks that have effectively ended the local government career of a long-serving councillor?
Why is it a low-grade dirty trick to report an act of theft? Why is it relevant that the corrupt ex-councillor was first elected to local government in 1986? Its only possible relevance might be that he’s had a pattern of this form of misconduct.
The defender of sleaze opines:
Mr Allan has also been the victim of an online smear campaign in recent times.
Whoever could he mean? Is he jealous that VEXNEWS gets more news on what goes on in the municipality Ryan is paid to report on. The hack continues:
What this boils down to is West Wing-wannabes wrecking a manâ€™s reputation to win a seat on council.
No, what wrecked and incinerated Peter Allan’s reputation was his own actions. If it turns out that he lodged a receipt for the public to have paid for his having paid sex at a brothel. There wouldn’t be many public officials who could survive that without their reputation being shredded and being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Ryan has more:
As a journalist I donâ€™t want to bite the hand that feeds me and suggest council leaks are a bad thing. When they expose genuine wrong-doing in a way that is designed to further the public good, they are an important thing. That simply isnâ€™t the case here though.
The obvious question is why the hell not? He’s stolen money from the public. Stolen in circumstances where his defence “it was a mistake” is undermined by his own boasting about it to colleagues and where his theft was calculated to fund his paid sex with a young woman probably half or a third his age.
Sounds like very genuine wrong-doing to me.
If Jon Ryan doesn’t get that he has no place drawing a salary from the greatest journalism company in the world, News Corporation. If and when corrupt ex-councillor Allan is proved to have visited a prostitute and charged it to ratepayers, Ryan will have little choice but to follow his little mate’s lead and resign.