As is almost always the case with Morris Scottson’s public statements, whatever he actually says, the opposite is usually the truth. (Hence my conviction that his name must, logically, actually be Scott Morrison.)
This week, he’s been fulminating against Trial By Media, a useful spectre when you want to portray yourself or your allies as the wronged party, subjected to this unaccountable, uncontrollable process. It automatically sounds partisan and subjective.
It is, of course, a lie. On two levels.
First of all, Scottson et al clearly have no problem at all with Trial By Media when it suits their own purposes. Just ask Yasmin Abdul Majid. Or Duncan Storrar. Or Bill Shorten. Or Dan Andrews. Piss off the right in this country, and you’ll soon find out just what a Trial By Media really is,
Secondly, and perhaps less obviously, a Trial By Media might not be ideal for Christian Porter or anyone else on the Coalition side of things, but it is most definitely to be preferred to any other sort of trial. A Trial By Media is deniable. It’s subjective. It can be dismissed. It has no legal force whatsoever. And, most importantly, it ends as soon as the media scents some other fresh meat.
Scottson mouths the platitudes, but his heart (if indeed he possesses such a thing – the money his government has spent on empathy consultants suggests that it’s not an organ he has much experience of using) isn’t in it. He’s just waiting out the storm, pretending to complain about it in the mean time. Sure, he’d prefer that this whole situation had never come out, but now that it has, events are proceeding pretty much entirely according to the standard playbook: deny, delay, obfuscate, smear the accusers, and hold on for dear life until the winds that threaten change die down.