This bloke is a Muppet.
MP for Bendigo Steve Gibbons, a long-time News Limited critic, told parliament today the government's Finkelstein inquiry into media regulation had fallen short in its recommendations to improve media reporting.
“In my view, fines such as these for publishing blatant untruths or misleading news reports, or temporary suspensions of the right to publish or broadcast, would lead to a major improvement in the accuracy and fairness of our media,” Mr Gibbons said.
“So when a media outlet, journalist, or red-necked shock jock deliberately broadcasts or publishes a statement that they know is factually wrong, and it is subsequently proven that they knew it was factually wrong, they ought to be subject to an appropriate penalty.”
He said misleading reporting carried serious consequences for democracy, and should be harshly treated to prevent its occurrence.
“A misinformed public cannot possibly form reasonable views about matters of national importance,” he said.
“Prominently publishing or broadcasting apologies, corrections of retractions are all very well, and I agree with the report's recommendations about strengthening these processes.
“But there are far more serious consequences for democracy if a media report misleads the public.”
In a private members' motion, Mr Gibbons said the size of the fines should be “commercially significant”.
The only threat to democracy is the continuance of the Labor Green alliance government.
Under Labor, 2012 is quickly becoming the digital version of Orwell's 1984.