NRL Sex Scandal – Statement from ABC’s Four Corners

This statement has been issued by ABC’s Four Corners following their recent feature “Code of Silence” (thanks to John McPhilbin for the link).

Due to the high level of interest in this program, we would like to answer a number of questions that have arisen in response to the story.

Four Corners cannot control what is said in the outer reaches of the internet. We can correct some of the rumours and untruths being printed or broadcast in the mainstream media. In doing so we would also like to set the record straight on how the story came into being.

After the incident with the Cronulla Sharks occurred in Christchurch in 2002, Clare was pursued by the media to tell her story; she was offered money by commercial media in Australia; she refused all requests to speak about it.

The intervening years were marked by post traumatic stress disorder and its debilitating symptoms.

Two months ago, after we had begun researching a story on Rugby League, one of the members of the Cronulla Sharks tour to New Zealand told Four Corners about the events in Christchurch.

Through our research we found Clare and asked her to take part in a program looking at off-field incidents in the NRL, attitudes to women in the culture of the game and the possibility for change. On that basis and knowing there were other women also speaking out, she agreed.

A few points of clarification:

* Clare was not paid for the interview. Payment is contrary to ABC Editorial guidelines. Her only requirement was that we protect her identity.

* Clare has not “boasted” about the fallout from the story. She is in hiding from the media, and has made no comment about the consequences of the story for others.

* The program was extensively researched based on police material, medical reports and the first- hand accounts of participants, not hearsay from people unconnected with the events.

* The New Zealand police have not made any adverse comment about the program. They have gone on the record to say that suggestion is completely untrue.

* Most of the activity that took place during the incident is not disputed. Players and staff gave graphic accounts to police of the sexual activity. One player told police that at least one of them had climbed in through the bathroom window and crawled commando-style along the floor of the room.

* We stated explicitly in the story that we were not focussing on the issue of consent in relation to the incident in Christchurch. We stated simply that Clare made a complaint to police. This was investigated at the time. The players say she consented and no charges were laid. The focus of this incident was the role of group sex in rugby league culture and the consequences for the woman involved.

* As far as Clare’s state of mind at the time is concerned, when she made a complaint to Christchurch police a few days after the incident, police noted her distress in their reports. She was in tears and found it very difficult to describe what had happened. Days later, the police also noted that some comments she made suggesting she was not distressed were a mechanism for coping with what had happened.

* The manager of the hotel in Christchurch, Clare’s boss Keith Burgess, said that Clare was “a stable person” and “the last person to be involved in that kind of thing.” Clare says she doesn’t know the owner of the hotel who has recently made derogatory remarks about her.

* The events later in the evening at the hotel are disputed. Player Daniel Ninness said last week that Clare was not distressed leaving the hotel. Clare told police in signed statements at the time that Ninness was kind to her and came to her rescue and she relied on him for support to get home. We attempted to contact Ninness prior to broadcast but were unsuccessful.

* Four Corners sought interviews with all the players and staff from the team that we were able to track down prior to broadcast. No one wanted to give an on-camera interview. Some spoke freely to Four Corners, others did not. We identified those people whose presence was confirmed by more than one firsthand account. They were Matthew Johns, Brett Firman, and Paul Gallen who told us he came into the room at the end.

* Matthew Johns spoke to Four Corners on numerous occasions about the events and we included comments he made in the story. He declined however to give an on camera interview to Four Corners and answer more detailed questions about his role in the incident. We told Johns in advance of the broadcast that the young woman’s testimony was moving, that she had clearly suffered after the event and had been psychologically damaged by it.

Matthew Johns said before the broadcast went to air that he agreed the worst response to the program would be for anyone to go after the girl. Clare has recently contacted Four Corners asking that the media leave her in peace.

She said this:

“I am being harassed in the most awful ways and what is being reported by jornalists (sic) is horrible and untrue. They have got people speaking of me that are not my friends or people I have never met. It feels like I am living in a nightmare. All I wanted to do was to make people aware of the culture and stop it happening to other girls.”

* In relation to the Newcastle Knights section of the story, the Knights were frequently updated during the making of the story, up to and including just before broadcast. No comment from any one in any part of the program was taken out of context. Four Corners has received no complaint or question from anyone actually involved in the story suggesting the contrary.

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98 Responses

  1. The statement answers a lot of questions about her motive, in my opinion, very brave and selfless act.

    * The events later in the evening at the hotel are disputed. Player Daniel Ninness said last week that Clare was not distressed leaving the hotel. Clare told police in signed statements at the time that Ninness was kind to her and came to her rescue and she relied on him for support to get home. We attempted to contact Ninness prior to broadcast but were unsuccessful

    For Ninness to admit she may have been distressed would also lend weight to her story, so I’m not surprised he’s denied the claim.

    And then there’s this:

    * Most of the activity that took place during the incident is not disputed. Players and staff gave graphic accounts to police of the sexual activity. One player told police that at least one of them had climbed in through the bathroom window and crawled commando-style along the floor of the room.

    So much for only 7 year olds being able to fit through the alleged tiny window. I’d say this would be deemed intrusive. This goose was probably responsible for giving access via the front door to other players:

    Sounded like and behaved like a trauma victim? I think so.

    * As far as Clare’s state of mind at the time is concerned, when she made a complaint to Christchurch police a few days after the incident, police noted her distress in their reports. She was in tears and found it very difficult to describe what had happened. Days later, the police also noted that some comments she made suggesting she was not distressed were a mechanism for coping with what had happened.

  2. The ABC are a bunch of f**cking liars.

    The Newcastle Knights were NOT aware of the entire contents of the Four Corners program. The only “updates” they were given were as to the broadcast date.

    As I said the ABC joins the long long list of deceptive lying journos.

  3. Thanks Reb for posting this update. I’ve got a soft spot for ‘whistleblowers’ of this variety. Too bad so many people would like to shoot the messenger.

  4. As for the rest of the ABC statement well I think we did this topic to death last week.

    No one can be believed………!

    And the only thing for certain is that on the night all parties concerned were clearly on a mission to outdisgust each other !

  5. Maybe this will end the vilification of Clare (but I don’t think so, not with the attitudes to women across this society).

    Matty Johns is no hero and because these players have chosen to stick together to avoid any criminal responsibility shows their continued disregard for the woman’s welfare and her ongoing degradation.

    The Newcastle Knights were NOT aware of the entire contents of the Four Corners program. The only “updates” they were given were as to the broadcast date.

    Why would the ABC need to give them a preview of the entire show before it goes to air?

  6. “……….So much for only 7 year olds being able to fit through the alleged tiny window……….”

    John…………the window in question was shown on TV last wek. It’s just not possible for an adult to fit through it and no…………it has not been modified since the place was built.

  7. Walrus

    Maybe they’re talking about different windows? There seems to have been plenty of opinions coming outside sources.

  8. Min waves to scaper. I didn’t answer your query over the weekend however I did take a mental note to try to find an occasion to address your statement re Clare not naming names.

    The answer, to my mind is that if Clare did name the other players that she could be sued for libel..especially given that the original charges were dropped by the police/and that it seems that they have refused to come forward. Why Johns chose an admission is perhaps an indication that he has some intestinal fortitude compared with the cowards who still refuse to do so.

  9. Then there’s this:

    Former teammate was source of group sex story
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/lhqnews/exteammate-a-sexstory-source/2009/05/19/1242498752984.html

    THE ABC television program Four Corners revealed last night that a former Cronulla teammate was the source of a story about a group-sex incident involving players in 2002.

    The program took the extraordinary step of releasing a statement about its source, which said: “Two months ago, after we had begun researching a story on rugby league, one of the members of the Cronulla Sharks tour to New Zealand told Four Corners about the events in Christchurch.”

    And I’d really like to know who the alleged commando with a 7year old body was

  10. Walrus

    Sorry I couldn’t resist it “And I’d really like to know who the alleged commando with a 7year old body was” From all accounts he probably had a ‘stiffy’ which would make his daring feat even more amazing.

  11. (IATW) “John…………the window in question was shown on TV last wek. It’s just not possible for an adult to fit through it and no…………it has not been modified since the place was built.”

    One player told police that at least one of them had climbed in through the bathroom window and crawled commando-style along the floor of the room.

    So, are you now saying that one of the players has lied in his statement to police ?

  12. Kitty

    So, are you now saying that one of the players has lied in his statement to police ?

    I actually think this was probably a fact and it was probably this ‘commando’ who opened the front door for the rest of the troops.

    In fact, you’d be amazed as to just how easy it can be to contort your body to fit through small openings that appear too small(no pun intended). I’ve seen it done many times.

  13. Min, I respect the rule of law which indicates there was no case to answer!

    The other non-alleged offenders do not have any obligation whatsoever to come forward.

    The woman has to provide the evidence.

    I noticed on the last thread that one or two are attempting to turn the debate, for want of a better word into a gender war…I suspect personal inadequacies are coming to play!

    A better debate would be questioning the role that unjustified hero-worship, outrageous remuneration packages, sponsorship and alcohol consumption is playing in all sports and the negative impacts on society that has ensued.

    If this rain keeps up we could experience an event similar to 1974, bloody climate change!

  14. Scaper re: The woman has to provide the evidence.

    This was something that was pointed out to me by my criminal law lecturer David Heilpern (later Justice Heilpern), that rape is the only crime which requires the victim to provide absolute proof that a crime has been committed. Other crimes, circumstantial evidence is sufficient.

    For those who would like a little reading..worthwhile from David is:

    For Fear of Favour: Sexual Assault of Young Prisoners Forward by Justice Michael Kirby
    Rough Deal: Your guide to drug laws

    Unfortunately scaper the young woman has already presented her evidence and this was deemed to be insufficient. To put it into other terms (and without being flippant, but it’s the only way that I can’t of explaining this)..it’s a bit like trying to make an insurance claim for theft and the insurance company saying: It’s All Your Fault.

  15. Umm re I can’t of explaining this. I meant, the only way that I can think of explaining this.

  16. The Newcastle Knights were NOT aware of the entire contents of the Four Corners program. The only “updates” they were given were as to the broadcast date.

    Frankly, the Knights didn’t need to know what the rest of the program had in it’s entirety. They were told what the show was about and how they were involved. Why did they need to know about the behaviour of Cronulla players?

    As I said the ABC joins the long long list of deceptive lying journos.

    You & I both know if that were true – they would be in court faster than you could blink. The damage this program has done to the NRL as an organisation is incredible (though blame itself lays with the players). If there were untruths being touted by this program – you could bet your life savings on it being in a defamation / slander case faster than you could blink.

    Seems even us Lefties are susceptible to the “call them a liar” tactic of discrediting journalists exposing things we don’t want others to hear.

  17. The question now is was it consentual or not. Judging by Clare’s actions it clearly was not. What are the authorities going to do now?
    I feel sorry for the girl in the Newcastle situation, she was clearly molested whilst she had nothing to do with a party in another part of the campus. Why have no charges been laid?
    By taking no action to bring the offenders to justice, the club management and indeed the police are sendind the signal that these guys are untouchable. No wonder why ladies do not want to degrade themselves further. The sooner we get rid of this filth from all aspects of the game the better the game will be. Forget names and ability, it doesn’t matter how well you play, in the long term it matters who you really are. Matty Johns gets some credit for owning up, but one wonders if he wouldn’t have been on the verge of being named anyway.

  18. Min, I respect the rule of law which indicates there was no case to answer!

    No. The situation is that there is not enough proof to gain a conviction. This is not the same as there not being a case to answer.

    The other non-alleged offenders do not have any obligation whatsoever to come forward.

    Legally, yes you are correct. Until the police decide a crime has been committed – their right to privacy outranks the public’s right to know. By a long shot.

    In terms of intestinal fortitude and “standing up for & with your mates”, they fail by a long shot. After all, it’s OK to f#ck the same chick together for male bonding, but if one of us actually cops a rap for it – “It stays in Vegas”. Thank the gods I have better “mates” than that (and we have our own sexual partners!).

    The woman has to provide the evidence.

    Love that attitude. The equivalent (in my mind) is that I get a group of thugs together, we get you into a dark alley, mug you & take your money. When you go to the cops – my mates & I claim you gave the money to us freely.

    Funnily enough – that situation would be enough to land me and my thugs in jail. Swap money (a relatively replenishable resource) for sexual consent / dignity and the above situation is enough for us to get off scot free. Lovely world we live in.

  19. Scaper you have it..and it’s worthy of a repeat:

    A better debate would be questioning the role that unjustified hero-worship, outrageous remuneration packages, sponsorship and alcohol consumption is playing in all sports and the negative impacts on society that has ensued.

    The worst around my neck of the woods was the ’87 Mothers Day flood, but this was due to mismanagement of the flood plains.

  20. “…..So, are you now saying that one of the players has lied in his statement to police ?….”

    kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 11:13 am Said:

    Kitty……you still don’t get it !

    The ABC claims to have been told by a player or official, who refuses to be named, that an unknown player or official, who no one can name, was crawling across the bedroom floor.

    What part of that don’t you get…………………!

    Lindy Chamberlain would have been executed (if we had the death penalty) by you based on the evidence you are happy to rely upon.

  21. “….Why would the ABC need to give them a preview of the entire show before it goes to air?……”

    kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 10:59 am Said:

    I did not say they should have been given a preview. It’s the ABC that is clearly trying to mislead by claiming that telling the Knights the broadcast date was an “update”.
    They are clearly trying to put “spin” on it.

    “Update” actually meant “Bugger All”. But they were careful not to say it.

    Cant we all move on now and talk about stupid abusive Aussies in Phuket Thailand rather than New Zealand ?

  22. I actually think this was probably a fact and it was probably this ‘commando’ who opened the front door for the rest of the troops.

    I think it was a fact too John (don’t know who opened the door to the others, I suspect Matty as he felt the need to apologise immediately afterwards in the carpark for the others).

    Walrus can’t have it both ways – if he declares with authority that the window is way too small for a man to fit through, then he is also saying that one of the players must be lying in his witness statement to police.

    Walrus, it is you who doesn’t ‘get’ it…this was said by a player in his witness statement to police.

  23. Tol..might I add, and this is from my criminal law studies via David Heilpern. Scenario: A young woman after being comforted by friends decides to gather enough courage to walk into a police station. The police officer states, Yeah right..the..what..the X football team?? Haa kidding..all of ’em! Police officer calls over a superior officer and says, Senior this girl says….Senior queries, Do you want to repeat that girlie? Are you sure that this is what you want to do? You know what you’re in for don’t you.

    The police decide not to press charges much the same as domestic violence.

    And Min getting in early, just in case anyone is considering that I might be anti police, one uncle was Chief Inspector in Charge Frankston and another uncle was Chief Inspector in Charge Melbourne.

  24. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 12:11 pm Said:

    No it’s you that does not get it. The Police have not commented to that effect.

    The ABC is making the claim from a player or official who refuses to be named about a player official who no one can now name.

    It really is pretty simple.

  25. Min

    I’d find it hard to digest if I was a police officer, its simply something you don’t associate with entire (or a large percentage) of a professional football team. I’d also know the amount of fallout that would likely go with making the allegations.

    In fact, you only have to look at many of the responses 7 years after the alleged incident.

    Like I’ve said on many occasions, ”whistleblowers’ are more likely to get shot, than be welcomed with open arms. Sometimes the truth is too messy.

  26. Kitty

    The ABC is trying to convey everything as FACT………….when it is NOT…….!

  27. I did not say they should have been given a preview.

    No, you said

    The Newcastle Knights were NOT aware of the entire contents of the Four Corners program.

    I basically said, why do you feel that they needed to be?

    The entire contents of the program sounds a lot like knowing exactly what is in it before it is shown.

  28. Kitty

    The ABC is trying to convey everything as FACT………….when it is NOT…….!

    Well, if it’s not than the Knights can sue the program, so far they have not contested anything.

    The program was extensively researched based on police material, medical reports and the first- hand accounts of participants, not hearsay from people unconnected with the events…

    …Four Corners has received no complaint or question from anyone actually involved in the story suggesting the contrary.

  29. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 12:23 pm Said:

    Kitty

    I’m saying the ABC is “spinning” it as though they were aware/kept uptodate of the contents.

    Here’s another example of the ABC “spin”

    ABC Statement—* The New Zealand police have not made any adverse comment about the program.

    Yeh……..that’s correct because the New Zealand Police have said basically nothing except “case closed”

    That’s a great lesson in “spinning” something that went unsaid.

  30. John..the police are hamstrung as they are not allowed to pursue cases unless there is a likelihood of achieving a conviction. The girl went with one player and maybe agreed to have sex with another.

    The police therefore would have considered that it would have been unlikely to achieve a conviction and therefore chose not to pursue this case.

    Surely everyone has seen this before..aka where a conviction was unlikely therefore there was no police case.

    The most famous (infamous) of these would be OJ Simpson. The family could not achieve a criminal conviction due to lack of evidence but were able to successfully sue under tort.

  31. Sorry Walrus, kitty is with the facts (as presented) whereas you are making claims you are unable to back.

    From the article (i.e. from Four Corners themselves):

    One player told police that at least one of them had climbed in through the bathroom window and crawled commando-style along the floor of the room.

    In other words, either one of the players did climb in the window or one of the players lied to the police. It is one or the other.

    Simply put, if the ABC are representing something as fact without proof of such, they will be sued into oblivion. I guarantee that this was checked for veracity pretty stringently more because of the chance of litigation than journalistic honour. But it would have been checked because of the damages that could be claimed if what they claimed as fact turned out to be hearsay.

  32. “The program was extensively researched based….”

    Oh yeah……….so well “researched” that the actual ABC journalist stated categorically on Sydney Radio last week (I heard it myself) that Clare was NOT married but seperated.

    But it turns out that she is……………..!

    That would not really matter (in the context of the report) except that she was using that to refute a question put to her on air.

    Who to believe ?

  33. Walrus, you are deliberately ignoring the written statements presented above. Four Corners has released a prepared statement (not an off-the-cuff remark on radio) that a player stated to the police that one of them came in through the window.

    The police could easily refute this, they haven’t. The players coudl easily refute this, they haven’t. If untrue, it would bring in mega-bucks worth of damages if brought to court, it hasn’t been.

    You are grasping at straws, I feel, to protect your mental image of the sport and it’s players.

  34. Well..in a nutshell. This is what happens if a bloke or girl comes forward with accusations about being raped. You have to combat ‘the machine’ and their mega dollars.

    It’s just about the same as if someone, say a girl tries to make claims of rape against a priest.

    Just the same arguments..she was asking for it, her testimony cannot be believed, she had previous sexual experience, the powers that be police/Catholic priest/the diocese have decided that there is no case to be answered.

    The person, sportman/priest/minister/scout master/teacher is a respectable of our society and you cannot let this girl/woman/boy ruin his career.

  35. B.Tolputt, on May 20th, 2009 at 12:39 pm Said:

    B. Tolputt……..you are joking…….!

    Oh sorry how stupid of me.

    Of course I should accept the word of the “spinning” ABC in regard to an unamed player or official (which one no one at the ABC will say) making a claim about an unamed player or official (we also dont know which) that crawled along a bedroom floor from a SMALL window (that I have seen) to back up a story as told by a woman who refuses to be named but claims to have ben engaging in sex with players and officials most of whom she cannot name for reasons that can best be described as Revenge”.

    Of course……………………………….how stupid of me not to accept that as fact.

  36. “Cant we all move on now and talk about stupid abusive Aussies in Phuket Thailand?”

    Post up now Walrus….

  37. The police could easily refute this, they haven’t. The players coudl easily refute this, they haven’t.

    B. Tolputt

    You know why…………………………..?

    Because people like you are happy to rely on “Non denial” as “Affirmation”.

    Considering the media frenzy caused by the accusations of a woman who refuses to be named why should they come out and name themselves.

    Get real

    And this

    “…You are grasping at straws, I feel, to protect your mental image of the sport…..”

    I could not give a toss…………………… my poiint all along has been that this is a “Societal” problem not a football problem.

    It’s you grasping at straws

  38. reb, on May 20th, 2009 at 1:02 pm Said:

    Thank you reb…………………I’m coming over there.

    Enough……………!

  39. Jeeezus, why is this so hard for you Walrus?

    It is not the ABC making the claim, it is another player who was there and witnessed the other player crawling through the window, it is his statement to the police. He is not unknown to the police.

  40. Walrus, you are obviously not acting rational now. Instead of addressing the proof presented against your case – you are ignoring it, calling your opponents (the ABC) “spinners” and liars, and attacking a strawman argument.

    Four Corners have outright stated, in a prepared release (i.e. someone at least went over it once), that a player told police in that one of them came in through the window. If this was not true, the police would have corrected such a misstatement, even if the players are too scared to come forward and deny it.

    You are acting as bad as Andrew Bolt when presented with evidence that disagrees with his pre-decided conclusions. If the best you can come up with is “they’re all liars”‘, you seriously need to consider why you have such an emotional reaction &/or are acting irrationally. Seriously.

  41. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 1:09 pm Said:

    Its not hard Kitty…………!

    Everyone making claims conveniently refuses to be named.

    And I’m not even bothering with you Tolputt since you are now generalising my statements by saying I think everyone is “Lying”. What crap………….!

  42. And I’m not even bothering with you Tolputt since you are now generalising my statements by saying I think everyone is “Lying”. What crap………….!

    Given I said (note the text in brackets)…

    …calling your opponents (the ABC) “spinners” and liars.

    And you said with sarcasm…

    Of course I should accept the word of the “spinning” ABC

    and started the whole thing with…

    As I said the ABC joins the long long list of deceptive lying journos.

    I think I stated my case well enough. I don’t know why you are so worked up about this – I assume because you dislike the footy players disparaged, but I can be wrong about this without it affecting my argument.

    That said, it is hard to be revisionist on what you & I have said when the history is on the same page!

  43. hehe B.T. you missed:

    The ABC are a bunch of f**cking liars.

  44. Kitty & Tolputt,

    Clearly the ABC Report fits perfectly with both of your preconceived views of the World (by the way I’m starting to think you are of the same litter perhaps)

    A World where nothing needs to be proved beyond doubt even when the people making allegations refuse to be named.

    Well…………you can have your World because it truly sucks !

    Both of you would have had a great time if you were in authority in the Stalinist USSR…………or any Eastern Block country where a whisper was all that was required.

  45. Oh, for the good old days of witch burning!

    Who needed evidence then, just chuck another log on the fire.

    Nobody these days want to address societal issues, just blame someone else instead of getting to the root cause.

  46. Oh, for the good old days of witch burning!

    Who needed evidence then, just chuck another log on the fire.

    scaper…, on May 20th, 2009 at 1:47 pm Said:

    Yep scaper………………..that sums it up alright………..!

    How I long for those days back in Salem…..!

    I did mention that I’m a reincarnated from the Americas of the 17th Century……………..!

  47. Walrus, I’m more of a ‘Attila’ in the dark recesses of my nature.

    I believe that society will break down before I die, the signs are obvious.

  48. As for me, I still have insufficient unfiltered evidence of even the evidence that was deemed insufficient, and I won’t be adding: the riddle of the probable probably I think so GI Joe, his skeleton key, and the shrinking-growing window; nor the channelled David Helpeirn-esque ‘Punch and Judy’ show with suitable Kiwi accents for the plods of Christchurch who didn’t receive any sexual assault sensitivity training again this week; nor again the ‘we all just know what it was’ kitty or BT versions; nor yet again, the Four Corner’s ‘I want everyone to focus, per the supplied frame of reference, on the nominated agenda for the program’ version either, to the mix.

    I can feel sorry for ‘Clare’ for ‘what happened’, however that happening and its flow-on effects might be characterized, without either endorsing or dis-endorsing her (disputed and untested) account, or indeed the accounts of any involved (even Nimmess, the freshly badged liar-denier who loses his kind and rescuing-of-distressed-damsels status). I simply don’t know without all of the actual evidence, in its original and unspun form, and however deficient it might be, in front of me; and that I do not have.

    I do, though, also recognise that the ABC’s Four Corner’s latest statement about how it would like their story and the embedded Clare’s story to be received is heavily spun per its original agenda; and that the journalist(s) responsible for the story were and are incredibly foolhardy if they think that they can make Clare’s story a centre-piece of their story without some focus shifting onto Clare and her story; and equally foolhardy if they think or thought that their agenda for what they hoped to achieve can or could be determinative.

    Their statement is also designed to cover their asses against legal claim by any of the involved parties, and isn’t just a rehash for clarification. Clare’s identity obviously hasn’t been protected per se and she is feeling ‘harassed’, so potential mitigation and a plea to leave her in peace are in order; and their assertion that they didn’t mention issues of consent or criminality also isn’t determinative in itself if their publication, by dint of suggestion, inspires a perception of criminality, when no charges were laid, a la exactly the kind of things being talked about by some here (yes, I’m looking at you Min, who mistakenly suggested charges were laid; and kitty who imputes actual criminal guilt afore any trial or conviction, in particular…as I mentioned previously, Four Corners’ scrupulously avoiding those kinds of assertions and following a very particular path through that legal minefield – go back and read it again above – does not necessarily make others’ doing so and straying from that formula less risky, neither for them or for Four Corners).

  49. Four Corners’ legal formula for ‘safe’ publication, for reference…

    We stated explicitly in the story that we were not focussing on the issue of consent in relation to the incident in Christchurch. We stated simply that Clare made a complaint to police. This was investigated at the time. The players say she consented and no charges were laid. The focus of this incident was the role of group sex in rugby league culture and the consequences for the woman involved.

  50. reb, on May 20th, 2009 at 1:02 pm Said:
    “Cant we all move on now and talk about stupid abusive Aussies in Phuket Thailand?”

    Post up now Walrus….

    ~~~

    Well..that looks like fun.

    Given that it’s a very dismal day, that none of my kids have written to me and friends are missing (yes I’m looking at you).

    Where is Naskin? Where is Aqua? Where is TomR?

    Min owns up..I went on a boat trip when I was at Toorak Teachers’ College. My friend Jenny’s father had the pub at Miami Gold Coast. We went on a boat trip to Stradbroke Island and found ourselves with the entire North Adelaide Football club..this would have been circa 1979. They were very handsome and they were all gentlemen.

  51. (by the way I’m starting to think you are of the same litter perhaps)

    What? please explain?

    Are you saying that myself and BT are one and the same person. We are not and I’m sure the mods can easily clarify that.

    What a ridiculous thing to say, clearly you are being quite irrational now. What a bad sport you are in debate. You really don’t like facts and logic to get in the way of your prejudice and bias do you?

  52. Wow, instead of addressing the fact that you made a misstatement and/or misunderstood a post (and hence made baseless accusations, ironically enough) – you attack those you disagree with rather than the argument they make. You’d fit in better with Andrew Bolt’s crew – where personal attacks are better than rational discussion.

    Who needed evidence then, just chuck another log on the fire.

    Even better, why listen to reports based on evidence when you can stick your fingers in your ears and shout “Lies, it’s all damn lies” to drown it out.

    Nobody these days want to address societal issues, just blame someone else instead of getting to the root cause.

    Yup, it’s all spin and lies from the “journo’s”. 😀

    Personally, I could care less if footy players like having sex the way they have their showers (with all their mates naked & close by). I joined in the discussion because Walrus decided to attack the messenger (Four Corners & the ABC). So long as consent is there (something I have not made a judgement on either way if you notice) – what people do in their bedrooms and how many people they do it with is their business.

  53. Min, my father was the president of St George Leagues Club in the early sixties and I remember when they came over to our house in ’65/’66 after the end of the season.

    They were just ordinary blokes that studied and had jobs that could play footy.

    They indeed were gentlemen, opposed to the many gooses that we have playing today.

    The culture has changed significantly since those days as per the elements that I put up here this morning.

    I just don’t see it being turned around anytime soon, unfortunately.

  54. Are you saying that myself and BT are one and the same person. We are not and I’m sure the mods can easily clarify that.

    Actually, if this is indeed what you are implying – could joni &/or reb please verify that we are indeed different people. I’m using my real name here (a pretty unique one in Australia actually) so that kind of insinuation (if it is that, I didn’t think it was until kitty mentioned it) is not something I’d like lingering.

    What a ridiculous thing to say, clearly you are being quite irrational now. What a bad sport you are in debate. You really don’t like facts and logic to get in the way of your prejudice and bias do you?

    You will notice that has been a theme of mine throughout this thread. Walrus seems not to be applying logic to his arguments (going so far as to deny his own words when they become inconvenient), so I believe he has some predetermined conclusions that he cannot stand see destroyed by claims he cannot refute. Ad hominem attacks are despicable and were something I thought above Walrus until today…

  55. B.Tolputt, what evidence?

    Is the media the bastion of truth or a self-anointed judiciary?

    Lindy Chamberlain comes to mind!

  56. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    A quick demonstration of what I think is Walrus’ point…Who was ‘one player’ and what exactly, not generally, did they say in their full statement? What did ‘other players’ say? Who is your source: a) for what ‘one player’ may have said; and b) for the complete silence on what ‘other players’ may or may not have said? Would your at least third-hand evidence be better or worse with actual access to the police reports, and better again with access to the ‘one player’ than the ‘police reports’, than the source you are relying on to draw definite conclusions?

  57. Is the media the bastion of truth or a self-anointed judiciary?

    Absolutely not. I never made claims about that.

    However, if the media make claims about what was or wasn’t told to police by a player (i.e. one of them came in through the window) – you can be they have something to back that up. Either a player told them that directly (and they have a recording of such) or it is contained in the police reports.

    Making such a claim “on the facts” (as opposed to an opinion) is subject to claims of defamation / slander. Given the amount of money Matty Johns and the NRL stand to lose from this debacle – you can be they would sue if they could.

    The argument you & Walrus seem to be pushing is that I have claimed (or believe, based on the ABC’s report) that this “Clare” was raped. I have made no such judgement. On the other hand, Walrus seems quite adamant that the ABC are lying about it.

    For the record, when I’ve talked about evidence as provided to Walrus – I’m talking about the quotes I have provided from this article &/or his own posts to rebut his comments.

  58. Legion, on May 20th, 2009 at 2:16 pm Said:

    oh christ, we’ve been through this already!
    All I can say is that is that you, scaper and Walrus don’t seem to actually read the articles put forth. If you do read them, there seems to be some cognitive dissonance problem which prevents you from properly understanding them.

  59. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I read them very closely and don’t assume or make bets about anything, unlike BT above. 😉

  60. Cognitive Dissonance
    This is my thoughts on the matter too. I have watched people I am close to go through exactly this problem and they react in much the same way when pressed about their beliefs / opinions which clash with fact. The standard reaction is to attack the person presenting the conflicting claims / facts / evidence and demonise the source so as to remove their credibility. This enables them continue believing what they did before because the conflicting claims / evidence came from an untrustworthy source. This applies to religion, politics, and sports / hero worship equally

  61. Spoken like a true lefty!

  62. Spoken like a true lefty!

    Notice the lack of logical argument, conflicting evidence, or even reasoned debate. Personally, “lefty” is a compliment to me until I am compared to the crazy ones that think Greenpeace is a eco-army and should act like one (yes, I’ve met some like that).

    That said, if you find a fault in my arguments – point them out. Trying to demonise me (or kitty for that matter) by making disparaging comments actually supports our side of the debate (if still a somewhat nasty way of conducting one’s self).

  63. I should probably clarify and say the following:

    Trying to demonise me (or kitty for that matter) by making disparaging comments actually supports our contention that you are attacking the messenger because you cannot debate the argument. Still a somewhat nasty way of conducting one’s self.

    Probably just as funny to scaper, but at least it is clearer 🙂

  64. I can categorically state that Kittylitter and B Tolputt are not the same person.

  65. I believe there is three sides to a story…one side, the other side and the truth!

    So far there has only been part of one side from what I’ve read, that’s it and I suspect the other two sides will never be told.

    It amazes me that a judgement can be made by people here on such little evidence and I won’t even bother with the issue of right to pass judgement in the first instance.

  66. Reb, at least you have evidence to support that claim!

  67. B Tolputt,

    Oh I see now…………………………………….we just blindly accept whatever the ABC puts to air as the truth and any further clarificatrion (to protect their arse as Legion says) as just further clarification of the blinding obvious truth…………………………….as told by this seemingly endless multitude of un named witnesses………………………..!

    It does not get too much easier for someone (with an agenda perhaps ?) to be able to throw around as many serious allegations as they like with the added convenience of the ABC guaranteeing not to name you.

    That’s pretty easy and to my way of thinking also pretty f*****g gutless …………………………!

    A great way to gather the facts. Our legal system would be much cheaper to run if Kitty and Tolputt were in charge.

    Oh yes…………………that’s all so simple…………….a great way for the World to work.

  68. I can categorically state that Kittylitter and B Tolputt are not the same person.

    reb, on May 20th, 2009 at 3:35 pm Said:

    Yeh………………you would say that…….!

    I reckon you and joni are the same………………………………..siamese twins in fact………………………………….sharing half a brain each !

    Heheheheheheheheheh……………..!

    Only jokin’

  69. Like it or lump it, scaper has it:

    Min, on May 20th, 2009 at 12:00 pm Said:
    Scaper you have it..and it’s worthy of a repeat:

    From scaper:

    A better debate would be questioning the role that unjustified hero-worship, outrageous remuneration packages, sponsorship and alcohol consumption is playing in all sports and the negative impacts on society that has ensued.

  70. Our legal system would be much cheaper to run if Kitty and Tolputt were in charge.

    I have offered to trade in my current job in exchange for becoming a high court judge but no one’s yet to take me up on the offer…

  71. we just blindly accept whatever the ABC puts to air as the truth and any further clarificatrion (to protect their arse as Legion says) as just further clarification of the blinding obvious truth… as told by this seemingly endless multitude of un named witnesses…!

    Who said anything about blindly accepting it? Just because I don’t instantly agree with you that they (the ABC journalists) are “spinners” and “f**king liars” does not mean I wouldn’t change my mind given proof to the contrary. The difference between you & I is that you’re willing to call them liars because you don’t like what they are saying, not because you have any proof to the contrary.

    Funnily enough, that is how the legal system works here. You want to call someone a liar? The legal system of Australia states that to do so (without being sued for defamation / slander), you must have proof of it.

    For the record “Deep Throat” (of Watergate infamy) was an unnamed source. Technically speaking – so are you, given you post here under an alias. I, on the other hand, am posting here under my real name. Note that it doesn’t matter whether you or I claim something – we both of “equal credibility” here? Remaining anonymous does not immediately discredit a source.

    But given your mind is made up, that’s just another post for you to twist into some “if kitty & Tolputt were in charge” analogy with minimal connection to the subject at hand.

  72. Unlike the dumb hypocritical issues involving a stripper and an amateur football team comprised of ADULTS, I’ve not commented on this so far.

    It is an interesting discussion anyway, athough I think too much has involved speculation about guilt and innocence.

    The facts are that this behaviour was totally inexcusable.

    Big, muscle bound men fuelled by over inflated ego, alcohol and a primitive tribal mentality took advantage of a teenage girl.

    It is ugly behaviour, and if it is not illegal it probably should be. Perhaps written consent would be a possible indication of whether the teenager consented to the repulsive behaviour.

    These people that set themselves up as role models, take all the money, get all the adulation of fans and sponsors have to then cop the hard fall when they behave in a manner that is contrary to the obligations they take on when they accept all the money and largesse.

    Men that behave in this manner should be identified and shamed.

    They are repulsive, run them out of the game, and quickly.

  73. B. Tolputt

    Oh I see…………………..you being a relative newcomer now demand to see our individual drivers licences before you’ll accept anything we say.

    Oh that makes the rules of YOUR game so much clearer for all of us………………………………………….Now sod off !

    And if you cannot se through all the “spin” in that ABC statement then I and others are wasting our time arguing with you.

  74. Reb, my father was grooming me to become a judge, he had it all mapped out.

    I didn’t want to be a judge, I wanted to be something else but since there was no executioner jobs going I became a bricklayer then a landscaper.

    Born a hundred years too late…lol!

  75. you being a relative newcomer now demand to see our individual drivers licences before you’ll accept anything we say.

    Are you actually reading my posts or simply scanning them for something to disagree to?

    I stated that you had “equal credibility” regardless of anonymity. I stated that it doesn’t matter. You are so desperate to attack those against your position you can’t even read their posts straight!

    Honestly, were it not for the fact you are a long-term member of the community (I remember you from when I started commenting at Blogocracy), I’d have disregarded your input as from an Akerman-inspired troll.

    I don’t mind being pulled up on something I got wrong, introduced to a new line of argument, or even violently disagreed with because of differing (if at least rational) opinions. But for you to attack me because I agree with you? You come across as crazy…

  76. And if you truly believe that the ABCs Four Corners can always be relied upon for the truth just have a look at the fiasco that became of the Phung Ngo case.

    $770,000 of taxpayers money tipped down the judicial toilet due to the misleading and outright bullshit propogated by Four Corners.

    But enough people believed it to force a judicial enquiry into the conviction of Phung Ngo for the assassination of Labor pollie John Newman.

    And what was found……………….?

    Even more evidence to “convict” the already convicted Phung Ngo..!

  77. But for you to attack me because I agree with you? You come across as crazy…

    B.Tolputt, on May 20th, 2009 at 4:16 pm Said:

    Oh………….I see……………………..Judge……………………Jury……………………………Executioner………………………………………and now……………………………..Psychiatrist !

  78. Are you actually reading my posts or simply scanning them for something to disagree to?

    Desperately scanning for something, anything. All completely irrelevant though.

    You come across as crazy…

    (Walrus -Now sod off!) if not hysterical and now quite offensive and abusive.

  79. “…………..Honestly, were it not for the fact you are a long-term member of the community……………”

    You meant to say “commune”……….did you not………………comrade ?

  80. kittylitter, on May 20th, 2009 at 4:26 pm Said:+

    “offensive and abusive”……………..I hope so

  81. See, instead of acknowledging that you misunderstood my post – you attack again. Do you expect me to take you seriously or are you in it for the mud flinging?

  82. You meant to say “commune”… did you not… comrade?

    Nope. Being on the Left side of politics does not necessarily make me a socialist or communist. Just as being on the Right side of politics does not make Tom or Neil Nazi’s. Funnily enough, in the real world, there is this area between extremes where most people live 🙂

  83. “……………or are you in it for the mud flinging?”

    Are you an absolute total MORON………………………!

    Who the hell “flings” mud…………………friggin fairies that’s all.

    Real men “sling” it………………………..!

    For Godsake if I say

    “Cant we all move on now and talk about stupid abusive Aussies in Phuket Thailand?”

    It means that I’m tired of arguing the same thing over and over and over and over…………….!

    And Yes………………….I’m now only here to sling mud……..!

  84. So……….you and Kitty can agree

    And also…………..Me and others can all disagree with you……….!

  85. B.Tolputt, on May 20th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    No room at the cognitive inn for actual dissonance between persons in the form of a difference of opinion on what constitutes a reasonable threshold of reliability for accepting the ABC’s Four Corner’s says a police report says one player says about X as a ‘fact’; and none either for a difference of opinion on what constitutes a reasonable threshold of reliability for whether the ABC’s Four Corner’s says a police report says one player says about X is objectively determinative as a ‘fact’ about X once that is put to some, or any, form of ‘testing’ or ‘trial’ rather than accepted at mere face value (even though it’s still just a second-hand account of a police report, and the police are generally not left as best or final arbiter in their own cause in any modern system of justice)?

    Really, it just passes through the cognitive filters as untested testimony and ‘fact’ in BT-world, where what the ABC says is as good as what the original police report says, or what ‘one player’ might have said, or what ‘one player’ cross-examined about the substance of what ‘one player’ might have said? Which was others’ point, perhaps, when re-cast in its converse and non-rhetorical questing form, and as reflected in their continuing assertion about the importance of the rule of law and testing of evidence for determining veracity when some are dabbling on the sidelines, under conditions of highly imperfect information, with the continued imputation of criminality.

    And the mysider-yoursider of ‘the debate’ must observe that he commenced with an account of a mugging, and if he’s insisting that what ‘one player’ says is a ‘fact’ that he can reliably infer to be true if the ABC says the police reports says the ‘one player’ said was so, the implications for when the ‘one player’ becomes the ‘many players’ must equally hold, which takes things back to square one on rationalities and available ‘facts’; which has the whole thing consisting of a dispute, at best, and when the ‘facts’ of the one-player as fact-giver BT test is applied to the many-player scenario the matter naturally becomes beyond dispute mutatis mutandis without any other (un)expressed operative standard (because it wouldn’t be rational or logical to be selective about whose ‘facts’ are ‘facts’ and whose ‘facts’ aren’t ‘facts’ on the provided BT test, and the ABC was also very clear in its reporting of other ‘facts’ in the ‘ABC says the police report says ‘one player’ says’ sense, without specifying what that other operative standard was and how it was neither arbitrary nor capricious).

    And then there’s Four Corners’ quite different ‘focus’; cue Tom, who brings it back on track, there, and opens up a whole new playing field of issues. Because I don’t pay attention and never read beyond kitty’s select snippets, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that her link to Miranda Devine raised some interesting broader issues (even if the piece seemed a rather confused and confusing attempt to grapple with Miranda’s confusion in her splicing together a grab-bag of ambivalent thoughts, imho).

  86. B.Tolputt, on May 20th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Face facts B.Tolputt……………!

    If you have Legion arguing against you…………………………….then you are totally and might I add utterly……………………… screwed !

  87. It means that I’m tired of arguing the same thing over and over and over and over…!

    Then leave the bloody discussion! Nobody is forcing you to be here

    And Yes…I’m now only here to sling mud……..!

    That explains the lack of rational debate then.

    If you have Legion arguing against you…then you are totally and might I add utterly…screwed !

    I’ll have to take your word for it. I stopped reading Legion’s posts after finding they are much like Dan Brown novels. Too many large words used without creating much of any substance.

  88. Tom of Melbourne, on May 20th, 2009 at 4:05 pm Said:

    And then:

    Men that behave in this manner should be identified and shamed.

    They are repulsive, run them out of the game, and quickly.

    I agree in toto or at least with the overall thrust of the post. Normally, I would say ‘well said’ but the ‘Fat’ made that comment equivalent to … whatever perjorative term one cares to cite.

  89. What else would you expect from a bunch of bum-sniffing neandethals?

    Boycott this ridiculous game. I find watching paint dry a lot more interesting

  90. I find watching paint dry a lot more interesting

    Ditto. That said, I enjoy a good game of AFL (more action-involved), but will often turn off the game if it isn’t exciting.

    My only interest in this thread was the visceral reaction of those that obviously take issue with the ABC exposing the behaviour to the public.

  91. Good to see…

    LG Electronics has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Cronulla Sharks..

    Apparantly not consistent with their brand values…

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25516520-2,00.html

  92. I’m sure an acohol company will fill the void.

  93. I doubt that very much scaper.

    Too risky a proposition for any company given the recent coverage.

    That brings us to a total of $900,000 they have lost in sponsorship since the Four Corners story aired.

    Good job I reckon.

    Maybe they could have a whip round at their local strip club to tide them over…?

  94. Maybe the players will have to put their own strip show on?

  95. Oh dear

    It just keeps getting worse:

    “Sharks Boss Punched Female Staff Member”

    http://au.sports.yahoo.com/nrl/news/article/-/5582383/sharks-boss-punched-female-staffer

  96. Probably a non smoker

  97. He was chatting her up utilising the footballers method…lol!

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