‘The AFL Commission can say, “the balance of probability, we believe, we have a gut feel, we think, that this is quite strongly possible” and they can throw whatever penalty they want at Essendon. So their burden of proof is a lot less than an infraction notice from ASADA.’ – Jon Ralph
The above comment followed a frank admission that given the lack of evidence, Essendon’s lawyers would have an open and shut case and the club would escape sanction were ASADA to issue infraction notices to any Essendon players.
It is staggering how one can understand and summarise the situation so succinctly, yet completely miss the obvious conclusion.
The AFL possessing the power to administer any and all punishment without the need for legally acceptable standards of evidence should not be a proud boast, a tale of success, it’s an absolute travesty of justice.
The most disturbing part of this whole saga is that the press is complicit.
Any question of their credibility, or worth, is met with the standard journalistic rebuttal. Delusions of grandeur enter their mind and they equate their deeds with those who exposed Watergate.
For the comparison to have even an ounce of validity, the media would need to be taking their case all the way to the top. The opposite is true.
When Melbourne received harsh punishments over an alleged ‘tanking’ scandal, the casual observer would be forgiven for assuming the AFL must have produced evidence and found the club guilty of the charge.
Instead, the charge was left undefined, guilt was replaced with a feeling, and both parties promptly moved on. Melbourne accepted the punishment, despite not being found guilty. The AFL quietly revoked it’s own rule which created the debacle, and ignored the fact that half a dozen other teams had also exploited the very same loophole. The entire situation was, and remains, a farce.
Media commentators offered the odd flippant remark whenever the topic was raised, but nobody had the courage to take it to further. To force the AFL to openly and publicly concede it’s errors. To exonerate Melbourne for the non-committal of a non-crime. Or to have the same punishments applied evenly across the competition.
The obedient little lapdogs dine directly from their master, but will never consider the supplying hand no matter how plump and juicy it must appear following the years of blatant corruption and cover-ups. Their contacts and official accreditation depend on it, and that easy meal ticket is a far greater motivator than truth or integrity to these pathetic parasites who mistakenly call themselves ‘journalists’.
How did Watergate turn out again? The press ignored, defended and propagated the lies from on high until everything was conveniently swept under the carpet? That must have been it. It appears I don’t know my history.