Less than 24 hours after 20-year-old Australian drug mule
Scott Rush was sentenced to life in an Indonesian prison the
Courier-Mail this morning published details of Rush’s criminal
back catalogue. The paper claimed that in the past two years Rush had
committed 16 crimes in Queensland, almost all of which were drug
related and stemmed from an addiction to “illicit and prescription
drugs.” And as we go to press The SMH is now running Rush’s convictions as its top story.

You certainly wouldn’t of guessed that Rush was in this deep watching last night’s soft Australian Story, which
completely glossed over Rush’s criminal career. Last night’s show
featured long and detailed interviews with Rush’s father Lee, his
lawyer Colin McDonald, friend Bob Myers, and the AFP’s Mike
Phelan, all of which knowingly and conveniently skirted around Rush’s well known criminal past.

The closest we could come up with from the transcript was this hint
from Rush’s father: “Scott in the past has certainly been involved in
some misdemeanours in the past. These were minor incidents.”


Australian Story’
s executive producer Deb Flemming told Crikey this
morning that there were “obviously ethical and legal constraints” put
on the show, which she said were imparted on the program by Rush’s
lawyer Colin McDonald: essentially a deal between a lawyer.

Would Rush’s father – the show’s big drawcard, considering it was
his
first major interview since his son’s arrest – have spoken to
Australian Story if he thought they were going to dig into his son’s criminal
history? Is this a case of access in exchange for a soft run?

Apparently Australian and Indonesian journalists covering the
Bali Nine cases have known about Rush’s “misdemeanours” for some
time, and there has been a great deal of hand-wringing over
whether to publish or
not to publish their details. But now that Rush and others have been
convicted, expect a glut of information about their past flooding into
the press.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW