It is surprising that, given the mass of discussion surrounding the ACMA report on Alan Jones’ Cronulla comments, more has not be made of his very recent conviction for breaching the Children’s Criminal Proceeding Act by naming a child witness on air in a murder trial.

It might explain why Jones and his cohorts have been so aggressive in attacking the findings of the toothless tiger that is ACMA. Why bother otherwise?

Jones is due to be sentenced on Thursday. He faces up to 12 months’ jail and/or a fine of up to $5500. The Daily Telegraph also was convicted in the same matter and faces sentence on Thursday.

Normally, it’s at the sentencing hearing that the convicted defendant brings out all his “good character” evidence. Bit hard to say you are of good character if you have just been found guilty by an impartial government body of making statements “likely to encourage violence or brutality” and “likely to vilify people of Lebanese background and of Middle Eastern background on the basis of their ethnicity”.

To keep himself out of the big house (or even home or weekend detention) and keep the fine low, Jones had to squash the view that this ACMA report was valid. The fact that Jones and the Telegraph are co-defendants in this might also explain the strong pro-Jones line run by that newspaper all last week. They are partners in crime — literally!

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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