When Jack Thomas did an interview with Four Corners in late 2006, the zealous Commonwealth security agencies and prosecutors used footage from it to justify a retrial of Thomas on charges of receiving funds from a terrorist organisation — charges which had originally been thrown out by an appeal court in Victoria in 2006. Thomas won the retrial and remains an innocent man.

Fast-forward to 2009, and when another high profile criminal defendant, Marcus Einfeld, does an interview with Four Corners — the police look at the tape to see if he has committed a crime of not wearing a seat belt!

Has the New South Wales Police go nothing better to do? Apparently they are justifying what, whichever way you look at it, is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money on their part, by saying the media asked them to look at footage of Einfeld sitting in the back of a hire car during Monday night’s Four Corners program.

Who in the media is so petty, so nasty, and so childishly vindictive that they would bother with such a triviality?

The prosecution of Einfeld has now been turned into a persecution, driven by that awful Australian trait to kick a man or women when they are down, particularly if they are someone with a high profile.

Einfeld has made a mistake and he is paying for it with a three-year jail term — a sentence that appears to be either at the top end of the scale or excessive.

But of course the moralists in the media cannot let him alone. Andrew Bolt in today’s Herald Sun, who hates Einfeld because of his commitment to human rights, has penned a self-righteous spray about lying and the lack of morality in our society. (Answer this Andrew — can you swear on a Bible, or take an affirmation, and declare you have never told a lie that wasn’t simply a little white one? If you can, then could I ask the Catholic Church to begin the process of your canonisation immediately).

Bolt’s column includes this bizarre statement:

You might well ask how Einfeld, with such a record, could be trusted with a job requiring him to distinguish truth from falsehood. Surely his inability to detect a lie even when he tells it himself should make us suspect every judgment he handed down.

Is this just Bolt’s idea of rhetorical flourish, or is this a serious proposition? Would he like to identify which part of which of the hundreds of judgments handed down by Einfeld in his long career as a distinguished member of the Federal Court should be now revisited on the grounds that it is suspect? We await with interest the fruit of your researches.

It is time to leave Marcus Einfeld alone. And the New South Wales Police should not jump to the sound of a rapacious media baying for the blood of a man who is down and almost out.