The Rorschach test of the Porter result If there was ever a perfect ringing example of the distorting effect of the media one consumes it would be Christian Porter's defamation case against the ABC, which came to a resolution yesterday. New Corp's Sharri Markson tweeted it was "not a great week for journalism at the ABC" and Channel Seven called it a "humiliating backdown". So we can assume... what? A massive payout? A retraction and grovelling apology from the national broadcaster?
Well, no. The article remains online with a fairly neutral clarification appended -- passively expressive that the potential "misreading" of the article to imply Porter's guilt "is regretted" -- and no damages were paid. Given Australian defamation law and the information the article contained, you'd have to say the ABC got off extremely lightly.
Of course, it's in News Corp's interest to report this as though the ABC has in some way lost, given it's so far from the wipeout its commentators were predicting in March. But perhaps a more illuminating glimpse of News Corp's view on the Porter case is the fact it, and Nine, are opposing the non-publication order of the 27 redacted pages of the ABC's defence. This may be an indication that, whatever they say, they believe the real story is in what might have been alleged about Porter during the trial.