I was subjected to Burke's Backyard twice in my teens. I found the program banal and the central character nauseating. To this day, I'm at a total loss trying to understand the 17 years of ratings victories of the program.
Let's hang, draw and quarter Don Burke
I have an aversion to the Channel 9 alpha male presenter. This includes all of the Test Cricket commentary team, most of the news readers, Ray Martin and, above all, Don Burke. They all seem to be the kind of people who would have been on good terms with the ‘Goanna’, Kerry Packer.
Other than viewing clips of the Channel 9 coverage on the ABC news, I have not watched anything on Channel 9 in years. It simply has nothing to offer me.
Don Burke offers even less and I was not at all surprised to hear the sexual harassment claims made against him yesterday.
Not only did it make sense to me that a man as ego-obsessed as Don Burke might have harassed his female staff and bullied employees of both gender, but I wanted it to be true.
A very rarely seen side of me wanted this ‘ugly’ man to be guilty of the crimes outlined by his accusers.
But emotion has no place in a matter like this!
Don Burke, like all Australians, is innocent until proven guilty.
It matters not how many accusers there are and how heinous the crimes. It also doesn't matter how logical the accusations seem and how much we may want them to be true. The man is innocent until proven guilty.
When will Australians understand and embrace the concept of innocence until proven guilty? I'll tell you, it will be when they, themselves, stand accused. Then the protestations of innocence and ''let me have my day in court'' are heard.
Right now, I still want Don Burke to be guilty -- because innocent or guilty, his life will now forever be negatively impacted by the events of yesterday. He will forever be tarnished with the accusations of yesterday, paying a price for all that was said in various media.
If Burke is to pay that price, then I sure hope he is guilty.
Even worse, if and when Don Burke does face his day in court, and there is a ruling one way or the other, a good number of Australians with the ‘wisdom of Solomon’ will know better and make their own (so much more informed) judgment. Remember Lindy Chamberlain?
For a democratic country that supposedly values the rule of law, we seem to have no problem convicting people without all the facts and before the courts sit. And we have an even better capacity for assessing the facts better than the courts and knowing the truth they do not.
I cannot stand Don Burke. He stands for so much that I despise in a human being. But as far as I can see, the only things he can currently be found guilty of are arrogance, hyperbole, being sanctimonious, and boring me to death for two hours of my life.
While these should probably be hanging offences, they are not.
But let’s hang him anyway!
Let’s do away with the rule of law. Let’s do away with the presumption of innocence. Let’s do away with judicial independence. Let’s do away with due process. Let’s listen to our emotions rather than ALL of the evidence. Let’s show how our emotional and semi informed position make us much better able to determine the truth than a court of law!
Alternatively, we could wait until the dust settles and the investigations are complete so that the courts can make an informed judgment. Then, we can be assured that Burke has been dealt with as fairly and objectively as we might want to be one day.
Remember, after the dust settled, Lindy Chamberlain was found innocent.