Further to our telephone conversation to-day (thank you), I’m writing to lodge a formal complaint with The Australian Press Council, re Sydney Morning Herald journalist Matthew Moore, about Matthew Moore’s May 2005 article, “The Bali Buyers who crave Aussie Gold,” because it presents fraudulent and untrue information as “Fact.”
“Aussie Gold” does not (and never did), exist. I rang Matthew Moore on Friday 20th August 2010, and asked him for further substantiation and/or expert references re “Aussie Gold,” plus some concrete information on his claimed sources. He put the phone down on me mid-sentence. I rang back straight away, and got put through to his voicemail, so I left my contact details, but I won’t hold my breath while I wait to hear from him.
Briefly, other than Matthew Moore’s claims, there is not a single reference on the entire World-wide web about “Aussie Gold,” nor a single reference in any professional journal, or expert source. That’s bizarre.
I’m also a Registered Nurse (Psychiatric), qualified in 1978, who worked in the area of drug/alcohol abuse for many years. I have never heard of “Aussie Gold,” so I’m also (now), formally contacting multiple leading experts in the addiction/substance abuse/law enforcment fields (ASAP), and getting their opinion of “Aussie Gold,” and its alleged flow from these shores.
I’m also putting in an FOI application to the Australian Federal Police, re all their expert knowledge and experience of “Aussie Gold” (and its alleged flow from Australia), because if it’s something other than Moore’s fevered imagination, I guess they must spare a few lines about in their training manuals, archives and other records, musn’t they? Or maybe they’re just very, very dumb - because Schapelle’s the ONLY Aussie ever (before or since), caught with this mythical substance. Strange that.
Further, if there’s NO checkable expert references (or verifiable sources), to “Aussie Gold” (anywhere, ever), what Planet was Matthew Moore on when he wrote that article? When quoting multiple anonymous and “Hidden” sources, surely a professional journalist is duty bound to check those alleged “Facts” with mainstream and freely available sources too? Law enforcement, medical and academic would be the obvious starting points for anybody but a complete klutz, or anybody not setting out to lie. Or tell me, was even a simple Google search for “Aussie Gold” beyond Moore’s abilities?
I wonder if Matthew Moore will put his hand up and admit his apparent fraud before that embarrassment, or afterwards? Though I must admit, it will be interesting to watch.
I will (of course), be passing every shred of this further research on to you, and I guess you’re also free to make your own inquiries, to see if you can come up with anything either.
Further Jack, you should also realise that Schapelle’s story is not yet fully written. The last book was a huge best seller, and I’m sure the next will outstrip the first (globally). This correspondence will (quite likely), be included, as well as the outcome of this formal complaint, and my further expert research. Matthew Moore’s article is (and was), a huge blot on professional journalism in Australia, and I guess we could do without any more, couldn’t we?
Addit - Message to Kay Ferguson, PA to Peter Fray
Thanks for speaking to me to-day Kay, very much appreciated. Please note my comments above. Could you please ensure they're passed on to Peter Fray ASAP.
I have asked Matthew Moore for further expert and/or professional corroboration of his anonymous "Facts," but as I note, he put the phone down on me mid-sentence (which caused me to be rather irritated and annoyed in the voicemail message I left two minutes later). He has not returned my call.
Therefore, I am formally asking the SMH to provide this reasonable detail (given the gravity of your paper's claims). I look forward to hearing from you, and I'll get back to you in 7 days, if I haven't heard in the meantime (and document each reminder on my blog). I'll also be forwarding (and publishing), my further expert research as it's available.
Further still, could you please remove the offending article from your public pages, until it's clear the claims re "Aussie Gold" are not fraudulent. I look forward to your prompt response on that very important point, and I'll also be looking for a retraction, once the expert testimony is in - because complete silence from the SMH, re corroboration (if that's the case), plus piles of expert testimony to the contrary (in such a high profile case), isn't a good look, is it?
Thank you, Kim