The media are complicit in this attack upon the innocent, and made even more so because a truly professional journalist checks the facts and seeks comments from both sides of a story, so as to present a balanced report. Reporters are supposed to report the facts, the truth!
In this case the truth has been one of the many victims, and from within the media the main perpetrators were:
Frank Pangallo – Channel 7, Adelaide ‘Today Tonight’ reporter
It appears that Frank Pangallo was approached by Phillip Arbon (Martin Penney’s associate) to do a ‘story’ about AMI and it’s Pastor. Phillip Arbon, and others, reported many twisted truths, with no attempt from Frank Pangallo to speak to AMI supporters to get their side of the story.
Early April 2010, Today Tonight began promoting and airing a ‘series for stories’ about AMI, labelling it a ‘doomsday cult’. Stories were littered with unsubstantiated statements, misleading ‘voice-overs’ unrelated to the footage shown and incorporating all the ‘key’ words used to inflame emotions and stir fear in the hearts of viewers.
Note: An AMI supporter called Frank Pangallo and Graham Archer, Executive Producer, of ‘Today Tonight Adelaide’, urging them to check their sources before airing inflammatory rumours and lies. Their response? “So long as we have a story we don’t care about the source”.
April 2010: An AMI supporter, who knew of Frank Pangallo’s allegedly ‘colourful’ past approached him about his alleged involvement in burning down a city building 30 years ago. It appears that his alleged mafia brother in law had been flown in from Italy to do the ‘job’ and flown out soon afterwards (to collect insurance monies). It is believed that upon hearing this, Frank Pangallo’s motivation to ruthlessly come against the church and charity intensified.
Sean Fewster – Journalist: (Crime Reporter) The Advertiser
It appears that Sean Fewster may have been approached by Richard Armour (Martin Penney’s lawyer) to do a ‘story’ about AMI and it’s Pastor, initially in relation to the somewhat spurious civil court claims, along with, according Richard Armour’s own affidavit, many more looming civil claims (note of which have come to light yet, almost two years later).
Sean Fewster has never sought comment from AMI or any of it’s supporters. Conversely, he has rejected approaches from them.
He has reported many twisted truths, and appears not to have bothered to check too many facts as is evidenced in August 2010, by his reporting of the sale of AMI properties in breach of court imposed freeze orders. The properties in question were not sold until 1st December 2010, after gaining approval of the court. Secondly these properties had erroneously been included in the original freeze orders. How difficult is it to check these facts? A simple land titles search is all that’s needed!
There are many more instances of unprofessional journalism and lazy reporting along with outright use of each other’s stories, but very little checking of facts, in this sad and sorry indictment of what passes for the media in Australia.
The truth has been a casualty – and has been dealt some serious wounds!