Home Media You Can Always Try the Media (Pun Intended)

You Can Always Try the Media (Pun Intended)


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by Mal R Hughes

Gumshoe is running some of the letters I have written over the years about the Port Arthur massacre. For instance, you may have already seen my letter to the Governor-General – whose secretary replied saying that the G-G cannot deal in matters that will be – or have been – before the court. And my letter to former Tassie premier Paul Lennon, whose assistant assured me of the premier’s “thanks”.

I don’t limit my epistles to political persons. I also write to the media. Herewith my efforts regarding the Editors of every capital-city newspaper in Australia, and the TV program “Sixty Minutes.”

The Editor
The Australian Newspape
2 Holt Street,
Surry Hills  NSW  2010

Dear Sir,

Letter to The Editor

It appears that the best rifleman in Australia has been overlooked to represent Australia at the Olympics Games 2004. My nominee for that position is a Tasmanian by the name of Martin Bryant.

According to the Tasmanian Police Force, and both Tasmanian and Federal politicians, Martin Bryant shot dead at one venue, 30 people in a 90 second spree in 1996. These people shot in the head or neck using 29 rounds by the killer firing right-handed from the hip.

Martin Bryant is a left-handed shooter so imagine, what a Gold Medal chance he would be for Australia if he was allowed to enter using his left hand and firing from the shoulder.

The excuse that he is ineligible to enter because of a criminal record doesn’t ring true when Mike Diamond, I believe, is in a similar situation and Ian Thorpe has been entered for an event that he was disqualified from.

I will be interested to see if this letter is answered by a politician with any intestinal fortitude who can be truthful, or members of the public, if this letter is even printed by any of the media outlets.

Mal. Hughes.
Wellard W.A.

[As far as I know this did not get publication. I wrote similarly to other editors with no apparent uplift.]


The Producer, “60 Minutes”
Nine Network
P.O. Box 600,
Willoughby NSW  2068

Dear Sir,

I enclose documentation on a subject that concerns me greatly, that I would like your staff to investigate, as so far, I’ve had no success of any realistic action from politicians.

These people in authority have not indicated to me that the information therein is incorrect, so I presume that there is substance in the allegations.

If so, a totally innocent individual has been locked away for something he could not have done. This is against all democratic principles that our “pollies” are always paying “lip service” about.

I have still received no reply from the Tasmanian Government and I have not as yet received a reply from Mr Howard in regard to my second letter.

To my knowledge the Newspapers I wrote to have not published my letter. A list of these publications is below:

The West Australian
The Courier Mail
The Advertiser
The Mercury
The Australian
The Sun Herald
The Age

I have enclosed a copy of that letter.

Hoping you are able to fulfill my request.

Yours faithfully,
Mal. Hughes


Dear Mr Hughes,

Thank you for your letter and documents regarding Martin Bryant.

Unfortunately we have only a small group of producers here at Sixty Minutes and do not have the resources to undertake such an investigation.

Sorry I could not be more encouraging.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Llewellyn,
Managing Director

— Malcolm Hughes is a senior citizen in Western Australia. He sends comments to Gumshoe (and other websites!) as “Aussiemal.”


Photo credit: Blurbrain.com


  1. Sorry folks left date off letter to 60 Minutes. It was 23rd June 2004. What made me upset about their reply, was that they only have a small team of producers. When it suits Channel 9 they can send reporters anywhere in the world for any length of time.

    • Picture it.
      As soon as the entry-level clerk opens your letter and sees “Martin Bryant” — oh, wait, your incoming did not exactly specify that name, but I assume the attachments did — she reaches for Volume 8 (which is entirely devoted to that famous person) and matches up a reply that refers to “letter and documents”. Click on page 62, and her letter is winging its way to West Australia.

      • Come to think of it, she probably ticks a box on her computer to help the boss count how many Bedbug-Vol 8’s have been sent.

        Mal, if you feel up to it, you could write to Channel 9 and ask how many people, over the years, have asked them to do some
        investigative reporting on “Port Arthur”.
        Then you could publish their reply. What a system!

  2. Mal, by 2004 I’d given up on the Australian media. If they did anything, they would spin it negatively. I decided that sending material to government bodies, media, ‘gun lobby’ (LOL), civil rights groups and the like was just a waste of time – so I did an ‘end run’ around them.

    If I was involved in an media event, I would give copies of my articles to the sound man and camera man. If I was involved in a court case I would give copies to the police officers involved. If a judge or magistrate invited me back for morning ‘tea’, they would get copies, also the prosecutor. Other judges (some VERY senior) may get a polite letter with the articles attached.

    There are usually a group of police sitting around at a court house waiting to give evidence in a matter. I would give them something to read while they waited. The most I gave at one time was to 12 at Strathfield Court House. They could then sit there and read it and discuss it with one another. I often got a smile and nod later in the day.

    It was tedious work, but I kept at it. Slowly, I began to see different things about how the Police would respond in firearms cases – whereas they were full of enthusiasm during the early days, later, well sometimes things got missed…

    Judges and Magistrates also stopped referring to the Port Arthur Massacre from the Bench.

    The term ‘white anting’ comes to mind.

    • We need our Mal letter-writers. We need our Terry police-teachers. We need our Cherri petition-gatherers, (and our Cherri song-makers). May I add we need our Dee’s who can do stand-up comedy at the Fringe about Port Arthur….

      Who else is out there using a stealth approach to the problem? Send your stuff to us. Even if your method is only to chat people up at the bus stop, God bless you!

      I’ve read somewhere that Wendy Scurr does her best at the ablution block in caravan parks….

      The white ants are on the march and nobody can come up with a pesticide for that! Go, white ants!

  3. He has sounded forth the trumpet
    That shall never call retreat
    He is sifting out the hearts of men
    Before His judgment-seat
    Oh, be swift, my soul
    To answer him
    Be jubilant, my feet
    Our God is marching on.

    Somebody’s feet were a bit too jubilant in Dallas yesterday.
    Any masochists want to watch Dubbya here? —

    Dee will like the 9-11 comments underneath.

  4. Starting tomorrow July 18 at 8am we hope to run a week’s worth of the series on the Lindt Cafe Inquest. We ‘ve already had 4 Parts. The planned remaining topics are:

    Part 5. Storming the Cafe
    Part 6. Overview
    Part 7. Perjury
    Part 8. Ballistics
    Part 9. Citizens Want To Know
    Part 10. A Coronial Inquest Is Not Judicial
    Part 11. Holy Fuck [I’m quoting the witness]

    If you have an article ready on another topic, do not hesitate to interrupt the series. I will return to Sydney on July 25, Insha’allah, for the cross-examination of Officer A.

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