Graham “Richo” Richardson is described as “The ultimate political insider” with a fat contacts book that he’ll use to “cover all sides of the story”.

He’s a little lacking in facts when it comes to Indonesian law and order though.

Bali_memorial VN

By Jonathan Liem [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This morning (13 February, 2015), on Sky News’ AM Agenda, Richo claimed that none of the Bali bombers were executed. This is wrong. Three of the Bali bombers were executed; Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Mukhlas were shot dead by separate firing squads at 12.15am Indonesian time (source: SMH).

Richo spat out this inaccurate and damaging line of rhetoric to presumably a decent percentage of the 1.5 million people that tune in to Sky News each the week during a debate about Indonesia’s insistence to execute two Australians convicted of trafficking heroin.

The impending death of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is a sensitive issue in Australia where most disagree with the death penalty (which was abandoned in Australian in the 1960s). Definitely, the fact these two men were young and naive when arrested and the knowledge that they have shown genuine remorse and rehabilitation since being imprisoned in Kerobokan Prison has compelled many Australians to care about what happens to the pair.

Richo making out that the Indonesian government will kill Australian drug traffickers but not the terrorists responsible for the 2002 bombings that killed 202 people (including 88 Australians) is inflammatory. Strangely, neither the other panelists or the host of AM Agenda jumped in to correct Richo. Which leads me to believe that none of them were able to recall this significant fact about the Bali bombers either. Someone in the Sky News studio must have picked up on the error though; the anchor, some minutes later when moving onto another interview, gave an on air correction.

The correction aside, is it acceptable for such high-profile commentators, people who have influence and a platform to broadcast their views, to get a fact like that wrong at a time like this wrong? I think not.


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