The Power and Hypocrisy of George Pell’s Supporters

By Richard Cooke
Saturday Paper
August 24, 2019

In an age when even amateur broadcasters can attain professional production values, few telecasts still look as spartan as a real-life court proceeding. In prelude, the live feed from the Victorian Supreme Court presented only three empty seats, a state seal and a test soundtrack of tinkling piano music. As the judges filled those seats, the court website became inundated with viewers and crashed. Once restored, the video sometimes chopped or slowed under the weight of this absent audience. Chief Justice Anne Ferguson’s delivery of the summary was halting as well – The Saturday Paper’s legal correspondent, Richard Ackland, tweeted that she brought “all the drama of a dead wombat to reading a summary of one of the most important criminal judgments of the year” – but this dour diction was, in its way, more compelling than a mannered performance might have been. The ruling Ferguson delivered was brief, clear and surprising – George Pell’s appeal on child sexual assault charges had failed.








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