ACL accuses Rugby Australia of coordinating media attack on Israel Folau

The head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Martyn Iles, says the wide ranging media reports criticising former Rugby player Israel Folau were part of a coordinated attack, and he suspects it was masterminded by Rugby Australia.

In a video posted to the ACL’s YouTube channel Illes argues that the almost universal condemnation of Folau’s comments is a sign that the media were briefed and lobbied about how to report the content.

“Notice first the coordinated nature of what happened.” Iles told his YouTube audience. “Its across all outlets News Corp, Fairfax, the TV networks and all the rest. It’s multi-platform; print, audio, video. It’s synchronized, everyone said it at the same time on the same day!

Iles accused, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian, Yahoo, Sky News and Seven News¬†of not accurately reporting Folau’s comments and the intent of his sermon.

“It’s carefully messaged, they said exactly the same thing. Every headline was similar. Now Israel Folau’s sermon was of a particular nature, but every headline said it was of another particular nature.” Illes said arguing that the media had universally misunderstood Folau’s message.

“This is the nature of modern media, stories are briefed out, and they are planted often by interest groups who want to get their message across.” the lobbyist said.

“If you know enough journalists across enough platforms you can get a lot of synchronization going on with your message.”

Iles said it was in Rugby Australia’s interest to destroy Israel Folau’s “good name”.

“This is a PR battle as much as it is a legal battle for them.” Iles said saying the sporting body would stop at nothing to destroy the player’s reputation.

In the video Iles says many of the media reports and statements made by politicians regarding Folau are untrue and are part of a conspiracy to discredit his views and character.

Iles urged supporters of Folau not to believe media reports about the player, saying they would become complicit in a “program of lies” if they didn’t treat all media reports with scepticism.

OIP Staff. Rugby Australia has been contacted for comment.