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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fisk in Australia

My latest New Matilda column is about the recent Australian tour of journalist Robert Fisk:

"[Fisk and I] discussed the media coverage of his visit. He was interviewed on ABC PM, ABC Lateline and for The Age. From what I could make out of Shaun Carney's interview for The Age, he seemed almost uncertain how to approach Fisk (besides, why was a journalist usually tasked with domestic concerns, as well as being Peter Costello's biographer, interviewing a foreign correspondent?). Carney seemed more interested in the fact that the hand he was shaking had touched Osama bin Laden's, rather than Fisk's impressive body of work. At least he gave Fisk the opportunity to criticise the New York Times (copy from which is extensively reproduced in the Fairfax press) and suggest a name change for that august newspaper of record: 'comma, officials say, full stop.'

"[Sydney Peace Prize head] Stuart Rees said he'd contacted the Sydney Morning Herald and they'd been interested in running Fisk's Sydney talk on the following day's opinion page. They had wanted a copy of Fisk's speech, which he'd refused, and Fisk said, 'they should come to the talk and take notes.' Suffice to say, the Herald completely ignored Fisk's Australian tour."

A collection of New Matilda columns can be found here.

20 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

I'm confused: Why wouldn't Fisk give a copy of his speech? This is standard procedure on any opinion page whenever someone big comes to town to do an event and the sponsors want to promote it...it seems as though either Rees, or Fisk, was acting like a pretty precious dill.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:22:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"I'm confused: Why wouldn't Fisk give a copy of his speech?"

Presumably he was making a point about the traditional art of journalism. You go, you observe, you listen, you gauge the atmosphere, you take notes, you ask questions, record answers, etc. One assumes Fisk's point was that 'if you're not going to bother wearing down the shoe leather to get the story like a journo should', then you don't deserve to get the story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Yeah, OK Edward, that's fair enough...but this was for the Opinion page, not the news section. If the story was gonna be Fisk-in-Oz, they'd send someone. For the Opinion page, you just are looking for opinions (i.e. text of a speech), not a scene-setter or anything else. And in fact, this would have been a much bigger opportunity for Fisk: a small story about his appearance ("Controversial journalist Robert Fisk gave a speech today to a bunch of woolly lefties...") would have garnered much less attention than a big piece of real estate on the opinion page, plus, his views would not have been filtered through a reporter or diluted by all the other requirements of such a story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:56:00 pm  
Blogger the nailgun said...

"He believed, he said, that the Americans would leave eventually, but only after they had been able to claim 'victory.' So when they win they lose? Now that's what I call covering all the bases. How's Fisk play two-up? "Heads I win Tails you lose".

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:29:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

Antony. What was the name of your 1st book? I'm very interested in reading it.
Peace. your fellow Human

Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:17:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I contributed a chapter to last year's Not Happy, John! about John Howard and his merry men. I wrote about Hanan Ashrawi and the Zionist lobby in Australia.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:30:00 am  
Blogger Human said...

Antony - Ok. I'll look for it here in the up over. I take it the book you are writing will be your first then. Hurry up then, whatta talkin to me for? :):):0. Ok. Seriously, I look forward to it. Peace. Your fellow Human

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Yep, my book on Israel/Palestine will be my first - out May 2006 - and my next will be on the state of Aussie media, due 2007.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:34:00 pm  
Blogger paul said...

All sonn to be available at Crazy Clarks- look in the cat litter section.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Hehehe. Don't say that, Paul, you'll upset the Human.

Human - why not buy Not Happy, John! It would be the first copy sold for months. Although they're probably knocking them back second hand on Amazon.com for >$2.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:20:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

Ok Paul and jw, since to the both of you Antony's writings are not worth much, why come to his blog and comment? Where are the great literary masterpieces of your work? I have an idea. Why don't the both of you get together and write something? After all both of you go together like shit and toilet paper, and just as easily flushed. I'm not upset anything you and your paul spew, to me its great fun to play with small minds like yours.

Friday, October 21, 2005 4:23:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Human : click on my name. There you'll link to my blog to see my literary masterpieces. Feel free to drop by any time. I'll lay out the welcome mat for you. Hopefully your massive, well ordered brain can comprehend the scratchings of your intellectual inferiors.

And you know what, Human? I think you are upset, judging by the sulky and petulant response you just left. Excellent! My work here is done.

Friday, October 21, 2005 4:34:00 am  
Blogger paul said...

Ditto, Humanoid- I think you'll find we recieve about 10 times the traffic that ol' Ants manages to generate, and it's supposed to be his stock in trade- we're just part-timers, who get vicarious trills from getting the sort of outraged foot-stamping response from loser leftists such as yourself. Aren't you due at Centrelink? Better hurry up- they're almost actually starting to do their job and cutting off tools who think recieving welfare as an "activist" constitutes work and benefits the greater good.

Friday, October 21, 2005 11:04:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Paul, I love it how blog traffic is selectively significant. That is, when you're popular it's a measure of your success. But if someone else has more hits then that's inaccurate.

Maybe, Paul, there's simply more people calling by your blog to laugh at you. (No, not with you.) The numbers mean very little, and you know it.

Your primary-school name-calling is hopeless, by the way. No one is impressed by that kind of rubbish except you and your dickhead mates. Get your hand off it. And off the keyboard, too. Surely you have something better to do.

Friday, October 21, 2005 2:21:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Your primary-school name-calling is hopeless

One wonders why you'd bother resorting to it, then, in the very same paragraph as the above excerpt.

Friday, October 21, 2005 7:13:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Compare "dickhead" to "aren't you due at Centrelink?", Waterton. Are they compatible?

Only a handful of adults ever talk like that. The childish ones, I'd suggest. Disagree if you want. Who cares? Time to get over yourself, Waterton.

Friday, October 21, 2005 8:05:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Who told whom to get over themselves? And who told whom to get their hand off it?

Physician, heal thyself!

Friday, October 21, 2005 9:26:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

To sum up; you sanctimoniously lecture Paul for going ad hominem. Then, because you don't agree with him, you call his mates, and by association him, "dickhead[s]" and he should "get his hand off it." Sounds like schoolyard insults to me. The contention I raised wasn't whether Paul's and your own "schoolyard insults" are "compatible". I was merely exposing the fact that you were being a hypocrite.

Cheerio!

Friday, October 21, 2005 10:32:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Waterton, again you cut me to shreds. Damn you.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 2:19:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

My name's James. What's yours?

Saturday, October 22, 2005 6:14:00 am  

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