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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, October 14, 2005

We can relate

John Pilger, October 13:

"If we had all known then what we know now," said the New York Times on 24 August, "the invasion [of Iraq] would have been stopped by a popular outcry." The admission was saying, in effect, that powerful newspapers, like powerful broadcasting organisations, had betrayed their readers and viewers and listeners by not finding out - by amplifying the lies of Bush and Blair instead of challenging and exposing them. The direct consequences were a criminal invasion called "Shock and Awe" and the dehumanising of a whole nation.

"This remains largely an unspoken shame in Britain, especially at the BBC, which continues to boast about its rigour and objectivity while echoing a corrupt and lying government, as it did before the invasion. For evidence of this, there are two academic studies available - though the capitulation of broadcast journalism ought to be obvious to any discerning viewer, night after night, as "embedded" reporting justifies murderous attacks on Iraqi towns and villages as "rooting out insurgents" and swallows British army propaganda designed to distract from its disaster, while preparing us for attacks on Iran and Syria. Like the New York Times and most of the American media, had the BBC done its job, many thousands of innocent people almost certainly would be alive today."

With noble exceptions, Australia's ABC has been little better than the BBC. The obsession with spurious "balance" - allowing domestic debate over Iraq to be little better than a soundbite from John Howard and a response from a Labor politician - results in diminished democracy.

Pilger must have had the vast majority of mainstream Australian journalists in mind when he wrote this: "When will important journalists cease to be establishment managers and analyse and confront the critical part they play in the violence of rapacious governments?"

The risks involved in not playing the game are regarded as too great. After all, how many Australian journalists are fearless enough to investigate and report independently?

Pilger again:

"Since the invasion of Iraq, I have spoken to a number of principled journalists working in the pro-war media, including the BBC, who say that they and many others "lie awake at night" and want to speak out and resume being real journalists. I suggest now is the time."

The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeough is a notable exception. Read his "National Trust Heritage Lecture", a world away from the good vs.evil paradigm served up by the usual suspects. But then, armchair commentators and generals risk so little by cosying up to establishment power.

11 Comments:

Blogger anthony said...

But then, armchair commentators and generals risk so little by cosying up to establishment power.

heh heh… conjures up images of you sitting around with some comrades, smoking copious amounts of pot and talking about how we need a revolution to ‘overthrow the man’, how Lenin was ‘soooo right, dude’, and that Cuba is where we should raise our children.

Classic stuff…

Friday, October 14, 2005 3:53:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Lessons from a student master, people. Read and learn...

Friday, October 14, 2005 4:10:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

AL

Yep you're right. While commercial media outlets have maintained the party and commercial lines set by their mogels - only ABC has spoken up.

You no doubt recall how "AM", on ABC radio, heavily criticised the Iraq invasion. In the ensuing purge I think its main journalist (can't remember her name) was given the push.

Hope she's doing OK - do you know?.

Friday, October 14, 2005 4:43:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

It's Linda Mottram. How is she doing these days? Not sure, but she's a good journo - robust etc - exactly what authoritarian govts dislike.

Friday, October 14, 2005 5:19:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Anthony, you are an idiot. Make a meaningful contribution or shut up.

Friday, October 14, 2005 5:44:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

His profile suggests he's 19. 19 year olds most certainly know much about contrasting political systems and the wonders of capitalism.

Friday, October 14, 2005 5:47:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Ouch!

Meaningful contribution- I thought I was making some relatively meaningful points in relation to other posts, you’ll note that my outbursts of sarcasm have actually been rather limited, unlike most of your posts, Dirt.

Attacking my youth? I’m sure that wouldn’t be an issue for you if I were spewing far-left propaganda (after-all its the Greens who want the voting age reduced to 16).

I have never claimed to be a master of anything, lest of all a master on the wonders of capitalism. The reason I support a limited free market system over socialism is not because of my own experience in the workforce, but because of the disgusting over-taxation of assorted family and friends- people I know work bloody hard- so Australians can watch The Bill on ABC, and sponsor bludgers who refuse to work (including those who spend a decade doing a Bachelor of Arts).

Friday, October 14, 2005 7:40:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Don;t take it personally Anthony, that's what right wing nuts do when they run out of BS to throw at people.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:40:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

I was a bit harsh, Anthony. Sorry. You are right about your contributons on other threads - these show you are not an idiot.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 8:45:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

dirtbikeoption

Sorry I thought you were talking to Lowenstein Anthony. The other Anthony's post was pretty pointless I agree.

Would be kinda rude to tell the host to shut up.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 7:55:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Yes, the H makes a big difference. ;-)

Sunday, October 16, 2005 11:05:00 am  

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