Sunday, 24 November 2013

If, as I suspect, there will be more leaks

from "whistle blower" Edward Snowden then I doubt that our media will be able to resist the temptation to make much of them.
Edward Snowden is not to be admired. He is, at best, naïve.
Is he a traitor? I don't know. I don't know what he really believed when he started out or even what he really believes now. He may not know himself.
He should however be able to see the damage he is doing and the destabilising effect his actions are having. Perhaps he doesn't care. He may even want to start World War III. I hope not.
The media however should know better. It does know better but sections of it are using the situation for their own purposes. Some sections of the media have given up any pretence of neutrality and are now using the situation in an attempt to undermine the elected government of this country.
They may not like the result of the election but attempting to undermine it in this way is an abuse of media power which is unprecedented. It goes beyond taking sides in a debate - and there is plenty of that which goes on.
Our government funded Australian Broadcasting Commission no longer makes any secret of the fact that many of the reporters, interviewers and commentators they employ are of a certain political persuasion - not friendly towards the current government. It has become too obvious for them to deny it. The Guardian (Australia) takes the same line. Another newspaper employs a columnist who takes an equally strident but opposite point of view. He also has a weekly television programme. There is perhaps one thing to be said for his column - he has usually done his homework even if he chooses to use it in what many would see as a biased manner.
It is becoming difficult to sort "truth" from "fact" from "fiction" now but some interesting statements have been made of late. If however, as suggested, the media was given the allegations about Australia spying on Indonesia in June then why did they hold off on publication?
They claim to have published the allegations because they were "in the public interest". No, they were not. It is widely known and understood that countries spy on one another - and that they do so at the highest possible level. And yes, they will target the partners of those at the top because you never know what might slip through.
Quite simply the timing of publication was designed to cause maximum damage and embarrassment to the new government. The media had to be sure that cooperation between Australia and Indonesia looked as if it might be working, especially over the issue of people smuggling. From the media's point of view it is essential that the policy of attempting to stop boats filled with "asylum seekers" coming to Australia fails. That way the government fails.
The media is not too worried about the other big issue, the repeal of the carbon tax, because it believes the Senate can prevent that from occurring. The boats issue however is different. It required cooperation from Indonesia and it looked as if Indonesia was ready to offer too much cooperation. It might just have reduced the flow to the point where success could be proclaimed.
I do not doubt there are people in the media who are delighted with the apparent success of their efforts. It apparently does not concern them at all that there are reports of renewed attempts by people smugglers to ply their abominable trade. It apparently does not concern them that more lives will be lost at sea or that the increased cost will take away finances that could be used to assist those who need it most. Nor does it seem to concern them that intelligence sharing about the activities of suspect persons and groups has slowed to a trickle and might even cease altogether - putting entirely innocent lives in both countries at risk.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing of all though is that the media is choosing to do all this to a government which has, to date, been largely supportive of the freedom of the media, more so than the previous government. In opposition this government did not demand the same accountability from the media that they might now do and that the then government looked as if it might demand. Yes, it was politic to do that at the time but there was also a long held belief that the media should be free to comment and raise issues.
The media is now putting that at risk. Does it believe it can get away with it and that life will really be better under what they view as the Government-in-Opposition?
Yes, I am stirring the pot a little here.


Anonymous said...

Keep stirring then Cat. It needs to be said! Chris

Judy Edmonds said...

I am getting sick of the blatent bias of practically all media these days. If I read one paper I have to read the other so I don't fall over to the extreme right or extreme left!

The verification word is fefficat :)