Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, December 31, 2002
WHY CAN'T ALL JOURNALISTS write like Noam Chomsky?

A suitable conundrum for New Dimensions.

Our institutions are deeply flawed.

Especially the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National.


The Director of our National Museum, Dawn Casey, fears that our adolescent Museum will lose "international credibility" following a review by an independent panel appointed by the Government.

"Even if you incline yourself toward taking up the most recent debate that's happening and change all of your exhibitions to follow whatever has the strongest voice in that debate, you'll just lack the scholarship and professional integrity you need to have as a museum," Ms Casey said.

Curious. She means the phoney war over Keith Windschuttle's demolition of the left-consensus on Australian history on which the Museum has based some of its displays.

Is she conceding defeat? Probably, at least on the field of historical debate.

The politics, however, has just begun.

Is this the same Dawn Casey whose "credibility" rests on the infamous "Bell's Falls massacre" diorama? A confabulation of a myth, which not even the genocidists believe, with authenticating objects, like a firearm that just might have been used. If it had happened.

The Dawn Casey whose spokesman said the fabrication was being persisted with as one of Australia's "voices"? Then added a note saying the fabrication was "contested".

The Director whose Museum has not since represented other "contested" "voices"? Thank goodness.

Who wants dioramas of Australia according to Scientology? Apart from James Packer.

If that's how you win "credibility" among your museological mates, Australia can do without it.