ABCwatch

Tim Blair

Ombudsgod

New Criterion

 

 

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
 
MEDIA MANAGEMENT is clearly an obligation for any modern democratic government trying to deal with those difficult issues for which governments are really needed.

Want to see a good demonstration of this point? And of how limited the success of even the best spin-meisters?

Compare:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair confronted with a survivor of the Bali bombing whose pacifism is as passionate as it is thoughtless; "I tried to say: will your conscience allow you to bring death to thousands of innocent Iraqis? Will your conscience allow you to bring more death and destruction on innocent people?" she said. "The women, one of whom for example had lost her only son on September 11, were very articulate and very passionate and Tony Blair didn't have a chance. There was nothing he could say."

Indeed.

With:

Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein represented on Australia's national broadcaster by the views of his flunkeys and terrorised citizenry, without explanation of the circumstances the Iraqis face or the limitations the "journalists" face. On ABC television our intrepid reporter, not showing the Iraqi goons chaperoning him, takes a vox pop from a uniformed member of the Iraqi military. A radio reporter on this morning's AM takes his vox pop from a Saddam-supporting rack-renting landlord in Saddam city. The Shias of this poverty-stricken burg will be the first under the treads of Saddam's tanks if they raise a finger in protest.

Gruesome, isn't it?