Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, June 02, 2004
RIGHT-WING BASTARD, Andrew Bolt has reviewd Auntie's reporting of Iraq for the month of May.

Guess what:
Consider this: the ABC's three most important current affairs shows ran 135 items on Iraq last month. Only one was clearly a good-news story.

And he's not exaggerating.
Of those 135 items (I've double-counted a few that covered two subjects at length), 54 wallowed in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US troops. Spare me, 54.

These included not only the usual reports of what was clearly a big story.

Many also retailed wild and unsubstantiated allegations -- that a top general was present during the "torture" (AM), that US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved such torture (AM), that unreleased photos showed "rape and murder" (Lateline), and that there were "worse to come" (7.30 Report).

O'Brien even claimed the US was guilty of "exactly the kind of brutality that you would say the coalition liberated Iraq from".

Bolt's numbers surprised me. I'd forgotten the story about the escape of American hostage Thomas Hamill .