Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, July 05, 2004
WORSE THAN THE LEFTISM of Auntie's commentators is the spinning of her news service. More people watch the news, and the commentators, unlike the news writers, sometimes reveal their ideologies.

Former head hack, Frank Devine, has lashed out and bought transcripts of two days of Auntie TV 7.00pm news bulletins, for June 19 and 20.

Even this unillusioned observer was shocked to see just how bad Auntie's journalism has become. For example:
ABC: "An Islamic website proclaimed [the beheading of Paul Johnson] as a lesson to Westerners who dare venture to Saudi Arabia."

Peer [ie Devine's] comment: Rephrase or delete. Certainly cut "lesson" and "dare". The ABC shouldn't act as a mouthpiece for murderers.

"Russian President has revealed new intelligence claiming that Saddam Hussein's regime was planning to strike the United States ... For President George Bush the revelation may come as a relief."

Delete second sentence. Unsupported, not to say air-head, speculation.

"Just hours after the Russian President's statements [Bush] made a campaign stop to again tell troops Saddam was a threat."

Delete "campaign". The Democratic Party hasn't even chosen its nominee yet. Anyway, commanders-in-chief have other reasons to visit troops than to canvass their votes. Replace "was a threat" with "had been a threat". Saddam is in prison.

A whole column's-worth of examples of crud journalism from just two sessions of TV news. Astounding.