The Australian government is determined to ban “terrorist” literature and other problematic material:
The nation’s attorneys-general will consider banning books that praise terrorism and placing fresh restrictions on reality shows like Big Brother when they meet tomorrow.
The federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has placed these proposals on the agenda following the uproar over the “turkey slapping” incident on Big Brother this month and after only two of eight “hate” books he submitted to the Classification Review Board were banned a fortnight ago.
Mr Ruddock has told his state and territory colleagues the difficulty of banning the books shows that present classification codes “may not provide sufficiently clear guidance” at a time when “there has been community outrage at inflammatory and aggressive incitements to violent acts of terrorism contained in some material”.
I wonder if the government plans to ban propaganda issued by the Israeli and US governments that may praise the murder of Palestinian and Arab “terrorists.” And has the government not heard of the internet? Banning printed material is about as useful as outlawing prostitution.
The Howard government loves ranting about media “bias” and “anti-Western” viewpoints. Santo Santoro, a Queensland Liberal MP and Minister for Aging, has given a speech to the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission. The ADC used to be dedicated to fighting the far-right in Australia but has now become a particularly ineffective group in the Zionist lobby.
Santoro’s talk, “Truth and Representation: media bias and the threat to democracy”, alleges that the Australian media is pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic and anti-Western. In his worldview, Robert Fisk shouldn’t be interviewed on the national broadcaster. Why?
Merely a week ago, Fran Kelly, the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program, chose to interview Robert Fisk on the events in the Middle East. Mr Fisk, she said, is a much praised and award winning journalist. And indeed he is – for he has received praise from no less a judge of character than Osama bin Laden himself, who, in a videotaped message on the eve of the 2004 presidential election in the U.S., commended Fisk by name for his incisive and “neutral” reporting. Did Ms Kelly disclose any of this? Obviously not.
As an aside at this point, I would like to quote the same Mr Fisk from an opinion column in The Canberra Times last week. In it, he quotes – without challenge or question – terrorist leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah claiming that in its rocket attacks on Israel “Hezbollah originally wished to confine all casualties to the military”. Fisk then goes on to criticise the – quote – “cruelty of Israel’s response” – unquote – to those unprovoked and deadly attacks. It’s no wonder that he attracts rave reviews from Osama bin Laden!
Ipso facto, Fisk is a terrorist. Next time I speak to him, I must remember to ask whether he needs a refresher course at the local terrorist training camp.
Unsurprisingly, Santoro accuses the ABC of anti-Semitism:
The Prime Minister John Howard decisively attempted to stop the rot on the AM program on July 14th when he was asked, and I quote: “Has Israel gone too far?” Mr Howard asked the reporter why the question must always be couched in terms of what Israel has done wrong and whether it should be condemned. He was, of course, appalled by the loss of life on both sides of the conflict. But – and to quote again – the Prime Minister said “the assumption that it was started by Israel in this particular instance is wrong”.
That the Prime Minister should feel the need to highlight to a reporter the skewed nature of the question he was being asked is indicative of a deeply-ingrained culture – a reflex anti-Semitism – in parts of the media. Such questions betray a belief that Israel is always at fault and has no right to defend itself in any way against attacks from terrorists such as Hezbollah.
To say that this is outrageous, and a disgrace, is an understatement.
Read the whole thing and discover one of the shining lights of the Australian conservative movement.