News Limited media editor Stephen Brook has taken a quote from Barack Obama and enthusiastically misused it as a defence of The Australian newspaper’s defence of the indefensible. Brook claimed Obama was speaking about press freedom when he said “Certain rights are universal, among them freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of citizens to choose their own leaders.” Obama added, “These are not American rights or Australian rights or Western rights. They are human rights. They stir the soul.”
Brook noted that Obama’s was alluding critically to China’s poor human rights record but Brook then deviated radically to claim that somehow this speech related to the record of Bob Brown. It is hard to think of anyone in Australian politics who has shown more courage and stood up more strongly for human rights than Bob Brown, but in the time honoured fashion of the Murdoch press, Brook was not letting facts get in the way of propaganda.
Brook was doing what he first learned at The Australian and that is media and marketing. He was trying to sell us the idea that the Murdoch media was being unfairly targeted by a media inquiry first mooted by Bob Brown. Poor little News Limited was being picked on according to those quoted by Brook. Famous boxer and former boss of News Ltd John Hartigan claims Julia Gillard was “looking for someone to blame.” Fairfax boss Greg Hywood while giving evidence at the inquiry was obviously mystified why we need an inquiry saying: “What is the issue?”
Unfortunately Brook didn’t read the other stories in the same November the 18th edition of the Australian, as one article on the front page is titled, “Fairfax four facing probe by MP’s.” This article deals with allegations of illegally hacking into an electoral database which is being investigated by Victoria Police.
The previous day an article entitled “Accused cop read terror raid file,” revealed that a Victorian police detective was committed to trial for wilful misconduct endangering the lives of others and interfering with the administration of justice. It appears from the article that the detective was illegally passing highly secret information on terrorists, who were later convicted of planning a lethal attack on Holsworthy military base, to a senior journalist Cameron Stewart from The Australian.
While pretending to champion free speech The Australian uses Daniel Pipes as a writer on Middle East issues. Pipes is well known for his viciously anti- Arab prejudice. Pipes advocated collective punishment of Palestinians by proposing that when a Palestinian commits an act of terrorism his whole village should be obliterated. As a project of his Middle East Forum, Pipes set up campus watch which created a McCarthy style website dossier that encouraged US university students and academics to report lecturers who made any criticism of Israel. He used this information to try have these lecturers blacklisted.
If the above instances of wrongdoing are not enough, the fact that the Murdoch press is not reporting the news accurately and in fact deliberately and regularly misrepresents the true picture of climate change and thereby offends the other face of free speech, that is the responsibility to tell the truth.
The climate change campaign is a malignant feature of the Murdoch media empire that has terrible consequences for all who occupy this planet. If it succeeds in its aims of preventing action on the greatest threat ever faced by mankind it will go down in history as the greatest example of infamy toward humanity and as an enemy of truth and thereby free speech.