From The Aus:
By Samantha Maiden
October 31, 2006 01:00am
SBS, the multicultural broadcaster, was accused yesterday of going soft on terrorism and peddling pornography.
NSW Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells lashed SBS officials, also accusing the broadcaster of “siding with” Australian terror suspect David Hicks.
However, SBS managing director Shaun Brown rejected her claims. “I don’t accept your assertion that it’s porn,” he said. “We do not broadcast porn.”
SBS telecasts a range of programs with strong sexual content including Stripperella, an animated series whose main character, voiced by Pamela Anderson, is a stripper named Erotica Jones.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells also raised concerns about the broadcaster’s coverage of terrorism, saying it had an “equivocal attitude to terrorism”.
She said a radio broadcast in which Hezbollah was referred to as a “so-called terrorist organisation” was unacceptable.
“Given what we know and given what we’ve heard for years and years and years, how can SBS still refer to Hezbollah as a so-called terrorist organisation?” she asked.
“It really is typical of the sort of stuff you are promulgating. The basic assertion that I am making is SBS is siding with Mr Hicks.”
She also raised concerns about SBS staff fundraising for the Greens and working for al-Jazeera, which she said had been described as the “mouthpiece for the Muslim brotherhood”.
The standard of justice in the free world is swift and transparent arraignment and trial. David Hicks has been held without charge or trial by the US government for 5 years. This is why Hicks is newsworthy. A news editor need not have an axe to grind with the US or Australian gov’ts to justifiably report on the unjust nature of his detention.
Remember, Hicks hasn’t been so much as accused of anything. For balance, should he be named up as a terrorist? This is how John Howard and Philip Ruddock want David Hicks described in the press. Mamdouh Habib was routinely referred to by the Howard government and subsequently by News Ltd as a ‘terrorist.’ Habib is presently engaged in a defamation lawsuit against News Ltd for that reason.
Similarly, I have no idea why a responsible broadcaster like the ABC persisted in calling Jack Thomas ‘Jihad Jack,’ the moniker bestowed upon him by the Australian commercial press (which may have had some gov’t help with that nickname) and also used overseas. Apparently ‘Jack Thomas’ wasn’t foreign or ‘Muslim’ enough to alarm the population.
The ABC and everyone else stopped using the term as soon as Thomas was exonerated. Thomas, through having his convictions quashed on appeal, was technically never convicted- so you can’t call him a ‘terrorist,’ but for months, he was ‘Jihad Jack’ in most Australian media… with the exception of SBS, unless they were referring to other news stories about him. The problem is that you can’t ‘put the genie back in the bottle.’ Responsible news ops simply don’t make sensationalist leaps that will come back to bite them.
People who haven’t been charged with a crime should not be identified by any news op as anything at all, unless by employment description or residential location.
An unbiased description of David Hicks is ‘taken prisoner by the US military in 2001 and held for 5 years without charge or trial in the US military’s Gitmo base.’ There’s not much more for a newsie to say, else than to explore the reasons why Hicks is still in US custody, inclusive of the ‘military commissions’ which were found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
That’s also how SBS reports on Hicks.
Where’s the bias?
The new ‘balance‘ apparently means ‘tipping the way of the party in power or we cut your funding.’
…roll on the 2007 polls.
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