Thursday, September 01, 2005

Alert the media - at your own peril.


«I HAD the rare honour of being attacked by ABC's Media Watch the other day. Evidently they've run out of right-of-centre Australians to savage, so were reduced to savaging a right-of-centre Canadian.»
«"They don't want an interview," my assistant Chantal reported back. "They want you to write out your answers to their questions."
"They want me to give written answers? On a TV show?" I said, not quite up to speed on the concept of typing out a television appearance.
But Chantal explained that she'd checked out the show and that the Media Watch concept involves them accusing you of something, you emailing back your 15,000-word response and then they pick the infelicitously phrased seven-word throwaway subordinate clause and stick it up on screen, after which the host delivers a withering putdown. I can see why it's a great gig for Liz Jackson.
It would be hilarious if it wasn’t true. To give you a sense of just how shabby their journalism is, this was supposed to be one of their big “finds”:
With the same exquisite timing as their Chrenkoff demolition, a couple of days after the Media Watch broadcast, the news broke that a US military data-mining operation claimed to have identified Atta as part of an al-Qa'ida cell in Brooklyn well before he "officially" landed at Newark on June 3.»
It would only be worth caring about their anger that eavesdropping didn’t work if the same news organization didn’t get their panties bunched up in a knot over “Echelon” which works even more beautifully for them because it has a menacing sounding name.

Alert the media. Or not.

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