Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Oct 30, 2007

Media Bias and Bastardry.

By Jim Fryar.

Photo Lisa Milat from her website Lisa Milat LDP Senate Candidate.

A couple of paragraphs were 'borrowed' from a press release from David Leyonhjelm our secretary, a tireless worker for the party, (at least I hope he is, there's a lot to be done yet so don't slack off you bastard.)

The media can be educational, informative and generally a force for good, but all too often it tends to go the other way, and becomes a force for prejudice, bias, and destructive negativity.

My first experience of this was when I was very young, and there was a regular radio program from a person whose name I can’t recall but who traveled to all sorts of places and commented on them. From memory I think his first name was Wilfred or Wilbur but the surname just wont come.

He seemed to be very popular, and often the topics were discussed afterwards. After a short time however I found myself getting irritated by the mournful voice and his constant negativity, then he did a program on the USA and I realized that in the whole of the country he wasn’t able to find a single thing that he didn’t dislike. I never bothered with him again.

Next came current affairs. Every reporter was ‘investigative’ and approached any subject with the desire to find something wrong, then somehow someone managed to crossbreed this with the attitude of the British tabloids and get today’s media, or at least the majority of it.

Recently this has come up again in the Australian Federal election. The Liberty and Democracy Party selected Lisa Milat for a senate candidate in the Australian Capital Territory. Part of the press release read: - Note: Lisa Milat is related by marriage to the convicted murderer Ivan Milat. Her husband is one of his brothers. She does not consider that connection is relevant to her candidacy and will not answer questions about it.

Ivan Milat was one of Australia’s worst serial killers.

It was obvious that something would be made of it by the media, and it was probably a very courageous move by Lisa to stand. Being a new Party we lack experience and experienced candidates, and have a fair way to go to get media savvy. We did not expect the sensationalist and deliberate unfairness that followed.

The Daily Telegraph reported it in a not unreasonable manner, although making much of the connection: -
SERIAL killer Ivan Milat's sister-in-law is running on a Senate ticket of relaxing gun laws and claims the psychopath's horrendous crimes were water under the bridge.

Ms Milat who married the jailed serial killer's brother Walter, is one of 35 candidates running for the Liberty and Democracy Party - a party which supports nuclear power, lower taxes and euthanasia, and opposes criminalising victimless crime – in the federal election.

Ms Milat, who lists target shooting as one of her hobbies, told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper that her brother-in-law's crimes were in the past and she was not concerned that her family associations may harm her chances at a seat in Parliament.

This was followed by some background stuff but at the end of the article was a push poll on “Would you vote for Lisa Milat with the answers framed as;
‘Yes – there’s no reason to believe she’s a psychopath like her brother’


‘No – her relation to one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers scares me’.

The question incorrectly suggests that Ivan Milat is Lisa’s brother. They are related only through marriage. There is no basis on which to raise the prospect of being a psychopath or scary.

“Lisa Milat is a law-abiding and upstanding citizen and a proud mother of two. She is making a stand in politics because she believes that people who disagree with the status quo should do more than whinge. Therefore she is having a go at trying to make a difference.

While she was still shocked at this channel Nines “A Current Affair” arrived to do an interview which I missed, but which was described by Tex at Wackingday in his article “Cletus Spuckler, is that you?” as follows: -

The gist of the report was:
1- Lisa looked very nervous and therefore not a real politican.

2- Sudden segue into scary photos of Ivan Milat. Of course, no connection whatsoever was made between Lisa and Ivan Milat's crimes. But hey, scary photos!!!! Guns!!!

3- Some senile old cop saying "Ivan Milat!!!! Guns are evil!!!". Essentially suggesting that Lisa Milat was planning to hand guns out to serial killers so they could shoot children and small puppies. 

4- Lisa forgot the details of the party policy on euthanasia. 

5- Senile old cop returns, doing his Guns-are-evil muttering.

6- Airhead host Tracey Grimshaw closes out by saying "The LDP is contesting this years've been warned". No really, that's what she actually said.

I was half expecting Kent Brockman to show up, backed by the theme music from Dracula.

Some years ago the Australian Broadcasting Commission did a satirical series on current affairs broadcasting under the title of “Frontline” with a vacuous twit called Mike Moore as host. (No not the infamous one)

This is what Wikkapedia has to say about it:

The series follows the fortunes of a fictional current affairs show, Frontline, which airs on a fictional commercial network, much like real networks Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 10. In the show, Frontline competes directly with Nine's A Current Affair and Seven's Real Life, which changed its name to Today Tonight from 1995 onwards.

The Frontline office showcases and satirises the machinations of the ruthless producers, the self-obsessed airhead host, and the ambitious, cynical reporters, all of whom resort to any sort of underhanded trick to get ratings and maintain their status - including the use of hidden cameras, foot-in-the-door, bullying interview techniques and chequebook journalism. They ingratiate themselves with the all-powerful network bosses, while the real work is in fact done by their long-suffering production staff.

It was so close to the bone that at least one host was rumored to be considering suing however thought better of it.

1 comment:

  1. Same thing would have happened here. She certainly was courageous or foolish or both not to think that the media wouldn't take her to task about that connection.. as weak a connection it is.

    Good luck with the elections.