Tuesday, October 31, 2006

McCarthyism Australian style

The Australian Senate is looking to clean up Australian television. Not the smut and crap that is commercial TV since it does its job to tow the party line when it comes to vilifying muslims, asylum seekers and so on. No bias there. Apparently, the ABC is biased - but then both Liberal (conservative) and Labour (pretty much conservative) have gotten stuck into it - and what for? Being the third estate - doing its job.

Now McCarthyism Australian style extends to SBS, our "ethnic" broadcaster. Why? Apparently in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are never to question the motives or methods of the powerful state against people who are refugees in their own land (well, talking of possession seems rather problematic in this region. Not an easy issue). When Israel's army kills civilians, bulldozes homes with wheelchair bound individuals are still inside - is this justified any more than suicide bombings? Is there anything good on either side? And when foreign journalists are kept out or worse still, shot at, is this a good thing? I don't really know if SBS has shown pro-Arab bias, but I strongly suspect that any suggestion that the causes of terrorism are complex and lie in part with the strong and powerful in the west is too offensive a truth for conservatives to hear.

As for broadcasting smut and pornography - European movies often don't hold back, but in a liberal democracy, is this the role for the senate? What would they like to do to SBS? Probably close it down since it caters for multiculturalism - which is on the nose to the narrow monocultural views of Australian conservatism. The smut is on late when my 4 year old is in bed (and just for the record, I much prefer the chop socky movies from Hong Kong).

The ABC and SBS has a much smaller market than the sound bite, brainless, line towing crap that passes for commercial TV. It just goes to show that any defiance against the dominant propaganda is powerful - encouragement indeed to speak up.

See The Age piece here

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