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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Thursday, May 12, 2005

the commissar vanishes

On the way to work of a morning I occasionally find myself making use of the "eight cents a day" I am required to pay to support the national broadcaster by listening to the ABC's AM program on the car radio. This is frequently a mistake - after a few minutes of the usual barely suppressed hyperventilations about the Bush/Howard/Vast Right Wing Conspiracy nexus, with associated tirades from spokespersons from leftist pressure groups, political parties and think-tanks, all accompanied by the condescending tones of presenter Tony Eastley as he interviews token conservative "perpetrators" - I usually figure it is better to switch it off and enjoy the quiet. Sadly I have all but given up hope of ever getting an honest, fair, accurate and unbiased presentation of "news" from anyone involved in "the media", especially from the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster.

But I was listening this morning, testing myself to see how long it would take before some professional "victim spokesperson" pleaded for "compassion" or "tolerance" for criminals, terrorists or illegal aliens and demanded the government "do something" to ensure the immediate arrival of the kind of utopia that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot espoused in the last century with diabolical and disastrous results. Having had it resoundingly demonstrated that it is nothing but a dead end laid over the bodies of untold millions of victims, well-off upper middle class liberals still cling to the futile desire of creating a socialist heaven on earth.

And so I heard Tony Eastley's interview with Immigration minister Amanda Vanstone about the fate of a wrongly deported Australian citizen in the Philppines - as did many other Australians. For those who weren't tuned in, the transcript and a recording of the interview is available on the the ABC's AM website here. The only problem is, both the transcript and the recording are edited cleaned-up versions of the exchange between Eastley and Vanstone deliberately leaving out Eastley's poor-taste jibe at Vanstone and the Minister's picking him up on it.

In his usual world-weary style, that often strikes this listener as thinly disguised cynicism and sarcasm masquerading as politeness, Eastley, as he was ending the interview, made the remark to Vanstone that "...Australian officials dropped [the woman] from a moving car" clearly implying that the officials - and therefore Vanstone as Minister in charge of the Department - were remiss in their professional duties and callous in their care and concern. Vanstone responded immediately, objecting to his inappropriate and misleading remark. Obviously caught out Eastley defended himself by saying the comment was made merely "in jest".

In jest? Why on earth Eastley would be jesting about an issue that was apparently so important that it was one of the main stories in the half-hour program and which he himself considered so serious that he had spent some five minutes grilling the Minister on, so concerned was he for the welfare of this poor woman?!

We all make mistakes, we all let our guard down, we have all uttered intemperate remarks. The issue is, that if a conservative had made such a gaff, he would be immediately pounced upon, his integrity and humanity questioned, his character attacked, his job on the line; he would be the subject of news reports and opinion pieces baying for his blood, and ultimately crucified on the self-same ABC's Media Watch program, a shameless piece of leftist agitprop specialising in character assasinations of the few conservative voices in the Australian media. But in this case the politically-correct ABC has protected its own and erased Eastley's sin from the record. He's as pure as the driven snow. Perhaps those thousands of Australian who heard the exchange this morning were mistaken in what they heard. After all it's not in the official transcript... or the tapes...

And that is why I thank God for bloggers. Without them the commissars always vanish...

11:02:00 pm