Oz Blog News Commentary

Forgive my disappointment

June 10, 2019 - 10:44 -- Admin

Someone showed me an
e-mail they received from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA).
This organisation is the trade union for those involved in journalism, acting,
theatre and amusements. It was registered in 1992 and was formed from the
merger of the Australian Journalists Association, Actors Equity of Australia,
and the Australian Theatrical and Amusement Employees Association, with the
later inclusion of the Symphony Orchestra Musicians Association1. The
e-mail was in response to the two raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on
journalists, namely Annika Smethurst who works for the Murdoch’s News Corp and the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation2.

The e-mail included a
quote from the MEAA media section president Marcus Strom, which, in part, says:
“A second day of raids by the Australian Federal
Police sets a disturbing pattern of assaults on Australian press freedom. This
is nothing short of an attack on the public’s right to know. Police raiding
journalists is becoming normalised and it has to stop. These raids are about intimidating journalists
and media organisations because of their truth-telling. They are about more
than hunting down whistleblowers that reveal what governments are secretly
doing in our name, but also preventing the media from shining a light on the
actions of government…. 2

Yesterday’s raid [on Annika Smethurst] was in response to
a story published a year ago. Today’s raid [on the ABC] comes after a story was
published nearly two years ago. Suddenly, just days after a federal election,
the Federal Police launches this attack on press freedom. It seems that when
the truth embarrasses the government, the result is the Federal Police will
come knocking at your door…”2

It is heartening to
see journalists realising what is at stake here. They rightly note that the AFP
are seemingly used as an instrument of the Coalition, to be used at the latter’s
whim, “when the truth embarrasses the government”, and not as an instrument of
law enforcement. It is a shame journalists did not see what was at stake when
they rarely if ever pulled up Coalition politicians when they lied during the
election campaign3. It is also a shame that some journalists did not
see what was at stake when they actually adopted the epithets the government
used to lie to the populace4. It is also a shame that journalists
did not see what was at stake when they were all quite happy to roll up when alerted
about the raid on the Australian Workers Union offices5,6.

It is a shame that journalists
have only realised that ‘truth embarrasses the government’ after the election,
not before, when they let the Coalition escape scrutiny time and time again. This
is especially true when the Coalition have adopted the Trump methodology of bald-faced
lying, allied with unquestioning support by the Murdoch media and intimidation
and crippling of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I can almost hear you
say ‘but Smethurst works for Murdoch’, and so she does. It means one of two
things, the Coalition have finished with Murdoch because he has served his
purpose; or it is a smokescreen and Smethurst will be cleared of any ‘wrongdoing’,
while her informant, if revealed, will be dealt with in secret, as this
government wants to do with all whistleblowers. I think the latter is most

Because of the lack of
scrutiny before the election, we will now be subjected to another three years
of the most corrupt, incompetent, anti-democratic federal government in (my)
living memory. That is the greatest shame.



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