Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guilty Of Offensive Accuracy


TUCKED AWAY in The Finko & Rickety Review is a list of recent adjudications by the Press Council as it currently exists. This is the body, remember, which the inquiry’s authors – a judge and a former Age reporter – wish to see greatly expanded, so it is interesting to note the attitudes any fresh body would almost certainly expand and promote. Its ruling in the matter of Case #1468 (page 409) rather suggests it currently views truth as a very subjective affair, the accuracy of any report needing to be judged not against fact but the ideologically sound views held by people like, well, left-leaning former judges and superannuated hacks from withering newspapers.

Case 1468 concerns complaints filed by third parties in regard to the West Australian’s front page picture of an Aboriginal man snapped in the filth of his own kitchen. This is how Finko & Rickety summarised the Press Council deliberations: 
Photo of Indigenous man in his kitchen with caption referring to his being ‘surrounded by squalor’, accompanying a story about a WA Government report on living conditions in Roebourne. The next day the newspaper published 16 letters accusing the man of not taking responsibility for keeping his kitchen clean and tidy. A smaller version of the photo was re-published with the letters.
At a risk of levity – quite likely an indictable offence if Finko & Rickety get their wish to see blogs regulated and supervised – it should be noted that the Billabong’s sink is at this very moment chocka with unwashed dishes, the floor splattered with the home-cooked marinara that went into last night’s eggplant parma, the cat’s litter tray needs changing and the dead, chewed-up lizards she insists on bringing home must be found and thrown out. Later today these deficiencies will be set to rights, as the visitor scheduled to stop by for dinner and a stroll to the mooring might otherwise be inclined to regard the Professor as a bit of a grub. Mind you, domestic standards are still a smidgin' higher than those of Cyril Munda, whose kitchen prompted the Press Council to action.


Ah, but Aborigines are different, according to the Press Council. If a blackfella suffers from Ajax aversion, it is to be mentioned at a news organ’s peril. Incredibly, even though the kitchen’s owner professed himself entirely happy with the West Australian’s coverage, the Press Council upheld the complaint! The full ruling is here, and it is the last two-and-a-bit paragraphs which telegraph what Finko & Rickety regard as the sacred mission of the muscled-up press regulator they seek to see established:

…the man and other Aboriginal people in his community and elsewhere were very happy with the article and the attention it had drawn to their problems.

The Council regards the article as a frank and balanced report of concerns about conditions in Roebourne. Unfortunately the picture and its caption allowed the apparent thrust of the article to be distorted by focusing on conditions in one man’s kitchen, thereby conveying a misleading impression of the article and the man’s concerns. This effect was exacerbated by publication on the following day of an excessively large number of letters focusing on the state of his kitchen and making criticisms of him in very similar terms.

The Council considers that the newspaper erred in allowing these cumulative effects to occur. To that extent the complaint is upheld. On the other hand, the newspaper is to be commended for its decision to publish the article itself, which was a valuable contribution on a matter of great public importance.

In other words, an accurate report endorsed by its subject will not protect news organisations from being found guilty if someone – anyone! – thinks it may encourage a point of view they would prefer not to see aired. Andrew Bolt has already been found guilty of giving subjective offence to the Mordy-Litijus tribe. Now the rest of the media, including those voices which celebrated the columnist’s lynching, are being prepared for the same treatment.

Trash a few inconvenient freedoms and pretty soon you don't have any left at all.

44 comments:

  1. Ahhhhh... Roebourne. As a youngster who moved to Wickham (about 10 kilometres away) from Melbourne in the 1970s, Roebourne was an eye opener. In fact, my mum went on 3AW with Claudia Wright in 1974 to discuss the plight of the indigenous population. I wish I knew what she said, but I was listening to 3XY. I wonder, would the interview be in the AW archives? There's a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you were listening to 3XY, probably Graham Berry's updates on the next Much More Ballroom show at Cathedral Hall. Golly, I wonder if I passed you something fat, burning and stinky in the macrobiotic eatery under the stage?

      Delete
    2. Lee Simon, Greg Evans, British Jigsaw, Skydiver, Paper Lace Billy Don't Be a Hero & The Night Chicago Died, Cozy Powell, Dance with the Devil, Blue Suede, Hooked on a Feeling, Stevie Wright, Evie Parts I, II and III, Suzi Quatro, Devil Gate Drive, Terry Jacks, Seasons in the Sun, "it ain't gonna be a bummer, mumma, 14, 20, 3XY."

      Delete
    3. We probably didn't encounter each other, given your musical tastes. Spectrum, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, Co. Caine, Madder Lake, Reuben Tice, Skyhooks (when Steve Hill was singing), Taman Shud, Khavas Jute, Wild Cherries, Chain (of course) and Wendy Saddington -- there, I've dated myself now. In Sydney, where the pursuit of knowledge took me, it was Radio Birdman, Psycho Surgeons, Mangrove Boogie Kings and, at the Welcome Inn of a Saturday night in Sussex Street, the Cyril B. Bunter Band. Saw Cold Chisel many times when they still played at French's on Oxford Street.

      Best rock and roll show ever seen anywhere: The Red House Roll Band at Bertie's in Melbourne with a strobe-lit version of Jumping Jack Flash, complete with a very unwilling young gal who was snatched from the crowd and offered as a faux human sacrifice atop a bank of speakers.

      Today's kids with their house music and baby-dose acid, which the youngsters call ecstasy, God help them but they don't know what they are missing.

      Delete
    4. Actually, upon reflection, the best rock show was AC/DC's last gig with Bon Scott at the Bondi Lifesaver, circa late 1978 (?) Scott had one of those new wireless mikes and actually walked across the crowd's shoulders to the bar, where he did the last two numbers pof the show. What a night

      Delete
    5. Now THAT would have been a killer show.

      Did you catch any blues at that time? Foreday Riders? Layabouts?

      Delete
    6. Saw the Foreday Riders many times, also at French's. The skinny brother who played the harp was a genius. Also saw Dutch Tilders, who was a bit quiet for my tastes (and died just a couple of months ago), but struck up an acquaintance with his manager, who also handled the Riders.

      Funny thing getting old. I get just as excited these days about opera as I did then about loud rock.

      Delete
    7. Just did a google for Cyril B. Bunter and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOVJdbBv4zI

      Not their best tracks, which would have been Rocket 88, Chevrolet, and Keys to the Highway. Pardon my geriatric enthusiasm, but hearing the Bunters again is the proverbial blast from the past.

      Delete
    8. Meh, I'll see your AC/DC gig and raise you Radio Birdman and The Saints at the Paddo Town Hall in 1977.

      Cold Chisel also did numerous kick-ass gigs, too many to mention. That's why they were the punter's friend - you always got your money's worth, and more.

      As for that kitchen, must agree that it is positively clinical compared to the student houses I used to inhabit. Our immune systems must have profited greatly - nobody ever got sick and to this day I have never suffered any ill effects from food (except in Mexico - but that was Montezuma's fault).

      Delete
    9. Aaaah...the Thought Criminals at the "Bottoms Up Bar", Le Hoodoo Gurus first gigs at Southern Cross, Tom Waits at the Regent, Jimmy and the Boys - somewhere - and the comedy front, Naked Vicar at the Opera House, Norman Gunston live with Frank Zappa. Not forgetting Aunty Jack, it's enough to make you rip your bloody arms off

      Delete
  2. Wow. His kitchen reminds me of mine. We must both have an aversion to Ajax powder and Brillo pads. My hope is when Abbott and his government are returned, one is going to have to apply a fairly large amount of Ajax and scrub vigorously to remove this creeping stain of totalitarianism spreading over our media.
    The aim of this spreading political correctness is to distort reality and herd us like goats into their perfect sanitized Ikea world view. It makes me want to puke all over their neat little kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Bunyip, the Hairy Irish Ape seems to share quite a few unsavory historic fumeur and other mindless experiental traits with you (and with many of your followers too, I wit). Like all good women, I have reformed him where others failed to do so. Today, he is merely a source of ethnographic tales and somewhat wistful oral history. He is now an upright, if not always a sober, citizen (if you can reconcile these two descriptors). As indeed, you must be too, dutifully doing the dishes at this very moment.

    When men (or women) lose their pride and their belief in themselves, the dishes go to hell. One picture is worth a thousand words, and I say damnation to those who would stop our free press speaking to us visually. The picture in the case above does not distract from the story: it is the story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That ain't squalor. The floor is a different colour to the walls. And the white goods are still discernibly white. These are time-proven litmus tests of squalor, and this picture fails both.
    Looks a bit dirty, that's all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Now the rest of the media, including those voices which celebrated the columnist’s lynching, are being prepared for the same treatment." No, they're not. The middle class thought police - collectivists to a (wo)man - will control any "reformed" Press Council because they know that, while an incoming Liberal administration will undo the most damaging of the "reforms" of the Gillard zombie government, it will not conduct a pogrom. Thus we will continue to allow freedom-hating parking cops to run the key institutions of our society. Just watch.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't get it. You can't show Aborigines in squalor because people will think they are disadvantaged. Yet those complaining always campaign that so much more money is needed to pull Aborigines away from, wait for it, disadvantage.

    Of course the subtext is Aborigine created disadvantage versus white man created disadvantage to Age readers are two completely different matters. Strange, in any other situation, a group that is shielded from any sort of analysis because they are viewed as being 'incapable' would rightly be deemed as being racist.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And over at Russell Hill, the Chief of Army seems to be instituting a regime of persistent ideological surveillance to ensure that noone deviates from the official ideological orthodoxy. On the other hand he is calling for greater diversity. He seems to want the Army to look diverse but be ideologically monochrome. Interestingly no privacy or online advocacy groups have a problem with the General's minions trawling private electronic communications in a private forums.Stalin would be proud of these e commissars who monitor dangerous opinions held by the common soldiery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These points are not valid. I spent 33 years in the military, (20 Regs 13 Reserve) and any and all points of view from footy codes to politics are allowed and even encouraged. The restriction is, and always must be, that soldiers are not allowed to publicly state political views.

      The number of senior officers who break into press AFTER discharge is legion, but they keep their counsel when 'in'. Above all things, the military MUST not only be neutral, politically, but must be seen to be neutral. I know that when Goof Witless was consigned to history, there were many opinions floated in Sergents and Officers Messes, but NO ONE ever said so publically.

      Delete
  8. Pfft. That's not filthy. Filthy is when your student mate decides to make a brandy cream cocktail in your kitchen in a jug, and as he can't find the Bamix blender, he attaches a beater to your electric drill.

    One second later, the brandy cream cocktail is a brandy butter cocktail. Unfortunately, he decided to extract the beater from the jug before it spun down, so the entire kitchen (ceiling included) was splattered with brandy butter cocktail.

    The mess was still there when we moved out a few years later. And don't get me started on the home brew batch which exploded under the stairs......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Ah, the ethnography of delayed adolescence. So much of it, so little time to record it all for posterity. I too am familiar with the squalor of university shared-houses. My best experience was wading through a living room that was a complete ashtray in itself: the butts of years forming a virtual carpet, with a gentle underlay of ash and other debris, all washing around the atavistic stoned circle.

      On your bike, BOAB. I trust you are now grown-up and know how to do the washing up, as demonstrated by our exemplar host.

      Delete
    2. I know of some blokes who decided that their unit needed to be bug-bombed.

      This was in Melbourne.

      They bug-bombed the unit and blew the place up.

      Forgot the pilot light on the indoor heater....

      Delete
  9. I have lived for years around a large aboriginal community. I wish I could go into detail. I can't. I can only say that PC and minority-indulgence are as bad as the neglect and paternalism of yore. Above all, we are failing to deal with the most serious issue, that of "uncles". And with that cryptic word "uncles", I will have to now drop the whole subject. And I'll understand if my comment is not printed.

    On an unrelated subject, how many of humanity's gravest problems are due to inbreeding?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I too spent many years in the Army including active service. These were comments made on a private facebook site. Next the Chief will be monitoring conversations in the boozer. This level of surveillance of personnel that are no security risk and have broken no laws is outrageous.

    Army proclaims Courage, Initiative and Teamwork as it's ethos. This level of snooping by the boss is redolent of an organization that doesnt trust it's people. Without trust there can be no teamwork. Snooping like this means that the Chief doesn't believe in the integrity of his soldiers. Disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The boss doesn't trust the team to do what is in the boss's best interest when the team finds the truth.

      It's all about the boss's best interest, not the interest of the objective.

      Delete
  11. Gives me no pleasure but,in truth, I have long said that one Labor MP S Conroy was a dangerous hard leftist fellow and I'm now quaking in my boots at what he might do to our free speech with the crutch of the Finkle... report to lean upon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh come off it all of you. You know the intent of that article and the resulting letters was a dog whistle to the huge part of the population of this country that still refers to aboriginals as "abos" when they think they're being polite, and "boongs" when they're not so concerned. Racists all of you. I totally agree with the Press Council. I just wish this type of verdict could be converted into an indictable offence with severe jail terms as outcomes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you realise that most indictable offences must be tried by a jury, in particular where a severe jail term might be an outcome? And what do you think many juries would think of charge based on an expression of opinion? Or would you refer trial and punishment by judge/magistrate/quasi-judicial tribunal, where so-called progressive opinion will be more commonly found?

      Delete
    2. "Racists all of you."
      So no-one can talk about Aborigines unless you pre-approve the language and the tone? Soon you will have to hand our country back to adults with intellects. And we will be able to speak directly to the First Australians without having to speak through fascist white pimps like you.

      Delete
    3. You're getting all that from the picture of a man in a kitchen and the publication of reader submitted opinions.

      "The Council regards the article as a frank and balanced report of concerns about conditions in Roebourne."

      It's not at all unusual to show a picture with a news article, so say a story about fat kids would show a picture of fat kids. In this case an aboriginal living in apparent neglect to go with a story about such people. What are they supposed to do?

      Delete
    4. Oh come off it Hammygar. You know the intent of your comment was a dog whistle to the huge part of the population of this country that still refers to whites as "racists" when they think they're being polite, and "shock jocks" when they're not so concerned. Racists all of you. I totally agree with the Press Council. I just wish this type of comment could be converted into an indictable offence with severe jail terms as outcomes.

      Delete
    5. Actually thinking about this, what does a typical black-fellers kitchen look like? I've never been in one and have never seen one. Have no idea if its dirty or clean. I suspect its filthy but I could be wrong.
      We have an SBS-TV station that will probably never show you because it might offend someone. What do the typical black kid in the outback eat for breakfast before going off to school in the morning? I have no idea what goes on in these remote outback communities. Why not? Too embarrassing? Too dirty? Too clean and spotless? Why for heavens sakes is so much information hidden away, sanitized or ignored and deemed not worthy to be exposed? We need less laws and more press freedom. More freedom to question the system. To stand apart from the group. To question who is black or white or shades of grey in between. Who is real and who is fake? What is wrong with that? Its the sweet smell of freedom. Where light shines, things grow. Whats wrong with that notion?

      Delete
    6. 2/10 for trolling, Hammy. You're not even shocking, just stupid. Lift your game,

      Delete
    7. Anon @ Mar 3, 2012 12:24 AM

      Actually thinking about this, what does a typical black-fellers kitchen look like? I've never been in one and have never seen one. Have no idea if its dirty or clean. I suspect its filthy but I could be wrong.


      Ain't wrong at all, and as far as the NT standard goes, the pictured fellow and his domicile are ridiculously clean.
      Oh the stories I could tell about good taxpayer money being used to fix up indigenous public housing, only to have it ruined less then 24 hours later. I could supply photos, but I'll describe a few of my personal favourites:

      - the smashed toilet cistern and bowl, with water turned off and buried under a pile of human faeces

      - the one where a horse died in a living room/ kitchen, rotted in the heat, and then exploded in a shower of slime and maggots

      - the bedroom decorated with Nazi iconography and slogans

      Delete
  13. Yeah right, Cyril. You weren't angling for some council funded cleaning lady action, were you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. So the learned Council found the article to be commendable where it followed the "approved" narrative, and misleading when it veered off the approved path.

    In the interest of quality journalism, I hope the learned Council publishes a definite list of what may be published, and what must not be published.

    Perhaps the learned Council could assist in the development of quality journalism by vetting each and every article to be published, blogged, or spoken before the crime of "misleading" is unfortunately committed.

    I am sure that Commissar Brown and his assistant sub-Commissar Gillard could find some funds to finance a corps of approved vetting cops for this task.

    In reply to Withtwist's posting above - the problems caused by inbreeding go far beyond our indigenous population. Inbreeding between first cousins results in a population with markedly low IQs - see
    http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2010/03/muslim_iq.html
    and -
    http://themmindset.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/why-are-muslims-so-stupid/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Apropos of nothing except the mention of Ajax, I was looking for it myself last night to do the stovetop. For ours, like Cyril's, it was more than overdue. I was directed to the no-name brand of bicarb as the Ajax had been finished. At about $1.25 a 375g bag, it took about 10g and the damp dishcloth to get it looking sweet.
    F*ck the Ajax.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    No, Ham Person, the above thread demonstrates in a number of ways that squalor is a learned cultural and/or a reactive psychiatric condition. Ignoring the fact of squalor with regard to aboriginal people in disadvantaged circumstances thus becomes the real sin. You are guilty of it. What a pathetic piece of excuse-making you generate, guised in a typical leftist response of 'dog whistle' and 'racism'. I wouldn't offer you a jail term, though, for your disgraceful neglect of truth, because I'm not into legislated inquisitions for the sinful. I'll just make do with sending you my sincere contempt.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Professor, I have two words for you. Dishwasher. Okay, one word. Also, AC/DC, just before they made it, played at the opening of KMart Corio (yes) to a crowd of about 30 people but they played as if we were 3000. Bon Scott's eyes shone like stars.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Look on the bright side... as a bit of karma, the conservative hate-media and their readership could spend some of their spare time writing letters of complaint to this new, pumped-up lefty clique, about [un]fairhax and the ABC... maybe even get a bit of revenge on groups such as GetUp!

    I wonder how the medicine will taste for them... though, all thing considered, it'd probably be a pointless exercise, as this body would find no bias in the pages of the Aged and Silly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ages ago I wrote to the Netnasty watch group set up by Senator Richard Alstone complaining about Porrasturvat. I wailed piteously that it depicted a naked female being thrown down a staircase then driveled on for a few paras about the violent subjugation of women.

      Sure enough, a few weeks later, the poor schmuck who's job it was to read this load of bollocks responded. It gently pointed out that I needn't concern myself since the figure was genderless and in any case violence was not really the theme here it was more blah blah ..... I shouldn't have done it since it lent legitimacy to a dubious regulator.

      Best course is to ignore the ABC and Fauxfacts. Pay your subs to the Hate Media and let the market sort it out. Write to your MPs and let democracy sort it out.

      If the next administration spawns another Alstone / Harridine cabal then remember to winge about that too.

      Delete
  19. "I just wish this type of verdict could be converted into an indictable offence with severe jail terms as outcomes."


    Oh that's coming, Hammy. Wait until the right get back into power and the Left start feeling the cold hard sound of a jail door closing on them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I live a long, long way away from Australia. I'm becoming happier and happier that this is so.
    Australia, your Government and your politicians have right royally screwed both you and your country.
    I'm so sorry to see you all disappear under that Socialist miasma of total government control.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Does this mean that under a Press Kontrol Kouncil, we would not be able to make jokes about the empty fruit bowl in pictures of Julia Gillard's kitchen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      You are dead right Gerard, that is just what it means. Ham Person is deeply offended by such. Check out Catallaxy now!!

      Delete
  22. It's way past time the Press Council was gien a towelling - http://1735099.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/its-chronic.html

    ReplyDelete