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A blog on terrorism, democracy and international politics
Sunday, May 09, 2004
What actually happened was that NRK concocted a conspiracy theory in order to discredit a group organising an anti-terrorist demonstration. Because one of the organisers of the anti-terrorist project had been critical of the Norwegian media for its allegedly anti-Israeli bias, that organiser was targetted and duped into an interview by an NRK journalist who pretended to be sympathetic to the group's opposition to anti-semitism. The interview was then deliberately twisted and misrepresented, then broadcast as a special segment on the evening news.
This is what NRK considers the appropriate response to criticism of its anti-Israeli bias by a group that opposes anti-Semitism - accuse the group of being part of a vast, interlocking jewish conspiracy. The broadcast has taken the debate over whether Scandinavian media are simply anti-Israeli or actually anti-semitic to a new level. The episode has shades of Stalin's "Doctors Plot".
How can decent people believe that state-funded media is a good idea when said media operate in this way?
While Australia's state broadcasters have not quite descended to NRK's level, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) sometimes comes close. The broadcaster, which was originally intended to provide foreign-language media for isolated migrants, is now a left-dominated funds trough that serves to broadcast semi-pornographic arthouse movies, usually from countries in which everyone speaks English anyway.
The last remnant of SBS' original raison d'etre is the foreign news broadcasts that are screened every morning. Recently, SBS began broadcasting Hanoi television news into the living rooms of Australia's Vietnamese community, despite a stated preference for alternative Vietnamese-language news hosted by emigres in America. Vietnamese groups in Australia launched protests against SBS, pointing out that their children were being taught lies about their parents, their old country, and their new country, in their own language, if they turned SBS on in the morning.
A member of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Committee who was involved in the protests will deliver the 26th May PWHCE talk. If you are in Melbourne on 26th May, please consider attending this event.
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