Archive for December, 2011

Steyn on an unholy Christmas

December 30, 2011

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”   

Steyn again reveals the hypocrisy — or is it just naivety of the Left that I reported on here in February — over the Arab Spring, and how it takes a Jew to speak up for the millions of Christians now being persecuted.

On this Christmas Eve, one of the great unreported stories throughout what we used to call Christendom is the persecution of Christians around the world. In Egypt, the “Arab Spring” is going so swimmingly that Copts are already fleeing Egypt and, for those Christians that remain, Midnight Mass has to be held in the daylight for security reasons. In Iraq, midnight services have been canceled entirely for fear of bloodshed, part of the remorseless de-Christianizing that has been going on, quite shamefully, under an American imperium.

Not merely the media but Christian leaders in the west seem to be embarrassed by behavior that doesn’t conform to their dimwitted sappiness about “Facebook Revolutions”. It took a Jew to deliver this line:

When Lord Sacks, chief rabbi inEngland, rose in the House of Lords to speak about the persecution of Christians, he quoted Martin Luther King. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Refugee disaster

December 18, 2011

What ever … accidents happen.

With growing incredulity, I heard an interview with Sarah Hanson Young on the ABC explaining that the tragic drowning at sea of yet another boatload of refugees coming from Indonesia had nothing to do with the Greens policy settings. She said, “Of course not. Tragedies happen, accidents happen”. 

Even Robert Manne warned Rudd publicly about the weakening refugee policy by  “compassionate leftists”. It is all documented and discussed by Tim Blair. At the moment, yet again, the Fairfax and ABC media is letting Australia down badly with their inability to think realistically about this issue.

 Refugee advocates don’t like to discuss why these safer options are not explored. The reasons are to do with identity and culpability. Those arriving in Australia by air require passports, which makes easier the task of disproving the legitimacy of asylum claims. Those arriving from Indonesia on boats commonly carry no identification at all, allowing certain freedoms with their stories. (Additionally, the SMH reports: “Many of the asylum seekers flew from Dubai to Jakarta, where Indonesian officials are said to be ready for the migrants to arrive, charging them each $US500 to pass through the airport without visas.”) If asylum seekers purchase their own boats instead of places on boats run by people smugglers, they are liable for prosecution. So they take their chances with the smugglers. Refugee advocates blame Australia for subsequent deadly outcomes.

[Thanks to reader Andrew R]

UPDATE

Professor Bunyip has added some links and examples of how Fairfax deliberately tries to cover up news, and how it, hypocritically, bleats on about drownings at sea if it happens to be when the Liberals are in power.  Outrageous but typical.

Maurice Newman is dreaming on ABC balance

December 13, 2011

The Left always complain of media bias. Why so? 

I was surprised and a little incredulous, as it seems were many readers when Maurice Newman, retiring Chairman of the ABC writing in The Australian, claimed that “the public broadcaster strives for balance and gets it right most of the time”. This is just so far from the truth that it can only be interpreted as a laughable piece of ‘diplomatic hypocrisy’.

A brilliant book on media bias, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind by Tim Groseclose, would quickly disabuse anyone of just how biased and distorting is our media. Whilst writing on America, Groseclose analyses with precision just how and why the media distorts. All his arguments apply to our ABC.

Groseclose cleverly, and empirically, demonstrates just how news is transformed from factual content into a point of view. He is at pains to point out that political bias does not mean not being truthful, or reporting facts honestly, or even objectively. If there is one lesson from Groseclose’s careful analysis it is that left journalists select the issues they deal with. In this way, critical things are therefore not reported, and in interviews, certain people are never interviewed. The examples are so endless here in Australia, that one gets sick of pointing them out.

Left Turn demonstrates that mainstream American media outlets have an overwhelming left bias, that conservative outlets are far less extreme than are those of the left, and most importantly, the effect this bias in the media has on the voting public has measurably shifted the public’s “political quotient” significantly more to the left than it would have been with a more representative media. A detailed review of the book can be read in Quadrant Online by Steven Kates.

Reading the book reminded me of an article I wrote in 1998 based on studies in Australia by Professor Henningham at Queensland University. Henningham surveyed Australian journalists themselves to ascertain their impression of the place Australian media outlets lay on a spectrum from left to right. What strikes the outside observer is that the journalists themselves clearly rated the ABC as pro-Labor, indeed as the most pro-Labor of the major media outlets. The results of the survey, from left to right were:

7.30 Report
ABC News
Four Corners
SBS News
The Age
Channel Nine
Canberra Times
Channel Seven, A Current Affair
Channel Ten,
Telegraph-Mirror

— MID POINT ACCORDING TO JOURNALISTS —

Sydney Morning Herald
Courier Mail
Financial Review
The Australian

— MIDPOINT ACCORDING TO PUBLIC —

Herald-Sun
Hobart Mercury
Adelaide Advertiser
The West Australian
Northern Territory

The mid-point in this spectrum, according to the journalists was between the Telegraph-Mirror and the Sydney Morning Herald. However, a question imposes. Where would be this putative mid point be for the general public.

Henningham conducted a second but unrelated survey, ‘Ideological Differences between Australian Journalists and Their Public’. Of 173 journalists and 262 members of the public in metropolitan Australia, not surprisingly, there was an enormous difference between the views of journalists and those of the general public, with journalists consistently having more ‘progressive’ views than the general public.

Given this difference in views, I attempted to establish notionally just where the centre point of these media might lie on our political spectrum for the general public: that is, the one that delivers a close to 50/50 result on average at a general election. With caveats, I combined the results from the two Henningham studies. [see details here on third page]. I selected ten items that I believe have relative importance to the issues that were current at that time. Whilst only suggestive, when the journalists’ inherent bias is taken into account along with the electorate’s, one can hassard that the Australian people would judge the centre point in our media to be the Herald Sun. This means that the Australian public, on average, would consider every media outlet to the left of the Herald Sun to be biased towards the left. This would of course include The Australian.

I mention this short analysis only to underline the value of the very detailed and thorough analysis done by Professor Groseclose on the America media. Much more needs to be done about the complacency in the distortion of politics that our media creates. It is results like these that give irony to the absurd claimes of Maruice Newman, and above all to all those on the left climbing onto the Gillard government’s media enquiry.

Monk attacks Church with superficial argument

December 8, 2011

Same-sex or sane-sex marriage?

Yesterday, Paul Monk had an article published in The Age railing against the Church, conservative reaction and popular prejudice against same sex marriage. I thought it somewhat shrill and being familiar with Monk’s usual care in argument was a little shocked at his wilful one-sidedness and the shallowness of his argument. Worse was his offensive and cowardly use of ad hominum argument: more a tactic of the left intelligentsia I would have thought.

I wrote a letter to the editor highlighting some of the hypocrisy embedded in Monk’s argument. Presumably for space reasons, it was heavily cut. Here was my full response.

Paul Monk’s moralising [Gay vows not so queer, December 8] is all the more surprising for someone who has devoted his professional life considering all sides of an argument. This piece was one sided knee jerk anti-religious posturing.

Like Monk, I also am not of the left-wing intelligentsia, nor am I gay or standing for office. However, unlike Monk, I have never been in thrall to religious obedience. The claim that secular arguments against same sex marriage are absent or non-existent, or that the ALP’s change on this issue is somehow courageous and imaginative, is itself courageous and imaginative.

What is missing in his argument is an understanding of the central reason why society must have a particular regard for heterosexual union. In large part it is to do with the momentous consequences of the potential for issue. Bertrand Russell neatly summarises it. “It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution”.

I urge Monk to include this factor in his argument diagram. Oh, and by the way, I also “have gay friends and know gay couples”.

Andrew McIntyre


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.