Power of the media

August 27, 2005 1:17 AM

The more enlightened Australians amongst us would know that Today Tonight is the lowest of the low – tabloid television at its sensationalist best. When I saw a promo on TV for a segment that they were going to do on young Muslims living in Sydney, I thought “oh oh … this wasn’t gonna be pretty”. And though I didn’t watch the show (I can’t bring myself to – I loathe it that much!) my initial thoughts were proven correct. Thanks to Media Watch (media watchdog on Government TV that keeps the bastards honest), here’s a sample of what sneaky editing can do:

What was shown on air:

  • “I mean you have all this talk about integration. Why hasn’t the Muslim community assimilated or why doesn’t it integrate into the Australian community as quick as other communities. Well, at the end of the day OK, we will never integrate.” – Today Tonight, Channel 7, 15 August 2005

Original intent of the interviewee:

  • I was saying off camera to Tim [interviewer] – look we will never integrate like other cultures have done because it’s against our religion to drink alcohol and go to bars and clubs. He said “Ok, let me get that on camera”. I think what I said on camera was “We will never integrate to the extent that other communities have been able to and it also depends on what your definition of integration is.” – Ahmed Haouchar to Media Watch

As expected, radio talkback rednecks had a field day as a result and Today Tonight even had the audacity to follow up that inflaming episode the next day by canvassing “normal” ppl on the streets what they thought about the above statements that were taken completely out of context. Ppl who didn’t watch the show, when asked the question would obviously say things like “that’s very un-Australian” and “this is our country, if they don’t want to assimilate then don’t come” and so on.

You may ask why did they agree to be interviewed by Today Tonight knowing its reputation? Well they were misled. The interviewer claimed to be making a documentary for Channel 7. Only after filming had begun were the participants told that it was for Today Tonight.

F**k I hate racists but I hate sneaky tabloid “journalists” even more because they are insidious. To you assholes: if you like fanning the flames so much, you all belong in hell.

Transcript and video of the Media Watch episode can be found here.

8 thoughts on “Power of the media

  1. ~*Starryluvly*~

    *insert splew of expletives*

    Whatever happened to multiculturalism…? The assholes are treating Muslims like they did the Aborigines all those years ago. They wanted to Aborigines to act more like whites, they tried “enlightening” them and look what’s happened to them now.

    Besides, how much would they like us to assimilate? You can’t force Muslims, or anyone for that matter to go against their religion. Just because we don’t drink alcohol, it doesn’t mean we don’t know how to socialise. Personally, I go to bars – I just drink the non-alcoholic stuff.

    And it’s not like our religion says “thou shalt hate all westerners and bomb thy homes wherever possible”.

    As usual, all they’ve done is perpetuated the “stereotypical” Muslim, and forgot about the rest of us.


    *fuming mad*

  2. mooiness

    miss L: these ppl deserve a fate worse than scornful women. 😉

    starry: actually the ppl that they interviewed weren’t even stereotypical. They are just young ppl who happen to be devout Muslims. And yes you are right, if their intentions were for a balanced story they would have interviewed a wider range of Muslims. But as we all know now, that wasn’t their intentions from the beginning. Their objective was for a sensationalist piece of crap that would evoke the biggest reaction that they can muster.

  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    yea I know they weren’t stereotypical, what I meant is that they were trying to conjure up the most cliched image. I didn’t watch today tonight, but looking at their screen caps at the mediawatch page, I already see that stereotypical image:

    Middle Eastern, bearded and “dangerously devout” (I use apostrophes here because this is based on the media construction, not necessarily with the actual person).

    Such myopic journos – you really begin to wonder what they heck they learnt while pursuing mass communications degrees. *shudder*

  4. mooiness

    starry: maybe these were the ones who didn’t really do well in the Ethics part of the course. 😉

    Anyway you watched the video of that Media Watch ep right? It gathered over 1500 comments! And most of them have our point of view as well. Glad to see that there are sane and educated ppl out there still.

  5. ~*Starryluvly*~

    Maybe employers in the media industry should make the ethics part a top priority? But then again, I guess it would be against their interest to create sensational stories if everyone started being ethical… *rolls eyes*

    nope I didn’t watch the epi of Media Watch – will watch it later. I did read the transcript they put on the site tho.

    And yes, thank god most people were blessed with brains.


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