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.