In the first episode of The Chaser’s new series The Hamster Wheel on ABC TV, the comedy group poked fun at Green Left Weekly for being the only media to challenge the distorted mainstream media’s reports of the supposed “violent Muslim protest” in Sydney on September 15.
But The Chaser’s hilarious but blistering attack was focused on the utter hypocrisy of the mainstream media, politicians and the police on this issue.
It reminded me of The Chaser's most famous stunt, when they took a fake Canadian motorcade (carrying a team member dressed up as Osama bin Laden) through the intense security ring for former US President George Bush's visit to Sydney for the 2007 APEC summit. That audacious stunt helped us build a peaceful 10,000-strong rally in the middle of Sydney that defied the police lockdown of the city.
GLW has told the truth about this so-called Muslim riot on September 15, as it did about the media and police lies about “violent protests” in 2007.
An SBS report supported GLW's eyewitness accounts of police-provoked clashes in Sydney last month. There is undoubtedly more unseen footage, taken by other camera crews, that would support the version of events GLW published, but which has been selectively edited to support the “Muslim violence” line.
The most widely shown TV footage of a protester hitting a policeman with a banner pole outside the US consulate in Sydney is accepted as “proof” that the protesters were rioting. But footage capturing the intense police provocation and intimidation beforehand was edited out. An older older protester who grabbed the pole and snapped it in half was also not shown.
It was sad to see how readily large sections of liberal opinion in Australia went to water on this issue on the basis of deliberately distorted and inflammatory mainstream media coverage.
ABC's Media Watch should to do its duty on this. But for now at least The Chaser have pinged the hypocrisy, if not the lies, at the core of this campaign of racist hysteria against Muslim communities.
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