Sunday, November 04, 2007

Election 2007 - "Exclusive footage: detention centres, riots, refugees. Remember them?"

One of this blog's readers (thanks Steve) brought this footage posted on Crikey to my attention. Part of Crikey's commentary follows:

"So far in this election campaign the only r word employed by politicians has been peppered through the Treasurer's press conferences.

But the footage we reveal today, which has never been released to the public, concerns a subject that has featured promimently in elections past: refugees.

The video includes footage of the Port Hedland detention centre riots from May 2001 and was leaked by an anonymous guard shortly after the riot occurred, a time when the media was denied access to Australian detention centres.

The footage came to light after producers of the US reality television program Most Shocking sought it from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre this year. The producers of the program, which airs on Channel Seven, eventually rejected the Port Hedland tape on the grounds that it wasn't "pro government forces".

Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has told Crikey that the video was filmed by the government contractor Australasian Correctional Management to be circulated in the Department of Immigration."

Don't you think verbal gaffes like Garrett's pale into insignificance when you consider the appalling human rights record of the Howard Govt.? Our political culture has been degraded and demeaned by shock jocks and a large slice of the commentariat who have stood by while this country has been hijacked by dangerous buffoons. I sent the following comment to SKY News the other day. Their election coverage was positively frothing with the Garrett story at the time:

"I know you are pitching constantly to the moneyed part of the society (because they can afford pay TV), but your political coverage is awful. Your ridiculous polls indicate the skewed demographic you appeal to.

Your constant trawling for slip ups and minor inflections by candidates is disappointing. You have fallen into the trap of most political journos in thrall to the Howard experiment and have started believing your own spin. A word to the wise, if you want to be taken seriously as a current affairs outlet, lose the skewed polls and try to insert some balance and intellectual integrity into your coverage.

You might consider employing someone who has been around longer than 10 mins on your political team to bring some gravitas to the content. It is no accident that Howard has a preference for SKY coverage - it is because you mainly seem in thrall to his side of politics and his constituency.

Certain of your presenters might consider loosing the deeply troubled look when Labor or the Greens pitch a message. One of your female presenters always looks as though there has been a death in the family. Don't worry its not that bad!

Try to imagine what it's been like for people who value social equity, community cohesion, reconciliation, and respect for human rights, rule of law, fairness and good international citizenship over the last 11 years - in a word, ghastly!"

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