Thursday, October 29, 2009

The blog problem

Shanghai-born Sydney heart surgeon Victor Chang was killed, shot twice in the head, during a botched extortion attempt. His killers, Malaysians Choon Tee Lim and Chiew Seng Liew, were sentenced to maximum terms of 24 and 26 years respectively. Earlier this week it became known that Choon Tee Lim was to be released and deported to Malaysia after serving the minimum 18 year sentence. On becoming aware of this New South Wales Minister for Corrective Services John Robertson immediately moved to block Lim's release. Only later, as the story circulated, did the public become outraged at the prospect of Lim's early release.

This sequence of events has now been rewritten, turned arse about, on a mainstream blog which claims as its mission exposing "dishonesty" elsewhere in the mainstream media. Why the rewrite? It's an attempt by a left-leaning independent media outlet (Crikey's Pure Poison) to discredit one of Rupert Murdoch's "right-wing" corporate outlets (Sydney's Daily Telegraph).

Here's righteously indignant PP boy Dave Gaukroger:

"The Daily Telegraph are feeding off the grief of a family and trying to undermine the justice system in New South Wales as they peddle their latest outrage of the week. The decision by the NSW Parole Authority to release one of the men who was convicted of the murder of high profile heart surgeon Dr Victor Chang has given the Tele the chance to spout righteous indignation and call for the judgement of their staff and readers to trump that of the professionals who work in the justice system.

As far as I can tell the "justice system" was first questioned by Corrective Services Minister John Robertson who moved to block Lim's release prior to the Daily Telegraph picking up and running with the story."

More counter-outrage outrage from Dave:

"As seems to be standard operating procedure whenever the Tele or one of the AM radio jocks starts up their outrage machine, NSW politicians are now falling over themselves to be associated with being on the right side of the Tele’s campaign rather than standing up for the people in our justice system who have the difficult and thankless task of dealing with offenders and making the onerous decisions about their punishment, rehabilitation and release."

Which politicians would those be, Dave? Perhaps Corrective Services Minister John Robertson, who, you know, was the first to express outrage, as he blocked Lim's release prior to the Telegraph even picking up the story.

Dave then veers off on a tangent:

"Equally worrying is the fact that The Daily Telegraph’s ability to objectively report on this case has been completely undermined by its decision to become a participant in this issue rather than a reporter. Not unlike Fox News’ decision in the US to help promote and organise the anti-Obama Tea Party rallies, then report on them as legitimate grass roots organisations, the Telegraph is using the front page of its website to promote their petition, which they are then using as proof of community feeling about this issue. This goes beyond the blurring of news and opinion and strays into the manufacturing of news, which undermines people’s trust in the media."

Yes, yes, we all love and worship Obama and understand what Fox News is doing to him is absolutely terrible, absolutely terrible - all Americans are idiots who can't think for themselves but that's, like, irrelevant.

Anyway, what is there to report? Lim's release has been temporarily blocked and will be reconsidered. So what if the Daily Telegraph is running a poll and a petition when the Corrective Services Minister and Chang's family and lots of ordinary citizens oppose Lim's early release - maybe Dave should tell Chang's family to shut up and stop undermining the parole board's decision making.

The bottom line? Be careful when you read blogs; some of them are way inaccurate.



Post a Comment

<< Home