Thursday, August 31, 2006

CBS Does this, what else? Thor's Day Rant

KC and CBS
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
hen CBS, a mighty mainstream news organisation, can cheat like this, what else might it cheat at?

Well, maybe its Dan Rather has aready answered that for us.

(Via Drudge Report)

I'm curious to know what the negligent Rather resigned from after promoting a falsified document denigrating the incumbent US President. I see too much of him, and too little of Katie Couric.


Weasel said...

The Australian now reports:

In the current Who’s Who, Mr Einfeld, 66, claimed he was a director of Marks & Spencer Ltd in London in 1975-76. According to his Who’s Who entry, he would have been in his mid-30s at the time of the directorship, although different documents list several birthdates for Mr Einfeld.

“To the best of our knowledge we don’t have any records of Marcus Einfeld,” a Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for Mr Einfeld last night declined to comment on the apparent discrepancy.

How is it that His Excellency Field Marshall Professor Marcus Einfeld BA MA PhD AO MBE VC and Bar wasn’t rumbled long ago?

The Greatest Australian Living Treasure has done much to advance the cause of privacy. Does it matter that his career is based on lies? If he'd been alive in the nineteenth century, we would be mercifully unaware of Ned Kelly's last words.

Oh, I'm sorry, not privacy but human rights. If it weren't for his work, dingoes would not have the vote. Nelson would not have lost at Trafalgar .. What was that? Nelson won at Trafalgar? Then what happened to the guy that lost? I bet he didn't get a kiss.

Weasel said...

Mark Steyn reports on his Australian tour:

I was a little stunned by my foray down under. I’d expected to jet in, give a couple of speeches and jet out. Instead, I was overwhelmed by the almost Kylie-esque fever, and very touched to be warmly greeted by so many Australians...

Jill Singer and Jon Faine excepted, of course.

But when intelligent, politically active people in this country seems this hungry to hear a conservative voice, why do they so rarely get to hear one on, say, their ABC or at our assorted writers’ festivals and the like?

If you come to Australia, you need to knock, softly but firmly. We like soft, firm knockers.

Weasel said...

Peter Manning, former head of ABC TV News and Current Affairs, shows in a Sydney Morning Herald column “>Sydney Morning Herald column that he suffers from the Terry Lane disease:

“THE day after the Cronulla riot in December last year Channel Nine posed a blunt question on its website. “Do you think Australia has a race problem?” Throughout the day the voting ran overwhelmingly, by a three to one margin, for a “yes” answer to the question. By 4.15pm, when I logged off, 49,371 had agreed, 14,174 disagreed.

Despite John Howard and Kim Beazley racing into print to assure the country we were not racists, ordinary Australians knew in their hearts we had a problem.”

Excuse me, Peter. There is all the difference in the world between acknowledging we have a “race” problem and actually being racist. In this case I’d suggest it was likely that many of the people who voted simply wanted to acknowledge the bleeding obvious - that one cultural or religious minority in particular was having trouble fitting in and getting along.

But here’s a test. Let’s now run a poll of those same people asking them directly the question you claim they answered: Do you think Australia is racist?

Want to bet on the result?

I don't think Australia is racist, but Australia has a race problem. A few of them. We need to stop the ABC breeding. It's a dangerous race. And the ALP? Haven't they heard of family planning or birth control?

Weasel said...

Before we get too huffy about Muslim parents worrying about the effects of our culture on their children, let’s acknowledge that those parents may in fact have some reason to be scared:

SEXUALLY provocative baby dolls dressed in leather and lingerie are being marketed to girls as young as three.

While I agree that parents need to negotiate lots of obstacles I feel it a bit strong to denounce Western Culture and suicide, killing shoppers.

Weasel said...

Should AFL players caught taking illegal drugs have their identities protected and kept secret? Or given that such players are role models for youngsters, do they deserve to be “named and shamed” for using drugs? A Supreme Court judge has agreed with the AFL that they should stay secret, saying that satisfying the public’s curiosity and the media’s desire for a “scoop” could lead to the end of the league’s Illicit Drugs Policy and its “sensible approach” of trying to rehabilitate and educate players. Here were the arguments put to the court from both sides.

Under the AFL’s 2005 drugs policy agreement with the AFL Player’s Association, players testing positive to drugs such as cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and morphine are given two “chances” They will only be named and face a minimum six week suspension after a third positive test. The agreement is different from normal anti-doping rules in that the tests are taken out of competition.

In March the names of three players who had recorded two positive tests were leaked to the media. The AFL and Players’ Association went to court to stop them being published.

These were three arguments put forward by Fairfax lawyers for making the names public:

1. The names had already been published on the Internet, one name had been broadcast on radio, the names were known within AFL circles and one newspaper had accidently published the names in electronic form to a small number of people.
2. It was wrong and not in the interests of justice to protect people who had committed criminal offences by taking illegal drugs.
3. It was in the public interest that “such seriously wrongful conduct not be hidden, and that young people should know both the identities of such players and their conduct”.

The AFL and AFL Players Association replied that:

1. The names of the three players had not been widely circulated. The names appearing on Internet chat sites in March and April were mostly speculation and rumour. The names were accidently released by the Sydney Morning Herald in electronic form to Media Monitors, which in turn supplied them to a number of clients. But this information was recalled.
2. Releasing the names of the three publicly because they had broken the law was not an issue because police could still obtain the names if they wished.
3. There was no public interest justification because a public debate could still be conducted about why taking drug was wrong without the names being made public. But if the names were released, AFL players might withdraw from the voluntary drug testing program and this was not in the public interest.

Justice Murray Kellam backed the AFL and the players on all three arguments. He ruled:

1. The only widespread publication of names had been on Internet chat sites, but such “speculative gossip, innuendo and assertion by unknown persons” did not mean the information was no longer confidential. Publication on such sites was not the same as publication of the names in newspapers or on television.
2. A positive drug test was not proof in itself that a crime such as possessing illicit drugs had occurred. And the media did not want to publish the names in the interests of justice, but rather they just wanted an “interesting story” for football fans and readers.
3. There was a public interest in having an effective anti drugs policy and offering young players education and rehabilitation, but not in naming the three players. And public debate about the effectiveness of the AFL’s drug policy could be conducted without the names.

The judge went on to say that it was not surprising young players given celebrity status “are either manipulated by others, or on occasions fall into temptation to use drugs of the nature of those used by many others in the community”.

“It can be well argued that a process which is designed to identify players who might use illicit drugs and to endeavour to rehabilitate and educate them before exposing them to public scrutiny is a sensible approach. The emotional and financial damage that might be done to a young player who is detected to be in breach of the IDP, if his first or second breach for that matter were to become public, needs no further explanation.”

So what do you think? Name and shame because they are role models? Or protect them for the good of the game and because they should be allowed to make mistakes like anyone else?

I think it important that those who are clean are recognised. It is apalling that criminals have rights denied honest people. I think both their drug status and juvenile history should be public. Why should we cover up that incident with a guinea pig and a hamster when they were ten?

Weasel said...

I've had more time to consider my reply. I think there is a demarcation between community values (clean sport, spectacle, wholesome) and privacy issues. Although many jealous members of the public feel the vast sums paid players exstinguish privacy, in fact, there is a great need for some protection for the famous.
On the one hand, the community cannot tolerate drugs and must not accept drugs among elite sportspeople. Elite sportspeople are role models, wether they know how to behave or not. It is not good enough that a player plays a game well on the field. A player requires a depth of character. If the Australian Cricket Captain behaved like the Pakistani Captain, he should be sacked. It may well be the case that many in the community feel drugs are all right. Sport cannot accept that lesser standard.
On the other hand, what happens when an elite player falls for the parasitical industry that surrounds the newly wealthy? Crucifying is harsh. Elite sport lends itself to young people getting lots of money. Fault is diminished.
Should someone's life be turned upside down over a $77 fine? Maybe, if they are paid so much more than others to represent a sport that requires a clean image.
Sports administrators cannot sit on the fence on this issue, if they want their sport to keep its clean image. Personally, I feel ARL to be a dirty, grubby and corrupt sport.

Weasel said...

OVER the past three days “our’’ ABC, the al-Jazeera of the South Pacific, has given a platform to every civil rights lawyer and academic willing to protest against the Government’s control orders on self-confessed wannabe terrorist Jihad Jack Thomas.

Constitutional lawyer (and aspiring Labor candidate) George Williams, Thomas’ defence team of Lex Lasry QC and Rob Starry, NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy, Liberty Victoria president Brian Walters and Thomas’ brother Les have all been given sweeping access to “our’’ ABC frequencies to champion Thomas’ cause.

The counter argument has been almost entirely drowned out. Former National Crime Authority chairman Peter Faris QC is one of the few who has been permitted to state the obvious - that the real issue is the genuine concern about national security raised by the Thomas case.

Thomas had his two terrorism-related convictions quashed by the Victorian Court of Appeal in what can only be described as a bizarre decision.

Though Thomas had told AFP officers that he had accepted money from al Qaeda and had permitted his passport to be altered to disguise his visits to Afghanistan, the court ruled that his confession was “involutary”.

There was no lawyer present. Thomas has claimed he was under duress.

Despite the whinging of the hand-wringers, this is not a case about civil rights, it’s a question about the protection of national security.

Not only did the court not dispute the truth of Thomas’ statement, it totally ignored the same admissions he made in a lengthy interview with the ABC’s Four Corners program, broadcast on February 27.

By and large, the ABC has attempted to ignore this elephant in the room, even though its own lawyers are now sending tapes and notes made during the preparation of that show to the court .

Monica Attard, presenter of the ABC’s Media Watch, devoted a hefty chunk of time trying to make the case that it was wrong to question the Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision to quash Thomas’ convictions.

Essentially she reiterated the civil liberties lobby’s pathetic argument that the Victorian judges’ position defeated all other points of law.

She summed up thus: “Thomas told the AFP that he’d accepted money from al-Qaeda and falsified his passport.

“But before being interviewed, he’d been held in solitary confinement, threatened with torture and the prospect of Guantanamo Bay and he was told repeatedly by Pakistani and US officials that his future depended on him co-operating.

“The Court of Appeal found his admissions a very straightforward breach of law.

“They were made under duress and there was no need to consider whether or not having a lawyer was an issue,’’ she said.

She attacked The Australian newspaper’s legal editor Chris Merritt and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Gerard Henderson for attempting to examine the niceties of the judges’ argument.

“That ‘nice legal argument’,’’ she brayed, “is that confessions and admissions of guilt can’t be used if they’re involuntary.

“It’s a rule that prevents confessions being extracted by intimidation and torture.

“And that’s exactly what concerned the Victorian Court of Appeal.’’

No mention of Jihad Jack’s confession to her colleague Sally Neighbour on Four Corners or any concession that there was never the slightest suggestion that Thomas was ever placed under duress by Neighbour.

The ABC just doesn’t want to know.

That’s why defence lawyer Starry was permitted to outrageously claim: “There’s been no true confession because there’s been no other evidence that supports any misconduct that he’s engaged in.’’ Except, that is, his admissions to Four Corners.

Sydney ABC radio presenter Richard Glover gave an inkling of the deranged institutional view prevailing within the taxpayer-funded organisation when he dismissed the issue as being about “the first use of the so-called Government control orders’’ against “the guy who supposedly met Osama bin Laden and had accepted an air ticket from them to come to Australia, etcetera, etcetera’’.

Last time I looked there was nothing “so-called’’ about the Government’s control orders - they’re real - and nor did Jihad Jack “supposedly’’ meet bin Laden. He did. He even told Neighbour that bin Laden “didn’t like too many kisses, you know, he didn’t mind being hugged, but kisses he didn’t like’’.

Islamofascist terrorists are proven masters of media manipulation.

Jihad Jack’s protestations that he is a humble Melbourne taxi-driver and family man who just happened to train with al-Qaeda are of a piece with the rest of their lying course.

In this instance, as in so much else to do with the civil rights propagandists, the ABC is putty in their hands.

I think the liberal laws that apply to Australians tend to crumble a little under the pressure of professional anarchists. I think Jacks portrayal of stupidity disingenuous, clearly his training is showing when he claims innocence without suggesting there is anything wrong with terrorism.

I also think that there is a highly polarised ABC that feel it expedient to diminish conservative achievement. In many ways, only a great nation like Australia could have this difficulty with such a pest as Jack Thomas. It's important to remember we have to fight for our rights, or those of the ABC view will deny us those rights under the aegis of picayune politics.

Weasel said...

Gerard Henderson agrees:

THERE is much more political diversity on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel in the US (owned by News Corporation, parent company of The Australian( than there is on the public broadcaster in Australia.

I may have pointed out this patently obvious fact myself.

It has been a long time since I've read a Henderson article. I used to like his work, but about twelve or thirteen years ago I tired of what I believed to be an unfair bias against Mr Howard. I havent forgiven Mr Henderson, but I don't fault his article.

My understanding of the ABC was that Menzies created it because the independant radio weren't broadcasting his policy. I get the impression he wanted a strong, independant voice. But what he got was a travesty of independance. The journalist pool was what it was. Today, a conservative voice is a rarity. Conservatives may not share the same viewpoint on many issues, whereas lefty journos rarely diverge.

What would change the ABC? It is a culture that is resistant to change. It is hostile to those who don't agree. It is a bully. It is wrong on many issues. It inadequately reflects Australian society. It muddies political waters. It absorbs public funding.

Perhaps the ABC cannot be changed from above. Instead, perhaps the ABC has to be changed by a new brand of journalist, a journalist who reports facts, not opinion. A reporter who isn't in the job for validation by ALP leaders. A reporter unafraid of asking questions that will uncover sacred truths. Who am I kidding?

Weasel said...

And this one involves Reuters (again).

Says Confederate Yankee:

Despite the Israeli acknowledgement that they did fire on a “suspicious vehicle,” bloggers were inherently suspicious of the story due to apparently staged and in some cases definitively falsified information provided by Arab news stringers and photojournalists in the recent Israeli-Hezbollah War. Some were quick to cast doubts on the veracity of the story.

Other bloggers, notably AllahPundit, Ace of Spades and Dan Riehl cautioned that we should resist jumping on the “Pallywood” bandwagon without having support for the claims being made.

I wanted support to prove or disprove these allegations, and so I went to the people who should know most about the kind of vehicles damaged in the attack, armored vehicle manufacturers themselves.

I don’t know if this is a hoax or not, or whether the Reuters car was hit by a missile or something else. I just note there is a debate about some discrepancies in the story first reported by Reuters.

I suspect anything as untrue that suggests Israel is anything less than a liberal democracy.

Hezbollah and Hamas have had a lot of time to fabricate stories, and have been caught out a number of times in the past. My friends have defended the terrorists, claiming their actions arte cultural. Using my friend's argument, the Reuters story is a fabrication. It is cultural for terrorists to lie.

Weasel said...

New Zealand ran an experiment on its climate computer models - models much like the ones that predict global warming:

The Climate Centre uses computer models to simulate the global weather system. They run a number of different models several times, making small changes to each run, and average out the results to come up with the weather odds.

This winter they ran about nine models, says Dr Wratt, between 10 and 15 times each. Based on the results from these, they found there was a 50 per cent chance of a mild winter.

That was the prediction. Now here are the results:

The country has shivered through record snows in Canterbury, waded through floods in Coromandel, Otago and Wairarapa, been battered by gale force winds in Auckland, Taranaki and Waikato and dodged land slips in Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and nearly everywhere else.

The wild weather kicked off early with heavy rain drenching parts of Otago in late April. Rivers broke their banks, roads and bridges were washed out, and motorists were stranded in their cars overnight.

In early May, more rain caused land slips which closed the Napier-Gisborne and Napier-Taupo roads.

The outlook seemed to be clearing on June 6, when the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said it was likely to be a mild winter.

Instead, it would be the coldest June since 1972, with an average temperature of 7.3C. In Canterbury and North Otago the mercury dropped to -10C on nine days.

On June 12, Cantabrians woke up to the deepest snowfall they’d had since 1945, cutting power to more than 10,000 homes—some of them for up to 18 days.

Accepting the thesuis for the moment, and the previous explanation that we are approaching a maunder minimum,
Then we also need to account for why Spring is arriving in Sydney a month early .. why drought is extending to a fifth year and why there is no energy plan by the ALP for Australia's future.