Friday, April 8, 2011

The Australian Goes on the Warpath

"In the self-indulgence stakes it is hard to beat The Australian. Newspapers are supposed to talk to their readers about interesting events. Too often The Australian talks to itself about itself. Barely an edition passes without the denigration of its imagined foes, defined as those who disagree with its editorial line and/or work for rival media companies... Have no doubt The Australian considers itself one of the most important institutions in Parliament House. It has moved beyond the dissemination of news and into the distribution of political power." (Yes, it's you I'm talking about, Mark Latham, The Weekend Australian Financial Review, 29/12/10) See my 7/1/11 post Running Amok at The Australian for more.

The Australian's unrelenting jihad against the Greens over the NSW branch's embrace of the BDS strategy against Israel, which began in the weeks leading up to the NSW state election of March 26, not only shows no sign of tapering off in the post-election period, but has lately moved to the front page. For those familiar with the beast, of course, the current hue and cry is simply the latest in a long line (See, for example, my 20/1/11 post Get the Sheik!). To illustrate the dimensions and sustained nature of Murdoch's assault on the Greens, I've placed the headlines of relevant 'news' reports, features, opinion pieces, editorials, letters etc in chronological order. I may well have missed one or two, but I doubt it. I'll also be updating the list below as the campaign continues in the coming weeks. By way of contrast, the rival Sydney Morning Herald has run only 3 stories on the issue:
Greens splash out but not at the pool, Paul Pottinger, Daily Telegraph
Second council takes aim at Israel
Greens forced to back down on Israel boycott, Aikman & Shanahan
Celebrities back council on boycott of Israel, Aikman & Shanahan
Beware as Green turns Red, Ron Boswell
Greens' boycott rebounds, Leo Shanahan
Middle East shames inner west, editorial
Marrickville demands a two-state solution & for Queensland to withdraw to the Tweed, Cut & Paste
Israeli boycott set to lose its teeth, Shanahan & Maley
Drop Israel boycott, Labor's Anthony Albanese urges Marrickville Council, Lanai Vasek
The Left a gift that keeps on giving, Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph
Ban on Israel dead in the water, Jesse Phillips, Sunday Telegraph
Greens wilting appeal, Miranda Devine, Sunday Telegraph
Marrickville Bin Night, Kudelka cartoon, Sunday Telegraph
Israel boycott anger grows, Shanahan & Maley
They're nuts, you're crackers, Daily Telegraph
Political bacon is cooked in our Inner West Bank, Joe Hildebrand, Daily Telegraph
Boycott call 'cost Greens state seat', Salusinszky & Shanahan
Israel ban move opens rift in unions, Salusinszky & Franklin
The Byrne ultimatum: Greens Mayor told to drop Israel boycott or face sack, Simon Benson, Daily Telegraph
Ratepayers' $3.7m bill for Israel boycott, Aikman & Salusinszky
Meddle East mayor, Simon Benson, Daily Telegraph, p 1
Council faces $4m bill for Israel bans, Simon Benson, Daily Telegraph
Angry locals slam mayor's 'ridiculous' boycott, Alice Coote, Daily Telegraph
Voters see true colour of Greens, editorial, Daily Telegraph
Greens MP marched with Islamic cleric, Imre Salusinszky, p 1
New Greens MP picking on Jews, George Newhouse
Brown 'double standard' on rallies, Kelly & Wilson
Denial of a watermelon gives us the pip, Talking Point, letters
Founding fathers turn on urban Greens, Walker & Fraser, p 1
Brown backs arms export ban, Matthew Franklin
Israel boycott harms Arabs, too, Mendes, Dyrenfurth & Rutland
Greens are on the record as opposing Israel, Talking Point, letters
Greens senators caught out over Israel, Franklin & Vasek, p 1
A party of ignorant extremists, Greg Sheridan
Lots for Left to learn on Israel, editorial
Greens angry over new senator's 'meddling', Salusinszky & Don
Greens' new MP in storm on Israel, Sallie Don
New greens MP silent on Jewish comments, Jodie Minus
It's not easy being Green or Independent when you get trashed at the polling booths, Cut & Paste
Radicalism may force Greens to change tunes, Paul Howes, Sunday Telegraph
Brown puts Greens Left on notice, Packham & Shanahan, p 1
Business slaps down boycott talk, Minus & Massola
Knowing the truth will scare off voters, Michael Danby
This policy is the stuff of pre-schoolers: Rudd
I'm no watermelon: Rhiannon
Party's Israel stance 'hypocritical', Greg Sheridan
Labor has a light on the hill & it's not green, editorial
Boycott Israel & do without a host of mod-cons, Talking Point, letters
Brown told to rein in anti-Israel senator, Kelly & Wilson, p 1
Greens leader Bob Brown slaps down Lee Rhiannon on Israel boycott policy, Massola & Kelly
Sadly, it seems to be Swampies 1, Greens 0, Norman Sanders, letter
Green dream turns to ashes, Peter Van Onselen
Weak in the eyes of the world, Greg Sheridan
NSW Labor has lost its base, and the plot, Graham Richardson
Credit where it's due - they just didn't see him coming, Gerard Henderson
Anti-Israeli stance focus of Greens review, Franklin & Aikman
Party's two-seats dream slipping away, Franklin & Aikman
Labor was seriously wounded, but it will not die, David Burchell
Mayor dodges on Israel boycott, Salusinszky & Aikman
Green foolish to liken Israel & apartheid, Bruce Loudon
Greens' Israel boycott confusion, Imre Salusinszky
Byrne's Israel boycott slammed, Imre Salusinszky

As far as this Murdoch toe rag and the Israel first crowd are concerned, the Greens (some more than others) have committed the most heinous of all offences - daring to speak out against Israeli apartheid and its decades-long crimes against the Palestinian people. For that, there can be no forgiveness. And so they will be eternally pilloried from hereon in - even if, God forbid, they should ignominiously roll over and abandon their support for BDS. The only principled strategy, in the face of the kind of Zionist bullying we are now witnessing in the pages of The Australian, is for the Greens to stand up to it and wear their support for BDS as a badge of pride. To be sure, the likes of Brown and Faehrmann will need to be educated - no small task it would seem - however, if the Greens are to be taken seriously as a party of vision, integrity and courage, so be it.

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