Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Offended

Christian Kerr's at it again. No, not Lee Rhiannon this time. You can only flog a topic so many times without tedium setting in. This time it's The Promise:

"SBS screened the controversial drama The Promise in the knowledge it would offend the Jewish community, Liberal senators have claimed." (SBS knew Israel drama would offend Jews, Lib senators insist, The Australian, 16/2/12)

Got the buzz word? The Promise is controversial.

Controversial is a code word at The Australian. Its special application there might be explained by one of its operatives thus: 'Whoever (or whatever) deviates from the Zionist party line is anathema to us here at The Australian, and one of our resident witch-finders - Kerr, Saluszinsky, Neighbour - will be given the task of beating him/her/it up in article after article, thus allowing us to slap on the warning label, controversial, designed specifically to distance the reader from the abhorred deviation and its perpetrator. Works wonders!'

Now you'll notice that not only did SBS dare to screen something controversial, but it knew that in doing so "the Jewish community" would be offended! That of course means the Jewish community in its entirety, not just the Zionist ideologues and propagandists of the Israel lobby for whom toeing, defending, and promoting the party line on Israel is the alpha and omega of their existence, and for whom The Australian is their mouthpiece of choice.

"Under questioning from Victorian Liberal senator Helen Kroger in estimates..."

Ah, Helen Kroger, rambammed into service back in 2007 (See my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too).

"... SBS managing director Michael Edeid [sic: Ebeid] said the broadcaster entered into a pre-sale deal with the producers of The Promise knowing the subject matter would be controversial." (ibid)

So here we go from the fantastic allegation that SBS deliberately set out to stick it to the entire Jewish community to SBS simply knowing, both from the hue and cry which accompanied The Promise's screening in the UK, and decades of Zionist pressure to bend SBS to its will, that any film on Palestine that flouts the Zionist party line is ipso facto controversial, let alone one which dares to shine the light on the bloody Zionist takeover of Palestine in 1948.

Senator Kroger opined that "SBS appears to have put a business decision ahead of independent assessments, which determined that it was offensive to the Jewish community." (ibid)

Independent assessments... determined that The Promise was offensive to the Jewish community? Rich comedy indeed! The extraordinary premise here is that media outlets should refer all items pertaining to Palestine/Israel to one or other branch of the Israel lobby (the Executive Council of Australian Jewry in this instance) for an independent (!) assessment of the item's offensiveness to the Jewish community (!) before they are published or broadcast. Or, IOW, the Israel lobby decides what we read and see.

Thank God SBS's Ebeid had the gumption to say to Kroger, "SBS accepts that it will, from time to time, broadcast programs that offend some individuals or groups." (ibid)

How I'd love to see a debate between the rambammed Kroger and The Australian's also-rambammed (2008) columnist Janet Albrechtsen, who once wrote a column called The freedom to be offensive (20/4/09). In that essay, Planet Janet pronounced that: "You are either for free speech - whoever exercises it - or not. Freedom of expression is simply meaningless if it does not include a right to be wrong and a right to be offensive." Maybe Christian Kerr could chair the debate.


Anonymous said...

Sorry MERC that "freedom" is strictly one sided at the OZ.

Anonymous said...

'The Promise' may be 'controversial' at 'The Australian' but it has not stopped them accepting a full page advertisement for the DVD on the back page of the latest Weekend Australian Review. Obviously profit transcends their 'almost' unconditional support for Israel. Meanwhile every complaint and whinge is free publicity for series and DVD - hooray!

Peter D said...

Re. the advertisement on the back page of the latest Weekend Australian Review, it's probably more a case of them being unable find a legitimate excuse to refuse to run the ad, rather than profit swaying their judgement.

Which brings us to the ingenious idea to take out the ad in the first place - bravo to the SBS for showing a bit of fight! Though likely there will be a price to pay for that down the line.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wins!