Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Junket That Dare Not Speak Its Name (at the ABC)

Here I was yesterday, listening to ABC Radio National's evening Drive program, specifically its News Quiz segment with Rebecca Huntley.

Her guests were Emma Alberici (Lateline), Grahame Morris (political commentator), and Eric Jensen (editor of The Saturday Paper). They were discussing politicians' study tours. My ears, of course, pricked up.

Morris claimed that most politicians ended up in Rome, Sweden and France. Were they justified? asked Huntley. I've seen politicians go to the Boeing plant and you come back seriously educated, replied Morris.

Emma? asked Huntley. Sure, when you study education or health systems, replied Emma.

Eric? asked Huntley. Any journalist who hasn't been on a junket must be a first year cadet, piped Eric knowingly.

Or they work for the ABC*, chortled Huntley, adding, I would love to go on a junket.

The discussion went on to tick such destinations as the Tour de France, the Nordic Model, a certain big fat Indian wedding, and Ireland's Guinness Brewery, but needless to say, at no point was our politicians' (and our journalists') all-time favorite port of call mentioned. (To see what I mean, scan my regularly updated 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too.)

Ignorance or self-censorship? Either way is inexcusable. (For a detailed discussion of self-censorship and the ME conflict, see my 28/4/08 post Anticipatory Compliance.)

[*Not strictly true. Chris Uhlmann was rambammed in 2010.]


Anonymous said...

Be fair MERC, they were talking about STUDY tours not WORSHIP tours.

Anonymous said...

that coverage of the fucked up laws in Sweden was outrageous.

Making jokes about Craig Thomson going along, describing the model incorrectly, rewarding Genia for going along (the only quote they used was her talking about her children, gross), then basically saying the sex industry in canberra needs 'fixing up' (WTF).

Ugh, it brout up my lunch.

Thanks for posting about it!