So what are the implications for Palestine/Israel reportage of Channel 9's coming merger with Fairfax Media, given the latter's already grossly inadequate and problematic handling of the issue?
The architect of the 1980s cross-media ownership laws, former Labor PM Paul Keating, is of the view that Channel 9 "will run the editorial policy" of the Fairfax papers given that, "in terms of news management, Channel 9... has... the opportunism and ethics of an alley cat."
That could mean that the Fairfax papers will, if anything, become more ferociously pro-Israel in the manner of Murdoch's rags. Certainly, the fact that former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello is the chairman of Nine Entertainment Co. is cause for concern in this regard, as the following snippet from a 2001 biography of the man indicates:
"Support for the PLO was becoming an article of faith within the student left. Peter Costello, 17, never been kissed, a devout Baptist... was appalled... Costello recalled: 'Do I know better than all these people? Probably not. But what I do know is that my best friend is Jewish... and the student union is collecting money for the PLO'." (Peter Costello: The New Liberal, Shaun Carney, pp 45-6)
Of course the leaders of the Australian Union of Students leaders at the time (1975) knew infinitely more about the Palestine/Israel issue than this gormless innocent, having done their homework as he acknowledges, but, typical of the student conservatives of this time, the idea of actually learning from those who knew what they were talking about was anathema to him. Frankly, if your mind is closed at 17, what hope is there on this or any other matter? Watch this space...