Ok,
answer this, if it is alright for the media, especially the Murdoch press, to
rabbit on about nasty books in Islamic bookshops, is it equally as OK for other
print media and TV current affairs programs to give credence and oxygen to the
loony ideas of an American accented law professor at Macquarie University in
Sydney?

Because
that’s what firstly the Sydney Morning Herald did on Saturday with this story.

Monday
night Nine’s A Current Affair followed it up and last night Seven’s Today Tonight
had a chip at the story and ACA returned for another go.

ACA
on Monday put an exclusive tag on its story and last night Seven put a
prominent TT watermark on its follow-up. Why, what was there to boast about the
story being exclusive. Grubby more like it!

I
would have thought having hate filled Islamic texts in some bookshops and the
Hansonian utterings from an obscure law professor (his name is Andrew
Fraser) were one and the same: racist, silly and in the end nasty.

They
only get publicity and notoriety when the media jumps in and provides the
forum, as it did to Pauline Hanson, now transformed into something of a dancing
pin up woman approaching middle age (thanks to Seven’s Dancing
With The Stars
). But given
the good professor’s racist comments you have to wonder why both gave him
oxygen.

Same
with the SMH and the Parramatta
paper where the story first appeared.

Macquarie
University has attempted
to distance itself from its professor while saying he has the right to say what
he wants: There is a thing called free speech.

In a
week where News Ltd papers (the Daily
Telegraph
in Sydney) went feral on bookshops in the inner western Sydney
suburbs of Lakemba (where there are many middle eastern people) selling
hate-filled articles
you have to wonder at what’s going on in Sydney’s media at the
moment.

At
News Ltd there’s the knee-jerk line of all Arabs are to be treated on suspicion
at the moment: that line is coming from London
in the wake of the bombings.

But
as Crikey pointed out on Monday News Ltd papers (and those at Fairfax)
don’t really think that lives lost in Iraq
are worth reporting on in the same depth as the bombings in London.

But
why are Today Tonight and ACA joining this racist push from an oddball Yank
professor at Macquarie
University? I suppose it was
too hard to send a white reporter into the bookshops at Lakemba to look for
these hate filled texts: a bit too obvious, even with a concealed camera.

Macquarie
has thousands of full fee paying Asian students (many of whom are from the Shanghai and being areas of northern China).

Some
of these are there for the education while others are not really qualified but
because they are full fee-paying students, have managed to get into the Uni.

But
why all this racist rubbish and pseudo Hansonism?

Next
I suppose Andrew Fraser will be dancing on Seven or Ice Skating on Nine!

Peter Fray

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