Misha Ketchell writes:
It’s been a tough few weeks for David Nason, The Australian’s
New York correspondent. A couple of weeks ago he dismissed Kurt
Vonnegut, one of the greatest novelists of his era, as a bitter old man
and accused him of supporting terrorists because he had dared to
speculate on what it might be like to be a suicide bomber.
So many Oz
readers wrote in to protest the cruelty of this attack on an elderly
man that the paper had to devote a page to publishing their letters,
along with Nason’s self-defence.
Yesterday Nason turned on a
fresh target – actor Mel Gibson, whose father is described as a
Holocaust denier whose views Gibson jnr. is yet to publicly repudiate –
as Nason writes:
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
But is Mel Gibson really planning a “Braveheart-style”
battle scene where thousands of Jewish and Nazi combatants rush at each
other across an open field? Er, well, no. It turns out that Nason has
tripped over a bit of internet parody and mistaken it for fact. As
satire site Defamer gleefully points out:
Imagine our surprise when the Hard, Cutting blog pointed out that a just-insane-enough-to-be-true joke we wrote about Mel Gibson’s instantly controversial Holocaust project
(and we self-quote: “While the baldfaced grab for controversy might
seem utterly crass to us, ABC was powerless against the visionary
Gibson’s breathtaking pitch for the miniseries’ climactic scene, a Braveheart-style
battle with thousands of Jewish and Nazi combatants rushing at each
other across an open field.”) suddenly became, well, just insane enough
to be reported as fact (and verbatim, no less) in a story by the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian.
In the interest of international cooperation, we invite The Australian‘s
tireless reporters to scan the rest of our site for story ideas, and
look forward to tomorrow’s hysteria-inducing headline about Angelina Jolie’s nefarious plan to invade the capital of Cambodia with an army of deadly, mohawked orphans.