Daily Tele turns anti-racism protesters into racist thugs. In December 2005, a small group of antiwar and anti-racism protestors gathered in Sydney’s CBD to mark the first anniversary of the Cronulla riots. In solidarity with boat people, they decided to drape their heads with Aussie flags. A photo was published in the first issue of the Transforming Cultures eJournal published last year by UTS. A photo of some of the protestors appeared on the cover, and can be viewed here.

The introduction to that issue of the eJournal said:

The image shows a silent protest conducted at an anti-racism rally held in the weeks directly after the riot in December 2005 … Here the multiple functions of the flag, as hood, blindfold, weapon, threat and disguise were put on display. Through its staging of the ways in which the flag is mobilized as a racial and ethnonational emblem of exclusion, the performance powerfully elucidates the “strange” responses of opposition and “ethnic dislike” that the flag provokes.

… The silent protest did attract considerable media attention, featuring in most mainstream media coverage of the rally and some international outlets. Much to our horror, Sydney’s tabloid, The Daily Telegraph added the caption, “veiled protest”, a reminder of the mainstream media’s obsession with the image of the “veiled woman” and an inability to recognise the protest directed at the white supremacy and masculinist violence on display at Cronulla. Weeks later the image was captioned as a photo of rioters at Cronulla in the letters pages of the Illawarra Mercury .

And I’m sure the organisers of that protest will be even more horrified when they discover that their flag-draped faces are being associated with “neo-Nazi thugs” planning to “ruin Australia Day celebrations at Camden” this weekend. The Tele has used a photo of the anti-racism protesters here, presenting them as “Racist thugs from the far-Right Australia First Party”. If you look real close, one person is wearing a t-shirt that appears to say “NO WAR NO WAY”.

So the Tele are using photos of (presumably left wing) peace protestors from 2005 to represent racist thugs. Go figure. — Irfan Yusuf

“Ray to quit”… again? “It seems the Nine Network’s decision to move the Sunday program’s start time from 9am to 7.30am has miffed host Ray Martin, judging by this story in Ray’s favourite paper, The Australian today:

Martin said last night he would now “need to talk” to senior management about his role at the program.

Contacted last night by The Australian, Martin said he had not formally been told of the changes, due when the program returns on February 10. “It’s news to me, and if it’s true, it’s an interesting departure from 25 years of tradition. At 7.30, it becomes a very different program,” he said.

“While Martin was maintaining a relatively diplomatic public line, he is privately said to be deeply unhappy – and almost certain not to return to co-host Sunday in its new timeslot,” The Australian said. Oh no, 2008 is only three weeks old and we’ve had our first “Ray to quit” story of the year. Stop it please, the pain is too much already … we are over him. Ray ought to summon up some gumption and tell Nine that he’s either in or out, instead of wringing his hands in the print media. He’s mates with David Gyngell, so why not tell him direct, or has communication been disrupted? Meanwhile, there’s supposedly an edict that no story on Sunday will run longer than 12 minutes. That’s about the length of a solid 60 Minutes report, so we can see where the drive for the changes is coming from: News and Current Affairs boss, John “F’ability” Westacott. — Glenn Dyer

The earth moves at Ten. There will be no Simpsons repeat at 6pm Monday to Friday in Ten’s 2008 schedule (but they will still continue on Saturday and Sunday at the same time). Ten had to accommodate the return of The Biggest Loser at 7pm Monday to Friday, which meant the Friends repeats had to be shifted somewhere and the 6pm slot was selected. I don’t know how long Ten has been running The Simpsons repeats at 6pm, but some people I know have grown up basing their TV viewing on that basis. Ten has loved The Simpsons to death at times, but with Ten’s new schedule for the start of ratings, the Saturday and Sunday eps will be the only time they are seen for a while. From feast to famine. The new schedule features a lot of The Biggest Loser. There will be the hour program on Sundays from 6.30pm to 7.30pm; the Monday to Friday strip at 7pm and then extra half hour programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. That’s going to be a big ask for a program that lost some momentum as it went along in 2007 after its strong debut in 2006. Ten will run So You Think You Can Dance Australia on Sundays from 7.30pm to 9pm and Mondays at 7.30pm. That will also be a big ask. Apart from local versions of TBL and Dance, the only local productions in the schedule (Rove isn’t in the schedule proper yet) is Saving Kids fronted by former Idol winner, Damien Leith, and Good News Week, which was commissioned last week to make sure Ten had enough programming in the event of the US writer’s strike really hurting. Ten’s early schedule is very heavy with US drama (SVU, Burn Notice, House) and comedy (Back To You, Rules of Engagement). Foreign programs didn’t grab Australian viewers last year as they opted for local programs. Ten’s first up schedule will test that. — Glenn Dyer

Letter of the Day. Meanwhile on the letters pages of The West Australian:

I SUGGEST

Twenty-five years ago you could take your kids to the beach and let them run around in the nick or you could buy a family nudist magazine from the local newsagent off the shelf and no one accused you of being a child sex offender.

Or you could go into the city to the X-club and watch X-rated movies on the big screen and then a stripper would come on, or you could go to the $2 peepshows in Northbridge and watch live, dancing nude girls, or they had topless barmaids on at the local hotel, or even hire an X-rated movie from the local video shop.

That was until the do-gooders took over the country and banned it all. Now we have people with spy cameras in their shoes spying up girls’ skirts, or spy cameras in the bathroom or toilet spying on women and children, or downloading child nudity off the internet, or they have a hidden stash of illegal X-rated movies from the ACT, or taking secret photos with their phone camera.

Men are made to feel dirty and ashamed because we like women, especially when they are naked, and forced to resort to illegal nudity. If the Government made nudity legal again then there would be no need for all this spying on women and children.

If a woman wants to work in the nudity industry or a nudist family wants to pose nude in a nudist magazine, then what’s wrong with that? There is a difference between posing nude and being spied on and women and nudists should have the option to make up their own minds – there is nothing wrong with nudity, as long as it is by choice.

David Hickling, Bassendean

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Just six programs with a million or more viewers, topped by Seven News with 1.441 million, followed by Today Tonight (1.305 million), Seven’s tennis coverage from 7.30pm (1.283 million), Nine News (1.258 million), A Current Affair (1.191 million) and the 7pm ABC News (1.157 million). The rest were just making up the numbers.

The Losers: That tired program, You Are What You Eat, re-appeared on Nine (805,000). From 6.30pm Sunday nights in ratings two years ago to Wednesday nights during summer, it was programming filler and nothing more. Nine’s dying star, ER, 773,000.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Today Tonight won nationally but again lost Sydney and Melbourne. The 7.30 Report averaged 840,000. Ten News, 921,000; the Late News/Sports Tonight, 502,000. Nightline, 258,000. SBS News, 238,000 at 6.30pm; 200,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 434,000; 7am Today, 279,000.

The Stats: Seven won with 32.9% from Nine with 23.3%, Ten with 21.8%, the ABC with 15.5% and SBS with 6.6%. Seven won all five metro markets. Seven leads the week 34.1% from 23.8%.In regional areas, Prime/7Qld won with 32.0% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 23.4%, Southern Cross (Ten) close behind on 23.2%, the ABC with 15.8% and SBS with 5.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Tennis ruled again last night and will tonight after the cricket has finished. Tonight the ABC has two interesting docos: one on Grace Kelly at 8.30pm and another on the late Sir Ed Hillary. SBS has a repeat of Inspector Rex, again. Viewer Warning: A Current Affair has a story on Corey the Melbourne dropkick. After going tutt tutt and mumsy last week, Nine and ACA have swallowed their pride and decided to join the brat. Talk about exploitation and having no moral compass! Oh, it is tabloid TV… sorry.

Source: OzTAM, TV Network reports

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW