Asia-Pacific

Nov 19, 2013

Blame the media? ABC and Guardian defend spying revelations

The conservative media has wasted no time in declaring that our reputation with Indonesia is damaged, not because Australian spies have been listening in on the Indonesian President's phone, but because media outlets revealed the tapped phone.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

Indonesia spying the Guardian

As soon as the news broke that Australian spy agencies had attempted to tap the phones of the Indonesian President and his wife, the media came in for a bollocking. According to many conservative commentators, the government and our spies were not to blame for infuriating the Indonesians but the media outlets that broke the story: The Guardian and the ABC.

“The media, not Abbott, have now damaged our relationship with Indonesia by revealing news against the national interest about activities that were in the national interest,” News Corp’s Andrew Bolt thundered. “Much of the media seems to be deliberately working against the national interest, and are blaming the damage on the man least responsible for it. Abbott hatred is hurting this country.”

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57 comments

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57 thoughts on “Blame the media? ABC and Guardian defend spying revelations

  1. John John

    Take shot – messenger.

  2. klewso

    Sod our “Right to know anything embarrassing during the tenure of a Conservative government”?

  3. Gavin Moodie

    The damage is being done by the Government failing to do what SBY and other Indonesian leaders asked several days ago: apologise, announce a review and work more closely with Indonesian colleagues in the future.

  4. Jude Silber

    What they do, they do in our name, our we to be blind and not responsible for what we as a notion do. So much for transparency.

  5. Brendan Jones

    My favourite quote is by US Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis: “I have talked to you about the wickedness of people shielding wrongdoers & passing them off (or at least allowing them to pass themselves off) as honest men. … If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.

    In the digital age the reality is if you do it, they’re going to find out about it. Governments still don’t understand this.

  6. SusieQ

    Sounds like the Murdoch press is just a teensy weensy bit jealous!

  7. zut alors

    Governments need to understand the concept that Big Brother’s information inevitably flows in both directions.

    Thankfully, there will always be Assanges, Mannings and Snowdens. Governments can only gag/punish them after the event.

  8. David Hand

    Are the Guardian and the ABC publishing a story to damage Australia’s relations with Indonesia and make it harder for the Abbott government to stop the boats?

    Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!

    Wash your mouth out you naughty right wing commentators! We are championing a free press! Fair and balanced! Unbiased!

    Yeah right.

  9. Harry Rogers

    Agree with the ABC publishing however cant cop the perennial bullshit from media outlets as stated in ABC reply:

    “The ABC is also required under its editorial policies to ensure that editorial decisions are not improperly influenced by political or other sectional interests”

    MR Spin wins no matter which way you go.

  10. zut alors

    According to David Hand the Guardian and the ABC should not report any story which creates waves (!) for the Coalition government as that would demonstrate overt bias.

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