New South Wales

Jan 28, 2014

Alcohol and violence: Fairfax’s shameless campaign of misrepresentation

Desperate newspapers and a rejection of basic facts has proved a toxic combination in NSW over the issue of alcohol-related violence.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

This is the story of how a desperate media company has corrupted public debate, leading to significant curbs on basic rights and bad policy in NSW.

An 18-year-old man, Daniel Christie, was critically injured in an assault in Sydney on New Year’s Eve. He died on January 11 after his family decided to take him off life support. The man alleged to have hit Christie, one Shaun McNeil, was subsequently charged with murder.

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31 thoughts on “Alcohol and violence: Fairfax’s shameless campaign of misrepresentation

  1. marcia lewis

    Good point about misrepresenting the facts for the sake of propping up an ailing business model. Nevertheless, Australians do have an immature relationship with alcohol with over 51% consuming in excess of the guidelines (National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2010). Per capita alcohol consumption has remained pretty constant over the last 20 years. It’s high by world standards. This is the real story.

  2. Michael

    Well constructed, supported, and argued. A comprehensive rebuttal of the shrill alarmism of Fairfax etc. Given the demise of print media this sort of confected hysteria is likely to be a self-liquidating problem.

  3. Thomas McLoughlin

    Not convinced by those stats.

    A good two years ago I noticed the grim mind babble of “UFC” widescreen in North Sydney pub glorifies violence while patrons sink beers. How many other pubs across Sydney?

    Now you can’t go anywhere without a very big widescreen LCD.

    Looks like reinforcement of violence via a drug induced psychological pathway. Refer foxtel UFC

    Then there is another new factor around being the access to internet porn which must put alot of pressureon teenagers and twenty year olds sorting out their sexual identity (as per a doco on SBS recently – where else!).

    And finally since when was a decline in assault figures a goal in itself? Like the road toll it’s nearly always too high. So if society is becoming less tolerant of violence/ alcohol and violence / health impacts of alcohol – it’s probably a good thing.

  4. Daly

    Great article, thanks!

  5. paddy

    Magnificent rant there Bernard. (With graphs worthy of the Possum.)

  6. David Hand

    It’s always good to see analysis and opinion based on facts. I don’t think TV is blameless either as weeping relatives of victims fit into the “If it bleeds it leads” modus operandi.

  7. Kfix

    Thanks for the feels, Thomas McLoughlin, never mind these pesky facts. Not when there’s PR0N and TVs!!!

    And no, you’re quite right, we don’t want to actually decrease assaults, we just want to be intolerant of them.

  8. johnb78

    “It’s high by world standards.”

    Only if you include the countries where everyone is too poor to afford drink and/or banned from drinking by their religion. By the standards of rich counties, it’s about average.

  9. colin skene

    Well, they’ve got to compete with the Daily Telegraph. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Publish rubbish and bask in the glory of the outcome….whatever it takes.

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