In a dearth of information, emotion ruled the news
Brian Davies writes: Re. “How the press covered the Sydney Lindt cafe siege” (yesterday). The normally likeable and light-hearted Richard Glover broke off his holiday break and went storming back to ABC 702 and the studio — absolutely transformed! He was hysterical. At one stage he interviewed a London “expert” with a connection to the post-London bombing response and asked whether or how he thought Sydney could would be able to recover, plus sermons on how brave and wonderful the police were. I stayed with 702 in case there was “breaking news” but gave up about 10pm, switched off and turned in. It will take a long time to get over Richard’s tabloid streak, fear by osmosis radiated and an attack of absolute righteousness, or maybe I’m just jaded. The ABC’s news bulletins mostly cautiously stuck to the facts, scant as they were. Scipione and Burn supplied the emotion.
The media’s shameful failure
Thomas Richman writes: Re. “Keane: the day the Australian media lost its credibility” (yesterday). And I thought we “lost our innocence” at Port Arthur, Then. again, Martin Bryant wasn’t a Muslim.
Peter Kemp writes: The only possible upside for the Sydney siege perpetrator was media coverage. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the authorities did what was necessary, updated the public occasionally and everything else carried on as normal. Instead there was continuous banal media coverage for hours such that anyone with half a brain would be bored shitless in 10 minutes. Just an excuse to sprout harebrained notions and play the racist card by implication. I guess they saved the scheduled program for another time, in the case of the ABC the third or fourth repeat of Midsomer Murders didn’t save much money.
The politicians seemed to buck the trend and keep it short at least in the short time before I turned it off, but I notice Mike Baird talking about the victims as “some of us”, which was somewhat racist when you consider that the perpetrator in any legal and many moral senses was “one of us” too.
I shudder to think of the Liberal politicians using this to whip up hysterics in order to justify their new security laws — all over an incident that resulted in a death toll equivalent to one day on NSW roads.
Man Monis more like Adrian Bayley than IS
Kate Olivieri writes: Re. “Sydney gunman a criminal, not a terrorist” (yesterday). Thank you Crikey for Shakira Hussein’s article today from the bottom of my heart. From the moment I heard this morning that Monis was on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his wife, I knew that this siege had just as much in common with an event like Jill Meagher’s killing as any world trends to use religion to harm others. And so the details — more than 40 indecent and sexual assault charges! — bear it out. I am tired already of hearing that this man was “insane”, “crazy”, “mentally ill”. No. To him, his actions were the perfectly logical extension of his previous violence from a society that had ignored his increasingly worrying and severe attacks. He felt he had a perfect right to bully, scare, threaten and hurt others.
This is the logical extension of tacit acceptance of hatred and violence in our own culture/s.