On 60 minutes in Lebanon

Joe Boswell writes: Re. “In Lebanon, 60 Minutes was creating a racist fiction for senior xenophobes” (yesterday). Helen Razer makes some good points about the Australian media response to the attempted kidnapping. The coverage by ABC Radio National on its Breakfast program also deserves scrutiny. When the news first broke some days ago the events were initially described as a child recovery operation without further qualification. On April 14 , presenter Fran Kelly introduced an interview about it with these words, “… this was a child abduction operation in the streets of Beirut that went horribly wrong for all concerned …” This only makes sense if the prevention of a violent crime and the arrest of those involved is “horribly wrong”. It also presumes that the children, their father, their grandmother and any other family in Beirut as well as the Beirut authorities are either not “concerned” or else also think it “horribly wrong” that the kidnap was foiled. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that for this coverage anyone who is not Australian or might be Muslim counts for nothing. Who needs our vaunted shock jocks when the ABC can operate at this level?

On truckin’

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Trucking safety should be a matter of numbers, not politics” (yesterday). Remember “turn back the boats”? Pious rationale being to save lives. Now we have “rev up the trucks”. Real outcome being to risk lives. This Abbotismic stance, akin to rank lycra wear over budgie exposure demonstrates the ineptness of the current government when it comes to road safety and truckie rates of pay.

Labor and the Greens have to be cheering. They have scored big time over this anti-worker pro irresponsible free market dangerous stance from the government. Equally Wang, Lambie, Xenophon et al have also blotted big on their copy book election plans. This issue should have been carefully and quietly shunted off to quiet negotiation and let simply allowed to roll away. Instead we have the bad look of one party squarely supporting the free market entrepreneurs who stupidly are seeking less money over the best interests and safety of the general public. Worth about 1% poll drift away from the Liberal/National parties I think.

Peter Fray

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