June 18, 2003


The Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age have Australian rights to republish items from The Guardian. It’s taken The Age more than a week to print David Aaronovitch’s June 10 piece outlining the Baghdad museum looting myth; the SMH hasn’t run it at all.

Here’s how the SMH reported the “looting” back in April, when it didn’t occur:

It is a cultural catastrophe. Yesterday the museum's exhibition halls and security vaults were a barren mess - display cases smashed, offices ransacked and floors littered with handwritten index cards recording the timeless detail of more than 170,000 rare items that were pilfered.

Worse, in their search for gold and gems, the looters gained access to the museum's underground vaults, where they smashed the contents of the thousands of tin trunks in which curatorial staff had painstakingly packed priceless ceramics that tell the story of life from one civilisation to the next down through 9000 fabled years in Mesopotamia.

As Mark Steyn notes, the current official number of missing items is down to ... 33.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 18, 2003 11:57 AM

In view of Pilger on the Guardian, SMH's own bad record on Iraq, Ramsey and Badhdad Kingston,in view of the deep trouble the great scots git Galloway is in, one might have presumed even a barely glimmering ray of sanity might have penetrated SMH.

Particularly as its salad days as the Saddamite Times are over. That is, give up the Guardian.But, one supposes, things well never shine brighter for SMH than when it rose to Hussein's call to all good saddamites to rally to the cause.A lost war for SMH but glory, it came down in truckloads of shit which they happily poured all over the newstands each passing day.

Standing shoulder to shoulder stood ABC. Even St George, while he stood up to fire spewing dragons ignoring the cooking sensation from within the armour, might have baulked at taking a whiff of ABC's smelly bad breath.
Bad breath, you say? Yes, I say. SMH shovelled shit with its hands, ABC ate it.

Posted by: d at June 18, 2003 at 05:03 PM

170,000 rare items is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Perfectsense at June 18, 2003 at 05:54 PM

Yes, the paper I work for published the original allegations as reported by various agencies. I argued that we were dutybound to correct the record, otherwise we would be guilty of misinforming our readers. Though space was tight, everyone got the point and the debunking story ran in full, including the satisfying quotes from acrheologists indicating that Donny George is at best a liar – and even, according to his staff, a lot worse.

Those papers that ran these allegations and very prominently at that, have an ethical and journalistic obligation to run the corrective item. Otherwise they are not in future to be believed and certainly not used for historical reference purposes.

Posted by: Dave F at June 18, 2003 at 09:42 PM

Believe them in the future? How about the past and present. This would make 'ol Joe Goebbels beam with pride.

Posted by: D2D at June 19, 2003 at 01:42 AM

The Herald has carefully omitted or played down anything that might induce its readers to doubt its anti-war, anti-Bush line. Off the top of my head, they:
published a bare minimum of the many pictures showing jubilant Iraqis after the fall of Baghdad

failed to mention the case of George Galloway, to whose Guardian-borne views they had given considerable prominence

ran as straight news reports numerous opinion pieces by individuals whose virulent leftist agenda was establishable by a moment's Googling

failed to mention the Channel 4 (UK) reporter who admitted she had seen SCUDS in Baghdad streets but not mentioned it for fear of being kicked out of Iraq

gave cursory attention at best to the case of CNN, whose news chief admitted his organisation had routinely suppressed the truth about the horrors of Saddam's regime for fear of losing its precious access

neglected to mention, in their tub-thumping about "doctored" intelligence on WMDs, that longtime observers of Iraqi affairs, including the French and German governments; weapons inspectors Richard Butler and Scott Ritter and Hans Blix; the Institute of Strategic Studies; the Atomic Energy Commission; and the United Nations Security Council, all believed Saddam retained biological and chemical agents and that he had a nuke capacity or the platform for developing one the moment sanctions were lifted.

Where is Media Watch on all this? Oh, that's right, it's run by a Herald man (thank god)

Posted by: al at June 19, 2003 at 10:17 AM

Having had a bad war, BBC and ABC jointly shovelled and ate more shit last night with its dribble against the U.S. `What the World Thinks of America'.

It quickly descended into a U.S. bashing session, which finished up with three communards alos throwing in, the federal government must sign that tribute to PolPotian Communism, the Kyoto piece of toilet paper.

This notion, ABC is entitled to tax money along with ther myriads of other dribblers is not simply false, it is criminal and the fact money is handed to such communard dribblers is umitigated theft by governments.

Governments can begin to reform themselves commencing wwith the Fed. Govt. cutting of the supply of taxed money ( assets stolen from citizens) to ArseholeBolshevikCommunards.

Posted by: d at June 20, 2003 at 12:07 PM