June 01, 2004

THE HOST IS PHONEY, THE AGENDA IS REAL

The ABCís Media Watch recently contacted World Net Daily writer Sherrie Gossett, asking for details of the fake Iraqi-porn scandal Gossett had uncovered on May 4. Last night, Media Watch ran an item on the fake photos -- and didnít credit Gossett at all:

These phoney images, plucked from porn sites were circulating around the world as evidence of even fouler American abuse of prisoners. Those fakes and worse were published as real on several Arab language internet sites and some Middle Eastern newspapers.

Media Watch is a program about media ethics. Crediting sources is ethical. More comically, Media Watch buried the local lead; turns out the print edition of the Sydney Morning Herald ran the bogus rape images on May 14, which Media Watch pointed to without explaining that publication of the photographs came after the WND story, and also after the Boston Globe had subsequently published the same photographs, and been exposed for doing so. Also, no mention was made of SMH columnist Alan Ramsey, who kept the fake-rape myth running in the next dayís paper.

Media Watch host David Marr indicates his priorities with these comments:

These fakes were a deliberate incitement to anti-American passions - and though they were immediately denounced - they worked ... The pictures were phoney but the anger was real.

Consider the implications of that last sentence.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 1, 2004 06:24 AM
Comments

Tim:
Re "The pictures were phoney but the anger was real".

You're more familiar with Marr's M.O. than I am (I've never seen the show thankfully) but my reading of the statement is that Marr is referring to the anger of those who discovered that the photos were fake. Not the anger of those upset with the prison abuse.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Plus, I got a 750 on the verbal part of my SAT.

Hah, anyone beat that??


SMG


Posted by: SteveMG at June 1, 2004 at 07:06 AM

Your take is counterintuitive. If your interpretation was correct, the author would use an "and" and not a "but". "The pictures were phony and the anger was real".

Posted by: mikem at June 1, 2004 at 07:31 AM

I think that it might be premature to credit David Marr with being responsible for anything on the Mediawatch show, aside from arriving 15 minutes before taping, reading from the auto-prompter, and then slinking off to the pay office.

It's that team of beret-wearing researchers that need to be targeted.

Then Marr will be neutered, staring blankly into the camera, mumbling mindlessly about the evils of capitalism.

Posted by: Mike Jericho at June 1, 2004 at 08:52 AM

Groupthink.

David Marr's verdict on the fake porn pics:
The pictures were phoney but the anger was real.

John Pilger's defense of fake pics in the Daily Mirror:
They may not be true, but what they represent is true.

Posted by: bargarz at June 1, 2004 at 09:25 AM

Ramsay, the Globe, the Herald, all knew the rape pictures were phoney before publication, but their craving to smear the Bush administration overrode any ethical qualms.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at June 1, 2004 at 09:42 AM

Well, their anger at the Bush Junta™ was real; in their view that absolves many sins.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 1, 2004 at 10:24 AM

As always Tim's own MO (selective quoting) is shown up. What Tim leaves out is that Marr preceeds the quote with this:

Those fakes and worse were published as real on several Arab language internet sites and some Middle Eastern newspapers

and then after an extract from the Daily Star, Tim's selective edit follows:

These fakes were a deliberate incitement to anti-American passions - and though they were immediately denounced - they worked. [SMH quote] The pictures were phoney but the anger was real.

So the "anger is real" is not Marr's anger. It's the anger in the Arab world where the faked porn photos where published as though they were real.

See you've got to be very careful with Tim. You've got to go and carefully check his source, because when he's on a hobby horse, he can't think straight, as he's rocking it so damn hard.

Posted by: Rex at June 1, 2004 at 10:48 AM

"It's the anger in the Arab world where the faked porn photos where published as though they were real."

Yes, we can work that out for ourselves, Rex. Its clear what Tim means. Its also clear he's right.

Posted by: CCD at June 1, 2004 at 10:59 AM

Rex,

I think that you must be misreading things - Tim mentions the 'missing' quote in the first quote.

Mind you, it does not take either Marr or Muslims to get 'angry' about anything reomotely Jewish or American.

Posted by: Andrew at June 1, 2004 at 11:02 AM

It's also significant that Media Watch let the left-leaning Sydney Morning Herald and Boston Globe off the hook.

They won't expose the misreporting of people who share the ABC's function as lefgt-wing propaganda vehicles in Western society.

Posted by: EvilPundit at June 1, 2004 at 11:20 AM

The way Marr described the situation, the army denied the allegations at every turn. But didn't the army say about a month before the first photos were published that they'd arrested/investigated some soldiers for abuse of prisoners?

Posted by: Andjam at June 1, 2004 at 11:30 AM

"It's also significant that Media Watch let the left-leaning Sydney Morning Herald and Boston Globe off the hook"

The programme I watched last night actually specifically criticised the SMH for burying the story. Where did the programme let them off the hook?

Posted by: chico o'farrill at June 1, 2004 at 12:11 PM

The army was investigating Abu Ghraib in January.

Posted by: slayerdaddy:bravo at June 1, 2004 at 12:15 PM

Mea culpa.

I was wrong. Tim was right.

Never again.

As penitence, I shall read 3 Bleats and 2 Steyn.

Or izzat Steynsssssssss?

SMG

Posted by: SteveMG at June 1, 2004 at 01:22 PM

Chico: Marr criticised the SMH for initially burying the prison abuse story. This item is on another segment of the program. Please refer to the link.

Posted by: tim at June 1, 2004 at 02:12 PM

Shouldn't you be applauding David Marr for that comment?

Posted by: Robert at June 1, 2004 at 03:12 PM

Can we trust Tim about Media Watch after this

Posted by: d-obaman at June 1, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Oh, the famous "flag-in-the-rubble" story? When Media Watch ran with their theory of events and only after I called them on it actually did the research to prove it?

Yes, I think you can trust me.

(Incidentally, Media Watch usually contacts people prior to exposing them. Not in my case, unfortunately, otherwise I would have pointed out that, at the time of their first broadcast on this subject, they had no proof at all of their allegation. But, hey, they guessed right, and I wrote at the time that I was proved wrong.)

Posted by: tim at June 1, 2004 at 03:49 PM

Robert,

My feeling on Marr's comment was that he believed the anger to be justified somehow. Or maybe I'm just confused over the way he soft-pedals on the SMH's publication of the rape image ten days after it had been shown up as a fake.

In a way, the SMH running that shot is an illustration of Marr's remark: "These fakes were a deliberate incitement to anti-American passions - and though they were immediately denounced - they worked."

They sure worked on the SMH.

Posted by: tim at June 1, 2004 at 03:57 PM

My initial reaction was to give Marr a few browny points for this piece.
It was not at all what i had expected from him.
The reality of the anger statement is nebulous.
He should be asked to explain it.
it certainly seemed to refer to the Arab press not the western press.
IN ANY CASE IT'S FAR TOO LITTLE-TOO LATE.

Posted by: davo at June 1, 2004 at 04:02 PM