October 08, 2004

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE ARE WRONG

Greg Barns in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

In contrast to Howard's boast in 2002 that Australia is the United States' "deputy sheriff" in the volatile Asia-Pacific region ...

Simon Tisdall in The Guardian:

Latham accuses the prime minister, who in 1999 appointed himself America's regional "deputy sheriff" ...

Michelle Nicols of Reuters:

Howard, who in 1999 sparked regional criticism when he characterised Australia as a U.S. "deputy sheriff" in Asia ...

Richard C. Paddock in the LA Times:

Howard, for one, believes the U.S. relationship is paramount. He once described Australia's role in the Asia-Pacific region as Washington's "deputy sheriff."

Richard Davey in Webdiary:

He has guaranteed that Australia is being seen as an American puppet (in his own words, a 'deputy sheriff').

Bilal Cleland, secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria:

We have a representative who refers to himself as the deputy sheriff of Asia.

No, no, no. No! As Gerard Henderson pointed out in 2003, Howard never said such a thing. An interview with The Bulletinís Fred Brenchley led to the myth:

It is surprising that, nearly four years after the event, some diplomats and foreign commentators still believe that Howard announced, in September 1999, that Australia would be "deputy sheriff" to the United States in the Asian region. It is true Brenchley interpreted the Prime Minister's view as necessitating that Australia would be a deputy to the US. It's just that Howard never used this term. Nor did he utter the word "sheriff" - this was dropped into the story by a subeditor in search of a memorable subheading.

Fake but true, I guess.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 8, 2004 05:25 AM
Comments

Maybe someone could pin a sheriff's badge on a plastic turkey, with a forged memo to support their claim?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 8, 2004 at 05:42 AM

The truth is just a construct, my friends. It can be elastic, plastic, or utterly fantastic--as in a hat trick in Cambodia.

Posted by: ushie at October 8, 2004 at 05:59 AM

As CBS would say, the item may be false but the story is still accurate

Posted by: Kiwi Bob at October 8, 2004 at 06:15 AM

Oh why let the truth stand in the way of a good story?? Like Latham didn't run Liverpool Council into the ground....

Posted by: tricia01 at October 8, 2004 at 08:08 AM

Even if it were true, it would be better than Latham's vow to be deputy "coward of the county" to Zapatero.

Posted by: Scott Campbell aka Blithering Bunny at October 8, 2004 at 08:29 AM

Greg Barnes - an object of ridicule in Australia gets a gig writing for the Seattle Post Intelligencer about our election? How does that happen?

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at October 8, 2004 at 09:28 AM

As CBS would say, the item may be false but the story is still accurate

Is that the same as Australian historian Lyndall Ryans comment"Two 'truths' are told is only one truth correct?"

Posted by: gubbaboy at October 8, 2004 at 11:30 AM

If I were Australia, I would be offended. Not at the use of the term:

http://www.njsheriff.org/history%20sheriff.htm

but at the snide dismissal of the people whose very safety depends on those who take up the mantle, regardless of the title.

For shame.

Posted by: Rebecca at October 8, 2004 at 11:42 AM

Sorry. I should say the snide dismissal by the people, etc.

Posted by: Rebecca at October 8, 2004 at 11:45 AM

Would that make Latham our Festus? ("Ma'shul Dillon! Ma'shul Dillon!")

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 8, 2004 at 01:04 PM

Timbo you are correct that Fred made the statement however Howard did not demure from it.

Indeed he said nothing to disassociate from the statement until Asain leaders starting frothing at the mouth.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at October 8, 2004 at 01:41 PM

"Howard did not demure from" Howard = Hitler statements does that mean he indorsed them,Homer?

Posted by: Gary at October 8, 2004 at 02:48 PM

1)demur
2)dissociate
3)You only need to dissociate yourself from statements made with your actual or apparent authority.

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at October 8, 2004 at 02:56 PM

My god Homer - you are actually trying to run a 'fake but true' argument, with a straight face.

Let me break it down for you:

"Howard's boast in 2002 that Australia is the United States' "deputy sheriff""

Wrong

who in 1999 appointed himself America's regional "deputy sheriff"

wrong

He once described Australia's role in the Asia-Pacific region as Washington's "deputy sheriff."

wrong

(in his own words, a 'deputy sheriff').

completely and utterly wrong.

refers to himself as the deputy sheriff of Asia.

wrong wrong wrong.

How can you defend this? He didn't demure from the sheriff tag, as it was inserted by a sub-editor.

Following your 'logic' a politician must explicitly refute any suggestion or characterisation made by a reporter, otherwise it is fair game for future journalists to quote the suggestion as the politician's own words? Furthermore, they must also correct, in advance, any headlines that a subbie might put on a story.

Jesus H. Christ, was it always this bad, or has the internet just meant that bullshit like this gets a better airing out?

Posted by: attila at October 8, 2004 at 03:01 PM

John howard's mouth was silent until Asia started making angry remarks. He didn't immediately refute Fred at all ideed he said nothing.

That is your problem fellahs, It is yet another example of howard floundering around in foreign Affairs.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at October 8, 2004 at 03:25 PM

Dear Homer,

May I suggest it is actually 'yet another example of Howard' getting on with what's important, and ignoring the hysterical bullshit spewed forth by the Left.

Oh - sorry - I guess that'd be you. . .

Posted by: UB Xardox at October 8, 2004 at 03:33 PM

Homer, setting yourself on repeat doesn't make you credible, what part of "he didn't say it" don't you understand.

Posted by: Sheriff at October 8, 2004 at 03:34 PM

Sheriff

Homers been set on repeat for the last two years.

Posted by: Gary at October 8, 2004 at 04:00 PM

Homer, read the second last para of attila's post. Try really, REALLY hard to recognize the flawed 'logic'. Just take your time, one word at a time.

no... NO - put that keyboard down... no, you're not typing again are you?! NOOOOooooooooooooooo

Posted by: Sweet sweet Bundy at October 8, 2004 at 04:22 PM

Thanks bundy, but I will make it even easier:

He. Did. Not. Say. It.

To suggest otherwise is Wrong - amiss, askew, astray, at fault, awry, bad, bum, counterfactual, defective, erratic, erring, erroneous, fallacious, false, faulty, fluffed, goofed, in error, inaccurate, inexact, miscalculated, misconstrued, misfigured, misguided, mishandled, mistaken, not precise, not right, not working, off-target, out, perverse, rotten, sophistical, specious, spurious, ungrounded, unsatisfactory, unsound, unsubstantial, untrue, wide

Posted by: attila at October 8, 2004 at 05:29 PM

I just emailed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to give them the goods on Greg Barns - a very short-lived politcla staffer who went on to a couple of concurrent part-time lobbying/spokesman roles for the Australian Republican Movement and Australian Gold Mining Institute, and now a senate candidate in Australia's smallest state for Australia's most-endangered political party.

See how they like them apples . . . .

Posted by: steve at October 8, 2004 at 06:45 PM

Barnes - "Australia committed 8,000 military personnel to the conflict, and around 800 remain in Iraq."

Try about 2,000.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at October 8, 2004 at 09:34 PM