Friday, May 14, 2004

Fair and balanced the Australian way 

Melbourne "Age", fondly known for its locality and political inclinations as the Spencer Street Soviet, seems to be getting - gasp - more balanced on its opinion pages, as far as the war coverage goes.

One one hand we can still count on Chris Reus-Smit, the head of the department of international relations at the Australian National University to remind us that "[Prime Minister John Howard's] attachment to George Bush is blinkered to the point of being irresponsible."

And there's the "New York Times" reprint of the ever dependable Maureen Dowd, who says that "[i]n the end, Americans have been reduced to saying at least they don't behead people." (Not sure which Americans Maureen has been listening to. I would have thought that there are some other crucial differences, not the least the fact the Americans recognise the behaviour as wrong and punish the perpetrators).

But this standard leftie fare is balanced by Pamela Bone, an associate editor of "The Age" who writes that "[s]ome people would prefer to see Iraq fail than America succeed" as she correctly brings to readers' attention the fact that "[n]ot all news in Iraq and Afghanistan is bad."

And then we have Tony Parkinson, international editor at "The Age", making the basic point that "[t]he Abu Ghraib abuse doesn't put the US in the same nihilistic wasteland as Saddam."

Who knows, if this trend continues people might yet regain their faith in the printed media.


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