Culture wars…….we seem to have these on-again-off-again ideological stoushes every single time conservatives enter government.Why is this? Do conservatives not realise that not everyone thinks as they do? Are they so terribly afraid that an alternative point of view might just be more acceptable to the majority than the one they choose to promote?
This latest attack by government on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known by those of us who actually like to listen to and watch a range of differing views as a means of forming our own independent opinions, as ‘Auntie’, is well and truly indefensible. So a live television program invited a question from a convicted felon – who has served his time – which incited the ire of a conservative Parliamentary Secretary. I say, big frickin’ deal! Was it an error of judgement by the editorial oversight for QandA to allow Zaky Mallah to ask a question of a government back-bencher? In my own view, no. Not in the least. Mallah is hardly the most erudite of interlocutors, equally, neither is Steven Ciobo, as both clearly demonstrated. I have since viewed both programs, Monday 22 June and Monday 29 June. Frankly, I saw & heard nothing in either program which was worthy of all the hooplah. Indeed, Lawrence Krauss summed up the situation as a whole very well by paraphrasing Hermann Goering:
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
By making an issue of this non-issue, by having a frothy-mouthed, spittle-flecked conservative mouthpieces the likes of Paul Kelly and Tim Wilson argue for ongoing castigation of the ABC out of some form of perverted fear-and-loathing agenda simply smacks of fascism, in my view. On the opening of QandA 29 June, the host Tony Jones detailed in chapter and verse the rational behind the program, and the ABC’s ethos in doing what it does. The likes of Zaky Mallah may well be froot loops, poorly read and intellectually void, but he has a right, as we all have a right, to ask questions of truth to power. That power, in this instance, didn’t like the question is entirely irrelevant. The question, in relation to pending government policy regarding the stripping of citizenship from dual citizens, was perfectly valid. Steven Ciobo’s response, was irrational and as Ann Aly detailed on last night’s program, thoroughly incorrect. Yet, Steven Ciobo was “put up in lights” by QandA. Ciobo also overtly backed the government’s preferred option of Ministerial stripping of citizenship, when we actually have courts of law to make such decisions. Who, I would ask, is the terrorist?
I would strongly urge those who haven’t watched the programs linked to above, to do so. You cannot possibly form a reasoned and informed opinion otherwise. Forget the media rhetoric, forget the shirt-rending and hair-pulling by various conservative government mouthpieces. There is a debate to be had here and we, as reasoned Australians, should be having it instead of being led around by the nose.