Monday, January 08, 2007

Who needs the MSM?

Aussie-based bloggers are full of stories of the mainstream media's unwillingness to report the full extent of police crime bulletins.

Contrast this message for public help from the NSW police website about a violent carjacking,

"The offender is believed to be aged in his mid-20s, and described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean in appearance, around 180-185 cm tall and of a with a muscular build. He has dark short hair and is clean shaven and was last seen wearing black baggy jeans"

with that reported by the local paper, the Sydney Morning Herald,

"The carjacker is described as being in his mid-20s, around 180cm tall with a muscular build.
He has short, dark hair, is clean shaven and was last seen wearing baggy black jeans."

The statement is reported in full with the exception of one key sentence,

"of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean in appearance".

Why did they do this?

Are they embarrassed? Are they racist? Or do they not agree with the police that this is a key identifying characteristic of the perps?

Writing in the SMH, Paul Sheehan makes a similar observation following the horrific killing of an innocent bystander in the NSW town of Griffith.

"Right from the start, the police and media reports of this crime smelled of censorship. It took just two phone calls to Griffith to discover what was being left out: the perpetrators were young Aborigines who had been cruising for a brawl, and it was a common occurrence."

Sheehan goes on to attack the police report following the murder calling it an 'informational G-string' - it provides the bare minimum. The reporter considers this part of a wider and more serious problem,

"the whitewashing of the official depiction of the realities of criminal life in Australia."

Other reports of these 'men of no appearance' as they have become known can be found here, here and here. etc, etc.

Whatever the answer, this is a phenomenon not unique to Australia.

During the French rioting of late 2005, it was simply not possible from reading the French papers to determine that nearly all the 'disadvantaged French youth' were in fact 'disadvantaged Muslim youth'.

The BBC, the market leading provider of news in the UK, rarely reports the ethnic origin of criminals, in contrast to the police reports which do provide such information, not as a means to pick on a certain group, but to help the public identify the perps.

It would seem that anything that interferes with the MSM's touch-feely, multi-culti way of viewing the world is simply ignored as non-newsworthy.

No surprise then that people are turning in droves to the blogosphere to find out what is actually going on in the world.