Monday, September 20, 2010

Who would think the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior was a joke?

Tonight [20/9/10], the ABC screened an excellent documentary about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985:

This week on Four Corners, "Return to the Rainbow Warrior", a story that attempts to finally get to the truth of a murderous attack that New Zealanders describe as an act of state sponsored terrorism. ...
That brought to mind a 'Spring Hill Voice' story from way back in October 2007:

Rupert's Cultural Warriors Hard At Work On The Gold Coast

Cast your mind back to 1985 when Greenpeace was actively campaigning to stop French nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean….

Every Tuesday, Gold Coast residents are the lucky recipients of a News Ltd. throw-away, 'The Sun'.

It's a useful read if you want to buy a car, are looking to have your prejudices confirmed or enjoy spending your hard earned money on consumer items.

'The Sun' employs that classic News Ltd. strategy of incorporating little columns and articles that convey confusing messages to the reader, amidst the array of advertising and propaganda.

Said messages seem very clear to me:

If you drive down to the shops and buy enviro-lightbulbs to put in your green bags, there will be no global warming, and your grandchildren will live forever in an antipodean wonderland where the car reigns supreme and the rivers will run with desalinated water, bombing Iran is the proper thing to do because people in the Middle East are terrorists, health and education are privileges rather than taxpayer rights, women should fulfil their role of either being a breeder or a prostitute, unions are the devil, and any organic event or artistic experience not sponsored and contrived by a corporation should be viewed with suspicion and disdain.

Take this week's 'By The Way' column by Peter Barnes. It is headed by a photo of the half sunken "Rainbow Warrior" and the caption reads: "HOLED… Greenpeace members should have remembered to put the bungs back in the Rainbow Warrior". That is so funny - oh ba ha ha ha! Next week Barnes could use a photo of the ruins of the "Sari Club" in Bali with a caption like: "Drunken Yob Aussie's have too many Flaming Sambuccas!"

The column is oh so chatty and light, with its sidesplitting local anecdotes. This week, the first is about a corporate 'green' marketing promotion by 'The Sun"' (the last is about some locals who forgot to put the bungs back in their tinny, which then sank) - but why use a photo of the Rainbow Warrior? Rupert's cultural warriors are as hard to turn around as a battleship, so Barnes has to grudgingly acknowledge his master's edict with a cynical plug for consumer environmentalism while snidely mocking the very real and very dead victims of the same enviro-wars he is now cashing in on, with a joke about dedicated people killed by the illegal French bombing in New Zealand.

And News Ltd's hacks have the gall to accuse this site of being "horse-shit"! Their hypocrisy is staggering.

UPDATE!! Peter Barnes writes his usual lightweight column this week [17/10/07] but, after the 'Sun' had a few letters making the same point as we have, finishes with:

"Several readers questioned the use of a picture of the ship Rainbow Warrior to illustrate an item last week. Well, they were absolutely right and I salute those alert readers who take the trouble to comment when they see something they believe to be wrong."

It's typical of a Murdoch "correction" or "apology" isn't it? You know: 'Well sooorrrrryyy, then!' With a veiled hint that whingey wimps can't take a joke.


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