ABC Media Watch program continues to wipe Israel off the map

September 11, 2017 by David Singer
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The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)taxpayer funded to the tune of $1 billion annually – still continues to feature a map which falsely identifies “Israel” as “Palestine”…writes David Singer.

This bizarre conduct came to light after the ABC had initially removed the segment “Misplaced Map Outrage” from its Media Watch website containing the offending map with the following headline:

“Daily Mail accuses the ABC of wiping Israel off the map but misses the point of the story”

When I wrote to Media Watch approving of their decision to delete the segment and seeking an explanation for the segment’s removal – I was shocked to receive this response from Gabrielle Clark at Media Watch:

“This hasn’t been purposely removed. Just looks like a back end publishing error. It is back online now.”

Shortly thereafter I received a further reply from Jason Whittaker, Story Editor, Media Watch:

The story has not been removed from our website. It remains here:

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4729053.htm

We have issued no apology, retraction, correction or amendment to this item.

When I clicked on the link supplied by Whittaker – I noticed that 20 or more posted comments – including mine – had all been removed.

This prompted me to write to Whittaker asking him to:

Immediately reinstate all the posted comments that have been removed in the course of someone in the ABC reinstating the segment to the website.”

I found Whittaker’s reply quite disturbing:

“You’re welcome to re-post the comment. We apologise if a technical error removed it.

As for the story itself, like I said, we stand by it and have nothing more to add. But if you’d like to take the matter further you can do so through the ABC complaints process  (http://www.abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm) or through Free TV Australia (http://www.freetv.com.au/content_common/pg-viewer-feedback-and-complaints.seo).”

I then sent Whittaker the following detailed response:

“Thanks for your response and the suggestion I can re-post my comment.

What about reposting the more than 20 other comments that were removed by “technical error”? Are they too irretrievable?

Reposting my comment does not answer my complaint about the following false statement made by [the presenter] Paul [Barry] in the story:

“But two days is obviously an age in the Mail’s hectic newsroom. And clearly no one bothered to watch the ABC report. 

Because if they had they would have known that the nations in blue are where this law has been abolished. And the nations in yellow are those that still have it on their books.

And Israel was not on the map because it never had the offending statute.” 

This statement was patently false because:

  1. Israel was shown on the map
  2. Israel was coloured yellow
  3. Israel was mislabelled “Palestine” 
  4. Paul was clearly in error in making the above statement. Where he got the information to make this statement needs to be explained by Paul. 
  5. The segment was clearly tainted by this statement.
  6. I am surprised that in these circumstances your response is: 
  7. “As for the story itself, like I said, we stand by it and have nothing more to add” 
  8. With the greatest respect – I think you do – especially as the segment involved an ABC program – The World – where an incorrect map bearing an ABC logo was used – indicating someone in the ABC had prepared it for specifically for The World program.
  9. Your website proudly proclaims: “Media Watch has built an unrivalled record of exposing media shenanigans since it first went to air in 1989.”

On the face of it Media Watch and Paul Barry appear to have become unwitting victims of shenanigans within the ABC – having been fed false information which was relied on by Paul to make the offending statement which – if true – would have certainly debunked the Daily Mail story. 

However the statement was false.

I initially expressed my approval that the segment had been removed – which was the right thing to do in the circumstances – only to now be told it was due to a “back end publishing error” and incredibly find it is back on the website again.

That is shocking.

Paul needs to pursue the person in the ABC who fed him the information that formed the basis of the offending statement and also find out the person in the ABC who authorised the preparation of the map and allowed it to go on air in the misleading and deceptive form it did.

The segment also needs to be removed from the website.”

Whittaker’s pathetic response was:

“David, I won’t be entering into further correspondence about this. As I’ve said, we believe our report was fair and we have no intention of correcting it. And I’ve given you avenues to take your complaint further if you’d like to do that.

Appreciate your engagement with the program. All the best.”

For Media Watch to act in this high handed and dismissive manner is a national disgrace.

Removing the segment that contained the false map was certainly the right action for Media Watch to take. Reinstating it was contemptible.

Those responsible for this total fiasco should be reprimanded – perhaps dismissed.

Jason Whittaker’s title should be changed to “Fake Story Editor”. Paul Barry remains silent.

Media Watch’s credibility has hit rock bottom.

Media Watch boasts to viewers:

“Everyone loves it till they’re on it”

Media Watch itself is now centre-stage on Media Watch and clearly does not like being targeted for false reporting.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

Comments

8 Responses to “ABC Media Watch program continues to wipe Israel off the map”
  1. john nemesh says:

    well done

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    The story was about countries in the region that have, and dont have, laws that allow a male rapist to marry the female victim to avoid gaol.

    The story included Palestine as it was involved presumably and I assume Israel was not.

    I would have thought that the rape/marriage issue was the main story here.

    • david singer says:

      Adrian

      The main story in the Media Watch segment headlined “Misplaced map outrage” was outlined by Paul Barry as follows:

      “And finally, to journalism Daily Mail style.

      In which you publish first and check the facts later.

      So, what is the story?

      ABC shares map of the Middle East but fails to label Israel – as Jewish leader accuses broadcaster of ‘doing the dirty work for Islamists’

      — Daily Mail, 19 August, 2017

      Yes, the ABC is showing its bias again by wiping Israel off the map.

      Outrageous! and as you can see, there’s no doubt about it.”

      Yes indeed there was no doubt about it and that should have been the end of it.

      Instead Paul Barry came up with this totally false conclusion:

      “But two days is obviously an age in the Mail’s hectic newsroom. And clearly no one bothered to watch the ABC report.

      Because if they had they would have known that the nations in blue are where this law has been abolished. And the nations in yellow are those that still have it on their books.

      And Israel was not on the map because it never had the offending statute.”

      Paul Barry had screwed up big time:

      1. Israel was on the map
      2. Israel was coloured yellow creating the false impression that it had the offending staute on its books when it did not
      3. Israel was wrongly called Palestine.

      Whoever in the ABC gave Paul Barry the false information he relied on and whoever prepared the false map and allowed it to go to air should be identified and dealt with.

      You would think Media Watch would eat humble pie and at least issue a correction to this false story – something which it calls for from other media outlets who come within its sights.

      Well the ABC went one better and deleted the story – which was very honourable and should have ended the matter. However they then reinstated the story but deleted the comments that had been posted. Media Watch has refused to withdraw the story again after being requested by me to do so.

      Do you support Your $1 billion dollars taxpayer-funded ABC maintaining demonstrably false stories on its programs’ websites and deleting readers comments? A simple “Yes” or “No” answer will suffice

      • Adrian Jackson says:

        Was Israel one of the rape/marriage blue or yellow countries, I think not, so it was not marked with a national name tag.

        As I assume Palestine was a yellow country it was tagged with a national or geographic name tag of Palestine. Palestine exists !!

        You are an academic so research so if Israel and/or Palestine are either a yellow or blue country? Those that are should get a national or geographic name tag.

        Another story in J Wire says Commonwealth National Party MP’s visited Palestine recently too.

        • david singer says:

          Adrian

          The issue is very simple and can be reduced to these two questions:

          1. The ABC continues to show on its programs a map in which “Israel” is falsely labelled as “Palestine”. That is false and misleading.

          Do you agree?

          “Yes” or “No”.

          2. Do you think this map should be removed wherever it appears on the ABC website?

          “Yes” or “No”

          • Adrian Jackson says:

            How many time do I have to say this; Israel is not involved in the rape/marriage story I assume unlike the yellow and blue countries.

            Anyhow the Palestine tag is shown in the Mediterranean Sea a location Palestinians cant use as IDF gunboat patrols prevent it.

            • david singer says:

              You obviously have difficulty in fully comprehending what happened in the ABC Media Watch segment “Misplaced Map Outrage”.

              1. Israel is coloured yellow on the map – misleadingly creating the impression it is involved in the rape/marriage story.

              2. The Lebanon tag shown on the map is also in the Mediterranean sea.

              Stop squirming and twisting and answer these two questions:

              1. The ABC continues to show on its programs a map in which “Israel” is falsely labelled as “Palestine”. That is false and misleading.

              Do you agree?

              “Yes” or “No”.

              2. Do you think this map should be removed wherever it appears on the ABC website?

              “Yes” or “No”

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        ABC culture just doesn’t like Israel; it loves Israel’s antithesis, however.
        As for credibility; the ABC’s existence is guaranteed, so for the ABC credibility is not the supreme value.
        It reminds me of what a British “Guardian” journalist once said when he was challenged about a published lie to which he proudly confessed: he asserted that he had perpetrated it “in the name of a higher truth.”

        You can’t get any nobler than that, can you?

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