Bias by Omission

December 13, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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Federal Labor MP Michael Danby has complained to ABC-TV on their report on an Australian citizen found guilty in Israel of working for Hamas.

Michael Danby

In a letter to ABC News Executive Producer Shane Castleman and presenter Ian Henderson, Danby wrote:

“The introduction to Michael Vincent’s report tonight (12/12/11 7pm Newscast) correctly stated that Israel “considers Hamas a terrorist organization.” So does Australia. I believe that this should have been stated. Australian citizen Eyad Abu Arga pleaded guilty to working for Hamas, which is one of the thirteen terrorist organizations officially classified by the non-partisan Intelligence Committee of the Federal Parliament as a terrorist organization. I should know. I’m a member of that Committee. If your producers or reporters want to confirm, you may wish to call Anthony Byrne MHR, Chair of the Intelligence Committee.”

In a further statement this time relating to the ABC’s AM program, Danby said: ”

Once again the ABC’s Jerusalem correspondent, Anne Barker has shown her anti-Israel bias in her reporting on the offences committed by an Australian citizen in Israel.

An Australian citizen of Palestinian origin, Eyad Abu Arga has pleaded guilty to having illegal ties to Hamas. Barker says he was “allegedly recruited to carry out espionage”. Barker concedes that Abu Arga has pleaded guilty to “research for espionage using a sophisticated panoramic camera, devising more precise ways to launch missiles, and determining whether a phone has been tapped.”

Whilst Barker’s report on the ABC’s AM program this morning included an interview with Eyad Abu Arga’s advocate, Leah Tsemel, her report failed to include comments from anyone else. Barker minimised the role of Hamas. She said that Hamas was, “the militant group that Israel and many other nations regard as a terrorist organisation”. She failed to mention that Hamas is classified as terrorist organisation by the Australian Parliament.

Abu Arga admitted to scoping terrorist attacks on civilian population centres such as Tel Aviv.

“It seems Ms Barker fails to understand the extreme seriousness and significance of these offences,” Mr Danby said. “What would happen if people in Northcote or Footscray had missiles targeted at them from someone in New Zealand, who would be asked for a comment about that?” Mr Danby asked.

“How would Australians feel if only those professionally involved in defending admitted terrorists were interviewed by our national broadcaster?” Mr Danby asked.

The parliamentarian awaits a reply.

Comments

5 Responses to “Bias by Omission”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Well, if MIchael Danby is offended by the ABC, what would he have said about the 6:30 SBS report of the jailing of Hamas’ Aussie agent. The announcer stated that the man was jailed on Israeli “claims” of spying. No mention made of Arga’s confession or his plea bargain. And the announcer slurred the Israeli justice system by implying that in Israel any dubious charge will result in the conviction of an Arab.

    I should have sent in my complaint today, but I’ll do it tomorrow; better late than never.

    • Rita says:

      I think that every last tax dollar should be withdrawn from SBS for the following reasons:

      1. they ran paid commercials anyway already

      2. Their political propaganda is completely partisan, anti- Judeo-Christian Civilisation and very often blatantly anti-semitic to a point where the accusation of “inciting racial hatred” could be levelled..

      3. One of their news-services is Aljazeera (how more blatant can one be?)

      Why is SBS still being tax-payer funded?

      • Paul Winter says:

        On the basis that it is better late than never, hereunder my complaint sent to SBS this morning:

        In the segment on the jailing by Israel of Jordanian/Australian Eyad abu Arga, the commentator stated that Israel had “claimed” that he was a Hamas spy.

        Firstly, the word “claim” is used when there is doubt or if there is another side to be heard. “Claim” is used when an action had been carried out and a post factum justification is given. Niether case applied, so SBS’s use of that term was meant to deceive.

        Secondly, by the time the jailing was reported, it was known that Arga had confessed to spying for Hamas, that he had been charged and tried by due process and that his sentence was based on his plea bargain. Those details were suppressed by SBS, presenting a skewed picture of the case.

        If your news staff cannot keep their anti-Israel bias out of their reporting, they should seek career development with Press-TV.

  2. Rita says:

    I hope that Michael Danby will be luckier in being heard by “our” ha! ABC than the hapless tax payer. I have long ago lost all respect for this swill of sneering elitists and watch it/listen to it only for reasons of “know thy enemy”. Far from being “objective”, they have long ago turned into a propaganda arm for the Left and assorted ideologies, but now they have given up even any pretence at objectivity.

    And, as a subsidiary of the Left, don’t expect any fairness towards Israel or the Jewish people from the ABC, not since we have strident “defenders” of the so-called Palestinians holding the balance of power in the senate. People like Lee Rhiannon who goes as far as sharing a platform with Sheik Hilali of Lakemba when it comes to attacking Israel and the Jewish people:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P23ehzI8k-0
    Lee Rhiannon nee Brown appears about 2 minutes into this video.

  3. Michael Burd says:

    Just imagine if it were the Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians or Lebanese that had captured a Jewish Australian citizen spying in any one their country of Thiefdoms… The poor Aussie would have been hung or thrown off a tall building with out any trial..

    I’d imagine the ABC’s Palestinian representative Anny Barker would not be so sympathetic to some Aussie Jew and unlikely to interview his relatives ……

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