The left is not the only group capable of propaganda, bias, distortion of facts, and misleading messages. But it gets a pretty good run at all this. Numerous instances of such bias come to mind, but two recent examples especially stand out. The first was the ABC docudrama series, “Bastard Boys” about the wharfies dispute in 1998, aired earlier this week.
As I watched the opening segment I thought to myself, this must be paid for, written, directed and produced by the unions and the Labor Party. I could not believe the incredible bias. All the unionists were portrayed as saints, while their opponents were made to look like the scum of the earth. What an exercise in bias and one-eyed hagiography.
Many other commentators felt the same. One of the earlier critics was Michael Duffy writing in the Sydney Morning Herald (May 12, 2007). He says, “Simple mathematics suggests the scale of bias. The miniseries is divided into four equal segments, each told from the viewpoint of one participant. Two are union officials (the then Maritime Union of Australia national secretary John Coombs and the ACTU’s Greg Combet), one is a Labor lawyer, and one is Chris Corrigan, the head of Patrick Stevedores. The Corrigan segment contains far more from the union perspective than from his. So about 80 per cent of the story is told from the union point of view. Impartial?”
He continues, “What makes it worse is that a lot of time is devoted to the private lives of the union characters, with many scenes of them falling in love or reading to their children. So they emerge as warm, fully rounded people. All those images of Combet racing to pick up his daughter from child care will do him no harm with female voters in his new political career. In contrast, Corrigan is portrayed as a gawky and ridiculous loner without friends, or even associates. We often see him being driven around in the back of a dry-cleaning van (for security) but we never see him talking to his board of directors. The treatment of his family life is perfunctory. Almost the only time we see anyone on his side is when they’re ratting on him. He is a man without context, implausible as both a human being and a successful entrepreneur.”
And never mind the actual facts of the case: “In 1998 the members of the Maritime Union of Australia were the aristocracy of the working class, earning in the top 5 per cent of all employees. They were also among the laziest waterfront workers in the world, with their all-important crane lift rate among the lowest in the OECD. The series doesn’t go into this. It doesn’t give us any sense of the years of failed efforts by Corrigan to make the wharfies see reason. We don’t see the MUA, backed by the union movement and the Labor Party, assuring the public that crane lift rates could not be lifted from 18 to 25 an hour. (They reached that level two years after the dispute ended.) Without such context, this is poor drama and also poor history.”
“A voice missing from Bastard Boys is that of the many Australians affected for decades by the laziness and corruption on the wharves. We hear a lot in the series about the glorious traditions and history of the union. We hear nothing of its notorious record in undermining the war effort during World War II, all the looting, the go-slows and the strikes.”
Much more can be said about this leftist propaganda piece. But the disappointing thing is once again “our ABC” is using our tax dollars to push a left-wing agenda, all the while claiming to represent all Australians.
A second recent example of how the left – especially the secular left – is great at making things up concerns the passing of Jerry Falwell. It seems all the loony left and the God-haters are coming out in force on this story, pushing the same old mistruths and misinformation about him.
Two in particular come to mind. And both, by the way, were raised in a radio interview I did about him just a day after his death. One was his comment about 9/11. He claimed this was in part a judgment of God because of all the immorality in America. Yes he said that, but many of us found that to be an unfortunate and unnecessary remark. But what his enemies never mention is that Falwell soon thereafter apologised for his words, and he did so on numerous occasions. Yet the left never tires of bringing it up (as did my radio interviewer).
The second episode about Falwell concerns remarks he made about a homosexual cartoon character. He was shouted down and ridiculed for even suggesting such a thing. Yet as Ann Coulter explains, there are a few facts the left are quite happy to overlook. She provides the context to the story:
“What Falwell was referring to are the gay activists – the ones who spit the Eucharist on the floor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, blamed Reagan for AIDS, and keep trying to teach small schoolchildren about ‘fisting.’ Also the ones who promote the gay lifestyle in a children’s cartoon. Beginning in early 1998, the news was bristling with stories about a children’s cartoon PBS was importing from Britain that featured a gay cartoon character, Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubbie with a male voice and a red handbag. People magazine gleefully reported that Teletubbies was ‘aimed at Telebabies as young as one year. But teenage club kids love the products’ kitsch value, and gay men have made the purse-toting Tinky Winky a camp icon’.”
In the Nexis archives for 1998 alone, there are dozens and dozens of mentions of Tinky Winky being gay – in periodicals such as Newsweek, The Toronto Star, The Washington Post (twice!), The New York Times and Time magazine (also twice). In its Jan. 8, 1999, issue, USA Today accused The Washington Post of ‘outing’ Tinky Winky, with a ‘recent Washington Post In/Out list putting T.W. opposite Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, essentially “outing” the kids’ show character’. Michael Musto of The Village Voice boasted that Tinky Winky was ‘out and proud,’ noting that it was ‘a great message to kids – not only that it’s OK to be gay, but the importance of being well accessorized.”
She continues, “All this appeared before Falwell made his first mention of Tinky Winky. After one year of the mainstream media laughing at having put one over on stupid bourgeois Americans by promoting a gay cartoon character in a TV show for children, when Falwell criticized the cartoon in February 1999, that same mainstream media howled with derision that Falwell thought a cartoon character could be gay. Teletubbies producers immediately denounced the suggestion that Tinky Winky was gay – though they admitted that he was once briefly engaged to Liza Minnelli. That’s what you get, reverend, for believing what you read in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time magazine and Newsweek. Of course, Falwell also thought the show ‘Queer as Folk’ was gay, so obviously the man had no credibility.”
Yet this same episode was raised by my interviewer just this week, and countless other lefties intent on demonising the recently deceased pastor. They do not seem to let truth stand in the way of a good witch hunt. Truth is always important. It is a pity so many on the left refuse to make use of it.