The ABC is a mad dog running loose

Just what is Zaki Mallah’s point of view, exactly? His views on anything are of so little interest in an intellectual sense that it is beyond belief that I have had to endure his illogical and illiterate ranting on our national broadcaster. He was there, not because he had anything of any interest to say about anything at all. He was there because he threatened to murder other people and went to jail, but the attempt to put him away for terrorism was stopped at the supreme court. His beliefs are, of course, fascinating as a case study since there are appear to be many others like him. And I wish others would ask him about his actual beliefs about how things should go in the Middle East, say, or how he thinks religious tolerance ought to be practised, or what he thinks of whatever is the other side in his own religious wars. These would be fascinating, because the more you hear the more you fear for this country’s future.

So this conversation between Andrew Bolt’s producer and Raphael Epstein of the ABC is incredible. Is Epstein simply not capable of some basic distinctions. We read Andrew Bolt because he articulates views we are interested in hearing. No one would do the same for this Zaki fellow. His views, to the extent that I know them, are vile and disgusting, of no interest as an actual set of beliefs. The prelude to this exchange is Rafael Epstein, who is apparently a radio host on 774 in Melbourne, telling Andrew’s editor, Damon Johnston, “there seems little difference between the ABC giving a platform to Zaky Mallah and the Herald Sun giving one to Andrew”. This is from Andrew’s blog. The dialogue is not perfect, but in essence Raphael equates the ABC giving a platform to Zaky and and the Herald Sun giving one to Andrew Bolt:

EPSTEIN

No, I don’t think it is a partisan criticism, but it goes to, you are essentially I guess editorialising that the ABC is in some way doesn’t have the nation’s best interests at heart and [inaudible] appropriate given that one incident

JOHNSTON

Yeah, yeah, I think in that context it is appropriate to question that

EPSTEIN

Is that, so let me try and fit around they can Damon. Andrew Bolt, columnist, very very popular. He, I guess, I’m trying to frame his words in a way that are acceptable to him. He doesn’t believe in the concept of the stolen generations, he strongly questioned that. He has got a lot of strong questions on the science of climate change, many people would feel that they are irrefutable facts and that by questioning those things, Andrew Bolt is in some way corroding the social fabric. Does that mean that we can all we should question the Herald Sun’s real commitment to cohesive society?

JOHNSTON

Are you trying to draw some equivalency between Zaki Mallah and Andrew Bolt? Last time I looked Andrew hadn’t done 2 ½ years jail

EPSTEIN

No no no I’m not saying they are saying that all I am just trying to, I’m trying to get at whether or not it is fair to attack the ABC’s intentions towards the country around some coverage. Andrew Bolt is clearly very popular, I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of his columns, I don’t think this is the place to do that. However, if he is asking a lot of significant questions around the stolen generation and climate change science and they are things that for many people, not for everyone, for many people they are irrefutable facts. Can I then question the Herald Sun and say well, you are in some way being corrosive in you know, [inaudible]

Look Raphael. The ABC did not put Zaki onto Q&A because of what he thinks but because of how he was treated by the law. You used him as some kind of weird exhibit of repressive legislation. I wish you would ask him his opinions of many more things, since the minuscule bits we saw were terrifying and provides a broader lesson to the rest of us. If you think Zaki has a point of view on any single issue that is worth considering as a genuine perspective of any value of any kind in any place at any time, then you and the crew you work with are as far as it is possible to be from understanding just exactly what the problem with the ABC is.

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