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

ABC Media Watch program continues to wipe Israel off the map

By —— Bio and Archives--September 12, 2017

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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”.

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:

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 (abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm) or through Free TV Australia (freetv.com.au/content_common/pg-viewer-feedback-and-complaints.seo).”

I then sent Whittaker the following detailed response:


Continued below...

“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”

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.

The segment was clearly tainted by this statement.

I am surprised that in these circumstances your response is:

“As for the story itself, like I said, we stand by it and have nothing more to add”

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.

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.”


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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 -- Bio and Archives | Comments

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International—an organization calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at: jordanispalestine.blogspot.com

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