News Coverage on ABC radio

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Thu Jan 16 18:01:59 MST 2003


Every morning from about 6.00am on I tune into the Classic Music program on
the Public Radio (ABC).  I used to listen to Current Affairs avidly until I
realised that hearing that right wing shite pouring endlessly down was
upsetting me too much.  I was also immensely encouraged to turn it all off
by reading Raymond Williams' remark that he did not have papers delivered
at home because he refused to begin the day with 'those people in the house'.

So I have boycotted current affairs,  but by way of compromise I listen to
the short news bulletin every hour in between the classics.

What has stuck me as interesting is how the headlines change over the
hour.  Thus the six o clock bulletin began with the discovery of 11
warheads in Iraq.  I immediately thought of the "smoking gun".  I truly
expected to hear Bush declare war. By seven however Iraqi denials had
surfaced and the rockets turned out to have been previously mentioned in
the Iraqi report.

At eight the rockets had exited from the newssheet and been replaced with
reports of the taking into custody (cannot remember verb used) of an Iraqi
scientist.   Will be interested to see if this turns out to be the smoking
gun after all.

It seems obvious to me that enormous pressure has been placed on the
inspectors.    They are trying desperately to come up with something -
anything to justify a USA assault on Iraq.  It would seem that the window
of opportunity for a war is quite narrow.  The Crusaders have to be in and
victorious before March.

I am pessimistic about our chances of preventing a war.  I am equally
pessimistic about the immediate aftermath.  As in 91 the peace movement
will in all probability implode.  However I am absolutely convinced that
this war will in the medium term be the catalyst for the Arab
revolution.  Moreover it will be as I have said often a revolution which
rejects not only those who have collaborated with the Imperialists but also
the terrorists.  However all crystal ball gazing aside, the next two weeks
are vital.

The rapidity of the change over of news headlines in the ABC are just one
small indication that political time is tearing itself free of
chronological time.

regards

Gary


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