Why does Australia's media love Clinton and hate Reagan?

By Gerard Jackson
web posted November 29, 1999

Rather than write on the state of the US economy I thought further reflections on the curious phenomenon of the Australian media's obsessive defence of Clinton's behavior and its refusal to report on his scandals. Now Americans who believe that the media has a moral duty to report facts as honestly as it can have a justifiable complaint against the standard of reporting. But pity poor Australians. At least Americans have access to a range of conservative oriented magazines and papers while Australians have no genuine alternative because left-wing groupthink literally pervades the whole of our media.

Though the fall of the Berlin Wall is a watershed in history that symbolizes the collapse of the Soviet empire, I could not find a single editorial or column in any Australian paper or magazine that credited Ronald Reagan with contributing to that momentous event. Not one. The situation is so bad regarding Reagan that it is incredibly rare to find any favourable comments about him in the media. Even the letters columns have been rigged with letters defending Reagan being spiked while those abusing him were published. The Australian Financial Review was particularly bad in this respect as was Rupert Murdoch's Australian.

Even now our journalists cannot resist writing snide comments deriding Reagan's presidency and denigrating his intelligence and convictions. The so-called Iran/Contra scandal had our media in a frenzy with no dissenting voices. The condemnation of Reagan was comprehensive and relentless. Yet the same media has now put an embargo on Clinton's scandals, deliberately conveying the impression to the Australian public that there was only Monica Lewinsky, that Whitewater is old hat and doesn't amount to anything anyway and that there is little else to report.

The Broaddrick rape was buried, with Cameron Forbes, The Australian's Washington correspondent, not only belittling her experience but also calling Thomas Jefferson a liar and rapist. After all, according to Forbes' left-wing reasoning, "the sins of William Jefferson Clinton [insinuating that Clinton is innocent of any crimes] can be put in the context of the sins of Thomas Jefferson." The same Forbes also impugned Kathleen Willey's motives by implying that she acted out of greed. Peter Wilson was Forbes' predecessor and every bit as bad. During his Washington stint he had no qualms in suggesting that the Reagan administration was the most corrupt in modern history while at the same time arguing that Clinton's scandals were mere peccadilloes. On his return Wilson was made The Australian's deputy news editor.

It was suggested by some, perhaps unfairly, that Wilson's promotion and Forbes' posting would ensure that there would be no in depth reporting on the Clinton scandals. Coincidence or not, that is exactly what happened. On the other hand, every other Australian newspaper and magazine did likewise.

Editorial after editorial came out in support of Clinton, arguing that he should not be removed if impeached, with the left-wing Melbourne Age even saying that "America would shame itself if it impeached Clinton." In each case the reasoning was the same: it was all about sex between consenting adults. No paper, to my knowledge, raised questions about perjury, intimidation or abuse of power

Now that the sheer magnitude of Clinton's corruption can no longer be rationalized away the Australian media has decided to censor it. This is why it has said nothing, for example, about Johnny Chung or Charlie Trie. Even the Waco scandal scarcely rated a mention. Anything whatsoever that seriously embarrasses the Clinton administration is simply spiked. Only those Australians fortunate enough to be on the Net have been able to learn what has really been going on.

Why? Why are our journalists doing this? Of course, it has nothing to do with loving Clinton and everything to do with ideology. These moral imposters are Thomas Sowell's self-anointed. What matters to them is whether you share, or appear to share, their left-wing view of the world. If so, then this exonerates you of any wrongdoing because at least your heart is in the right place, unlike evil conservatives. And it is this ideology that, in their moralizing eyes, justifies bending, twisting and suppressing the truth. This is why they still mock and hate Reagan, even lying about him. He successfully defied them.

Bear in mind all that I have said and pity us poor Australians who have to put up with the likes of Murdoch's antipodean media.

Gerard Jackson is the editor in chief of the peerless The New Australian, that continent's only free-market online magazine.

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