194 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @Julie Thomas
    Thanks for your comment but I think you could keep rolling on the praise for a while yet before I was in any danger! Just put it up here to try and guage whether I should try to get more similar interviews with the dr or let him go for the a…hole that he clearly is!

  2. @Megan
    Why isn’t more emphasis being focused on civilian air traffic regulators? Qantas says they stopped flying over the area weeks ago. It’s a war zone, aircraft have been successfully shot down prior to this incident. Why in gawds name were civilian passenger aircraft allowed to fly in this airspace?

  3. of course the separatists are not going to hand over the site to the very people they say are framing them. they would probably hand it over to a suitable third party though.

    So, to be clear, you think the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (the group whose inspectors were blocked) is part of a CIA/Ukrainian plot to murder innocent civilians and put the blame on the rebels?

    The UN Secretary General has also called for an independent investigation, which I also predict will be blocked. Perhaps the missile was fired from one of his black helicopters?

    And of course, despite large numbers of Australian deaths, the Russian foreign minister is “on holiday” and too busy to talk to Julie Bishop, as are all his subordinates.

    Being disgusted with American hypocrisy ought not to make us suckers for Russian propaganda.

  4. @Troy Prideaux

    Apparently, advice was given to fly above 32000 feet, out of the range of shoulder launched missiles. A few days ago the rebels (or, more accurately, Russian invaders) announced the acquisition of the more powerful missiles they used to shoot down the plane, but the regulators apparently did not catch up with this in time.

    In retrospect, the advice was clearly misguided.

  5. Oops … forgot not to use the m word …


    At this point, any other hypothesis is in the realm of trutherism (and, to be clear, trutherism remains banned here, and anyone who posts of links to trutherists will be permanently banned).

    I’m certainly not going to put any other theory. On the other hand, I’m not yet ready to accept the main theory put by the assorted allies of the US. The mere fact that the US puts it doesn’t make it wrong. Putin is indeed a murderous criminal thug with state power and we can assume he’d have no problem in principle with doing this. OTOH, the Ukrainian military downed a passenger jet in 2001 and initially denied it. This is, IMO, a time to pay attention and reflect on what is knowable.

    Any air crash results in a tragic loss for the human family, it should go without saying. One that is the result of deliberate human action is not merely tragic but a murderous criminal act, which taints us all at least to some extent. To hear that amongst those lost were 100 delegates to the big AIDS conference in Melbourne simply compounds the sense of loss we should all feel at this news.

    Amongst those lost was apparently Dutch HIV researcher and former IAS president Dr Joep Lange and his wife and collaborator Jacqueline van Tongeren.

    Whoever was responsible for this has inflicted a truly grievous wound on the entire human family. In a world largely run by people with at best a frivolous and transitory interest in human well-being if not downright m@lice it is hard to find the right words to characterise the many injuries, great and small inflicted or enabled by these folk. One can scarcely look anywhere without noting their baleful influence.

    Those amongst us whose respect for the dignity of human life and embrace of the pursuit of human possibility is genuine and insistent are outraged that humanity has not yet found a way to remove these criminals from power over others.

    Whatever the precise aetiology of this crime and the many others to which we can all point, let us honour those lost by strengthening our resolve to establish truly equitable and inclusive governance on a world scale. Along that path alone lies the road to a world where everyone can soundly hope to be the best that each can be.

  6. I’ve since discovered that the true number of AIDS conference who died on MH17 is likely to be much closer to 7 (currently the confirmed number by those running the Melbourne Conference).

    Apparently The Australian simply guessed. Imagine that. Disgusting.

    There is no ethical nadir to which they will not sink.

  7. @John Quiggin

    A few days ago the rebels (or, more accurately, Russian invaders) announced the acquisition of the more powerful missiles they used to shoot down the plane

    I don’t have access to any evidence to allow me that level of certainty about either the possession of functioning weaponry of that kind (the anti-US militia captured one from the US-backed Kiev regime but Kiev said it was disabled, according to Bloomberg) or that level of certainty as to the perpetrators.

    I am quite willing to be convinced, but I like to examine evidence.

  8. Would you care to spell out your alternative hypothesis, as opposed to the simple one that the rebels shot down what they thought was a military plane, using a weapon they had just announced they had acquired, announced the fact, then realised what they had done and started trying to destroy the evidence?

  9. @John Quiggin

    An American aviation commentator made the very good point that flying at 33,000 ft, or just 1,000 ft above the no-fly ceiling, is a very small margin for error or incident. For example, a simple cabin pressure loss incident necessitates a descent well below 33,000 ft and probably an emergency landing at the nearest airfield, in this case a warzone!

    This commentator made it clear that, in his opinion, Malaysia Airlines (and the pilot) made a very bad decision to fly with such a small margin for error and to ignore the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) suggesting complete avoidance of the airspace. They flew that airspace to save a little aviation fuel and help the bottom line. That is very disgraceful when you think about it, especially in the light of having lost another aircraft so recently. Some blame attaches to the Malaysian Govt too for insufficient oversight and failure to insist the national carrier, MA, follow the NOTAM.

    The actual shootdown was an accidental act of war, highly reckless and incompetent at best and possibly an illegal act at worse so far as international law and the laws of war can carry. In saying that, the USS Vincennes incident was just as bad in every sense.

  10. Do you want to claim that, within days of this announcement the CIA and Ukrainians were able to
    (a) Plan a mass murder (presumably with the approval of their governments and the entire EU)
    (b) Fake realistic sounding phone intercepts showing the rebels discovering they had shot down a civilian airliner rather than a Ukrainian military aircraft
    (c) Induce both the rebels and Russian TV to issue reports supporting (b)
    (d) Induce both the rebels and Russia to act like guilty parties trying to cover up the evidence
    (e) Keep all this secret

    Admittedly, they would know how to do (d), given their own track record. But how did they manage to persuade Russian state media to bury the story, rather than denounce the supposed frame-up.

    Honestly, this is worse than trutherism.

  11. Agreed that there’s no difference between this and the Vincennes case. Same applies to apologists for the murderers.

  12. @Ikonoclast
    I think it’s generally accepted in military and intelligence circles that the probable SAM system used was capable of shooting down a military bomber at 25km altitude! Forget about tight margins; that 777 had no chance.

  13. I’ll look at that information.

    Meanwhile, here is an extract from the AP report of the UN meeting (note qualified language):

    Power [that’s US delegate Samantha Power] said Ukraine also has SA-11 missiles but the United States is not aware of any in the area where the plane was shot down.

    She said the downing of the Malaysian airlines jet also follows a pattern of attacks on aircraft by the separatists in June and very recently on Monday and Wednesday.

    “If indeed Russian-backed separatists were behind this attack on a civilian airliner, they and their backers would have good reason to cover up evidence of their crime,” Power told the council. “Thus it is extremely important than an investigation be commenced immediately.”

    An investigation, truly independent, is precisely what is required – certainly before we go starting any more wars.

  14. @Troy Prideaux

    The margin of error I refer to is not a margin of error related to the altitude range of the SAM. It is a margin of error relating to the declared “no-fly” airspace of 0 to 32,000 ft. (Which presumably was set in relation to shoulder-launched missiles.) The commentator was saying that flying an airliner 1,000 ft above the no-fly leaves no margin for other incidents anyway, like a depressurisation which would require a descent. And there are quite a few other plausible on-board incidents which can require an emergency landing at the nearest airport. Given these facts, complete avoidance of an over-fly was the only correct call.

    Perhaps the NOTAM system needs another level internationally, namely a Directive to Airmen. In hindsight it is plain that a modern war zone, even in an insurgency, needs a complete ban on civilian air travel over or “near” the entire war zone where “near” probably means at least 200 km away from the surmised outer border of the conflict. But prospective passengers don’t actually know intended flight path information so how does a prospective passenger make an informed decision? Clearly one can’t trust some nations or airlines to make these decisions for one.

  15. Paul Krugman tries to get into the head of a denier

    it’s because Santelli is their kind of guy; he hates the poors, he hates people who want to help the poors, he was trashing Janet Yellen for suggesting that she actually cares about the plight of the unemployed. And the traders feel the same way. So they like Santelli even though he’s been wrong about everything.

  16. @John Quiggin

    The ITAR-Tass link says they seized such weaponry (we’ve already established that) but explicitly questions its operability. That, on all the evidence I’ve seen, is very much an open question.

    So they HAD such a weapon (i.e. literally one).

    Now to part 2 of the assertion – what is the basis for the statement of fact that the rebels/separatists/terrrsts/freedom-fighters (whatever tag suits) applied it and it was that weapon “they used to shoot down the plane”?

    There are some extremely serious consequences about to play out, potentially, and it is important – in my view – that we don’t end up arguing years after the fact about such lies as “WMD”, “Gulf Of Tonkin” etc… yet again.

    This isn’t ‘tin-foil-hat’ stuff. This is deadly serious and we need to treat the blurtings being handed down from on high with the suspicion they so richly deserve.

    The “boy who cried wolf” isn’t just an interesting bed-time story.

  17. Over at The Conversation there has been a lot of expert commentary about air traffic regulation and investigation issues. The suggestion by Vernon Nase is that Russia is obliged by the Chicago Convention to hand over the black box to the Ukraine, which sounds flawed and unlikely given their relationship. Not sure what use that is anyway in finding the perps.

    Peter Hollingsworth article says regulation has overlapping boundaries, including national airspace and origin country regulators, plus airline directives to their pilots. The ICAO is not mentioned, presumably why the call from governments is for them to do the inquiry. Yet what looks like a lagged regulatory response to the danger posed by the separatist acquisition of high powered missiles, raises questions about the ICAO relationship with national regulators – does it have some supervisory or overarching role?

    John Watson article documents the Russian media stages of revision, but a commenter who lives in Russia tells how their mainstream media is a mouthpiece of govt and the ruling elite including the church, and most people lap it up.

    I expect this will add to the Malaysian govt’s troubles, not just the financial consequences to their majority-owned carrier, but to their broad political and social strategy. They’ve been under increasing scrutiny for their discriminatory domestic policies, media and political suppression. High car industry protection and also on roads to feed the beast is responsible for their low social and educational spending as the World Bank has pointed out, and the brain drain to other countries is significant. The tradeoff of an unsafe air route for cost cutting reasons fits in with the perception of a governance deficit, and will lose them more international support.

  18. So, to be clear, you think the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (the group whose inspectors were blocked) is part of a CIA/Ukrainian plot to murder innocent civilians and put the blame on the rebels?

    no, i don’t and i didn’t say i do. the fact is they do. i’m saying they claim that site as being within their sovereign national territory and it is absurd to call on them to surrender it to ukraine a state they’re at war with.

    you seem to think their fears of persecution by the ukrainian state & its right sector militia are unfounded and their claim to sovereignty in light of that without merit and that because they are “the rebels” they should just roll over and cede territory they claim sovereignty over to the other side in their civil war and to give unfettered access to the site to the state they claim is framing them. that won’t happen and its absurd in my opinion to call for it. that’s what i’m saying.

    i have no opinion about the osce except to say that in my opinion its mission predisposes it to see secession anywhere in europe as a threat to european security. i see chasing down secessionists to bring them by force of arms & artillery bombardment back into the national fold as a threat to european security. -a.v.

  19. Despite the proliferation of conspiracy theories the most probable scenario is that the operators of the Buk system miscalculated the altitude of MH17 thereby wrongly concluding that it was an enemy military craft and acting accordingly.

    Given the circumstances of combat mistakes are often made, sometimes they are classed as friendly fire and other times as acts of war. In 1998 the US shot down an Iranian passenger flight with a loss of 299, an event not forgotten in Iran and barely mentioned in the US. The US has paid compensation but has not apologised. Iran is convinced that the attack was deliberate and symptomatic of a desire by the US to destroy Iran.

  20. I’m not sure that debating the intent is that useful. If armed combatants are firing at things they can’t adequately identify then there is still culpability in my opinion – as there is also for people who manufacture and supply weaponry without responsibility for how it is used. There is far too much tolerance for aggression in all it’s forms.

  21. One wonders why they (whoever launched the SAM) did not detect the IFF Mode III squawks a civilian aircraft should have been emitting. What protocols if any did they follow if they detected those squawks? Such squawks presumably could be real or a deception.

    What did they think a possible military aircraft at that altitude and bearing was doing? What was its likely mission? High altitude bombing? Unlikely. It was wasn’t descending for a bombing run nor for a landing to disgorge troops and equipment. Spying run? Aircraft seems too large and and maybe not high enough for that?

    I think they shot without following proper protocols. Par for the course for irregular semi-professionals at best. I wonder at what level the Russian decision was made to give them such weapons (if it was the Russians)? Anywhere below Putin and that person might already be cashiered and on the way to Siberia. This is just speculation of course.

    I think it was most likely Russian irregulars who shot it and that Russia gave them the gear. But we dont know that for a fact yet. Let’s hope we (the public) can get reliable proof of whoever it was. Having said that, even if the main current suspects are guilty we must not start WW3 over it.

  22. @Ikonoclast
    A high ranking pentagon representative (yesterday?) said they would be quite surprised if the rebels had the expertise to operate such a system ie. without significant Russian military involvement.

  23. Over some time I’ve come to be amused by Bill Maher’s more or less secular left-liberal take on most issues. He’s often a very funny man. And yet he has managed to disappoint me seriously with an attempt at making light of the Palestinian occupation.

    Speaking of Hamas he said that dealing with Hamas was like holding the wrists of a crazy woman who was trying to kill you. Sooner or later, you had to slap them.

    This is dreadful on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to start, and having started, to know where to stop. So I’m going to buck form and be brief. As someone else aptly asked:

    Bill Maher! What’s wrong with you?

  24. @Fran Barlow I imagine that growing up in an environment like Gaza or Afghanistan or Ukraine – to names few – would make anyone a little crazy – difficult to make a rational decision at the best of times. And then you are criticised for not getting it 100% right! (unlike bankers who still get a bonus)

  25. Bill Maher is part Jewish. Hamas has a constitution that cites the notorious racist text the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and outlines a program of lebensraum that would extinguish Israel and take territory from neighbouring states. I’m not sure why Maher or anyone else would regard Hamas with anything other than disgust.

    Does anyone doubt that if Hamas had the upper hand in this conflict it wouldn’t carry out a program of systematic genocide against the Jews? That doesn’t mean the Jewish state can be excused for killing so many civilians but it does mean the useful idiots on the Left who uncritically align themselves with the enemies of Israel ought be viewed with derision. There are no angels in this battle but both sides are clearly not equal.

  26. @Ikonoclast

    I do not deny that NATO has been joined by more countries, including countries closer to Russia’s borders than was previously the case. I would be very surprised to learn that anybody disputes this. If you know of anybody who does dispute this, please let me know about it.

    The published portion of Victoria Nuland’s telephone conversation with Geoffrey Pyatt does not establish that the CIA organised a change of government in the Ukraine: indeed, it says nothing whatever about the CIA. It does clearly indicate that Nuland and Pyatt had (at the time of the call, whenever that was) strong and definite views about what sort of government they wanted in Ukraine. But the combination of Person X saying ‘I want Outcome A to occur’ and Outcome A occurring is not even sufficient evidence to show that Person X played any part in bringing about Outcome A and a fortiori not sufficient evidence to show that Person X was solely or principally responsible for bringing about Outcome A. You might just as well suppose when it rains that people who prayed for it to rain were responsible.

  27. “Evidence” of Russian “guilt” – go the headlines.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a US official told The Washington Post that US intelligence

    These days, such phraseology essentially means: “Neo-Con-US government propaganda says..”

    Then we get to the Ukrainian puppet regime’s “evidence”:

    “All Russian media is lying. It’s cynical propaganda, and Russia is trying to not be held responsible for this.

    “But we have evidence. Obvious evidence,” Nayda said during the briefing.

    He further said that the SBU had evidence that the missile downing flight MH17 was launched on the July 17, not far from Snizhne, a territory controlled by terrorists.

    According to Nayda, the SBU can, with the evidence of intercepted phone conversations between terrorists, confirm that the Russian Federation sent at least one BUK-M1 missile system into Ukraine, through Russian military personnel.

    He further argued that after the pro-Russian terrorists realised it was a passenger plane they had shot down, they have been trying to cover up their doings.

    According to a spokesperson for Ukraine’s National Security Council, Andriy Lysenko, the Russian terrorists removed 38 bodies from the crash site on the night to July 19.

    Lysenko stated that the bodies had been loaded onto a truck and been delivered to a morgue in the city of Donetsk. This was done to remove any shrapnel from the missile.

    He also said that the terrorists have been taking personal valuable effects form the bodies and even started using credit cards belonging to the victims.

    The “looting” meme has been discredited by an ABC journalist on the ground, Andrew Ferris, but given hardly any airtime here, preferring the looting meme. Similarly, the credit card story is false. Ferris reported that the only people removing bodies were Ukrainian officials.

    It would be good to see that evidence – should put things to rest quite quickly.

    Unless,…..no…..it couldn’t be “WMD” type “evidence”? Best to keep that sort of evidence between the governments and their establishment media stooges and the rest of us will just take it all on trust.

  28. @Megan

    Actually, the evidence here is much stronger than the pitiful WMD evidence put forward by Colin Powell, which I discussed at the time


    For example, whereas Powell used phone intercepts that relied on an incredibly strained reading of a conversation between unknown military officers, the intercepts released by the Ukrainians are unambiguous and some of the speakers are identified. Either they demonstrate separatist complicity, or they are clever fakes, which must have been produced in the few days since the separatists acquired Buk missiles. The separatists own announcements that they had shot down a plane would be even harder to fake.

    And, as if in response to an earlier point you made, the US has in fact provided its satellite intelligence to the UNSC. Given that you were particularly upset at their supposed failure to do so I’m sure you’ll be convinced by this (only joking).


    And, given your praise for Cameron earlier, you’ll be saddened to learn he’s now part of the plot.

  29. @John Quiggin

    I wouldn’t joke about something so serious. Of course I could be convinced, at least to the standard of ‘balance of probabilities’, on credible evidence.

    I couldn’t see the satellite images you mention from any of the links? I’d be glad to see those.

    Did you read the Guardian article?

    Some extracts from it: “..evidence assembled from various sources appeared to point..”, “A still from an unverified video said to show..”, “A posting on an account linked to a pro-Russia separatist leader in Ukraine, on a Russian social network site, claims..”, “.. Ukrainian government adviser Anton Herashchenko claims..”, “Ukrainian authorities release a recording they claim is a conversation between pro-Russia militants admitting…”, “…The images help to compile an intelligence analysis shared with the UN security council by US ambassador Samantha Power, which she claimed showed…”

    As John Lennon famously sang: “Just Gimme The Truth”.

    I’m not “claiming” anything other than that this is a very serious situation that requires caution and very good evidence.

  30. Can Megan give us a link for the claim that an abc journo called “jim ferris” has discredited the looting claim.

    After 15 minutes googling the best I could get was a journalist called “david ferris” who was interviewed by the ABC news channel for six minutes (but not employed by the abc) who at no stage made a definitive statement that no looting occurred.

    In fact he failed (naturally enough) to claim have conducted the superhuman 24/7 surveillance with night vision equipment over the several kms that typically account for the debris zone for a large bombed aircraft since the plane went down.

    It is sad that truther elements both left and right are busy fictionalising the narrative of this crime before the bodies have even been buried. Actually it is depressing and shameless.

  31. @Watkin Tench

    Sorry, it was indeed “David” Ferris. And he was on ABC24.

    The link was from ABC “Just In”:

    David Ferris visited the crash site on Saturday morning (local time), before the arrival of a team of monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    “[There are] a lot of personal effects scattered about.

    “It’s still very devastating. It looks like how it did the evening it happened.”

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking earlier today, described the site as “chaotic”, and there have been reports of pro-Russian separatists removing bodies.

    But Mr Ferris says he saw no evidence of separatists tampering with evidence.

    “The separatists were standing there and they were armed,” he said.

    “They weren’t letting anyone go past them, but I didn’t see anything of that nature.

    “[The people removing the bodies] appeared to be official people – I believe they were Ukrainian government personnel, because their uniforms signified them as such.

    “I didn’t see any separatist soldiers engaged in that kind of work.”

    Gunmen hindered the access of international investigators when they initially tried to access the site on Friday evening (local time).

    But Mr Ferris said he had unfettered access to the site for about an hour on Saturday, before separatists rounded up journalists and soldiers prevented people from wandering around.

    “I’m not sure what kind of security is there. If they are trying to keep people away because they are guarding any evidence that might be there or trying to protect the integrity of it, I don’t know,” he said.

    Of course, it is possible that the bodies and personal effects were removed and then brought back just for Ferris to see, and then were removed again, by militias wearing Ukrainian insignia, just for his benefit. I suppose that is possible.

    But isn’t it more likely (again, evidence is what is lacking in all of this) that Ferris’ report at least contradicts earlier reports based on “claims” and, bizarrely, on “reports”?

  32. Megan, you are again wilfully misrepresenting what Ferris said.

    There is no way a journalist in a short space of time could conduct the type of highly complicated forensics investigation necessary to ascertain that the site of the crash and the debris zone which likely spreads over at least one kilometre hasn’t been tampered with.

    At no point does Ferris say anything that would justify your misrepresentations.

    I also that on the Monday Morning Message board you told of a strange of the phone call from someone who knows someone at “highest levels of conservative politics. The VERY highest.” You then proceed to attribute this to “NSA, ASIO, ‘Five Eyes’ or DSD etc… until someone comes up with a watertight explanation of why that isn’t so.”

    Following this you tell us that your on your 4th computer in 3 weeks and say “Just a coincidence, probably. Surely.”

    Further, I note that your personal website is composed almost entirely of plagiarized content from a range of sites including at least some from prominent 9/11, vaccination, you name it truther sites like Global Research.

    I mean no disrespect but have you been checked schizophrenia? I have an aunt with the condition and you appear to fit the same pattern of delusion.

  33. @Watkin Tench

    This is defamatory:

    Further, I note that your personal website is composed almost entirely of plagiarized content from a range of sites including at least some from prominent 9/11, vaccination, you name it truther sites like Global Research.

    and I would like you to retract and apologise, please.

  34. your site lifts articles from a range of websites including commercial websites that wish to protect their intellectual property. I note you even lift articles from mainstream commercial sites like Nine MSN and The Age. Surely you are aware of legalities that are involved. I also rechecked and counted numerous Global Research articles that were cut and pasted on your website.

    Nonetheless if you point out any specific factual error on my part I will apologise promptly and sincerely.

    Could you also explain why you have verballed David Ferris and offer an apology for having done so?

  35. Either they demonstrate separatist complicity, or they are clever fakes, which must have been produced in the few days since the separatists acquired Buk missiles.

    No, there’s a third possibility involving a well-dressed false-flag operation. “Possibility” is flattering, really, but it’s there.

    [but if it’s a fake it’s far better than most could produce, in any timeframe: use of what I assume is an ethnic slur with “cossack” is the sort of detail most fakers would miss…]

  36. I’ve now seen reports that the crash site is spread over about 35 square kms.

    This makes it even more difficult to believe that Super Ferris has single handedly protected the site 24/7 from the moment of impact and can verify with unimpeachable authority that no one has done anything to compromise the site.

    Not that Super Ferris exists, other than in the minds of spangled drongos and truthers.

  37. @Watkin Tench

    Nothing on my site is “plagiarized” – I am meticulous with attribution on all aggregated material (something most commercial news sites are lax about).

    You have resorted to slur, defamation and untrue personal attack on me.

    I’m sure that is outside comment policy.

  38. You have made false claims with respect to poor Mr Ferris, someone who has dopne you no wrong. You have also engaged in trutherism. These things must surely contravene the comments policy, not to mention ethics.

    It is illegal to simply copy and paste material from sites that expressly forbid it and this includes some of the commercial sites you’ve done this to.

  39. The lead story and biggest single item on the radio news this morning was the ongoing MH17 matter. When this story, focusing principally on the undignified way in which the bodies and personal effects of the victims were being dealt with was over, there remained time for a short item on the ongoing atrocity on foot in Gaza. A further 80 people, as far as we can tell most of them civilians, died in the course of Israel’s attack. Whole blocks have been levelled. There is a picture of the remains of an ambulance. Bibi claims Palestinians make ‘telegenic victims’.

    I’m wondering in what ethical paradigm an atrocity ostensibly committed by irregular forces with sub rosa access to the high tech weaponry of a second world state for ends that remain murky out rates in grievability an ongoing atrocity committed by the regular forces of a state supplied with high tech weaponry by a 1st World Western ally that has been committing similar atrocities for most of 50 years while receiving aid from that ally and proposes to continue doing so indefinitely.

    I suppose it might be conceivable in a paradigm in which the crimes of our friends deserve to be trivialised or downplayed, or apologised for or given defences in false equivalence. It might be one in which harm to comparatively privileged people is more concerning than harm to marginalised and oppressed people, or where people from our jurisdiction count for more than people in other jurisdictions. None of these paradigms appeals to me in the slightest however.

  40. @Fran Barlow
    That’s the reality, alas. Happens all the time. Most of our MSM isn’t interested in news that don’t concern Australians. Remember Cyclone Nargis? No? It was estimated the death toll in Myanmar alone could have exceeded 100,000 people, but you’d have to be paying particularly close attention to have noticed anything about it from our MSM at the time – eg. 1 or 2 small paragraphs on page 5 type stuff.

  41. OK, nothing more on conspiracy theories about MH17. Discussion about the broader issues (eg media treatment as discussed by Fran and Troy is fine)

    Watkin and Megan, take 24 hours off from commenting.

  42. @Fran Barlow

    I knew one of the Australian victims but this is perfectly appropriate and well said, and a “learning moment” for thinking people. Will the ABC’s Media Watch ever get the guts to look at substantial issues like this? It so often takes the lazy way of being one long blooper tape for sniggering by media courtiers?

  43. @kevin1
    Totally agree, but I’m sure that if MH17 didn’t happen, the Israel-Gaza conflict would be the headline story – at least on the public broadcasters (ABC/SBS). Personally, I was actually a lot more interested/curious in MH17 news over the weekend, but more morally outraged over the Israel-Gaza conflict.

  44. @Troy Prideaux

    But isn’t this the point, that purely commercial imperatives (with public broadcasters reflecting mixed motives) don’t encourage a large view of the world? It’s not just that “all news is local” drives content, but entertainment and a comfortable experience has moved to the top of the list. For the same reason, (I suspect) Gaza is more central to SBS coverage, its outside perspective reflecting product differentiation. Despite our open society, the TV media models we have fall so very short of their social role.

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