Australian Journalists in Foreign Kidnap Bid

A 60 Minutes film crew from channel 9 Australia remains in custody in Lebanon after the crew were arrested and detained for participating in an attempt at kidnapping (child recovery as they call it) a Lebanese child from the arms of its grandmother.

The Australian government whilst offering consular services to the crew remain tight lipped as to what they are doing behind the scenes diplomatically and otherwise (like offering to pay the Lebanese family of the child ‘compensation’ in order not to testify or to drop their complaint against the Australians) to secure the release of the journalist and her TV crew.

Australian authorities have a long history of denying they pay ransom money or offer other inducements to foreign governments to release high profile Australian offenders abroad, whilst in fact paying large sums of money to end their embarrassment abroad.

This incident is yet another in a series of gaffes and over the top adventurism by Australian journalists and their media organizations in countries they consider lesser than they are. It reflects very poorly on the Australian media and the calibre of its ‘journalists and the reliability of their reporting. 

Tara Brown, a sixty minutes reporter whose intelligence and reporting skills has always been in question, her position  at channel 9 being the result of her relationship with a channel 9 producer, is among those detained in Lebanon for being a part of the failed attempt at  a kidnapping and another sensational piece of Aussie journalism.

It has long been suspected that Australian ‘journalists’ have been a convenient cover for the more sinister activities of various political groups both foreign government funded and private over the years in south east Asia. They have been particularly active in Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore using it as a safe haven to penetrate the Malaysian political scene.

ABC 4 Corners Linton Besser

Malaysians will recall the recent arrest and detention of Linton Besser another product of Australian ‘journalism’ in Sarawak. Besser threw an insult at the prime minister of Malaysia by repeating a defamatory allegation at him whilst the Malaysian prime minister was entering a building to attend an official function during his recent visit to Sarawak.

Linton Besser and the ABC is widely believed to have been nudged into their 4 Corners report of unproven allegations and insults at the prime minister and government of Malaysia.

Linton like Brown belong to an incubator of Australian journalism which is the ABC. From there they take their ‘training’ and move on to commercial TV where they infect the commercial media. Their careers often regurgitated and spat out by a ratings system that encourages and demands sensational low quality cheque book reporting.

Australian Media “Independent and Free from Government Interference”

Interestingly foreign minister Julie Bishop and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull although saying as little as possible about the Lebanon incident, have admitted to being in touch with their Lebanese counterparts to ensure the ‘safety and speedy return’ of the offenders. 

When questioned about false and inaccurate reporting the Australians are famous for especially in south east Asia, Australian governments have often insisted their media is free, robust and fair and that Australian governments never  interfere in the media.

Last year (2015) Peter Greste another ABC journalist was jailed for 5 years in Egypt for trying to tarnish Egypt’s image abroad. Greste went a little further than Linton Besser who also in his reports attempted to tarnish Malaysia’s image abroad.

To add insult to injury, after an Egyptian court released Greste the Daily Mail reported:

After 400 days behind bars in a notorious Cairo prison, freed Australian journalist Peter Greste and his brother Mike dined on pork, washed down with cold beers.”

The point here about eating pork and drinking beers clearly a statement of contempt for Egypt’s largely Muslim population.

And the central point about the conduct of the Australian media and its journalists is not lost either. Australia’s history of its journalists using their skills to put down, denigrate or to falsify reports about countries and people it considers a lesser species than themselves is legend.

Lets see how independent the media is of government in Australia with this particular matter. Linton Besser got away lightly. Hugh Williams who supported Anwar Ibrahim’s coup was so deeply embedded in Anwar’s camp it was difficult to tell the journalist from the supporter. The same too with the rest of the ABC who have been fermenting political unrest in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and elsewhere.

It is time the Malaysian government looked at the background and the intentions of Australian journalists posted in Malaysia and kept tabs on their activities.

It was revealed some time ago that there was a similar attempt at kidnapping the children of the  Trengganu prince and his estranged wife Jackie Gillespie in the 1980’s along with an Australian TV crew in tow.

The plan was called off when local authorities had been tipped off of the attempt. 

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