By Daphne Anson
Viewers of Australia’s National Nine News will be familiar with the network’s not infrequent tendency to carry stories, in the second half of its bulletins where international reports tend to appear, that are decidedly unfair to Israel.
Such reports habitually inform the viewer that x number of Palestinians has been killed/ wounded in Gaza/the West Bank yesterday/today without presenting Israel’s side of the story, and characteristically with no background at all.
That there’s someone in Channel Nine’s newsroom who biased against Israel seems a given, and viewers of yesterday’s 4 pm bulletin, at least in Melbourne, were treated to a seemingly sinister dose of anti-Israel propaganda.
The report in question concerned the big news of Monday in Oz, news still in the headlines, namely that there had been a serious malicious cyber attack on the computer network of federal Parliament in Canberra, and that the culprit must be a foreign power.
No sooner was the involvement of a foreign power being aired in Nine’s 4 pm Monday bulletin than an Israeli flag flashed up up on the screen, covering the latter’s entire left half.
The shocking implication was clear: Israel did it! Mossad’s tentacles have reached out to harm Australia!
Afterwards the report (which I’ve searched in vain for online) proceeded to tell the viewer that only a handful of countries have the technology to launch such a cyber attack, and it listed them (Russia America, Israel, China, but in what order I’m not sure, though I do know that Israel was not first), showing their flags in turn.
But by then the viewer’s mind had been affected by the graphic that had first appeared on the screen, implicitly connecting Israel to the attack.
Perhaps the newsroom was inundated with text and phone protests by indignant “Zionists”, or perhaps a fair-minded producer had charge of the 6 pm bulletin, for the corresponding report, seemingly identical and certainly very similar, to the 4 pm one, did not start off with an Israeli flag halfway across the screen. It did show an Israeli flag, but only at the exact spot when Israel was mentioned in the list of countries with the capability of carrying out such a cyber attack, together with images, when appropriate, of the other flags. Each flag was in the background to the report, not 50 per cent full frontal.
Since the likeliest culprit for the cyber attack is generally agreed to be China, the channel’s simultaneous display of an Israeli flag when the cyber attack was mentioned appears to have had a sinister motivation.
Given the channel’s tendency to show scant sympathy for Israel in news reports, Nine’s news bulletins need watching. And strongly protested where necessary.