Australian politician’s idea of ‘fair and balanced reporting’

On 14 February 2018, Andrew Hastie, member for Canning and Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security, penned an opinion piece for The Australian titled ‘Iranian slander against Israel goes unchallenged on ABC.’1 The article relates to an interview the ABC’s Fran Kelly conducted with Mohammad Marandi, a Professor of North American Studies at the University of Tehran, on the Israeli airstrikes on Syria (occurred 11 Feb 2018).2 Hastie’s main point is to criticise the ABC for only interviewing Marandi on the topic, airing ‘no counter-argument,’ and failing to have ‘fair and balanced reporting.’3 Throughout the article Hastie makes it clear he is no fan of Marandi or Iran. Likewise, he makes it clear he is a fan of Australia’s close and growing relations with Israel, perhaps indicating he is not unbiased himself.

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Drowning in fake news on Syria

We are witnessing an unprecedented level of fake news and propaganda regarding the war on Syria.1 The level and pitch of fake stories has increased as the Syrian army overruns the rebels occupying East Aleppo. This likely reflects last ditch attempts from the rebels (and their State supporters) of eliciting the protection of the “international community” through shocking it into action.

It is obvious Western media is biased in this regard, unquestioningly repeating those and similar claims and disregarding reports from Syrian and Russian officials, even dismissing those as propaganda.2

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Show 2 footnotes

  1. Recent examples of fake news and propaganda include exaggerated levels of civilian population trapped in East Aleppo, massacres committed by the Syrian army, and women committing suicide to avoid being raped.
  2. For more examples see