How to rubbish an opinion
I was just reading the ABC's reporting of Peter Costello's comments demanding immigrants to Australia adopt Australian values, or get the hell out. This has of course, provoked harsh criticism from Muslim groups, among others. I am not going to say anything about the comments themselves, I have not really heard or read exactly what he said. I have no doubt though, that this is yet another attempt by Costello to lead the debate on a divisive issue, as a means of raising his profile. I would, however, like to talk about the ABC's reporting of Costello's comments, which I found significantly more interesting.
What I find interesting in this report, is that the ABC has got straight on the phone to Pauline Hanson, and asked for her opinion of Costello's comments.
Now that's clever!
If you're a somewhat left-leaning news service reporting about a fairly right-wing opinion that has been expressed, then what better way to discredit such populist comments than to get Pauline Hanson to endorse them! Its even better than this. According to the ABC report, Pauline is "delighted" Mr Costello has "woken up" to the views she expressed for years and was condemned for.
Being myself a left-of-centre pro multiculturalist, I can't help but admire the subtlety of the ABC's bias on that one. No doubt equally (though perhaps less subtle) games are being played in other news papers and online news. If I had time, I'd give them a look too.
Here is more of what Hanson had to say:
"If Peter Costello is wanting to be a future prime minister of this country, he needs to take a tough stand on this, he needs to deal with it harshly, he needs to throw these people out of the country who do not embrace Australia."
"I'm delighted that he's finally woken up to commonsense and is listening to the Australian people, what's actually happening in our community"
The ABC then reminds us about a few facts:
In her 1996 maiden speech to Federal Parliament, Ms Hanson said Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians. She said they formed ghettos and did not assimilate and called for Australia's immigration policy to be radically reviewed.