Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Mr Alston's Curious War

If a football team has a doctor, a stretcher and an ambulance on the sidelines, this does not mean that it is predicting or warning of the likely occurrence of serious injury. It is merely taking sensible precautions in case the worst case scenario eventuates.
Former Senator Richard Alston's submission on ABC bias to the ABA.

Mr Alston's complaint relates to this AM report, which he described in his letter to Russell Balding of 28 May as "an example of a beat-up". Now that I've seen Mr Alston's submission to the ABA, it's possible to present a revised transcript of the AM program, showing how the item should have been presented to avoid "beating it up":

LINDA MOTTRAM: International aid agencies are saying that they're well prepared for the war..

Having spent six weeks reporting from Baghdad, our Middle East Correspondent Mark Willacy is now in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and he joins me on the line now.

Mark, what are the aid agencies saying, what estimates are they making of the likely refugee count from this conflict?

MARK WILLACY: Well Linda, we've got groups like the Coogee Juniors Ladies Auxiliary and the International Rugby Union warning of a possible crisis, as they put it, in Iraq, mainly because of a shortage of half-time oranges there and the possibility of hundreds of thousands of kids might invade the field at half-time. But I've been told that they have plenty of linament and bandages on hand, so we shouldn't be worried if the play gets a bit rough.

Muin Kassis is working with the Coogee Juniors Ladies Auxiliary here in Jordan.

MUIN KASSIS: As a Jordanian myself, I think I'm born and raised here and I know the conditions in this country, and I think the Coogee Juniors Ladies Auxiliary have done a tremendous job. Is that enough for your listeners? I have to go and cut orange quarters now.

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