Ho, ho, ho! Hardy-har-har!

That was my first response to Hidden cameras and fake websites: Inside the investigation into One Nation’s bid for NRA donations. {That’s the program’s originator right there.)  And yes, there was at least one sequence where I could hear in their voices that James Ashby and Steve Dickson were pissed as parrots. (“Pissed” in Australia means drunk, blotto, flying, stewed, tanked…) But they weren’t all the time. Furthermore, while pissed they did offer unfiltered views of where they come from, what manner of men they are, etc. And it was ugly.

Fact is I enjoyed last night’s episode on ABC, and congratulate them and Al Jazeera on letting us see these jerks in all their native/naive finery.


On the journalistic ethics of what we saw see the show’s creator, linked above, and Did Al Jazeera’s undercover investigation into One Nation overstep the mark? See also ‘We were on the sauce’: One Nation staffers blame booze and ‘skulduggery’ for gun lobby sting and View from The Hill: James Ashby rocks a few boats, including his own. Check too the form of Master Ashby and Mr Steve Dickson. The latter, an LNP member until January 2017, has in the past issued such oracles as this:

We are having little kids in grade four at school, young girls being taught by teachers how to masturbate, how to strap on dildos, how to do this sort of stuff — that is the real problem in this country.

Last night we saw him sharing his views with the NRA on such topics as the exceedingly left-wing media in Australia, and the 230,000 (sic) a year migrant rate in Australia. You could have been forgiven for thinking he thought they were all Muslims….  Even Christian South Sudanese, apparently. He certainly thought (or was that Ashby) that the UK had been taken over by Muslims!

 We’ve been importing all these Muslims into Australia. We have about 230,000 people coming in a year. Our population’s only 25 million… some really dangerous people. They’re just breaking into people’s homes with baseball bats and killing people. Basically stealing everything they own. Gangs. Our country is going into chaos.

God help us! And God help NSW too now that the taxi-driver’s nemesis has been elected, so it seems, to our state Upper House.

Looking forward to Thursday’s episode on ABC where our Antipodean patriots go grovelling to the Koch Brothers.

4 thoughts on “Sprung!

  1. Of course it was unethical – any fool could tell you that. But it pales into insignificance when compared to other media gotchas and mis-reporting (when not outright fabrication) that we’ve been infested with over the past few years.

    PHON is a tiny sliver of Australian political views, and they are certainly not to my taste – but what else would you term an elaborate sting operation, complete with leading questions, and a false flag entity, other than unethical?

    Anyway, Al Jazeera doesn’t give a sh*t about Oz politics; their target in this was, and remains, the NRA.

  2. Pretty much agree with this from Jim Belshaw:

    Former Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste called the story unethical. I think that’s right. It’s like what we have come to expect from certain Australian media outlets. It lowered my opinion of Al Jazeera as a serious media outlet.

    At a second level, it told us little that we did not know before, although the sheer stupidity in getting caught is a bit mind-blowing. But then, and you may call this a personal bias, I have long thought of One Nation as distinctly unprofessional and silly. Here former One Nation David Ettridge made a remarkably lucid point.

    Interviewed by, I think, the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas, he said that the whole thing would have little impact on the One Nation vote because it played into an already established trope, Ms Hanson and One Nation as victim of the main stream media and parties.

    • But the polls suggest it did have an impact after all – maybe not so much because of the guns issue as seeing PH braving the cameras with that terrible tick bite to stand by James Ashby.

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