Discrepancies between newsprint reports and the online version usually mean hell is being paid somewhere.
The Australian reported today on its front page that an Australian journalist held captive by Iraqi insurgents for less than 24 hours over the weekend had been released unharmed.
John Martinkus, a veteran freelancer who was compiling a report for SBS’s Dateline program, was seized outside his Baghdad hotel about 5pm on Saturday Australian time (10am Baghdad time).
SBS is a government funded broadcaster, ie taxpayers were footing the bill for Martinkus’ Baghdad exploits.
The paper quoted Martinkus:
“I was well treated . . . I was not hurt and (was) treated with respect once they established my credentials as an independent journalist who did not support the occupation.”
This quote does not appear in The Australian’s online report.
Perhaps a horde of taxpayers pointed out to The Australian that a reporter can hardly claim to be independent if he is barracking for the other side.
The same point should be made to the news director at SBS.
Damien Parer would be spinning in his grave.
Great judge of character this “journalist”:“These guys … (are) not stupid. They’re fighting a war but they’re not savages. They’re not actually just killing people willy-nilly. They talk to you, they think about things,” Martinkus told reporters at Melbourne airport.
“(From their perspective) there was a reason to kill (British hostage Ken) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the Americans; there was not a reason to kill me — luckily I managed to convince them of that,” he said.
What do you call barbarians who go around cutting innocents’ throats, blowing up kids and raping women if they dare to demand equality, if not savages? Thinkers and rational dispatchers, Martinkus suggests.
Imagine reports he’d make from Berlin, 1943: “Mr Hitler is a deep thinker and from his perspective there is a reason to exterminate the Jewish population, fortunately there was no reason to exterminate me.”
Martinkus would be better to keep his mouth shut and have people only suspect he’s an arsehole. Instead he yaps off and removes any doubt.
For a tribute to a great mind prepared to dig for the truth in Iraq and Afghanistan, go here.
Completely absent, even now, is any concentrated effort to tell the story of the almighty exertions being expended to rebuild civil society in the still troubled but increasingly hopeful sovereign nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Not even an end of bulletin ‘feel-good’ segment is devoted to showcasing the improved opportunities, reconstituted schools, modernised infrastructure and heartening work-in-progress that is a liberated nation’s emerging rule of law.
Instead, we have the disgusting Martinkus’ sympathy for barbarians.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer just told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that Martinkus’ statement was the most appalling thing he’d ever heard an Australian say about an Iraq matter.
Andrew Murphy has the final say on the letters page of The Australian today:
JOHN Martinkus claims that his terrorist kidnappers were somehow sophisticated because they decided not to saw his head off as they had done with Ken Bigley. Why do you reckon that is John? Does the term “useful idiot” spring to mind?
Kangaroo Point, Qld
I wonder if the ever-charming Jockman is still defending this journalistic tool.
Arthur Chrenkoff, who probably knows more than any other Australian-based commentator about what’s going on in Iraq, gives Martinkus the backhander he deserves.
By the way, my comments function is not working for me, so I’ll paraphrase the last reply to the pathetic Jockstrap:
I suggested he show some spine and admit he was wrong after I pointed out the times of my post showed I couldn’t have been “parroting” Bolt. It was on many other times that I copied Bolt he was referring too, he claimed. Why on earth would he accuse me of “parroting” Bolt in this post if he wasn’t accusing me of copying his comments about this incident. As to his claim of me copying Bolt’s work on many occasions, I did a check. Bolt’s name appears in one post of mine in the past six months and four times all up. Phillip Adams and Margo Kingston get more of a run. Am I “parroting” them. Joxstrap is a weak little lurker who’s still smarting from the shellacking his beloved socialists copped on October 9 and all he can do is lash out at one and all like an angry brat. And he won’t answer Murph’s question.