17 April 2006

News Ltd chooses quiet news day to publish criticism of government

On 12 April a public meeting was held in Adelaide to discuss the situation of David Hicks. The meeting was reported by Channel 9 and ABC's Lateline that day.

Mr Murdoch's local outlet, The Advertiser, has waited five days, until the last day of the Easter long weekend (hardly the busiest news day of the year), to comment by publishing seven letters about Hicks, all of them critical of the government and its
handwashing. They are not available online but you can find them on page 17 of today's paper. Here are some extracts from the letters which were published:

- "Our government of course continues to exhibit a total lack of courage. Bring him home."

- "Guilty or not, we should take care of our own and not leave them 'hanging out to dry'".

- "Hicks might be a 'bad bastard', but he's our 'bad bastard'. More than a cosy e-mail from Minister Ruddock is needed to end this sickening treatment..."

- "Whatever his alleged crimes, David Hicks is entitled to a fair trial."

- "David Hicks is in a position that is a very poor advertisement for democracy and justice...It seems that his worst offence is that he made some stupid choices. For those choices he has been treated worse than a convicted terrorist."

- "Bush, Blair and Howard's combined victimisation of David Hicks knows no apparent bounds. They seem increasingly determined to thrust him through the mincer despite watching a disappointing series of their high-flown but unrealistic legal appeals and whatnot vanish before their eyes."

-"Messrs Bush, Blair and Howard unleashed a war that killed, or led to the killing of, tens of thousands of innocent people. Has David Hicks done anything as reprehensible as this?"

From the 7- 0 score it seems fair to assume that The Advertiser received no letters in support of the government's stand. How many other critical ones did it receive but not publish?

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