Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Media Watch on Knut

Yes, you can be too cynical, but there are many reasons to justify your cynicism. I have tried to instill in R more of cynical nature about the media and the governments who control us, but not with much success I think.

Like David Oldfield, but in a different way, I am not a lover of Pauline Hanson or her ilk, but I did have chuckle yesterday when she expressed an opinion that 'larger forces' brought her and her party down. Had she have watched ABC TV's Spooks last Friday night, she would have seen a text book example of how a government can bring down a political party that threatens the status quo. Yes, only a tv show, but you think it doesn't or can't happen?

If you saw last night's Media Watch, you may as well go on and read another blog now as what follows is just a reiteration of the polar bear cub story.

MW covered the world media coverage of the very cute baby polar bear Knut in Germany. I paid little attention to the story at the time, although of course I think baby polar bears are gorgeous. I thought at the time that there must be more to this story but did not worry about following it.

Here is the story briefly. Papers around the world printed stories that animal liberationists wanted to put this orphan polar bear cub down because it had no mother. Outrage around the world at the wanker animal liberationists naturally.

It would seem only one other German magazine tried to tell the truth after the German magazine Bild first published the story. Now even I know and have known for years that Bild is not a reliable source of news. Media organisation after organisation around the world did not check facts and Australia, including both our publicly funded broadcasters, were among the worst.

The animal activist in question who supposedly called for the killing of the cub took another zoo to court when they put down an orphan sloth baby. The court found that humans raising the baby was against the laws of nature and hence the baby was put down.

Using this argument, the activist made the point that for consistency, the polar bear cub should also be put down. Of course an ugly little sloth baby is a whole different kettle of fish to beautiful white baby polar bear in the public eyes. He made a good point.

Then there was the zoo keeper who, no doubt arguing from a professional point of view, said the cub probably should have been put down when his mother rejected him. He was also quoted, but there was a bit left out of the quote, 'it is too late now'.

Both of the men who care for animals have been on the receiving end of death threats and hate mail. I think they have learned a valuable lesson about media. You should too.

I did not see a follow up story in any of the papers correcting any of this either, but I may have missed them.

Watch the story online at Media Watch and there are transcripts of the show there too.


  1. Anonymous11:49 pm

    It might be `against the laws of nature` for a human to raise an orphaned animal but what about locking animals up in the first place, ie zoos? If society allows zoos, then I think it should also allow orphaned babies (regardless of how cute, or not, they are) to live. It doesn`t make sense to kill them. Vikki

  2. Rosanna10:05 pm

    Knut is divine!

  3. He is indeed Rosanna, but once grown, they can be quite aggessive. Agree Vik, interfere with nature then we have to take on the responsibilities.