My God there’s going to be political violence on the streets of Melbourne!
On Tuesday, Australian Associated Press writer Benita Kolovos reported in a breathless missive quickly picked up by SBS and News.com that conflict may soon stain the streets of the not-so-sunny southern capital.
“Far-right groups threatening to storm a Melbourne council meeting could face off against anti-racism protesters, who plan to “defend” the councillors who voted to scrap Australia Day ceremonies.”
My God, threatening to storm a council meeting! These far-right crazies need to be stopped! Thank God for the “anti-racism protesters” am I right?
“Campaign Against Racism and Fascism will attend the Yarra City Council meeting on Tuesday night in case far-right protesters attempt to enter it.”
Wait a minute…
Nah couldn’t be.
I’m sure if the most violent political extremist group in Australia was threatening to attack protests by groups waving Australian flags a fine young journalist like Benita would mention it.
After all, she calls the people protesting to try and make the councils conform to the democratic will of the majority of the Australian populace “far right” five times in a two-hundred and fifty word article. Surely Benita did some research.
According to her own website Benita took classes at RMIT with Socialist Alternative members, so she’s hardly unaware of their existence.
“When the council convened in September, about eight protesters from the Party for Freedom donned Australian flags and signs, shouted chants and temporarily shut down the meeting.”
“Last Thursday, another “far-right” group stormed question time at the nearby Moreland City Council.”
Benita wrote about that protest as well. She only called the protesters “far right” twice in a three hundred and fifty word article that time.
In the same article she uncritically quoted Councillor Stephen Jolly, a man who has been an organiser for political extremist groups for three decades, without mentioning any of his often violent history.
I’m sure it was an honest mistake, it’s not like the extremist party Councillor Jolly, who was the driving force behind creating and organising for decades, has a Wikipedia page or anything, or was involved in widely covered sex scandals.
I’m sure Benita can redeem herself here. I mean, this is a big deal, violent left-wing radicals coming out to defend other left-wing radicals from flag waving patriots is a big story no matter how you spin it.
“Far-right protester Neil Erikson last week said protesters could attend more council meetings, but added he had no specific plans to attend Tuesday’s meeting”.
So the right-wingers were never going in the first place.
A far-left group got in touch with Benita and told her they were going to attend a council meeting in inner suburban Melbourne.
I don’t blame her for trying to spice that story up.
But you know what would have spiced it up a little more? If Benita had mentioned that Tess Dimos, her only quoted source in the article who she described as an “Anti-racism campaigner” is actually an organiser for the extremist Socialist Alternative group.
Since Benita is from Melbourne and Kolovos is a Greek surname you would think she might have noticed when Tess [joined by another Socialist Alternative organiser of Greek extraction Con Karavias] attempted to disrupt a speech by Malcolm Turnbull at the Lonsdale St Greek Festival while marching under the flag of the almost exclusively far-left Refugee Action Collective.
But maybe I’m being too hard on poor Benita, after all she only graduated from “RMIT University’s prestigious journalism degree” two years ago. But you would think after having studied for three years, graduated and immediately picked up a job with the highly esteemed AAP news service in an incredibly competitive field, Ms Kolovos might have picked up the mystic art of the Google search.
I’m sure Benita isn’t a bad person, her many articles and blog posts across a wide variety of fields certainly don’t seem the work of an ideologue, left-wing or otherwise. She’s just a train, running along the tracks that have been laid for her following the path of least resistance and using the minimum amount of critical thought necessary.
Thousands of students graduate from journalism related degrees in Australia every year, almost none of them get the opportunities that Ms Kolovos has been gifted.
She must have something going for her I’m sure.
I wonder what it could be..