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Media Watch -

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(generated from captions) Kublai Khan sailed the world? When do you say His fleets between 1290 and 1330. When? sort of, generic way. So I say Kublai Khan in the, It was his...he started it all off. So Zheng He didn't start it all off? OK. No. marketing strategy, if you prefer, This is a marketing scam or a to sell as many books as possible as possible. on the most outlandish claims for more outlandish claims That is why he's looking going to the Americas. about Kublai Khan That will be the next book.

has been Gavin Menzies' Dr Geoffrey Wade some world say, obsessive, critic. most determined, tireless and in silencing the man. Well, I don't think I'm obsessed the public as to, one - I'm obsessed with educating the deficiencies in this thesis -

which he's created - two - the fabrications the possible social effects - three - universities and public perceptions and four - how it might affect to speak on their premises. if they allow the man the National University of Singapore, Geoff Wade researches at aimed at critiquing '1421'. and has helped set up a website between the two men. There's little love lost on three occasions, So Mr Menzies has tried university and through the press, by direct approaches to the to have me removed from my post. He's just a complete...nutter. relentlessly, do you think? So why is he pursuing you so nothing better to do. Well, he's obviously got is my view. I mean, he's my best salesman of books. He...he sells a hell of a lot chucked out of his job. He says that you've tried to get him I haven't yet got my act together. I'm going to try. I think it's completely wrong are employed by universities. that fruitcakes a fruitcake? You're calling Dr Geoffrey Wade Yeah, absolutely.

So it's a mutual admiration society? a hell of a lot of books. Just about. But I've sold went up the Amazon. We argue that Zheng He's fleets Mr Menzies is regularly welcomed Within China,

on Zheng He's voyages. to give his views giving one such address Four Corners filmed him at the University of Xi'an. earlier this year enthusiastically received. His talks are politely and sometimes Thank you. Welcome.

by China's politicians, But despite being endorsed established Chinese scholars. his theories have embarrassed many amongst Chinese scholars? So how widespread is this displeasure that there's general agreement, So you would say among China's top scholars there's general agreement in this book are false? that the claims The...the interesting thing is... now taking his claims even further. Having come this far, Mr Menzies is he gave a series of talks In Hong Kong last month, 18th-century copy of a 1418 world map focusing on what he claims is an

a Chinese businessman, Liu Gang. bought some years ago by by Europe's medieval map-makers, He says this is the master map used and by Christopher Columbus himself. seriously questioned by experts But its authenticity has been has many historical inconsistencies. who say the map to our viewers, Won't it seem terribly convenient source of all these other world maps that the one map which you say is the

your book has...has gone to press, has been discovered shortly after ah, by a businessman in Shanghai? very convenient indeed. Well, it's certainly It's amazing. I mean, of course it is. to this story. There is one final, bizarre twist He's mariners encircled the globe, One abiding mystery is why, if Zheng they never popped up in Europe? has provided us with the answer. But now Gavin Menzies He says they did visit Europe of underclothes for Henry V. and brought with them a set Imagine the scene. its way up the Thames behind me, A massive 400ft junk navigating opened-mouthed from the banks watched, by hundreds of the king's subjects. that someone, somewhere, You would have thought, wouldn't you, this astonishing event? would have recorded coming and meeting Henry V. There aren't any records of the fleet no, I accept that...yeah. No, not yet, You said this - "If I said, well, the English Channel, "the Chinese sailed up which I think they did, "went in the Thames, a set of underclothes, "and gave Henry V "which I think they did..." Yeah. 'This chap's completely mad.'" "..people would have said, That is correct. Yes. So that's what you think they did? you're completely mad. I mean, a lot of viewers will say let them wait and see. Well, let...wait... always seem to be hovering The men in white coats in the margins of Mr Menzies' book. that he may be aware of that And I am just tempted by the thought a gigantic...joke. and that he's just pulled off like it or not, Whether established scholars history books of recent years. '1421' is one of the most popular in the history war Its readers have taken sides the victor, by popular acclaim. and have made Gavin Menzies So is '1421' fact or fiction? '1421' is fiction, absolute fiction. it's fact. It's fact. It's not fiction, It's just fiction. historical romance. The public are on my side. And they are the people that count. International Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions by

This program is not subtitled This program is captioned live. But that's the wrong Abu Hamza. This is Abu Hamza of Melbourne - with George Pell. the man who's arguing Abu Hamza al-Masri of England The 'Herald Sun' had for inciting murder and race hate. who's in jail distinctive physical features, The English Abu Hamza has some including a glass eye.

for that next time. The 'Herald Sun' might look out I'm Monica Attard. Welcome to Media Watch. seem to being having problems Some journalists telling one Muslim from another.

front-page story last November. That was the 'Australian's To back up their claims of one of the clerics they had a picture and the evidence of his words. That's a picture of sheikh Zoud all right. Only problem is that the sheikh didn't give a sermon in Sydney's south-west that day. He issued a flat denial and his lawyers complained directly to the 'Australian', but the paper was sure it had caught Zoud preaching hate, and the next day they carried this incorrect correction. Sheikh Zoud wasn't at the Lakemba mosque on that day either. He wasn't even in Australia and he had travel documents to prove it.

10 days later the 'Australian' ran a page four story which justified its error as 'mistaken identity'. So it seems that the 'Australian's Arabic-speaking reporter can't tell one sheikh from another. Eight months later the 'Australian' still hasn't properly apologised or corrected its story and Zoud's lawyer says the sheikh is planning to start defamation proceedings this week which could earn him a tidy payout. The 'Australian' also angered the Muslim community with this. Only problem is the 'Australian' should have known that these aren't phony names.

Omran and Zoud are well known in the Islamic community as Abu Ayman and Abdul Salaam. In fact the 'Australian' itself has reported that Omran is called Abu Ayman. And Abdul Salaam is simply part of Zoud's full name - Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud. The story used an eye-catching headline to tap into our fears of home-grown terrorism. Just as the 'Herald Sun's headline went out on a limb for this story. And the 'Herald Sun' found some local witnesses to build their case. These 'Herald Sun' reporters certainly seem to be onto something. Until you get to the last column of the story. At a press conference that day Detective Iddles said the 'Herald Sun's reports about David Robinson having his windows shot out and a run-in with bikies

or connections to the underworld

were all wrong. Again, that's not true. About five years ago there were five shops that had one weekend had had windows that were smashed or shot. And there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to connect David to any underworld group or any bikie group. And Detective Iddles told us: But even when police arrested a suspect and charged him with murder the 'Herald Sun' seemed reluctant to drop its gangland theory. The police tell us that as far as they know the man they've charged has nothing to do with Melbourne's gangland wars. He's a spiritual clairvoyant

who sells crystal dust to heal relationships. But the 'Herald Sun's John Ferguson is sticking to his claims. Lawyers for David Robinson's wife, Helen, wrote to the 'Herald Sun'. But 'Herald Sun' editor Peter Blunden is backing his reporter. The damage is done. Mrs Robinson and her sons have had to contend with their grief

at the brutal slaying of their husband and father then the slaying of his reputation. And by the way, the police don't seem to know that the 'Herald Sun' is working with them. But Myer knows the folks at Fairfax are working with them on this. Good news for Myer. Bad news for journalism at the 'Financial Review' because Bill Wavish did give the 'Financial Review' that interview. Literally. He wrote the questions, he answered them

and then he sent them to the newspaper.

The next day he sent the same interview out to other papers, but Alan Jury got them first so, according to the Fin, that made it 'exclusive'.

All Alan Jury had to do was renovate Myer's prefab interview as a story. The interview handout starts like this: And it doesn't get any tougher. Unfortunately Bill, or perhaps someone at Myer's PR, has edited out the bits where he says, "That's a good question Bill. "I'm glad you asked me that," but you get the idea. The 'Financial Review's Alan Jury

did get to speak directly to Bill Wavish twice before he finished his article but the result was just two small additions. And nowhere did Alan Jury tell readers the bulk of the story was based on Mr Wavish's interview with himself. Michael Gill, Fairfax's editor-in-chief of business media,

told us there was nothing wrong with relying on Bill's Q and A handout. Michael, journalists are supposed to ask their own questions. They're not supposed to be satisfied with just the information the subject of their writing is happy to hand out. The 'Age' also got Bill Wavish's interview handout and they also ran it as a story. Mr Wavish said to himself. But the 'Age' is taking a very different view from their Fairfax colleagues at the 'Financial Review'.

The 'Age's business editor, Michael Short, said that running a story based on a Q and A handout is a mistake. Earlier this month, the ABC took a new step in its business activities with this. COUNTDOWN THEME MUSIC That's not a television program, it's a web site but you won't find it with the rest of the ABC's web sites

at This is a separate web site - - set up by ABC Enterprises - the corporation's commercial arm. The site carries advertisements for Domain Business, the Flight Centre and GE Money -

the sort of things the 'Countdown' generation needs now - 20 years after the show dropped off our TV screens. has raised some curly questions for the ABC staff who produce the non-commercial ABC Online. Which prompted this explanation from ABC New Media's Stephen Rapley. In other words, they found a loophole. We contacted the new managing director of the ABC, Mark Scott, who told us the 'Countdown' site is very different to ABC Online. The new MD says doesn't undermine ABC editorial integrity and he's probably right. It's hard to see how using archival content from a program that ended before the World Wide Web existed could. But Mark Scott also says that ABC Enterprises plans to develop

more commercial web sites in the future. If the broader ABC started producing content

with an eye to commercial potential online, that could undermine editorial standards.

So as they say in the advertising business - watch this space. Until next week, goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International. This program is captioned live. Good evening. The great leadership debate is over with John Howard saying he'll still be Prime Minister into the next election. The announcement thwarts the ambitions of Peter Costello, but he'll stay on as Treasurer. Lebanon has ordered a day of mourning for the victims of an Israeli raid that killed almost 50 civilians. Those killed, mainly women and children, were sheltering near Qana. Israel has agreed stop the air raids on southern Lebanon for 48 hours, while it investigates the incident. A hearing for 13 terror suspects erupted into angry scenes in a Melbourne court today. Three men were evicted from the court