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ABC broadcasts communist propaganda

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MEDIA RELEASE 25,h July 1998

t o ยท A JIMT. i U i r A I H A I l l , M A < l F U l fUTUIE

ABC Broadcasts Communist Propaganda The virulently anti-environmentalist program Against Nature screened by the ABC on 21st July was produced by a revolutionary communist sect that supports the Bosnian Serbs and the Hutu militia and opposes the ban on land-mines. -

These facts came to light as a result of the furore over the screening of the program by Channel 4 in Britain last December. Against Nature accused environmentalism of having its roots in Nazism claiming “the most notorious environmentalists in history were the German Nazis”. It also presented environmentalists as racists who campaign to prevent the poor of the Third World from escaping poverty.

The director of the program, Martin Durkin, has close links with an obscure group called the Revolutionary Communist Party and its journal Living Marxism. Three of the program’s interviewees are either members or sympathisers of the Party and the husband of the assistant producer co-authored the Party’s manifesto.

Against Nature breached normal journalistic ethics by failing to reveal the affiliations of anti-environmentalist interviewees. After it screened in Britain, the Independent Television Commission ruled that “the editing of the interviews had ... distorted or misrepresented [the] known views” of the environmentalists interviewed on the program and that “the production company had misled them ... as to the format, subject matter and purpose of the programmes”.

Despite featuring some apparently well-credentialled scientists, the program made basic factual errors. It claimed, for example, that sulphur dioxide is a greenhouse gas, when in fact it has a cooling effect on the atmosphere.

Commenting on the program, Australia Institute Executive Director Clive Hamilton said: “The most serious question raised by this bizarre episode is why the ABC’s network programmers allowed this extraordinary piece of propaganda go to air, especially when its dubious ongins were on the public record. Channel 4 was forced to apologise for the

distortions in the program yet the ABC still ran it and plans to screen a second program next week.”

“There should be a full inquiry into the decision to air this program. Is ABC management trying to appease its conservative critics? If so, then sacrificing journalistic values and the ABC’s integrity is a high price to pay.”


Contact: Dr Clive Hamilton 02 6249 6221 (bh) 02 6247 5109 (ah)

The Australia Institute, PO Box 72, Lyneham, ACT 2602