Up ship creek

Last night, over three successive newsbreaks in less than 60 minutes, Australia’s Ten Network News first had Australians in Beirut “…booted off their ship”. Next we were told their ship had been “commandeered” by “an international organization”, the United Nations or some other country — take your pick. The third version was that Australia had been gazumped by those sneaky Canadians who took the ship for themselves.

Which ship was that, Ten News?

The ship chartered by the Australian government which failed to show up in Beirut at all? Now that would make it difficult for those people to board the ship and even more difficult for them to be booted off it.

That it never showed up would also make it difficult to commandeer (such a juicy, dramatic word).

That the ship Australia had chartered through a Turkish shipping agency failed to show had already been announced on ABC Network News — and possibly on other networks — by no less than the Foreign Minister. It was also disclosed that the shipping agent had charted the same vessel to both Australia and Canada and cheated both governments. It happens in times of crisis. It is called profiteering, and in a sense, that is what news reporting of this kind is doing, too.

For god’s sake, Ten News, this is one story you don’t have to beat up. I know that there is nothing more important than ratings, but just try to get a few facts right and this is already more gripping and distressing than your execrable Big Brother.

While on the subject of the coverage of the plight of those people trying to leave Lebanon; why does every news story need to shoehorn the proper noun Australian or Australians between ever few words? Everyone is not just “Bruce Hayak” but Australian Bruce Hayak. It is never “they” but “these Australians”. Has every personal pronoun has been banished from the journalistic lexicon. What is this spin and why is it necessary? We get the point. We know, we know. Enough.

Gazumped?

Can’t smack Ten News for this because (Australian) Foreign Minister Downer used the word in an earlier reference to the “Whose Ship is it Anyway?” game. For the Australian government to be gazumped, Canada would have had to have known that the ship’s agents had finalised a deal with Australia then jumped in with a higher bid at the last moment. There has yet to be any suggestion that this is what happened. The only party who knew about both deals seems to be the corrupt Turkish shipping agent.

Go get ’em, Ten News. Sic Sandra Sully onto them. That’ll fix ’em.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazump
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-gaz1.htm

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95 Responses to Up ship creek

  1. Well, as an Australian caught in Beirut on July 14, all I can say is where was our embassy? No one there. Calls diverted to Canberra. Thank goodness for the helpful British embassy and the splendid Lebanese individuals and families – many Lebanese-Australian – in Beirut who constantly asked if there was anything they could do. Eventually my colleague and I found a car to the Syrian border, then a Syrian taxi to Daamscus. Damascus airport on July 16 was full of angry Australians disappointed by the performance of their overpaid underworked “diplomats”.

  2. Gwen says:

    Thanks buckets! Bad enough that I’m steaming hot over the entire Middle East fiasco and the Dubya terrorist who started the whole thing, now we are to blame for your missings ships?

    Well, my Friend, Canada was supposed to have six (6) ships at dockside yesterday!!! One (1) ship showed up and loaded 201 passengers, leaving 20,000 stranded at the Pier. Our little Mini-me Prime Minister is coming back from the G8 conf. and is taking as many strandees as he can get on board his Zeppelin.

    As for Canda under-bidding Australia, not so. We got royally screwed! Welcome to Free Market Economics, Free Trade, and a whole pile of Free Australians who are registered to sail with our canucks, if those ships ever do show up.

    Frankly, my dear, I think I’d stay put right there and wait until the wind blows in the right directions…under a rock somewhere…not those rocks! An intact rock.

    I have a few choice words for people who got to incindiary places for a “vacation” and then witch like crazy when things literally blow up. Montreal has the largest community of Lebanese of any community in N.A.

    A few days ago, when this whole thing blew, a local Lebanese family paid $15,00.00 to send 8 members, consisting of 4 children and a grandmother, to a Family Reunion all of whom were murdered. The clincher being that in their anguish, anger, denial, they are all over the News crying in their soup about how Harper didn’t even have the “decency” to phone them personal with his deep regrets. Really! Why the hang don’t they ask for an apology from Israel’s Prime Minister, for Pete’s sake! Grrrrr. Don’t know who is worse, Israel or the Excited States.

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