Home Australia The Continuing Bias of the Mainstream Media Threatens Australia

The Continuing Bias of the Mainstream Media Threatens Australia


by James O’Neill*

Australians continue to be poorly served by the mainstream media in the coverage of foreign affairs. In many cases it seems that the narrative is determined upon at an early stage. That is then maintained regardless of new evidence that may emerge, and even when it is repeatedly pointed out in the alternative media that the “official” version is biased or simply hopelessly wrong.

Foreign news coverage just in the past week illustrates the point. All of these stories have been around all year, but the preferred narrative remains constant. I use the ABC, SBS and Fairfax newspapers for the following illustrations.

Russian Interference in the US Election.

This story serves many goals. It is used primarily to cast doubt upon the validity of Trump’s presidency; and it also provides a useful stick to maintain the constant barrage of anti-Putin and anti-Russian propaganda. There is not a shred of evidence that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections.

Sundry breathless revelations turn out to be either non-existent, of miniscule impact (Facebook ads, mostly after the election), or creations of the Democratic Party, is in the bought and paid for (by the Democratic Party) ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier.

Completely under reported is the admitted $100 million the US spent trying to influence the last Russian presidential election, not to mention repeated attempts (sometimes successful) at regime change.

The Clinton Emails.

We now know that senior FB I official Peter Strzok in conjunction with his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and the FBI acting director Andrew McCabe actively conspired to promote Hillary Clinton’s campaign and to undermine Donald Trump. Part of this included ex-president Bill Clinton meeting with Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch just before the FB I announced that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted over the unauthorized use of tens of thousands of emails and their corresponding security breaches. This was before the investigation was even concluded. Such double standards are apparently not worthy of comment by our mainstream media.

South China Sea.

It is correct that China is building military facilities on artificially created atolls, or “militarizing” the South China Sea as we are endlessly reminded. That Taiwan (which makes identical claims to rights in the South China Sea as does the PRC), the Philippines and Vietnam are doing exactly the same thing that China is accused of doing for nefarious purposes is similarly never mentioned.

China’s contribution to island building in the South China Sea as 8 out of 44 such constructions, but that also is missing from the mainstream narrative.

Nor is there any acknowledgement that China has cause to be concerned about the regular Australia-US military exercises such as Operation Talisman Sabre that practice, inter alia, blockading the Malacca Straits through which more than 80% of China’s oil imports pass.

We are told that the Americans are exercising their freedom of navigation rights to sail military vessels within the territorial waters of China’s islands, although no one can point to a single instance of that freedom being impaired. Neither can our mainstream media explain why it is that the loudest demands for rights of freedom of navigation under the UNCLOS should be made by a nation that that is not even a signatory.

That same nation would be unlikely to tolerate similar exercises by the PLAN were such exercises to be carried out for example, in the Gulf of Mexico.

As the Russian interference meme loses steam from its lack of evidence and increasingly obvious ulterior motives, we are now exposed to its ready-made substitute, China’s alleged influence peddling in Australian domestic politics.

The timing is not coincidental. On 14 December 2017 the Rothschild organ The Economist published a title story ‘How China’s “sharp power” is muting criticism abroad.’

The day before, on 13 December 2017 the influential US Council of Foreign Relations also published a piece entitled ‘Beijing’s Influence Sparks Regional Concerns’.  Sam Dastyari’s indiscreet actions were therefore a godsend to the embattled Malcolm Turnbull.  Amidst all the hyperbole from Turnbull, Bishop and Dutton the mainstream media completely ignored the real story, which was the blatant use of one or more of the intelligence agencies to use confidential information for political purposes.

Such soft power as it is exercised by China is no different from that exercised by other nations. Why then is there no analysis in the mainstream media of the relationship between the multiple visits made to Israel by our parliamentarians, and the extraordinary amount of political support extended to Israel by Australia, in the United Nations and elsewhere?  Turnbull and Bishop’s much loved “rule of law” does not include Israel and its daily breaches of UN Resolutions and the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries, let alone the appalling treatment of the Palestinians and the ongoing theft of their land.

There are numerous American groups both official and unofficial who offer scholarships, study visits, goodwill trips and other inducements. The benefits to the Americans of this largesse are readily ascertainable in parliamentary debate, newspaper editorials and a facile ‘joined at the hip’ foreign and defence policy.

Yet we never read criticism of this “influence” on our domestic and foreign policies.


According to the Department of Defence website the Australian government is operating in Syria in consultation with the government of that country. I made a Freedom of Information application for documentary evidence of such consultation. Within 24 hours I received a telephone call from the Department of Defence saying that the website was “in error” and had now been corrected as a result of my query.

When the aforesaid media outlets make rare references to even the fact that Australia is operating in Syrian air space (and probably also on the ground with unacknowledged special forces) it is always in the context of their being there as part of a “coalition.”

That this coalition is operating in Syria contrary to international law is never discussed. More than two years ago Julie Bishop made the claim that Australia was in Syria at the request of Iraq, pursuant to the collective self-defence provisions of article 51 of the UN Charter.

That claim and information about the true circumstances about how Australian forces came to be acting in Syria has been thoroughly documented in a number of alternative media outlets without a word of this evidence ever being printed or broadcast in the mainstream media.

Compare for example, the media coverage of the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces and the more recent liberation of Raqqa by “coalition” forces. The former was invariably described as illustrating Syrian and Russian brutality and the Syrian “regime’s” disregard for human life.

The almost total destruction of Raqqa by aerial and artillery bombardment, the deaths of thousands of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands is by contrast treated with kid gloves.  Loss of life is merely “regrettable” and really the fault of ISIS for being there.

Even when Australia takes part in aerial attacks upon Syrian soldiers it is described as a “mistake” and the mainstream media promptly lose interest.  As Tim Anderson has forensically dissected, it was not a “mistake” but part of a deliberate strategy of coalition support for ISIS (www.21stcenturywire.com 17 December 2017).  The now well documented role of ISIS and similar terrorist groups as part of the US’s geopolitical strategy is similarly ignored by the mainstream media.

The Americans are now claiming through Defence Secretary Mattis that they intend staying in Syria for an indefinite period. Again one has to wonder why this is not being reported in the mainstream media and editorially condemned?

The arrogant hubris of Mattis’ statement is extraordinary, but apparently being the “exceptional nation” exempts one from observing the rights of sovereign nations to decide who may or may not set up shop on the territory.

There are many other examples, including Crimea (“annexed” by Russia) and North Korea (invariably a “rogue state” that “poses a threat to the region”) Both politicians and mainstream journalists seem bereft of even minimal historical knowledge or insight. When did you last read in the mainstream that North Korea had more bombs dropped on it during the Korean War than the whole of World War 2?

Or that most of the targets were civilians and civilian infrastructure and that napalm was used to destroy crops and starve the people into submission? Or that General McArthur wanted to use nuclear bombs to not only destroy North Korea totally, but also China before it too became a threat to American hegemonic ambitions for North and East Asia?  Yet it is Mr Kim who is invariably described by Turnbull et al and faithfully parroted in the media as the “mad” or “dangerous” one.

Readers will undoubtedly have their own lists.

These are not trivial examples that have been referred to above. Each has the potential to start a nuclear war in which the survivors will envy the dead. Our mainstream media has a duty, one would argue, to try and minimize that unthinkable outcome. Our ability to do so depends in part on an impartial media fully informing its readers and listeners of relevant information in an unbiased manner.

Their failure to do so does a profound disservice to Australia. It also, I would suggest, poses a risk to our nation’s security and to our economic well-being. They are living in a fool’s Paradise if they believe that this demonization of important nations does not carry with it significant risks. There are many ways that China for example could choose to express their anger at the government’s mindless rhetoric. Warnings have already been given in the semi official Chinese media and we would ignore those warnings to our considerable cost.

*Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst.  He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au



  1. James, surely some of this stuff is criminal? I did a Gumshoe series called Are Media Lies Criminal?

    Here is one law i quoted:

    The Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 for South Australia has a general rule that says, in Section 267:

    “A person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures an offence is liable to be prosecuted and punished as a principal offender.”

  2. Thank you as always James. Here is a timely link which cites (amongst a great compendium) one of your earlier articles and the actions of ‘our’ war-criminal senior politicians and the complicit Australian media in promoting global atrocities.

    • Implausible denials: The crime at Jabal al Tharda. Us-led air raid on behalf of ISIS -DAESH against Syrian forces – Professor Tim Anderson (reprinted from Global Research)


    The article focuses on the war crimes committed against Syrian Government personnel at Jabal al Tharda (Deir Ezzor vicinity) and specifically cites the role of Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and Australian Chief of Joint Operations Vice-Admiral David Johnston.

    But I am sure Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would still be salivating with orgasmic delight at the success of her ‘cohorts’ in the obscene butchering of 80 children (plus) in Rashidin (attempted evacuees from terrorist-held Aleppo area).

    • Fuah Kafraya / Rashidin massacre – Witness testimony tells what "rebels" did

    • The truth about the Aleppo bus bombing: Vanessa Beeley reports from Syria

  3. Considering all the wars, especially the last 14 plus years of our killing in the Middle East bringing on terrorist, vengeance, reaction and refugees: Who are those; threatening our safety, way of life, freedoms and democracy?
    Come on up Mainstream media, our public broadcasters and shock jokes……. you all on stage get the prize.
    Congratualtions, well deserved and Merry Christ-mas.
    Keep it up, next year you all might get WW111.

    • Come on msm, public broadcasters and shock jokes; tell those who feed you, the truth and show us or report the pre 911 plan to go to war, kill and conquer 7 countries in five years as exposed by General Wesley Clark to Amy Goodman in an interview in March 2007.
      The relevant part of the interview and exposure is from memory about 2.10 minutes.
      Come on, stop the bullshit, tell those who feed you and your advertisers the truth.
      Not to mention some care for our soldiers and their families.
      Well you lot are beyond fake, you lot are deceiving/lying cowards aiding and abetting ‘mass murders’ and a present danger to our freedoms, democratic values and old way of life.
      You have to face it eventually or be condemned to oblivion…….. which you are presently experiencing.
      Sell the ABC and SBS to reduce our interest payments to the bankers and save us the cost of, on past history, nearly another two decades of killing.

  4. As disgustingly biased as the elite Jewish, owned, capitalist MSM is on these issues, the supposed opposition media ( socialist, anarchist etc.) plays the same tune, for eg. fails to call out the USA for using ISIS as a proxy force. Totally silent in the face of all the false flags and the 911 ‘big daddy’.
    This tells me that they have long since been infiltrated.

    • Yep, for their agendas they finance and control all sides.
      The fairy tale snow flake left are the seriously used dupes for appearances, the rest are knowingly in on the game.

  5. https://www.facebook.com/sbsnews/videos/547712118895832/

    seems I am always off topic–but this is tavistock agenda at work 2018– Pentecostals Scientology the White BrotherhoodThe Family Hillsong Freedom Hubs Volunteering Missionaries Mercenaries and Misfits –
    Cults [occult]- Mind control–psychological programming- positive psychology–aarrggh identity theft-
    enslavement obedience — silencing
    Oh well

  6. Another well written article James. These msm owners and editors should be alongside our Federal Politicians and ADF echelon, being prosecuted as war criminals in The Hague.

    • I quote Timothy Veater:

      “The world is full of violence carried out by a whole range of people and organisations. History teaches us that the selective use of it is a powerful propaganda tool. Nor is it unknown that that the people that use it for political purposes, also create it! Apart from the fact that the three examples tweeted by Trump were not as he stated and taken out of context, they prove nothing other than people can be brutal and devoid of empathy when they are allowed to be.

      “But what would have been the effect if instead Trump had tweeted just a few examples of American police shooting innocent unarmed members of the public, or gangland assassinations on his doorstep or only a few of the 54.000 premature deaths from the heroin and drug epidemic, to a large part instigated and controlled by elements of his own government?”

      Go, Tim.

  7. This para is a standout for me re the bill being put forward re foreign interference….surely the American Australian Dialogue group, Pine Gap and so much more, is all about US interference…Thanks James
    “Why then is there no analysis in the mainstream media of the relationship between the multiple visits made to Israel by our parliamentarians, and the extraordinary amount of political support extended to Israel by Australia, in the United Nations and elsewhere? Turnbull and Bishop’s much loved “rule of law” does not include Israel and its daily breaches of UN Resolutions and the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries, let alone the appalling treatment of the Palestinians and the ongoing theft of their land.”

    • There have been a couple analysing our subservience by our politicians to the interests of Israel lobbylists.
      After all, many of our pollies are invited on their usual ‘paid for’ jaunt, usually in January, to Israel for their briefing on how we should have more of our boys killed in the Middle East and why those disgusting Palestinians have no entitlements to their olive trees.
      China, you are pusseys.
      Number one:
      Ex P M of Australia, Malcolm Fraser.
      Dee has logged his last recorded interview on this site, I have not noted it anywhere else.
      Dee. Please link,
      Number two,
      Try the observations of ‘Bob’ Carr, ex premier of NSW and ex Foreign Minister of Australia.
      Bit of research will do it!
      By the way, in what past century did Iran try to invade any other country?

  8. Correction “That Taiwan (which makes identical claims to rights in the South China Sea as does the PRC), the Philippines and Vietnam are doing exactly the same thing that China is accused of doing for nefarious purposes is similarly never mentioned.” Taiwan is China.

    • A grey area… The “government” operating on Taiwan is a fully functional, democratically-elected government with its own currency, etc. Depends who you’d be talking to.

    • Point taken Don. Both the PRC and China say there is one China. They just disagree as to who should be running the show. My argument still stands however, as Taiwan is a US ally but it’s identical views on the SCS are never challenged.

  9. As to China building islands in the South China Sea, I guess they do not intend getting squeezed by the Yanks as the Japanese did in WW2, thereby prompting the “unprovoked” attack on Pearl Harbour on 7th Dec, 1941.Unprovoked my arse. The Yanks were looking for a pretext to get involved in WW2 so they closed the Straits of Malacca, instituted sanctions against the Japanese thereby cutting of vital raw materials starving their economy and sat back and waited for their inevitable response.

    BTW, great analysis James. Our mainstream media is controlled by Banksters and Neo-cons. Of course we’re going to be lied to. It’s just what they do.

    • As with our lying politicians; that is what they do, save the retarded controlled politicians (ex union hacks and old pollie’s office staffers) who go along trying to sell ‘officialdom’ raffle tickets to a more informed electorate for Friday’s prize frozen chook outside the backyard dunny,
      Who are the idiots buying the tickets?

  10. The msn is our tool now, with the internet we can with a few mouse clicks find patterns across the world. Yes its what is not said and who is not named that helps confirm, what has dismayed and perplexed us, long before becoming conspiracy aware.

    • 1% has more money than 70% of Australian population .
      There is a new resident coming here every minute . 99% coming to Melbourne and Sydney .
      Looks like wages at 711 , and everywhere else , are going down further .

  11. Something is going down under . The three richest Aussies ( Lowy Murdoch Trigarboff ) have sold their money earners . The CCP have pulled the pin on housing investment here . As a result prices have gone down 20 – 30% in just three months .

    Safe as tulips . I don’t like saying this but the SHHTF .

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