The Real Backlash

Gathered to honour the memory of a crusading editor, some of the biggest names in the news business were told by one of their own that journalists covering the Parramatta murder of Curtis Cheng are being targeted with death threats. So far, his remarks have gone unreported

mini mo est mortJournalists  covering the murder of police accountant Curtis Cheng in Parramatta on October 2 are working in a climate of fear because of death threats. Chris Reason, senior reporter for Seven News, Sydney said this last night in a speech to about 100 media people and friends at a Melbourne Press Club function at the RACV.

Reason and his cameraman, Greg Parker, provided live coverage throughout the Man Monis siege at the Lindt Café in Martin Place last December.

“Some media outlets are receiving direct physical violent death threats, specific threats not to go near Parramatta Mosque, where the 15-year-old went to pray. At one point a senior member of the Daily Telegraph turned up there with two  flak jackets,” Reason  said.

“The situation is deadly serious among journalists covering the story in Western Sydney. People have been seen videoing journos in their cars. Journos and cameramen are doing their job more cautiously, but they continue covering this critical story well.”

The Press Club function to legendary Age editor Graham Perkin, killed by a heart attack 40 years ago at the age of just 45. Reason last March was named 2014′s Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year. He told the audience last night, “This is the sort of story Graham Perkin would have chased down hard and fearlessly.”

The Age had no coverage of Reason’s talk this morning, nor did the Herald SunThe Australian or ABC, at least according to online searching. Last night’s audience was a galaxy of past and present editors, investigative journalists, star columnists and commentators, and household-word media personalities.

Interviewed by Quadrant after the function, Reason said Sydney reporters, as far as he knew, were continuing to “keep going with their work” and their tone was not affected.

The Telegraph received direct threats to their journalists and the word spread from there. There had been an explicit threat to a young female Tele journo that she would have her arms ripped off and she would be murdered. It was very violent language, she told us.

“Counter-terrorist operators in Sydney intercepted messages between certain groups threatening and targeting journos and media. The Telegraph was one of them, AAP another. Executives organised precautions. Most media organisations like (channels) 7 and 10 ended up hiring private security guards while covering the story in the first week.

“It’s an atmosphere of intimidation and fear. I have never seen anything like it in Sydney in 20 years. In my organization there’s been some serious conversation  on how to cover it, how to approach the story, how to protect ourselves. Some cameramen are worried, some journos worried. I don’t know what’s being done about security at people’s homes.

“We have not talked about it publicly. No reporter has talked or written about it in Sydney.”

Quadrant Online understands that Telegraph crime reporter Mark Morri received a number of the threatening calls. A sample of  the death threats being received by journalists was provided, by coincidence, yesterday by Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. An email he received and reproduced on his blog reads:

“hi there again you arrogant piece of shit!!! You f—ng Jewish dog, stop hiding behind your f—d up articles and office and say your shit in Lakemba if you had any balls, which you don’t. You’re a piece of shit that gets your frills by bragging about Islam every time. May Allah the Almighty God bless someone to burn you and have your head on display without your body intact and feed you to dogs. Burn in HELL.”

The death threats to journalists in Sydney and Melbourne come against the backdrop of the murders of 11  Charlie Hebdo staffers in Paris in January.

The media anxiety in Sydney contrasts with the insouciance with which the media deal with organized crime and bikie gangs. Underbelly-style reports are often treated as low-life comedy. Crime groups are aware that killing a journalist would be stunningly bad for business. This was demonstrated when a drug-syndicate hitman killed whistleblower Donald Mackay in Griffith in 1977. Mackay was a furniture retailer, not a journalist, but keen to expose corruption.

By contrast,  the murder of a journalist would be “good for business” in the eyes of hard-line Islamists, even more so than a random slaying. When ISIL beheaded journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria a year ago, ISIL posted triumphant videos of the acts as a warning to America.

At last night’s  Press Club function, a former Age editor told Quadrant Online that tensions with the Muslim community were fiercer in Sydney than in Melbourne. In Sydney, he said, it was easy to find marked anti-Muslim sentiments, especially in the western suburbs where  he divined a sense of displacement because of refugees taking up scarce housing and government services including health. It was much the same syndrome exploited by nationalist Pauline Hanson, he opined. “You don’t get those sentiments in Northern and Eastern Sydney,” he said.

Quadrant was slightly taken aback by this analysis, not least because Reason in his speech described Islamist threats but said nothing about any anti-Islamism.

Tony Thomas blogs at No BS Here (I Hope)

COMMENTS [7]

  1. Jody

    I’m appalled to read this, but not at all surprised. And we are expected to pander to the communities which give rise to this kind of violence, intimidation and ugliness. What on earth are these people doing living in our country? Many many thousands of Australian people demand to know the answer to that question; the miscreants who promulgated the multicultural policy in this country, on the back of cultural Marxism, have either run for cover, pontificate on a regular basis and bore us all into a coma with their virtue signalling naivete. The execrable and oleaginous Waleed Ally regularly writes patronizing and smug-filled articles in the smh blaming Australian politics for all kinds of ‘sins’ which he has deemed to be just that.

    The question is now: what are we going to do about all this rubbish, foisted on up by the left?

  2. Stuart

    The only good that may come of this is for some of the blinkered left to begin to wake up to themselves. Perhaps they will now see the so called religion of peace as it really is.

  3. Richard H

    I second Jody’s comments on this article. Thanks Tony for letting us know of this truly appalling situation.

    Just an extra point on Donald Mackay. As well as being a furniture retailer and campaigner against illicit drugs, he was a Liberal Party candidate at three elections. While he was never elected, his preferences helped a Country Party candidate unseat the execrable Al Grassby. After Mackay’s murder, Grassby was paid by the local mafia to circulate a sickening lie that Mackay’s widow was involved in the killing (she successfully sued for defamation). With full knowledge of these facts, then ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope decided in 2009 to erect a statue of Grassby in Canberra.

    • Jody

      My extended family lives in Griffith and they’re all quite old now. They all know the McKay family very well and they know what goes on, but which is kept from the public eye for fear of retribution. A statue of McKay sits in the main street of Griffith, according to my relatives “as a warning”!! Al Grassby was a corrupt and dangerous man who is largely culpable for what has happened to our country through the ‘multicultural’ project.

      There is a standing joke around Griffith that Al and his wife Eleanor Grassby made 3 attempts at the Primary Final!!!

  4. jenkins

    The comments of the former Age editor are indicative of the line taken by Fairfax media. I had tried previously tried to alert one of their papers of some of the incidents of harassment, intimidation and violence told to me by women who live in South West Sydney. My comment on the most serious incident was not published as it was yet to go to trial. Fair enough. The other incidents I described, including one involving myself, were met with disbelief and myself being called a “racist bogan” and the suggestion that there must have been something in my manner to attract such harassment, even though I had been simply walking to visit a family member on the grounds of a public hospital at the time. Sound familiar? To my astonishment a story, that was the complete reversal of my experience, was published in the paper: muslim women at a local hospital had been harassed by local youths on the grounds of a public hospital, and any muslims who had been similarly subjected to racist behaviour were encouraged to contact the police. I came to the conclusion that Fairfax could not be trusted as a source of the truth. Not only that, but IMO, they were placing woman in danger by not advising them of the truth.

    • Jody

      I can relate to your experience of censorship on SMH. Many of the comments I submit online never see the light of day; for example, the earlier one I made on this same page about Waleed (“The Project” LOL) Aly!!

      Do read what Tanvir Ahmed has to say in “The Spectator” about Muslims!!

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