Sunday, February 12, 2006

More Fairfax Propaganda

Get a load of this absolute joke of a propaganda piece in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Mary ignores Muslim riot threats

By Holly Byrnes
February 12, 2006

DENMARK'S Crown Princess Mary returned to work as a fashion patron last week, in glamorous contrast to the ugly protests that followed the publication of images of Muhammad.

As Danish officials issued travel warnings to its citizens, in the wake of riots across Europe and Asia, the royal family issued its own statement in defiance of ongoing Islamic threats.

Princess Mary honoured her longstanding commitment as patron of Copenhagen Fashion Week, supporting designers and acting as a figurehead for international trade, which has been hit by the protests.

Despite security concerns, the stylish royal walked about the Bella Centre exhibition in the Danish capital, happily talking trends and trawling displays with industry guides and onlookers.

Her appearance followed a palace statement saying the royal family would not bow to protesters by cancelling any public duties.

A court spokeswoman said the royal couple and their son, Prince Christian, would also visit Germany as planned this week.

International outrage over cartoons of the Muslim prophet threatens to spread to Denmark.

Tensions between the Muslim community there and the royal family have been heightened since Queen Margarethe called on the country to "show our opposition to Islam", in statements from a controversial biography published last year.

In the book, she said she understood how disaffected young Muslims might find refuge in religion, but said they should learn Danish so they could integrate.
"DEAR GOD, NOT OUR SWEET AUSSIE PRINCESS MARY!! Those filthy Muslim bastards! How dare they intimidate her!"

At least, this is the presumed emotional reaction intended to be triggered by the above article, because it isn't actually reporting anything of substance. Let's break down the content and look at the facts presented:

1. Princess Mary keeps an appointment as a fashion patron.
2. There were ugly protests in Denmark over the publication of anti-Islam cartoons.
3. Danish officials issued travel warnings for its citizens related to the protests.
4. The Danish Royal family issued its own statement regarding the protests, part of which mentioned not cancelling any public appointments.
5. Mary's appearence was at the Bella Exhibition Centre.
6. The royal couple and son would visit Germany as planned.
7. Queen Margarethe made some observations about the Danish muslim community, published in her biography last year.

Points 2, 3, 4, 7 have been previously reported before, on multiple occasions. No "news" there. So the effective content of the article is points 1, 5 and 6:

1. Princess Mary keeps an appointment as a fashion patron.
5. Mary's appearance was at the Bella Exhibition Centre.
6. The royal couple and son will visit Germany.

So, the real question is: Is there ANY relation between the above three points and the muslim protests? Doesn't look like it to me. But wait! What is the title of the article again? "Mary ignores Muslim riot threats".

THREATS.

What "Muslim riot threats" were specifically mentioned in the article? One vague, unreferenced, un-elaborated statement: "Despite security concerns". It is clear that the average reader is meant to draw the following conclusions from this pathetic propaganda:

1. Princess Mary was under a degree of threat to her safety due to Muslim riots.
2. She refused to be intimidated and kept up her public appearances.
3. The royal family are showing solidarity and refusing to be intimidated by "foreigner" muslims in the country who are not "integrated" with the community.
4. Gosh that's some brave Aussie guts that our little darling Mary showed!

It is clear to me that, based on the article above, there was likely no specific threat to Mary, so it was "business as usual" for the royals. Yet the Sydney Morning Herald feels that it is appropriate to post such tabloid gossip-speculation and racist innuendo as news. Perhaps Holly Byrnes should keep her articles to "New Idea" and "Women's Weekly" and other such gossip rags rather than attempt to pass herself off as a serious journalist.

Sadly, it appears this type of crap is becoming more and more typical from Fairfax. Where are Australians meant to turn to for objective, unbiased reporting?

(FYI: If you are not an Australian, you may not be familiar with the "Princess Mary fever" that has swept this nation over previous years. Suffice it to say that Princess Mary is a big emotional issue for a large section of the Australian public, and insinuating possible muslim threats against her is likely to make many Aussies quite upset.)

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