Monday, October 03, 2011

A shoddy hatchet job

Reading the story in Stuff today about how Sea Shepherd is promising to go "kamikaze", you'd be forgiven for believing they had gone completely over the edge and were planning suicide attacks against the Japanese whaling fleet this summer. The story talks about how the organisation is "going to launch 'dramatic' attacks" and implicitly quotes Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson as saying his ships are "ready to attack the Japanese". At the end of it, I was left wondering "did they really say that? Did they really say "we are a terrorist organisation conspiring to commit murder, please arrest us'?" So, I did what you do in this day and age, and actually looked.

The sources for the article are a press release and the organisation's Facebook page. Neither makes any mention of "attacks". They do say (and the Stuff article repeats) that they will be protesting, and that the Japanese "will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again", and that they "are in for a very dramatic and adventurous three months beginning in December". There are people in the comments being dicks, of course - but no suggestion from the organisation or its staff that they are planning "attacks" or to kill people. Instead, the concern is that the Japanese, who have just spent A$30 million on upgrading the security of their whaling fleet, will kill them. But that's a risk they say they are willing to take (and lets all hope it doesn't happen).

Rather than an organisation threatening terrorism, from the source material you see an organisation willing to put its lives on the line for their cause. Stuff has significantly distorted that, presumably in order to get more hits and sell more eyeballs. Their "journalists" should be ashamed of this shoddy hatchet job.