Friday, October 06, 2006

Another Right-Wing Feeding Frenzy

A typically deceptive headline in The Sun newspaper yesterday. Unfortunately, as is the way with the Murdoch owned media, the truth is somewhat obscured by their right-wing agenda. Of course, the story has got the right-wing bloggers working themselves into a frenzy of epic proportions, perpetuating the myth of the corporate media. The reality of the situation is far more understandable than you would be led to believe.

The policeman was in fact relieved of fulfilling his post at the Israeli embassy due to risk assessments made by line managers. The decision ultimately fell upon them to decide if there was a risk of placing a Muslim police officer (with family in Lebanon) outside the Israeli embassy at such a sensitive time. They decided that there was an unreasonable risk placed upon the officer and that he should not be placed outside the embassy at that time. The officer in no way demanded that he should not serve at his post, he raised the possibility of a conflict with his superiors and they did the rest. As the Deputy Commissioner commented:

It was as a result of this risk assessment - and not because of the officer's personal views, whatever they might have been - that the decisions was taken temporarily not to deploy him to the embassy. The public would expect us to conduct such a risk assessment and review the suitability of any firearms officer undertaking such duties. This is not about political correctness. I want to make it clear that this decision was taken on the basis of risk and safety. [my emphasis]

However, this deception is not the only element of the story that is a cause for concern. How did the 'newspaper' find out about this situation? The matter was part of a private discussion that has now found its way into the press. However, privacy seems not to have been a concern for the paper or the officer who leaked the story. Instead, the paper was eager to build on its anti-Muslim rhetoric (eerily reminiscent of certain right-wing papers in the 1930s) and the officer was keen to line his pockets to support this anti-Muslim agenda. At the centre of this is a man who was concerned about his safety, and that of his family in Lebanon, and merely followed the appropriate procedures. Unfortunately, The Sun got its headline and now the ill informed prejudices of the few have been reinforced by the corporate press and their racist agenda.