THIS PROBABLY should be the end for Margo Kingston, who was yesterday damned as a parody and a joke by New South Wales premier Bob Carr. And with good reason, as we'll shortly discover:
I attended the press conference of NSW Premier Bob Carr this morning for his announcement of his new anti-terrorism measures. By the end, I realised I was right to be scared. Mr Carr saw fit to refuse to answer any of my questions and instead to intimidate me with the claim that I "blame the Bali dead" for causing their own deaths. The enemy is me.
Check the ego. Margo puts herself right up there with Osama bin Laden. She be bad!
"This is not about a demonstration, this is about murder. What happened in Bali was the murder of innocent Australians, not people who were guilty because they were celebrating in a 3rd world country as you argued in the Sydney Morning Herald," Mr Carr said in answer to my question about whether the new terrorism powers extended to people in political protest marches where the police had refused a permit, like last week.
Mr Carr's allegation is not true. Truth doesn't seem to matter to the man who wants us to trust his administration with sweeping new police powers over citizens. I am a relatively well known journalist who the Premier of NSW trashed in public. I fear for the fate of the powerless in private.
Pray for the powerless: someone might disagree with them. Why, in this Hitlerian hell-state, even Margo Kingston isn't safe!
I've read through everything I've written about the Bali bombing, and I can't find anything in which I blame the Bali victims for the bombing. The very idea makes me feel sick.
Oh, really? Better grab a bucket, Margo. Here's what you wrote on October 14, three days after the Bali attack:
I know little about Bali, and whether we've respected and nurtured the place we love to visit or colonised it with our wants. A friend in Byron Bay said Australians had taken Bali over, business wise, and that acquaintances with businesses in Bali were considering coming home before this horror. They sensed resentment, and felt a growing unease.
Maybe part of it is the lack of services for locals. A completely inadequate hospital, for instance, so graphically exposed in the aftermath of the horror. Some people - foreigners like us, elite big-city Indonesians - make their fortunes. Have residents lost their place, their power to define it? Did the big money fail to give enough back to the people who belong there, whose home it is?
Read that again, between heaves. Have we "respected" Bali or "colonised it with our wants"? Have we "foreigners" – that is, Australian tourists – caused locals to "lose their place, their power"? Have we failed "to give enough back to the people who belong there"?
Margo continues, oblivious:
Mr Carr said he'd dig out the piece that proves his allegation and send it to me, but he hasn't.
As perpetually link-challenged Margo would write: here.
He said he'd read the piece in the Herald a month ago, so he might be talking about the first piece I wrote on Bali, called October 13:Bali.
He obviously is.
The only time I expressed a firmish view on the motivation for the Bali bombing was in a piece for the Northern Rivers Echo newspaper last month ... I disagreed with the view of some that John Howard's support for a US strike on Iraq was to blame and said it was more likely to be about our stand on East Timor. The headline, 'So this is what it's like on the other side', took on a new meaning after my experience today. I've republished the two pieces below.
In which we find the very quote Margo is seeking to deny. Could it be that she genuinely doesn't see how her words read as a condemnation of Australians in Bali? Anything is possible, I guess, on Planet Margo. The press conference apparently ended with this exchange:
Margo: You're lying.
Bob: - and you are a parody of a journalist.
Margo: You're lying.
Bob: You are a parody of a journalist.
Margo: Thanks for your accountability.
Bob: You're a joke.
Margo is a joke. No lie.