Belvedere Jehosophat - Friday, 18 October 2002
Just a quick congratulations to the editors of The Daily Telegraph for best use of a blatant lie.
On the front page of the October 18, 2002 issue, under the picture of some mourners and an unidentified Australian politician, there are the words "Death toll climbs to 119".
However, not two sentences later and we are greeted with "Thirty Australians have been confirmed dead". The truth of the matter is that thirty Australians have died and that this number has the potential of reaching 119.
I realize that you need sensationalism to sell your newspapers but contradicting your headings, albeit small ones, isn't the best way to go about it especially if you are in the business of distributing the truth.
Also it has become evident that when counting a death toll only Australians can be factored in. It seems that all the other people killed in the blast, by virtue of their skin colour, the language they speak or the direction that they pray in, simply don't count. To that end, I would appreciate it if the news would stop referring to the Balinese casualties as foreigners.
AND while I'm not exactly sure as to how the rules of declaring a national day work, it seems that referring to this tragic event as the "Australian 9/11" is flawed for several reasons:
1. It didn't actually happen in Australia.
2. There has been no proof that Australia was the target of the attack especially since there have been other tensions in that region for quite some time.
Listen: I understand that it seems unfathomable that events are taking place that do not concern Australia but that's the way it is sometimes. You can never tell with foreigners.
3. To refer to this as an Australian 9/11 does a great dishonour to the hundreds of other people who died who weren't quite lucky enough to be Australian.
To Ethan: As you well know, I have been avoiding this increasingly inane millennium train dialogue. However, if I heard correctly, one was spotted by a child on the very train that I was riding on. Apparently it had been left grazing on the grass next to the tracks at a regional depot. The child was convinced, and so am I, that the train had broken down.