n ik on Tue, 5 Feb 2002 05:43:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Gutter Journalism Hoax Exposed - Australia



Media Release  :  5 Feb 02 (for immediate release), Australia

Gutter Journalism Hoax Exposed

Last night the big guns of Tabloid TV fell victim to their own sleazy 
set-up tactics.

Both Channel 9's A Current Affair and 7's Today Tonight ran competing 
stories on the fictional group the "Dole Army". They claimed to 
expose gangs of jobless militants inhabiting Melbourne's drains, 
surfacing only to scavenge food from bins - and organising through 
the internet.

Today Tonight reporter Norm Beaman's introductory voiceover began: 
"if it wasn't true, it would almost be comical".  It wasn't true and 
the joke's on you, Norm.

These ridiculous stories of sewer-dwellers would have more accurately 
described the journalists themselves.

"We approached them with the exactly the kind of story they love and 
they lapped it up like dogs," said the Dole Army's Emma Goldman. 
"They enjoy nothing more than victimising the poor and unemployed. 
We did it to avenge the Paxtons."

"We also wanted to publicise our website, www.dolearmy.org" added 
Kool Keith. "And it's worked - the website has received literally 
thousands of hits since the stories went to air last night.  That's 
thousands of unemployed people now better equipped to deal with the 
inhuman Centrelink bureaucracy - and we'd like to thank these TV 
shows for helping us get the message out.  Not to mention the $1000 
Today Tonight payed us which will help keep the Dole Army website 

The shamelessly ratings-driven bully tactics of these two programs 
are well known – A Current Affair were publicly embarrassed by their 
hatchet job on the Paxton kids, the Robert Bogucki ‘banana chunder 
blunder’ and, most tragically, by Benny Mendoza, a repairman who 
committed suicide after ACA accused him of poor workmanship.

Mike Munro is not known for his honesty but the following closing 
comment surprised even us: "let me assure you that we did not pay 
anyone from that charming and courageous pack back in the Dole Army." 
We'll give Mike the benefit of the doubt and assume the producers 
neglected to mention the 30 blank digital videotapes (worth $360) 
they gave us in exchange for a video of masked figures pretending to 
play Cluedo in a tunnel, and the $2000 they offered us to deny Today 
Tonight a chance at a follow-up story.

Today Tonight is also no stranger to the invented story paraded as 
fact the infamous ‘Majorca Skase Chase’ report was mocked up in the 
theatrical district of Barcelona.  True to form while shooting the 
Dole Army expose, the TT crew happily colluded in setting up a fake 
drain dwelling in an above-ground brick factory.

"There are bludgers who are in work and there are bludgers who make 
millions of dollars. There are people who don't want to work. The 
reality is we can't put everyone in work.  There wouldn't be a 
percentage point difference in the unemployment figures if every 
person desperately wanted
to work, unless you're going to get down to sub-third-world wages. 
Why do journalists dish out this crap? It's pathetic." (Former MP 
Phil Cleary, in reference to the ACA/Paxton saga).


we do not lack communication, on the contrary we have too much of it. 
we lack creation. we lack resistance to the present.

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