Topic: independent media
Jill Hickson, film maker of ARTV program provider to TVS Ch31 community tv tells us her team interviewed Terry Hicks in person last Sunday morning (20th May 2007) at their Addison Rd Centre office. It will be broadcast sometime in the next few weeks on Sunday night 11.30 pm (with repeats at obscure hours).
Terry Hicks is of course the father of alleged terrorist David Hicks recently, finally, mercifully, returned now to Oz: Adelaide Now
We say alleged because we take the view the USA military commission may have been justice or not, but it wasn't seen to be done from our vantage point. 5 years too long. Chucked out by the USA Supreme Court for dodgy process along the way to rise phoenix like. Bullied into a plea and denied British citizenship. We would have to wait for a High Court of Australia decision endorsing the conviction of the younger Hicks before joining the sheepish chorus of Big Media here re "convicted terrorist" which sounds to us like a PR figleaf for the federal govt. Thus we lawyers are the last resort for human rights in a democracy.
On the other hand as a Gandhi type person we don't approve of mercenaries or similar with a psychological disposition to military violence. Between the two lies the politics and law of this situation.
But Terry Hicks is the father, and what a father he has proven to be:
Naturally a controversial choice like the Sydney Peace Prize this year for Hans Blix who effectively opposed the Iraq war in favour of ongoing inspections regime and evidence based approach: Sydney Peace Prize for blunt Blix - World - smh.com.au
But what impresses us at SAM micro news blog now is this startling anecdote from Jill Hickson to paraphrase (as we dug her garden pond yesterday with recycled bath tub):
'While we were doing [the interview] the call came through from Weekend Sunrise at channel 7. Terry told them he had to fly out by 12 midday. They said okay come in, we will put you with Alexander Downer. Trouble is says Terry to the Sunrise researcher I'm booked with community tv. '
[Consternation follows, relative merits and stature, audience size, scheduling, will Terry cancel in favour of Sunrise?].
'Producer for Sunrise rings back and said okay that's fine, respects Terry's decision to do community tv as promised and wants to keep the options open for the future.'
Our comment would be: This was a big call by Terry Hicks, and supremely ethical. The enthusiastic amateurs of ARTV volunteer team organised by pro Jill Hickson were all in place and ready to go. But Sunrise were a much higher profile opportunity. We understand Terry didn't even pause. "End of story" was his conclusion when it was clear the scheduling conflict was impossible to resolve.The guy has real class. And perhaps he well understands that it's the community good will for his campaign for human rights for his son, right or wrong, which underpins the return of his son in the first place. Groups like GetUp! - Action For Australia - www.getup.org.au, and many others also from left to moderate right wingers.
In that respect we think he is most likely correct which presumably why he gave this talk to Melbourne University Law School in April.
Declaration: We do legal checking each week pro bono for the ARTV show at 11.30pm Sunday nights Channel 31 Sydney. An ex girlfriend with more radical politics to this writer became a determined supporter of the Bring David Hicks Home campaign, and congratulations too for this reward for all that hard work.
Postscript #1 May 22nd 2007 at 8 am - Leigh Sales, reporter over reaches
Leigh Sales has published a book presumably through Melbourne Uni Press which Richard Ackland, legal writer has reviewed here: Detainee 002: the case of David Hicks - Book Reviews - Books ... We have always found Ms Sales very appealing personally but feel quite annoyed with her shaky presentation of the David Hicks situation in this final phase. Ackland is judicious with praise of her book but actually is damningly faint too around concerns of congenital blandness there at the ABC. That is (my words) inability to take a line for truth rather than political mediation of powerful opposing forces in Australian society (read Coalition v ALP). And Ackland is not alone. The reviewer in The Australian from memory (offline?) came a similar conclusion of, well, which side of a many sided situation are you on? Inevitably the answer is every side and no side.
That's not to say its not a highly competent 'flesh on the story' research effort by Sales, to paraphrase Ackland's tick for a media mate.
But here is the drum Leigh from a fan till now. That's no way to really live a life. Doors open and doors close. You have to take a stand for something.
And here is my deconstruction of Leigh Sales: A marked man for the rest of his life | Opinion of May 21 we think has some howlers (she did a deal for The Australian to extract her book too):
First the headline by the sub editor - quite vengeful and malicious. No rehab in a Murdoch press paradigm. That's nasty.
Second she compares him to Mamdouh Habib selling his story turned into a PR disaster - actually wrong. It polarised according to prejudice but got out real evidence of real torture endorsed by our oh so real nasty federal govt. In that sense he got to tell his truth and thus save his sanity.
Three, Sales just seems shallow and sort of apples versus oranges quoting the mars bar survivor after 40 days in the Himilayas savaged by the Big Media. (As we recall it was 60 Minutes who paid for the story and went the biff via Richard Carlton, based on the facts?). Sales says the media will turn on him if he sells his story in an exclusive.
Err sorry wrong again. These deals are done every day - its called commerce and the Big Media accept that business paradigm more than anyone built on the advertising industry. No malice is motivated by more than competition. He also has children and been accused of being a no hoper father. That would be highly inconsistent to be attacked for trying to make a living. In fact grotesquely cruel given the suffering he's been through.
Then there is the old chestnut of training with Al Qaeda - well in fact it was the Taliban pre WTC terrorism as we recall it. The oppressive govt of Afghanistan but the govt no less. But its amazing how AQ is available as a pre emptive smear these days regardless of actual evidence, or actual existence, the bogey in the geo politik cupboard.
Then quoting Max Markson, a PR grub if ever there was - remember the dodgy Sherie Blair fiasco with bugger all money actually going to charity: AM - Cherie Blair begins controversial tour of Australia
And Max almost certainly is a dedicated Zionist, while Hicks almost certainly a dedicated anti Zionist which is not in fact quite the same anti semite or bigot or racist: Not even Max Markson would deal with Hicks | Media | The Australian
Lastly we say if David Hicks considers a life of ecological study as a zoologist in the outdoors in particular compared to 5 years in gaol, then its a good idea. Nature is a known healer like the Tasmanian forests for WW2 veterans in a very shaky state after that scarring experience. It is known as a good thing in this age of climate change which helps with public reputation. And in the best of worlds can be apolitical (though not in this writer's case). Last but not least the environment movement often functions as a redeemer such as developer bankrupts like Ian Kiernan, or corporate pigs who turn over a new leaf like the current head of WWF Australia Mr Bourne and no doubt a long line of others, even Rupert Murdoch showing some green tinges lately.