The recent arrest of an Australian 60 Minutes TV crew in Lebanon, has had (Australian) media outlets outraged that a TV crew could be arrested for reporting the news.
What they gloss over in their outrage is that the crew were filming a kidnapping and abduction of two children of an Australian woman who was in Beirut with their Lebanese father. True, the father had failed to return the children after an access visit, but still a kidnap and abduction has occurred.
The TV crew was not just there filming the abduction. No, it is alleged that the 60 Minutes producers had actually financed the abduction by hiring a professional company to carry out the grab. it is alleged that AU$115,000 was paid by Channel 9.
That makes the TV crew complicit in the action, and an accessory to kidnapping and abduction, assault and conspiracy, all serious crime in the Lebanon.
The mother and the TV crew could find themselves in detention in Lebanon for some time to come.
If found guilty, they could face up to 20 years in jail.
Dr Denis Muller, a media ethics expert at University of Melbourne, believes Channel 9 did the story because they thought it would “rate its socks off”.
“An Australian mum was rescuing children, bringing them back to a great life in Australia, that’s what it was all about,” he said.
“I can’t imagine Channel 9 looked into the risk and I can’t imagine they would have knowingly put their staff at risk like this”. But it appears they did just that.
However, the reporter at the heart of the issue, Tara Brown, has maintained a level of integrity stating, “I cannot talk, I don’t want to jeopardise anything. It has been fortifying to get messages of support, support from my family, friends and colleagues. I am being treated extremely well and the other women here are incredibly generous and kind.”
Will this action receive unbiased reporting from the Australian media?
Not bloody likely, mate!