Culture

People Are Furious That Triple J Decided To Give Airtime To A White Nationalist

How good's balanced journalism?

Triple J’s Hack is in hot water this morning after deciding to ask a white nationalist for his take on the Charlottesville rally on the weekend. You know, the protest where a man associated with the alt-right drove a car into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against white supremacists, killing 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer and injuring many others — an act of violence Donald Trump took several days to explicitly condemn.

Anyway, some bright spark at triple j decided that the voice that’s really missing from this conversation is the white supremacist one, and brought rally organiser Eli Mosley in for a chat. How good’s balanced journalism?

“We actually managed to track down one of the organisers of the Unite The Right protest,” Hack host Tom Tilley said on the program. He then proceeded to give Mosley a platform to argue that the Unite The Right protestors wearing military gear and carrying flaming torches was purely for “defensive reasons”, and that the alt-right was “forced into violence”.

Regarding James Fields, the driver of the car that ploughed into the crowds, Mosley said “he was in that street crowded with all the Antifa, Black Lives Matter people, and we’ve seen his car attacked. I understand a young kid like that panicking in that situation”.

The “young kid” in question has been charged with murder.

Mosley then denied that he and the other Unite The Right protestors were Nazi sympathisers, saying that “anyone who’s pro-white in this country, or any country that’s been historically white, is labelled KKK and Nazi no matter what we do.”

Tilley did not take the opportunity to point out that being militantly pro-white is actually all you need to do to be labelled as KKK.

Anyway, people are rightly furious about the fact that in 2017, this is what our national broadcaster is defining as balance. You can listen to the episode for yourself here, but honestly don’t bother — these tweets sum it up pretty succinctly:

In a statement to Junkee, and ABC spokesperson defended the decision to give Mosley a platform.

“Triple j’s topical program Hack went to great lengths to present all relevant views in its coverage yesterday of recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia,” the spokesperson said.  The program included perspectives from all sides involved including the Unite the Right rally organiser Jason Kessler;  Charlotteville’s Daily Progress reporter Lauren Berg; the Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe; as well as an unnamed counter-protester.”

“Numerous requests for interviews were put to those involved in both sides of the protest.  While all counter-protesters declinedHack’s invitation a rally organiser, Eli Mosely, agreed to be interviewed. A counter-protester will be interviewed on today’s program to air at 5.30 pm. Hack believes it is important to hear all viewpoints to fully understand the events that developed in Charlottesville over the weekend and will continue the Charlottesville conversation in today’s edition. This is in keeping with the ABC’s commitment to fundamental democratic principles including freedom of speech.”