The overwhelmingly pungent air of secrecy surrounding offshore detention centres has been inviting debate ever since the Howard days, which unfortunately mostly consists of journalists demanding information and government at the time giving them jack shit.
Over the years, this governmental stonewalling of journalists to… y’know… do their jobs has only gotten worse. This unhappy day and age brings us both the Border Force Act (which threatens anyone speaking out about abuse with two years imprisonment) and ministers who blatantly refuse to speak about “on-water matters”, an umbrella term that extends to all things asylum seeker-related but not, unfortunately, to the budgie smuggler-clad escapades of Tony Abbott.
Charlie Pickering took on the cloak and dagger bullshit around asylum seeker reporting last night, delving into a short but bitter history of the Australian government preventing proper reporting around asylum seekers.
The problem is so bad, in fact, that The Weekly calculated more people had walked on the moon than journalists had walked on the grounds of Nauru and Manus Island. [One step backwards for man, one clusterfuck of stumbles for mankind, etc.]
In his segment last night, he asked the important questions, like why do we know so little about offshore detention, and why did the Dalai Lama not get Karl Stefanovic’s obviously hilarious and deeply original joke? Mysteries. The world’s full of ’em – just some in more places than others.
FYI Scott Morrison, at least, has bravely defied the government’s policy of not reporting on on-water matters:
Was good to be back with the Torres Strait Australian Border Force Team yesterday – they’re doing an excellent job pic.twitter.com/x2gThGOOND
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) August 26, 2015