The Right Honourable Alexander "Lamb Of Peace" Downer's Speech to the National Newspaper Publishers' Conference. Via the Road to Surfdom:
My point is this: in a grown-up society such as our own, the media cannot expect to get away with parading falsehoods as truths, or ignoring salient facts because they happen to be inconvenient to the line of argument - or narrative - that particular journalists, or media organisations, might choose to adopt on any given controversy or issue.There's more... unfortunately....
There were the widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross ambulance.
In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny.
After closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax.
Yet some of the world’s most prestigious media outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact - unchallenged, unquestioned.
Anyone who doubts my personal commitment to a free media only needs to look at my website...AAARGGGHH!! PUKE TIME!!!!
Australian people would not support any government that conducted foreign policy divorced from the values which underpin our own society...
...the desire for freedom is not an accident of one's birthplace. It's universal...
Indonesia is a good example of a successful transition to democracy and also what Australia does to support democratic development... The success to date in the Aceh peace process is a major achievement...
When we talk of values, this Government is unashamed of promoting Australia and its value... not necessarily as a model to adopt, but at least as an example of a successful country from whom others can learn.
... there is no longer a distinction between the domestic message and the international message... we work away at our public diplomacy programs to build an accurate and positive image of contemporary Australia.
We do this by bringing out prominent journalists from overseas.
For example, this month we've hosted Mark Steyn-