December 27, 2008 | Graham

Blog against MSM – are they both wrong

This naturally follows-on from my previous post. Jennifer Marohasy is a blogger who frequently challenges the majority position and as a result often receives information that is ignored by the mainstream. Two years ago she was the first with video evidence that Greenpeace had rammed the Japanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru. This contradicted propaganda from Greenpeace which had been uncritically accepted by the ABC and The Age.
Today the ABC carries a story that the Sea Shepherd’s ship the Steve Irwin has collided with, or rammed, another Japanese whaler, the Kaiko Maru. Marohasy’s blog also carries the story, but more confidently asserting the Japanese version.
The blog has photos from the Japanese vessel, and the ABC from the Sea Shepherd. Marohasy is a supporter of whaling and has photos of herself eating whale meat on her blog. You can tell the ships apart because the Japanese one is painted white, and the Sea Shepherd black – white hats and black hats, depending on your point of view.
The Sea Shepherds like to portray themselves as piratical, and the Japanese like to portray themselves as victims. It would suit both sides if there had been a collision at sea for totally different, but symbiotic, reasons. But has there? Or have both the ABC and Marohasy gone with their presumptions.
What makes me suspicious is that there is no footage that shows a collision. Two years ago, first there were photos, then there were videos. The videos, particularly this Japanese one and this one were conclusive. But there were photos of damaged bows as well.
This time none of the photos shows a collision or its aftermath, and the Japanese video, while it shows the Steve Irwin approaching at full-steam from port, also shows it veering to starboard, and appears to show it passing to the stern of the Kaiko Maru. A dangerous game, but no collision.
Is this “safety first” journalism, or is it “identity” journalism? We won’t know until we see more photographic evidence, but the lack of it at this stage would suggest caution would be best practice.

Posted by Graham at 5:21 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Media


  1. On “safety first” and blogging, I blog to get some basic ideas of socialism into the ether and to develop my own ideas.
    I think the Main Stream Media is too narrow in its world views. Obviously there will be differences but that’s a bit like saying the Coalition and the ALP fundamentally differ on managing capitalism. They don’t differ at all on the fundamentals.
    Jack Waterford in today’s Canberra Times argues the thing that newspapers can give is analysis and explanation. Hmmm. That’s true, but most of it is so anodyne it is no wonder many people flee to the net to fnd more challenging and explanatory analysis.

    Comment by John Passant — December 27, 2008 @ 7:04 pm

  2. John Passant,socialism will not save us,no matter how noble it’s tenets.
    Ultimately,it is the individual who must take responsibility and with this current economic catastrophy it should be a philosophy of evolution rather than revolution.You only have revolutions when a system is totally dysfunctional.We have to build on past tried and tested tenets or suffer oblivian.
    There is a lot wrong with capitalism and the motivation of those at the apex of this insecurity of humanity,who seek power to appease their insecurities.
    With the current economic collapse,the forces of religion, socialism and facism are mustering their forces to take centre stage on the plain of our weakness.None of these forces respect true democracy.True democracy could be instigated tomorrow with the power of the internet.It won’t happen since the balance of power would belong to the people and the egotists would be left to look in the mirror and accept the drudgery of survival.

    Comment by Ayjay — December 28, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  3. Hi Graham,
    I think you make some good points.
    I’ve asked the Japanese for video footage and been told there is none of the collision.
    Presumably there is little damage to show – or there would at least be a post collision video showing it.
    In an interview with Kristen Gelineau at, Paul Watson is quoted saying his boat only “lightly brushed” the whalers vessel.
    Interestingly in the same interview he describes bottle-throwing as harmless.

    Comment by Jennifer Marohasy — December 29, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

  4. Jen, I wish the MSM would be as transparent as you are being. I never once heard the Age clarify how their reporter was conned by Greenpeace 2 years ago.
    Not that I’m suggesting this is a con so much as over-statement.
    The games the Sea Shepherd were playing certainly looked dangerous – I don’t think I’d want to be doing it with bits of pack ice floating around! And it would be pretty easy to have a bit of fender to fender contact which wouldn’t show-up amongst all the bruises that ships get in their daily grind.

    Comment by Graham Young — December 29, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

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