Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Zembla’s defence

After a week of heated debates and media coverage (read hype), the Hirsi Ali affair seems to have subsided… for now. Manage to come across a statement published by the producers of Zembla (the current-affairs programme that unleashed the storm).

To be fair, I think this is relevant to put the whole issue into perspective.

Why Hirsi Ali?

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not just any refugee. She was the spokesperson for integration of a political party that is the architect and executor of a strict and restrtive immigation policy. The VVD is a ruling party which gave a strict minister for Immigration Affairs to the Balkenended Cabinet II [current cabinet]”


Did it not occur to anyone that the Dutch government allowed an example of [class] tiered-justice to walk around in its own parliament? Hirsi Ali can count on influential friends. The thousands of asylum seekers that are being deported from our country cannot. That means that [there is a case] of hypocrisy and of an unjust situation.”

[NOTE: The makers of ZEMBLA is the public broadcasting network VARA, Vereeniging Arbeiders Radio Amateurs (Association of Radio Amateur of Workers) it comes as no surprise that its viewpoints are often grounded in 'leftist' terminoglogy and ideals]

But this was no news!

“Is that was so, then we had in any case the scoop of a ‘programme without news’ that nevertheless managed to control the new completely for a number of days. But new concrete facts that were revealed in ‘The Holy Ayaan’ [name of the episode about AHA]. It was for the first time that the past of Ayaan on the whole was laid down bare. Furthermore the episode created the topical interest in that it unleashed a discussion about the consistency of the points of view maintained by the VVD with regards to the asylum policy.”

Responsible journalism?

“[But] the question of what we wanted is journalistically not relevant. We are journalists and not lobbyists. But then ‘tall trees catch a lot of wind’. Tall trees should catch a lot of wind. Journalists should check authority, wherever that authority may be. And ZEMBLA will continue to do that."

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