Examples of Media Bias

Dec 16th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Bias in the media, examples of Islamist bias on television have Ross railing.

TVOne's Biased Coverage of Lia's Persecution

As you no doubt know, Lia of the eccentric Eden cult has been slung back in jail purely because of her religious beliefs.

TVOne, which put up a reasonable job during the run-up to the Bali Beasts' despatch to eternal damnation, badly blotted its copy-book today 16/12 when, at around 8am, the morning news programme had two guests to provide 'balanced' discussion of Lia's plight.

Lia Eden
Lia Eden

One was the fairly sedate chairman of the establishment bigot body, the Mullah Council/Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI), while to offer an alternative perspective, they had none other than that master of Islamic fancy dress, Mr. Abdurrahman Jaelani, the Front Pembela Islam (FPI) lawyer.

Readers will scarcely need me to report that neither showed any interest in Lia's right to practice and publicise her religion (which I personally think is pretty weird) but even I was gob-smacked when the FPI primitive declared that the death penalty should be given serious consideration if the poor lady didn't show proper repentance and knuckle under to the demands of Islamic fanaticism. The two mediaevals departed, then, in the interests of fair play, no doubt, TVOne brought on a man upset because his wife had signed up to Lia's sect.

Not one of Lia's followers was given equal (or any other) time - possibly because they were behind bars for their beliefs. Nor were any of the respectable citizens, including Muslims with active brains, who had been prominent in protesting at Lia's incarceration a few years ago (some of you may recall that she and her followers were seized by police who ignored a howling mob of Muslim savages in the street outside her headquarters, a classic case of police action against the intimidated, not the intimidators).

The media have been wretchedly neglectful of their duty to champion freedom, acting instead as the propaganda arm of the establishment in this country, which may, or may not, have "conservative" or "radical" religious beliefs, or none at all (given their piggy self-aggrandisement, I suspect the latter) but they obviously deem it a good bet to embrace or at least condone fanatic perspectives and exemplars.

Other Examples

Dorce

Only last week on TVRI, the government channel, the concert for the Armed Forces featured as a compere none other than Dorce, she/he/it that starred as celebrity mourner for mass-murderer Imam Samoedra and said he died a "martyr".

Religious Soap Operas

There is also the use of sinetrons to infect viewers with fanatic sympathies, like that TPI garbage I've mentioned elsewhere - I'm sure other readers can cite other examples, since I can't watch all channels (nor indeed would I want to).

Bule Converts

This is not new. Not long after Metro TV took to the air, they had one of those charming programmes about bules (westerners) who had found their true calling by abandoning their previous faith and converting to Islam.

Fine, that's their right, and Metro had the right to cover their satisfaction with their new lives, one of them saying how nice it was to have his wife kiss his hand before he went to work each day. I was not alone in regarding this as Muslim propaganda - an email comment was published thereafter from somebody who asked if equal attention would be given to conversions in the other direction.

The avuncular Dalton said that they'd be looking at that. As far as I know, and I used to watch Metro news almost daily, no coverage of happy converts from Islam to Christianity (or Buddhism or Hinduism) ever appeared. Maybe I missed it, or Metro didn't have time to squeeze it in between vital matters such as cake-baking in Palembang or back-street batik factories, or maybe it had something to do with the fact that Christians don't threaten to kill converts to Islam, whereas cretinous Muslims often demand death for "apostates".

So we have police and politicians playing the Islamist game, and a supine media tagging along. It is not a promising scenario for Indonesia, is it?


23 Comments on “Examples of Media Bias”

  1. avatar joao says:

    As you perhaps already noticed, (most of) Indonesian TV community are irrationally obsessed with ratings. Now, if you combine it with the popularity of the Malay culture-specific latah syndrome propagated by celebrity bancis, lack of goodwill to educate and innovate, and shortcut mentality, this is what you get.
    The disastrously low level of widespread and accessible quality education in Indonesia only make things worse. We are doomed. (SIGHS) Capek deh!

  2. avatar diego says:

    I guess malay (melayu) is one of the so-called left-over races. Together with arabs (despicable race) they make a good combination of despicable left-over race.

  3. avatar diego says:

    Allow me to extend the coverage of despicable race. When I said arab, I really meant semites, that includes the jews.

  4. avatar hary says:

    Diego, considering that you made those comments at 2 in the morning, I will put it down to sleeplessness rather than stupidity!!!

  5. avatar Saipul says:

    Yeah, even I have been surprised at the abundance of stories focusing on bules (and others) who converted to Islam. The strange thing, however, is that Indonesia was 2% Christian when the first census was held in 1961 but is now 11% Christian. On the other hand, Islam has fallen from its peak of 88% in 1990 to 86% today. Surely they should be able to find some examples of Muslims converting to Christianity.

  6. avatar Ross says:

    First, having demanded fairness of the media, I must be fair too and let IM see TVOne’s reply to a complaint about their Lia coveragre. They seem to have made an effort, so good on ’em.

    Terimakasih Untuk Surat Anda, sudah pasti kami telah mengusahakan untuk menghadirkan pihak Lia Aminnudin, namun karena baru saja Ibu Lia ditahan, jadi sama sekali tidak ada dari pihak Ibu Lia untuk hadir di Wisma Nusantara. Kamis, 18 Desember Anda dapat mengikuti perbincangan kami dengan pihak Ibu Lia, dalm hal ini diwakilkan oleh Bapak Kelik selaku Juru Bicara resmi dari Pihak ibu Lia. Selalu kami coba terus untuk hadirkan yang terbaik dan berbeda bagi Anda. Salam Hangat, Tim ApaKabar Indonesia

    Yes, Saipul, very many, and no doubt many more if Western guys got their spouses to stand up to bigoted prospective in-laws ( or, indeed, had any real faith in their own religions).
    In fact there was a huge conversion back in the 70s, which Ricklef’s book mentions, much of it, it appears, the result of the 1965 events.

  7. avatar funny says:

    With the fact that Christians don’t threaten to kill converts to Islam, whereas cretinous Muslims often demand death for “apostates”.

    ^

    Could be the reason why….. that and burning the tv station and homes along with churches…………

  8. avatar Cukurungan says:

    is that Indonesia was 2% Christian when the first census was held in 1961 but is now 11% Christian. On the other hand, Islam has fallen from its peak of 88% in 1990 to 86% today. Surely they should be able to find some examples of Muslims converting to Christianity.

    It is nothing to do with convertion religion but it is likely problem on census accuracy because even 350 years Christian Rule in our land we especially javanese, sundanese, melayu, Padang , madura are not stupid to exchange our own belief in one God with three wives to other strange belief three God with one wive only.

    kalo orang pinter pasti pilih yg enaklah… buat kami satu Tuhan sudah lebih dari cukup biar nggak repot tetapi istri bisa 3 atau 4

  9. avatar Melodic says:

    To Ross McKay,

    Do you know that most of those converting to Christianity are from poor and -sorry- uneducated people? They convert to Christianity because they are offered with mundane properties by missionaries. Just a very very few people turn to Christianity because of “heart-calling” or “self-awareness.” They, as what you call them as “apostates” or “musryrikin,” only pursue a mere mundanity as turning to Christianity promises mundane wealth. And how about those converting to Islam, or I would like to call them as “mualaf”?

    Now just compare, I am really sure you watch that programme very often. So Let me ask you, from what kind of background are they? As far as I know, most of those converting to Islam are from rich and highly educated people. Most of them said they cannot find tranquility and peace of mind even though they live in wealth. Most of those turning to Islam said that they just want to gain peace of mind and harmonious live, they no longer need to pursue mundanity and be materialist.

    Ross, discussing religion in Indonesia is a very sensitive case. So let me suggest you: please be wise to put your opinion and ideas into paragraphs if you are going to deliver religious cases discussion in Indonesian media. Religion is inseparable part for many Indonesian, of course it’s totally differ from your culture where religion is not part of state. I am ver very sure that you likewise, will not be please to know someone are gossiping about your personal secret, so it’s just the same as when you are discussing Islam because Islam has been part of many Muslims’ personal and habit.

    Best regards,

    Melodic

  10. avatar tuwaga says:

    Do you know that most of those converting to Christianity are from poor and -sorry- uneducated people? They convert to Christianity because they are offered with mundane properties by missionaries.

    most of those converting to Islam are from rich and highly educated people.

    WOW.. where do you got this MOST idea from? you must have done your research.

  11. avatar Ross says:

    Thank you Melodic, for your advice. I use paragraphs when I’m not typing fast. Some of us have to work,too.
    Islam is not Indonesia’s ‘personal secret.’ It is a public matter, all the more because it seeks to dictate to non-Muslims. Like recently when, because you had Idul Adha, we couldn’t go out to a bar for a drink, as if we were somehow intruding on your observance.

    If people wish to change their religion, for whatever reasons, I strongly support their right to do so, whether Islam to Christianity, or vice-versa. I may think their reasons are foolish, or indeed very wise, but that’s up to them. What is disgraceful is for any man, or woman, to threaten them with death for doing so.

    Incidentally, returning to the media, I saw ANTV today, a talk-show, whose guest star was the Reverend Puji the Paedophile! Melodic, tell me why, fom your Islamic perspective, normal decencies are flouted and because the guy has a goat-beard and gives away lots of money, he is beyond the law.
    Anyway,he looked very shifty, and his child-bride was shown saying how happy she was and would people leave her alone to do as she pleased.
    Children also want to try whisky, play on busy roads, and eat sweets till they puke. Do we let them harm themselves? Indonesia’s authorities evidently think so , in the case of Ulfa.

  12. avatar Oigal says:

    Hey Melodic,

    Firstly let me say I am not a Ross admirer by any means (and I am sure he will confirm that) but it this case perhaps I may take the liberty to respond as well.

    I have no doubt “incentives” are often offered to people to convert to and from religions as it is all part of the great numbers game. Why just down the road from our house, the Saudi Arabian Govertment has made a huge grant to build a new Mosque and yet another organisation has provided “sit down” money for all the menfolk in the village as long as they follow particular strict of Islam (full covering for women mandatory despite the fact is has nothing to do with Islam or Indonesian Adat).

    As for poor and uneducated, let me be the first to say those kinds people are the grist for all religions but you are on shakey ground indeed to infer Islam is for smart people and christianity is for the dumb people (although, in my more cynical moods I would concur that religion in general is the crutch used in the absence of rational thought). Tell me how many books were translated into Arabic this decade as compared to other languages? Where are the worlds top educational institutions located? You can see where this is going can’t you?

    “They, as what you call them as “apostates” or “musryrikin,” only pursue a mere mundanity as turning to Christianity promises mundane wealth” That’s rather presumptious of you isn’t it or are you really able to read all those minds…Isn’t it written somewhere and I para phrase “to my religion mine and to your religion yours”

    I am afraid that I must agree with Ross that Religion is no longer personal in Indonesia, in fact it has become violently intrustive in many cases.

    BTW..No doubt Lia is a nut job but who cares as long as the nuts stay her yard..

  13. Interesting to see that a “cult’ like Lia Eden, which practically never harmed other people, is banned from Indonesia, and the government made sure of that by using the necessary force, while violent “religious” groups like FPI is left alone in peace and supported by… err.. no idea whom, actually, since most Indonesians are wary of their antics.

    Another bizarre thing from my country…

  14. avatar ET says:

    Melodic said

    They convert to Christianity because they are offered with mundane properties by missionaries.Just a very very few people turn to Christianity because of “heart-calling” or “self-awareness.”

    and one paragraph further he/she said

    Religion is inseparable part for many Indonesian, of course it’s totally differ from your culture where religion is not part of state.

    So if I understood well, religion is only an inseparable part for an Indonesian Muslim, while an Indonesian Christian is someone who has sold his soul in return for mundane properties.

    What a nice compliment, Melodic, for your Christian fellow Indonesians who may think they still live under the Pancasila state philosophy.

    Typical Muslim ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

  15. avatar Ross says:

    Thanks, Oigal, for your sensible contribution above, and I do confirm that we are not natural allies on much of anything.
    We’ve had a few good fights. But to me, a more significant foe by far is the likes of Melodic, who thinks because so many of his fellow-countrymen and women are steeped in primitivism, that we should hold our tongues and let them fester in their arrogance and ignorance. Cianjur on tv news last Saturday -Muslim swine attacking an Ahmadiyah mosque, for no reason except sectariian hatred.
    Melodic, are you proud of them- hopefully not. But will you do anything about it- probably not. Most ‘moderate’ Muslims are either indifferent or gutless and refuse to confront the radicals in the streets, where it matters…and Lord knows the cops – if and when they show up- are just as bad.

  16. avatar Lanang says:

    Ross, acute observation, but you might also want to consider the fact that religion sells. It isn’t exactly about Islam, it’s more about the demographic of Islam, in a similar way that in-the-name-of-jeeesus commercialism has been centering around Christianity in the West as well. Rightwingers ala Indonesia.
    Semitic religions are turning to media whores as we speak.

    Melodic,

    Do you know that most of those converting to Christianity are from poor and -sorry- uneducated people? They convert to Christianity because they are offered with mundane properties by missionaries.

    Missionaries of the past aren’t some fat priests preaching on prosperity. You’re possibly referring to synagogues of the present which have been growing rapidly in numbers within the past decade.
    Other than that, it’s just your paranoia.

  17. avatar Lanang says:

    referring to synagogues of the present

    Correction, it’s synod, not synagogue.

  18. avatar Lanang says:

    Further correction.

    are turning to media

    are turning into

    missionaries of the past aren’t some

    missionaries of the past weren’t some

    Fcuk it, I was nervous.

  19. avatar Pakmantri says:

    @Lanang,

    You must be smoking some weird stuff there, eh? 😀

    @Melodic,

    You haven’t smoke anything, and yet you are high already. 🙁

    Peace.

  20. avatar Lanang says:

    Ah, not any weirder than your rokok menyan, Pakmantri.

  21. avatar dl says:

    Melodic, most of those rich educated westerners converting to Islam (I’m included in that group) did so for marriage only and have no desire to have anything to do with Islam. When I did my conversion at the local KUA, they were more interested in how many boxes of pastries I was bringing, how many chairs I was buying and that my paperwork was in order than if I wanted to actually be a muslim. Not once did anyone ask is I actually believed in Islam or Allah. They just had me repeat a phrase in Arabic that I didn’t understand and sign two copies of an official government form. I celebrated my new conversion by going out with my fiance to have a bbq pork sandwich and a beer, secure in the fact that my 30 minutes of being a muslim secured my marriage certificate from KUA.

  22. avatar schmerly says:

    dl.. Well done, it shows what a load of old bollocks it all is.

  23. avatar zekky says:

    ne of those charming programmes about bules (westerners) who had found their true calling by abandoning their previous faith and converting to Islam.

    I wonder if TV also shows Muslim-to-Christian converts.

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