Earlier this year, Japanese whalers in the Antarctic were accused of ramming a Greenpeace boat. The evidence suggested it was the other way around, that Greenpeace had rammed the Japanese.
Nevermind, when Greenpeace returned to Australia they were given a pat on the back by the Environment Minister Ian Campbell. He said in Parliament:
“Over summer, we as a nation have witnessed the Greenpeace ship not only visiting the Southern Ocean and running a policy of harassment against the whalers but also, very constructively, sending photographic images of the whale slaughter by the Japanese in the Southern Ocean all around the world. I had the great pleasure of meeting Shane Rattenbury and the Greenpeace team in my office [at Parliament House in Canberra] just before question time. I think other members and senators will have the chance to meet them. I must say that the work they did over the summer was in distinct contrast to the actions of Paul Watson on the Sea Shepherd, who I think set back the cause of whaling by unnecessarily taking potentially illegal action, causing collisions and potentially putting life at risk at sea.”
While the Minister may have preferred the footage from Greenpeace, the Sea Sheperds were also their with cameras rolling.
According to a recent Media Watch program, the Sea Shepherd was paid
$70,000 “a decent chunk of money” to send video footage back to Channel Seven. In fact a deal was done before they had even got to the Antarctic.
Media Watch concluded that:
“Whatever you think about cheque book journalism or whaling – it’s not Seven’s job to help Sea Shepherd stage the news events that Seven is buying exclusive access to!”
Perhaps both Greenpeace and the Sea Sheperd were providing us with a form of reality television dressed-up as news?