60 Minutes Plumbs New Depths

Channel Nine’s ’60 Minutes’, which has exemplified the demise of television as a medium of anything but fluff, snuff, soft-porn and sordid commercial interests, was in typically shameless form last night, screening an interview with David Hick’s wife and children.

They were ignored, largely forgotten. In all the hand-wringing, all the furore about David Hicks, how often did you hear about his family. About Bonnie and Terry, the little kids he left behind.

In all the 60 Minutes-induced ‘furore’ about this family, does anyone mention that it was the US Government, with our own Government’s complicity, that kept Hicks away from his children for five unnecessary and unnecessarily cruel years?

Hicks was no doubt watching on tv as his children were depicted, standing a ‘safe distance’ from his place of confinement, discussing their feelings for their father.

TARA BROWN: There are many Australians who are very angry with what he’s done.

BONNIE SPARROW: Yeah.

TARA BROWN: Should Australia be angry?

BONNIE SPARROW: Yeah.

TARA BROWN: Why is that?

BONNIE SPARROW: Because he fought against us and decided to go with the Taliban people.

TARA BROWN: But do you think your father is a terrorist?

BONNIE SPARROW: Nuh, well, no, not really.

TARA BROWN: If I was to say to you, ‘What is a terrorist?

TERRY SPARROW: Oh, they’re people with tea towels on their head, they kill people, they’re suicide bombers. That’s all I know.

TARA BROWN: Do you think your dad’s a terrorist?

TERRY SPARROW: I got told that he went and trained with the terrorists.

TARA BROWN: Well do you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing?

TERRY SPARROW: Bad.

TARA BROWN: And what do you think about your dad doing a bad thing?

TERRY SPARROW: Disappointed.

TARA BROWN: Disappointed. It must be confusing because you obviously love him, don’t you, because he’s your dad?

I hope Tara Brown’s child isn’t disappointed with her mother’s career choices. Jodie Sparrow displayed the intelligence of a stunned mullet:

TARA BROWN: And did he explain to you in any way what his life was?

JODIE SPARROW: No, he wouldn’t tell me anything. He just said, ‘It’s not suitable’ and ‘You wouldn’t understand’ and all that sort of stuff. So, maybe that’s when he decided ” when he converted to that, um, religion.

TARA BROWN: To Islam?

JODIE SPARROW: Yeah, yeah, that’s it, yeah.

She and her children have been exploited in a cruel exercise of freak-show journo-voyeurism. Perhaps they were ‘ignored, largely forgotten’ because anyone who spoke to them realised they had not the cognitive ability to grapple with the issues and should be left in peace. Channel Nine’s fury at being no longer the one appears to know no bounds.

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