First Dog on the Moon: Art imitates life on Guano Island

Who is Free speech champion Biff Bootface?
Was Biff the press secretary for Fauntleroy Velveteen-Ballcup?
Did Biff get privileged access to Nauru?
Did Fauntleroy 'do a Malcolm' when Peter 
Dutton put his foot in it again?
Who is the Leunig Leftist refuge advocate?
Why does FDOM think Pamela Curr is an advocado?
First Dog on the moon reports from Guano Island
Art Imitates Life Imitates Art
First dog on the moon

5 thoughts on “First Dog on the Moon: Art imitates life on Guano Island

  1. Open letter to the Editor of THE AUSTRALIAN ... says:
     WBT does not usually carrying reports 
    from Mass Murdoch papers, less still from 
    their editorials, but it is getting personal 
    when they attack Pamela Curr who was on the 
    phone to Abyan when Biff BootFace 
    arrived unannounced at her doorstep ...
                  - Ian Curr

    Only one mainstream reporter, other than Barry, recirculated Curr’s hysterical claims — Tom Allard from The Sydney Morning Herald.

    ... and what of the report by First Dog on the Moon 
    in THE GUARDIAN? Oh THE AUSTRALIAN doesn't recognise 
    The Guardian as mainstream (even though
    it is in the Top Ten online performance, 
    News is number one).
    What about Abyan, what about the refugees?
    This is all smokescreen to cover-up inhumane policy,
    isn't it?
                                      -- Ian Curr WBT

    This article is from the October 28 issue of The Australian Digital Edition

    As it carries out its chosen mission of attempting to corral all journalists’ coverage of hot-button issues such as climate change, border protection and gay marriage within its arbitrary lines of acceptable political thought, the ABC’s Media Watch doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in what we used to refer to, simply, as the facts. Given Media Watch has expressed concern about the lack of journalistic scrutiny of the offshore processing of asylumseekers , we might have expected it to examine Chris Kenny’s breakthrough visit to Nauru and exclusive coverage (which, we might add, Kenny leveraged to press for greater media access). The program could have opined on Kenny’s revelations about refugee children boycotting school, some refugees intimidating others over trumpeting their success stories, asbestos problems in Nauruan buildings or, indeed, how Kenny relayed the personal wishes of the alleged rape victim and pregnant refugee known as Abyan. ABC viewers might have been interested in Kenny’s impressions of the refugee processing camps, the wellbeing of children or the attempts to integrate refugees into the Nauruan community. But none of this took up any of Media Watch’s time.

    “We have no problem with Chris Kenny getting a visa,” host Paul Barry said. “We’re very glad he did.” That’s a relief — perhaps to save time, in future journalists should run their travel plans past Barry for prior approval. Barry also said he thought Kenny had “done a good job” . Oh shucks, that’s bound to please our associate editor. Still, with those words of approval out of the way, surely it was time to discuss the issues Kenny raised in extensive reporting in our pages and on Sky News. Not so.

    Rather, Media Watch focused on wild accusations made against Kenny by one zealous refugee activist who was not even in Nauru. Pamela Curr’s claim — from more than 4000km away — that Kenny forced his way into Abyan’s home was not only absurd and defamatory but denied emphatically as a “malicious lie” by Kenny. Not one of a half-dozen witnesses corroborated Curr’s claim, which is also undone by photos of Kenny standing at Abyan’s doorway while speaking to her before he was invited inside. No one has disputed a word of the crucial and compelling words Kenny quoted directly from his conversations with Abyan — least of all refugee advocates who were glad to have her wishes on the record. Curr’s claim she spoke to Kenny while he was in Abyan’s home is simply wrong — he was not invited into her home on that day, Abyan instead choosing to step outside for a photo.

    Only one mainstream reporter, other than Barry, recirculated Curr’s hysterical claims — Tom Allard from The Sydney Morning Herald. Allard has never been to Nauru and has never spoken to Abyan. His report referred to “detention centres” a half-dozen times yet none exist on Nauru. His only firsthand account of this episode came from Kenny but his coverage preferred the version of events pushed by Curr, a known agitator who was in Melbourne at the time.

    The Australian is pleased to have shed some light on conditions and issues in Nauru through Kenny’s work. His telling reportage underscores why we need to see more serious journalists in Nauru. And in Australia too.

  2. Exclusive Nauru access for The Australian says:

    “Last week, Chris Kenny from The Australian newspaper, became the first journalist allowed to visit Nauru in 18 months. And it has left people asking why, when so many others have been denied?
    But now to more serious matters and the fate of asylum seekers on Nauru which has been in the headlines again.

    “Rape refugee seeks new abortion location
    The Somalian refugee at the centre of a controversy over her rape claims and failed Australian abortion bid has revealed she does still want an abortion but not in Australia.
    Chris Kenny
    Nauru — The Australian, 20th October, 2015

    “As you can see from that byline and this video The Australian’s Chris Kenny gained exclusive access last week to the tiny island of Nauru, on which 800 refugees and 300 asylum seekers are being held
    Kenny also got Exclusive access to the Somalian refugee Abyan, who’s at the centre of a political storm, after claiming she was raped.
    “The Australian found Abyan (not her real name) in a cramped room just across from the beach in one of the many clumps of make-shift refugee accommodation dotted around Nauru.

    “Yes, I still want an abortion,” she said, agitated and distressed by the controversy her case has provoked. — The Australian, 20th October, 2015

    “The next day, Kenny was back with another front-page exclusive, to take the story one step further.

    “Refugee declines to report rape to police — The Australian, 21st October, 2015
    “And this time there were pictures taken at the scene:
    “Police arrive yesterday to interview Abyan, who also agreed to speak to The Australian’s Chris Kenny — The Australian, 21st October, 2015

    “All in all, it was quite a scoop.
    But some were outraged.
    On Twitter, Queensland Labor MP Graham Perrett called Kenny obscene, insensitive and a grub, before deleting his tweet and apologising after threats of legal action.
    And Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre also went in hard.
    Curr was on the phone to Abyan in Nauru during Kenny’s visit on Tuesday and claims she told him to leave. Immediately afterwards she posted this on Twitter.

    Chris Kenny forcing way into Abyan room w Nauru police outside
    Abyan crying no no no picture by force go away I am sick — Twitter, @pamelacurr, 20th October, 2015

    “Soon after that, Curr emailed friends, supporters and the media with details of what she allegedly said to the Australian’s reporter:
    “I said “Is that Chris Kenny?”
    He replied “Speaking”
    I said – get out of the room immediately – leave now. Kenny said words to the effect – I am talking to Abyan, we are having a conversation.

    I replied that I could hear her asking him to leave – so go now. — Pamela Curr, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, email to media, 20th October, 2015

    “On Thursday morning Kenny rang Curr to tell her she’d be hearing from his lawyers unless she withdrew the accusation.
    And indeed she now has a legal letter.
    That same day he told Crikey:

    ““What this woman, Pamela Curr, has written is maliciously false. It is a malicious lie …” — Crikey, 22nd October, 2015

    “That afternoon he also denied the claims to Raf Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne:

    “CHRIS KENNY: You know full well that there are people out there who have been suggesting that I forced my way into the home of an alleged rape victim. Now, that is a disgraceful slur upon me and I’m, I won’t let it stand … because it is a lie. Now the point is we all understand that Abyan is in a very, very, difficult situation and I treated her with the utmost respect. — 774 ABC Melbourne, Drive with Rafael Epstein, 22nd October, 2015

    “That for the moment is where it all rests—with Kenny threatening legal action and hotly denying he’s done anything wrong.
    Meanwhile, refugee advocates and some journalists are also upset Kenny got onto Nauru at all.
    Because the island has been a media-free zone for more than two years, since the BBC’s Nick Bryant was allowed to visit in June 2013:

    “NICK BRYANT: These remote tropical island detention centres were supposed to be a thing of the past. But now they’re back at the centre of Australia’s toxic immigration debate. — BBC, Newsnight, 21st June, 2013

    “Since then no media have got onto the island and those who’ve sought visas have been stonewalled.
    Photographer Mike Bowers, who applied in late 2013, told Media Watch:

    “They were slow getting back to you and would obstruct you at every turn. It was like working in molasses – everything was slow and sticky. — Mike Bowers, Photographer, 22nd October, 2015

    “Bowers was told it would cost $8000 to apply—it had been $200—and the fee was not refundable.
    And since then only a handful have asked.
    Less than two weeks before Kenny got in, Al Jazeera was told by the Nauruan government

    “Media visa is not approved. — Nauru Government, Email to Al Jazeera, 9th October, 2015

    “And when Al Jazeera’s producer pointed out she had not yet formally applied, she was told:

    “All media application is not approved. — Nauru Government, Email to Al Jazeera, 9th October, 2015

    “Earlier this month, the ABC’s Ginny Stein got an identical knockback.
    “GINNY STEIN: When an application form was requested, I was told that I had been rejected, even before an application was issued.

    I then received a second email, stating quote, “all media application is not approved,” unquote. — ABC, PM, 8th October, 2015

    “Others to be given the bum’s rush in the last year include Mark Davis, who was working for Dateline at SBS, who told Media Watch:

    “I probably had 10 conversations, kept contacting them … They considered it for about four months, we had no response whatsoever. — Mark Davis, Journalist, 21st October, 2015
    “And Guardian Australia has been knocking on the door throughout 2015, according to reporter Ben Doherty, who told us:
    “I’ve tried many times and had no response. I haven’t got very far at all. I’ve emailed the Nauru Government … and I’ve called to Nauru and had no reply. This year it’s been a long running effort. — Ben Doherty, Reporter, Guardian Australia, 21st October, 2015
    “That’s at least five organisations who have been turned down.
    So, is there a media ban?
    Not at all, says Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who assured reporters last week:
    “PETER DUTTON: There are not restrictions on journalists going in. Journalists can make applications, as journalists can when they come to our country, for a visa. If the visa’s granted then they can visit. So, as I understand it there’s a journalist on Nauru today. — Peter Dutton, Federal Immigration Minister, 20th October, 2015

    “And so there was indeed, which of course was Chris Kenny, who refuses to say if he or The Australian paid the $8,000 visa fee
    So how did he get in when others cannot?
    Well, even Kenny admits it might be because he’s an advocate for the policy, telling The Guardian’s Amanda Meade:

    ” ‘If my public support for strong border protection measures helped sway Nauru’s decision, so be it’ … — Guardian Australia, 20th October, 2015

    “But is it just Nauru that makes these calls?
    The governments of Nauru and Australia insist it is.
    We’re not so sure.
    The last time the media got onto the island, Australia’s Department of Immigration played an important part in making it happen. It pushed hard for the BBC to be let in and organised some of the paperwork— including this deed of agreement which the BBC was required to sign —and which was then emailed from Canberra to Nauru.
    And we’re told the Australian government typically got involved in these decisions.

    “The Nauruan Government might have asked questions like, ‘this journalist from the ABC has applied’, or ‘this human rights organisation has applied’, and advice would be given on whether or not to grant them access. — Immigration source, 22nd October, 2015

    “So did someone in Canberra put in a word for Chris Kenny on this occasion? We can’t know, but our source believes the answer is Yes.
    “I’m sure there is now advice being given on what media is given access … there’d definitely be advice being given. — Immigration source, 22nd October, 2015
    “Now let’s be clear. We have no problem with Chris Kenny getting a visa. We’re very glad he did.
    And, allegations of harassment aside, we think he’s done a good job.
    But we do have a problem with him being the only one.
    There should be access for all media— and we note Chris Kenny agrees. .
    We also have a problem with crackdowns on whistleblowers, like we’ve seen in the last two weeks:

    “Save the Children workers in Nauru have been searched and had their phones and computers confiscated after the charity’s office was raided by Nauruan police.
    Australian Border Force officers watched on — ABC News Online, 14th October, 2015
    “There was a second raid on Save the Children in Nauru last week.
    But in the meantime journalists who’ve been barred are continuing to do their job with footage smuggled off the island, as you can see from last week’s Lateline report by Ginny Stein on another young refugee who’s confirmed to be a victim of rape.
    “MOTHER (subtitle translation): She used to laugh, she was happy always. I am asking for help from the Australian people & the government. Please help me and my children, for my daughter to be happy and laugh again. — ABC, Lateline, 21st October, 2015

    “Again, that old saying comes to mind. News is something that someone, somewhere doesn’t want published.
    Painful though it may be, Australians have a right to hear it.

    Abbottpell :
    27 Oct 2015 2:13:42pm
    The only way that ‘journalist’ got to the concentration camp, is that he toadies to the inbred conservative disease which is destroying this country.
    Well done Media Watch..
    Be alert to the to filth from the conservative right. They are the true terrorists.
    Richard le Sarcophage :
    27 Oct 2015 12:06:34pm
    Kenny’s record as a ‘journalist’ is plain for all to see since he first emerged during the Hindmarsh Island ‘Sacred Women’s Business’ moral panic fomented by the Right to appeal to Australian racists for their electoral support. If I had to choose between Kenny’s account of anything, and a contrary account from anyone, including Beelzebub, the conclusion is easy.

  3. Abyan's return! says:

    Dear Friends
    A day of celebration.
    We rejoice that your voices were heard as thousands of signatures, emails and phone calls poured into the PM’s office
    urging him to respect Abyan’s right to medical and psychological care. Last night she flew into Australia to get that care.

    Although Abyan has refugee status as determined by Australian officials on Nauru, when she comes to Australia, she is put back in detention.
    The Australian government will not issue a visa or travel document for refugees who are transferred from Nauru.
    In this way they become “illegal arrivals” and so under the Migration Act, they must be detained.
    This is how it works to transform a person recognised as a refugee by Australia in one jurisdiction, then being reduced by Australia to an illegal status in another jurisdiction.
    Tricky business but then we know DIBP is the master of this.

    Pamela Curr
    Refugee and Detention Rights Advocate
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    214 – 218 Nicholson St
    Footscray Vic 3011
    T: 03 9326 6066
    M: 0417 517 075
    F: 03 9689 1063
    ASRC is on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation

    1. Friendly advice for Biff & Co ... says:
      Dear Biff & Co
      RE: "Time doesn't mean anything when you're about
           to have water lapping at your door." 
                             - Peter Dutton
                               Minister for Immigration 
                               & Border Protection
      Beware the wicked witch of Brunswick!
      (pictured below) Signed: Ian Curr(WBT)
  4. Who are the people smugglers? ... says:

    The video was taken on a mobile phone by the asylum-seekers. It relates to the May 2015 incident, and shows asylum seekers moving transferring from one boat to another. These are the boats they were provided by Australian officials after the payment, and they had to abandon one of them after it ran out of fuel. Australian officials put the asylum seekers at risk by transferring them to boats that were not as well equipped (including a lack of fuel) as the one they arrived on.

    Is the Australian government involved in illegal warehousing of refugees?

    – Amelia Freelander, Media & Public Affairs Coordinator, Amnesty International +61 423 280 658.

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