Evidence of Murdoch’s Newspapers Distorting News to Fuel Racism

Media disinformation and negativity against non-Western cultures in Australia is a terminal disease spreading into the bloodstream of the mainstream media industry in Australia. The following incident demonstrated how easy it is to demonize a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne through the manipulation of news using the techniques of factual omission, misleading heading, misleading bullet-point-highlight, misleading bold-highlight and the editorializing of content using a series of subjective and strong wordings to sell the personal opinion of the journalist or editor as news.

How did Murdoch’s Newspapers demonise a Chinese Restaurant in Melbourne?

Can you tell the problem with the following report by the Herald Sun?

St Kilda Chinese restaurant food bill handed to man in ambulance

By Jessica Craven    From: Herald Sun April 26, 2011 7:21PM

  • Man suffered seizure while dining at Chinese restaurant
  • Man given bill as he was being loaded into ambulance
  • Restaurant manager said someone had to pay for meal

A CHINESE restaurant that slapped a customer with the bill as he was being loaded into an ambulance has defended its actions.

Onlookers called paramedics when the man fell to the ground suffering an apparent seizure while enjoying dumplings with his friend at Shifu Dumpling Express in Acland St, St Kilda, at about 4.30pm today.

As the man was being loaded into the ambulance and his friend was climbing in to join him, a waiter came and handed the friend the bill.

Bella, who did not want her surname used, said she was disgusted at the restaurant’s actions.

“I was so incredulous that it had happened,” she said.

“It wasn’t the most expensive restaurant in town, it’s a dumpling house and their bill would not have been more than $30.

“It was just so inappropriate, I will never go there again.”

Manager Kevin Tian was remorseless about the gaffe and said he did not regret the money grab.

“My opinion is that they ate in our restaurant, they have to pay,” he said.

An Ambulance Victoria spokesman confirmed a man in his 30s was taken to the Alfred Hospital in a stable condition.

______

The exact copy of the content of the above Herald Sun story was reported nation-wide by News Limited, Courier Mail, Daily Telegraph, Perth Now, Adelaide Now and The Australian just to name a few.

I personally find this story is particularly biased, vicious, unfair, inconsiderate, misleading and possibly racist. The reasons as follow:

1) The name of the restaurant and location has been clearly identified and the story may affect the restaurant’s business;

2) The news heading, bullet-point-highlight and bold-highlight of the story are misleading. They gave people an impression that the restaurant handed bill to a injured customer loaded into the ambulance, but the fact is, the bill was handed to the friend of the injured man who had eaten the dumplings and tried to walk away with a free meal, perhaps.

3) The report then exclusively cited a few negative comments by Bella (without surname) who was “disgusted at the restaurant’s actions,” and claimed that the value of the meal would have being less than $30 and then said, “I will never go there again.”

The Herald Sun’s “Journalist” then editorialising the restaurant manager responded with this statement: “Manager Kevin Tian was remorseless about the gaffe and said he did not regret the money grab,” followed by ending the story with, “An Ambulance Victoria spokesman confirmed a man in his 30s was taken to the Alfred Hospital in a stable condition”. (Author note: this statement has again reminded readers the story is about a bill being handled to an injured man in the ambulance.)

Whether or not Bella is a real person or imaginary person in this report, the way this “journalist” reported the story with a misleading heading, bullet-point-highlight and bold-highlight and editorialising the manager’s reply with the use of three subjective and strong words: “remorseless”, “the gaffe” and “money grab” tell a lot about the quality of journalism in this country. The fact that it has became a nation-wide story with exactly the same content being published word by word by those major states and national newspapers tell us the kind of editorial standard in this country as well. In fact, to be fair to the “Journalist”, the News heading, bullet-point highlight and bold highlight may be done by an editor or sub-editor.

The overall impression I had with this report is that, the friend of the injured man has the right not to pay for the meal in the restaurant; and that the restaurant as a business entity with an overhead to maintain such as rent, wages and outgoing expenses does not deserve the right for payment to their products and services even if the owner of the restaurant may need the money to pay his mortgage, feed his family, finance his children’s education and may be struggling to stay in business due to the current economic climate.

What information has being deliberately omitted by the Murdoch’s newspapers?

As a result of my suspicion of the accuracy of the above report, I search the Internet for related story and find that Nine MSN reported the same story with a bit of extra information – the whole picture is now clear to me: that is, Bella is the lady whom the Chinese restaurant handed the bill to. This is exactly how Nine MSN reported:

As he was getting into the ambulance, and his friend climbed in to join him, a waiter came out and handed her the bill. The man’s companion, Bella, who did not want her surname used, said the restaurant’s actions “were just so inappropriate.”I was so incredulous that it had happened,” she said. ”It wasn’t the most expensive restaurant in town, it’s a dumpling house and their bill would not have been more than $30”. However, restaurant manager Kevin Tian told the newspaper he did not think it was inappropriate. ”My opinion is that they ate in our restaurant, they have to pay,” he said.”

The fact that Nine MSN claimed in their report that their source of the news is from the Courier Mail indicted that all the above named Murdoch’s Newspapers have no reason to publish the above news in such distorting manner. This is the second paragraph of Nine MSN report:

“Paramedics were called to the restaurant when the unidentified man fell to the ground after suffering an apparent seizure at St Kilda’s Sifu Dumpling Express on Tuesday afternoon, the Courier Mail reports.”

By comparing the content of the Nine MSN and those other reports, it is not hard for us to draw a conclusion that: Nine MSN has being truthful with the story whereas Herald Sun (the original source of the report) deliberately failed to disclose who Bella really is. They went to the extent to editorialising the restaurant manager’s reply with highly subjective and strong wording such as “remorseless”, “the gaffe” and “money grab”  with the intention to demonise the Chinese restaurant.  The rest of Murdoch’s Newspapers including the Courier Mail, despite knowing the truth, simply copied Herald Sun report word by word. Why?

Conclusion

I believe that, unnecessary on-going negativity against minorities in this country by our media has definitely contributed to racism in Australia. Why can’t those elites in the Australian media industry find peace in their little brains without smearing against other cultures or countries?

The following are my earlier articles on media fuels racism in Australia:

May the world find peace with each other with a socially more responsible media industry. Can we trust the current media culture in Australia?

Written by www.outcastjournalist.com

, , , , , , , ,

  • Hadrian999

    sadly outrage sells more than factual impartial news reporting and far to many journalists and editors are using it to as a shortcut instead of building reputations for themselves and their organizations based on professionalism and competence, it’s a trap i hope i don’t fall into.

  • Hadrian999

    sadly outrage sells more than factual impartial news reporting and far to many journalists and editors are using it to as a shortcut instead of building reputations for themselves and their organizations based on professionalism and competence, it’s a trap i hope i don’t fall into.

  • JonDoe

    There is nothing rascist about all this. The owner is a jerk, and I don’t care him being Chinese, Norwegian, Portugese or Marsian – to think about the bill while someone is in a life threatening situation is just cold. Come on people, would you do that?

    • Hadrian999

      he didn’t bill the ill man he billed the the man’s friend, reporting the story isn’t racist but the language is designed to demonize the manager and influence the reader, pandering to xenophobic feelings.

    • Tuna Ghost

      your opinions would have much more weight if you read the articles to completion.  The bill was given to the man’s friend, who was not ill, who had in fact eaten at the restaurant and was leaving without paying for the food.  Yes, I would give her the bill.  In a heartbeat.

  • JonDoe

    There is nothing rascist about all this. The owner is a jerk, and I don’t care him being Chinese, Norwegian, Portugese or Marsian – to think about the bill while someone is in a life threatening situation is just cold. Come on people, would you do that?

  • Elmyr23

    lay off the meth

  • Elmyr23

    lay off the meth

  • Hadrian999

    he didn’t bill the ill man he billed the the man’s friend, reporting the story isn’t racist but the language is designed to demonize the manager and influence the reader, pandering to xenophobic feelings.

  • Malk

    more like I don’t give a f**k about some dude having a seizure nor some jerk-off dimsum restaurants manager. the news around the world on the whole is garbage head to toe. why don’t we just summarize and say “omg all kinds of horrible shit went down today that is completely unrelated to you and will probably make you paranoid and depressed if you read it all!! read on:”

    big media news is all garbage, racist or not.
    my grandma loves is, makes me sick to listen to her talk about the recent murders and rapes that she’s seen on TV. no one ever talks about great scientific breakthroughs, the struggling efforts to find life off planet, children saved a rainforest, old chinese man stops moving car with bare hands to save granschild, etc. Something useful. Something educational. Something thought-provoking. No, it’s all just people yelling at each other and mindless violence designed to shape your image of what happens in the world on a daily basis.

  • Malk

    more like I don’t give a f**k about some dude having a seizure nor some jerk-off dimsum restaurants manager. the news around the world on the whole is garbage head to toe. why don’t we just summarize and say “omg all kinds of horrible shit went down today that is completely unrelated to you and will probably make you paranoid and depressed if you read it all!! read on:”

    big media news is all garbage, racist or not.
    my grandma loves is, makes me sick to listen to her talk about the recent murders and rapes that she’s seen on TV. no one ever talks about great scientific breakthroughs, the struggling efforts to find life off planet, children saved a rainforest, old chinese man stops moving car with bare hands to save granschild, etc. Something useful. Something educational. Something thought-provoking. No, it’s all just people yelling at each other and mindless violence designed to shape your image of what happens in the world on a daily basis.

  • SF2K01

    Seriously, who reads newspapers anymore?

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, who reads newspapers anymore?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m usually willing to jump on the “Fox is a pack of bigoted assholes” bandwagon…

    …but I’m also keenly aware of the Chinese-driven “Aussies are all bigoted scum” bandwagon that looks for chances to play the martyr.

    Was the story biased…yeah…pretty much…but no more or less biased than any Fox story…which is always sensationalized for maximum emotional impact and devoid of serious fact checking or thought. Fox is always sleazy and unreliable…this time it was with Chinese subjects instead of black, mexican, gay, liberal, french or anything other than white male evangelical christian conservatives (God’s second and even more holy chosen people after he wearied of the Jews). Welcome to the club…we’ve all taken some shit from these losers…you’re not special…they hate almost everyone that way.

    Was chasing after people, even friends of the diner, with the tab after a probable heart attack a pretty douchy move? Yeah…pretty much. No one gets a sympathy award after a move like that…and making an article that deliberately suggest a faked heart attack to get out of the bill in an attempt to defend the owners and staff…that gets a double-douche award and actually does more harm than good. After a comment like that…a person who wasn’t trying hard to avoid racist stereotypes might find themselves thinking that all Chinese people are heartless amoral liars who stick together no matter what…and that doesn’t make things better, does it?

    • Hadrian999

      the subject matter really isn’t important, the tactics used is. the use of inflammatory and emotionally charged words over neutral ones is a common tactic. compare “slapped a customer with the bill” to presented customer with a bill or “Manager Kevin Tian was remorseless about the gaffe and said he did not regret the money grab,” to manager Kevin Tian claimed no wrong doing” using emotionally charged words or words with a deeper context are subtle forms of thought manipulation that is quite common in modern journalism and political speech. it is very important to be able to recognize such techniques when they are used no matter the setting or story.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        “They gave people an impression that the restaurant handed bill to a injured customer loaded into the ambulance, but the fact is, the bill was handed to the friend of the injured man who had eaten the dumplings and tried to walk away with a free meal, perhaps.”

        Inflammatory rhetoric cuts two ways…Fox is almost always guilty of it…but here we have an unsubstantiated, deliberate attempt to cast the presumed victim of a heart attack/seizure as a fraud getting a free meal…with only the word ‘perhaps’ at the end to lend a little caveat to the statement. This is at least as obnoxious as Fox…possibly even a little more so…since implying that a heart attack was staged with no evidence to back that claim in an attempt to add a little more smear is just cheap enough that the author should probably seek work at Fox

        • citizen69

          I think the author was trying to imply that maybe the ill person’s friend and not the ill man himself who was perhaps trying to walk away with a free meal. Implying that seeing as ‘Bella’ had eaten there and she had not paid either, even though she had not taken ill. Obviously it is very easy to forget a bill when you’re friend has just collapsed in a medical emergency and yeah maybe the owner was a little bit insensitive but unless we witnessed the situation ourselves it’s hard to tell. But hey, this is tabloid journalism, this is what tabloids do! They are best avoided if you want the real facts.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        I forgot to add…in a true ‘disinfo’ twist…if you click the authors name and go to his webpage you can read endless wildly biased screeds ranting about the perfidy of all Western cultures…and the innocence of the benevolent and wondrous China which can do no wrong. Basically…about as biased a source as you can find outside of Fox. Ironically…if this prat had a complaint of any kind about China…he might find it very hard to voice it in safety inside the borders of ‘the magical wonderland of peace and freedom’.

        I have a strong suspicion that, since his website takes pains to establish the author as an ‘outlaw/rebel’…but then spends its entire time and space endlessly blasting anyone who has criticized China for anything (never minding that, like all countries, China too is capable of acting unethically and immorally…it isn’t racist to say this…its just true everywhere and with everyone)…that we’re actually reading the handiwork of a genuine Chinese disinfo-agent provocateur.

        • Hadrian999

          i’ve seen that person post before, totally full of shit, doesn’t mean that article isn’t a good example of dubios practices in mainstream journalism.

    • Artor

      Bella sat at the table and ate the food. She had no medical problems at all. Why should she get a pass on paying the bill? Any restaurant sees people who try to skip out on their bills, sometimes with bizarre distractions, like faking a medical emergency. As a business owner myself, I have to be extra careful of people trying to steal from me, ALL THE TIME. Trying to get someone to pay for the already-eaten food before they vanish, never to be seen again is not a douchey move, it’s a necessary practice to stay in business in a hard economy.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m usually willing to jump on the “Fox is a pack of bigoted assholes” bandwagon…

    …but I’m also keenly aware of the Chinese-driven “Aussies are all bigoted scum” bandwagon that looks for chances to play the martyr.

    Was the story biased…yeah…pretty much…but no more or less biased than any Fox story…which is always sensationalized for maximum emotional impact and devoid of serious fact checking or thought. Fox is always sleazy and unreliable…this time it was with Chinese subjects instead of black, mexican, gay, liberal, french or anything other than white male evangelical christian conservatives (God’s second and even more holy chosen people after he wearied of the Jews). Welcome to the club…we’ve all taken some shit from these losers…you’re not special…they hate almost everyone that way.

    Was chasing after people, even friends of the diner, with the tab after a probable heart attack a pretty douchy move? Yeah…pretty much. No one gets a sympathy award after a move like that…and making an article that deliberately suggest a faked heart attack to get out of the bill in an attempt to defend the owners and staff…that gets a double-douche award and actually does more harm than good. After a comment like that…a person who wasn’t trying hard to avoid racist stereotypes might find themselves thinking that all Chinese people are heartless amoral liars who stick together no matter what…and that doesn’t make things better, does it?

  • Hadrian999

    the subject matter really isn’t important, the tactics used is. the use of inflammatory and emotionally charged words over neutral ones is a common tactic. compare “slapped a customer with the bill” to presented customer with a bill or “Manager Kevin Tian was remorseless about the gaffe and said he did not regret the money grab,” to manager Kevin Tian claimed no wrong doing” using emotionally charged words or words with a deeper context are subtle forms of thought manipulation that is quite common in modern journalism and political speech. it is very important to be able to recognize such techniques when they are used no matter the setting or story.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    “They gave people an impression that the restaurant handed bill to a injured customer loaded into the ambulance, but the fact is, the bill was handed to the friend of the injured man who had eaten the dumplings and tried to walk away with a free meal, perhaps.”

    Inflammatory rhetoric cuts two ways…Fox is almost always guilty of it…but here we have an unsubstantiated, deliberate attempt to cast the presumed victim of a heart attack/seizure as a fraud getting a free meal…with only the word ‘perhaps’ at the end to lend a little caveat to the statement. This is at least as obnoxious as Fox…possibly even a little more so…since implying that a heart attack was staged with no evidence to back that claim in an attempt to add a little more smear is just cheap enough that the author should probably seek work at Fox

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I forgot to add…in a true ‘disinfo’ twist…if you click the authors name and go to his webpage you can read endless wildly biased screeds ranting about the perfidy of all Western cultures…and the innocence of the benevolent and wondrous China which can do no wrong. Basically…about as biased a source as you can find outside of Fox. Ironically…if this prat had a complaint of any kind about China…he might find it very hard to voice it in safety inside the borders of ‘the magical wonderland of peace and freedom’.

  • Hadrian999

    i’ve seen that person post before, totally full of shit, doesn’t mean that article isn’t a good example of dubios practices in mainstream journalism.

  • citizen69

    I think the author was trying to imply that maybe the ill person’s friend and not the ill man himself who was perhaps trying to walk away with a free meal. Implying that seeing as ‘Bella’ had eaten there and she had not paid either, even though she had not taken ill. Obviously it is very easy to forget a bill when you’re friend has just collapsed in a medical emergency and yeah maybe the owner was a little bit insensitive but unless we witnessed the situation ourselves it’s hard to tell. But hey, this is tabloid journalism, this is what tabloids do! They are best avoided if you want the real facts.

  • Anonymous

    Bella sat at the table and ate the food. She had no medical problems at all. Why should she get a pass on paying the bill? Any restaurant sees people who try to skip out on their bills, sometimes with bizarre distractions, like faking a medical emergency. As a business owner myself, I have to be extra careful of people trying to steal from me, ALL THE TIME. Trying to get someone to pay for the already-eaten food before they vanish, never to be seen again is not a douchey move, it’s a necessary practice to stay in business in a hard economy.

  • Tuna Ghost

    your opinions would have much more weight if you read the articles to completion.  The bill was given to the man’s friend, who was not ill, who had in fact eaten at the restaurant and was leaving without paying for the food.  Yes, I would give her the bill.  In a heartbeat.

  • Wei Ling Chua

    Man punched ‘over restaurant bill’ (17 July 2011, Courier mail)
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/man-punched-over-restauran
    Full content as follows:
    A MAN was punched in the head and taken to hospital after allegedly
    refusing to pay a bill at a Burleigh Heads restaurant. It is believed an
    argument broke out after the man refused to pay his bill at Oskars on
    Burleigh, Goodwin Terrace, and then allegedly pushed the restaurant
    manager. It is thought the restaurant manager punched the man, who was
    taken to hospital with minor head injuries about 7.05pm.
    ———– end —————-
    Question: Why can’t the Murdoch’s Newspapers report the Chinese restaurant incident using the same format as the above Man punched ‘over restaurant bill’ story?

  • Wei Ling Chua

    Man punched ‘over restaurant bill’ (17 July 2011, Courier mail)
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/man-punched-over-restauran
    Full content as follows:
    A MAN was punched in the head and taken to hospital after allegedly
    refusing to pay a bill at a Burleigh Heads restaurant. It is believed an
    argument broke out after the man refused to pay his bill at Oskars on
    Burleigh, Goodwin Terrace, and then allegedly pushed the restaurant
    manager. It is thought the restaurant manager punched the man, who was
    taken to hospital with minor head injuries about 7.05pm.
    ———– end —————-
    Question: Why can’t the Murdoch’s Newspapers report the Chinese restaurant incident using the same format as the above Man punched ‘over restaurant bill’ story?