By Jack Sumner

29 August 2013

In the Sydney Morning Herald today Paul Sheehan wrote “Labor pulls out race card in bid to win over Chinese“.

His flimsy justification for this serious allegation is:

“During the 2007 campaign, Labor shamelessly played the race card in Bennelong against Howard, emphasising Rudd’s fluency in Mandarin, his links to China and his Chinese son-­in-­law.” He goes on to allege, “Six years later, Rudd is playing the race card in Bennelong with bare-­knuckled determination.”

Sheehan’s sources for this shameless piece appear to be Chinese members of the Liberal Party and his very own right wing prejudice best illustrated by this translation of sections of Labor’s candidate Jason Yat-­‐sen Li’s campaign material:

‘I am a Sydney boy who was born and grew up in the suburbs.”

Translation: I’ve been parachuted into this seat by Labor.

”We will buy a home in the electorate and we care about the cost of living.”

Translation: I have never lived in the electorate.

”I am an entrepreneur running three companies that I founded.”

Translation: I am not running any company right now because I am running for

Shouldn’t an experienced journalist with any sense of ethics, fairness and decency have sought to speak to the person he seeks to disparage in this way? I can confirm that Sheehan made no such approach to Li or his office.

This week’s local newspaper The Weekly Times looks to influence readers’ votes too. Its front page has a photograph titled ‘JA celebrates Australian women’. The women honoured were Margie Abbott, Melissa Babbage, Bronwyn Bishop, Christine Forster, Janette Howard, Heather Ruddock, Deborah Thomas and Lucy Turnbull – how’s that for a cross section of the community?

Below the picture the TWT owner John Booth comments:

“Our beloved former PM Juliar Gillard could hardly ever call Bennelong MP John Alexander a misogynist so-­and-­so if last Friday is anything to go on. JA lined up a veritable galaxy of women-­ladies-­females-­(girls?) –call them what you will, enough to fill any chauvinist males wish list.

Mr Booth also hints at his preferred candidate with pictures of Alexander on pages three, six and nine. A reference to Labor candidate Jason Li with picture appears on page eight.

Ironically, in contrast to the above examples of blatant bias our other local newspaper Northern Times covered the Bennelong election without any whiff of favoritism. News Ltd owns the Northern Times.


More Bennelong reports here