A guide for budding foreign policy journalists in Australia working for Nine Network and News Corp.

Aug 10, 2021

The uniform reality of our US-leaning foreign policy media  experts suggests a possible template for training suitably compliant foreign policy journalists.

First, identify the good guys and the bad guys, to determine which side you’re on. (Big tip: we’re always the good guys.)

Next, demonise the bad guys. (It’s what foreign policy journalists do.) And no matter what the response, never trust them. Remember, they’re the enemy. And enemies always lie. You getting it?

Focus laser-like on their crimes, which you must condemn, as high-mindedly as possible (as befits people of elevated principle like yourself). And don’t worry about exaggerating those crimes: the greater the evil, the more admirable your condemnation.

Now is not the time to mention our crimes or our allies’ crimes (in any case really just misdemeanours or over-exuberance). Don’t forget our enemies are the evil ones, driven by an outmoded and blinkered ideology. Our only weakness is being occasionally carried away by our almost suffocating passion for freedom and democracy.

Don’t worry about evidence: in international affairs, our side’s claims equal evidence, by definition. And don’t forget that the best evidence is your infallible reading of the enemy’s hegemonic, empire-thirsting mind. This obviates the need to present any other kind of evidence. See how easy it is.

And if an enemy makes any counter claims about our side, demand court-room evidence or, better still, dismiss the claim as patently false, misleading or a red herring.

When referring to our enemies, be sure to throw in words like “bullying”, “threatening”, “authoritarian”, “heavy-handed”, “dictatorial” and “world domination”. And don’t forget comparisons with Hitler, Munich and 1938. That shows you’re onto them.

Ignore historical and cultural factors that paint a sympathetic picture of the enemy. You’ve remembered they’re the enemy, right?

Remember, too, that compromise equals appeasement (the ultimate crime). Never use or endorse phrases like “extending the hand of friendship”, “mutual respect” , “acceptance” or  understanding”. But don’t forget to ridicule the naivety of those who do.

Pepper your work with words like “strategic”, “geopolitical”, “multilateral”, and “the rules-based international order” to make you sound learned and authoritative. Note that “strategic competitor” is nowadays preferred to evil empire, though “authoritarian regime” is always a reliable standby.

Never admit that we might have provoked them. That’s what they do to us. Did I mention they’re the enemy?

And never admit that any of their moves could possibly be defensive. With our enemies, any move equals aggression, by definition. It’s axiomatic, of course, that we are always noble of purpose and defensively minded to a fault.

Always insist on negotiating from a position of strength. Bombing helps. They respect that. After all, the only thing they understand is force. And that’s not being racist.

Remember, too, that as their military capability grows so, obviously, does the enemy’s evil intent. To suggest that that would logically also apply to our side is, of course, absurd.

As responsible journalists, we must always support armaments increases to narrow the arms gap, which, by definition, is either in the other side’s favour, or else dangerously narrowing. Why would our politicians and generals ever mislead us or exaggerate?

Make sure you present every move by the other side as a test for our side. Goad our politicians into reacting. Demonstrate your manliness by demanding theirs. Start calling yourself a foreign policy realist. Get to be one of the players.

Finally, remember the golden rule: USA and its allies good; USA’s enemies (sorry, “strategic competitors”) bad.

And the absolute no-nos. Never put yourself in the shoes of the enemy. Never advocate turning the other cheek, or doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. And never, ever love your enemies.

Always check first what CNN,Wall Street Journal, NYT, Washington Post, Fox News and BBC are reporting and you can’t go wrong. They set the standard.

Oh, and don’t forget to pray to God for peace—we’re going to need it.

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