CairnsBlog contributing writer Sid Walker takes an unexplained bomb to the ABC...
I am one of growing number of people around the world who believes the western mass media is deeply dishonest about some very important topics.
I believe something must be done to rectify this - urgently.
Sad to say, the mass media’s tendency to report selectively is not confined to commercial media.
In this tale, written from an Australian perspective, I’ll review an incident that took place overseas several years ago - and the remarkable failure of Australia's premier public broadcaster to report the story.
Then I’ll look at equivalent public broadcasters, in Britain and the USA, to examine their bizarre reportage of the same extraordinary event.
Publicly-funded mass media can - and should - survive only if they enjoy widespread confidence. Why should the public fund media which lies about very important topics - matters of life and death? Read on - and judge for yourself whether the tangled web woven by these three mass media organizations is evidence of deliberate deception.
All Quiet at the ABC
This is the story of a 47-story building, in a world-famous city, that collapsed several years ago. The collapse was not ‘intended’ - in the sense that this was no listed demolition site. It was a busy office building, occupied by working staff until the previous day. Then, a little more than six years ago, it simply collapsed.
If you think that’s odd, hold on tight... there’s more...
As far as I can observe from a search of the ABC’s public web archive, the unexpected collapse of this rather large building has never once been reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
That’s right! A large building (World Trade Center Building 7 - also known as the Salomon Building) drops to the ground in daylight. It was a massive steel-framed concrete construction - built to last. After what appeared to be a localized fire lasting a few hours, the entire structure fell neatly in its own footprint at near free-fall velocity.
Finally, and quite amazingly, “Our” ABC simply ignores the incident. Trawling the archives of the ABC website as best I can, I’ve found:
- No investigative report of the collapse of WTC-7
- No profile of the building and its strange history
- No report on the ongoing mysteries surrounding its collapse
- No report on its rapid rebuilding & re-opening
A couple of qualifications are in order. First, if I missed the story in the ABC's archives, I do apologize and would like to put the record straight. I did find one obscure mention of WTC-7 in an edited ABC talkboard (although re-checking more recently, I'm unable to locate even that). On that particular page, I recall a participant from the general public mentioned the unexplained collapse once. There may be more references to find on the ABC site - but they certainly don't 'stand out'.
Second, it is possible the story was reported by the ABC - but that report has not been added to the public web archive. Probably not all ABC reports get archived? Yet the archive is quite comprehensive for major 21st century stories. Big news items are almost always recorded for posterity. Take, for example, the massive blaze that lasted many hours in the Madrid Windsor Building in 2005 (which incidentally didn’t cause the building to fall) . Coverage of that incident can be found easily when searching the ABC's website.
In summary, not one significant report about World Trade Center 7, the remarkable 47-storey collapsing building, seems to have survived (if it ever existed) in the ABC archives.
In case you weren’t previously aware of the event under discussion, WTC-7 collapsed in the late afternoon of September 11th 2001. A smaller building than the Twin Towers (WTC 1 & 2), it was partially on fire for only a few hours before falling to the ground.
Now of course, the collapse of the Twin Towers was widely reported by the Australian media. You may feel therefore consider, as the demise of their smaller sibling resulted in no apparent loss of life, that not reporting WTC-7's mysterious drop was a permissible oversight. Perhaps so.
Before making a judgment about that, let's review equivalent coverage by the ABC’s sibling organizations.
Precognition at the BBC
Australia’s ABC was largely based on its British counterpart, the well-respected BBC – a veritable institution of public broadcasting with increasingly global reach.
How did the BBC dealt with the collapse of WTC-7? Did it also ignore the event?
Not at all! The BBC covered the collapse on the day, quite promptly. The remarkable thing, it turns out, is how promptly!
Early in 2007, a sharp-eyed skeptic trawling through tapes of the BBC’s live media coverage of the 9-11 atrocity, discovered to his amazement that the BBC actually reported the collapse half an hour before it happened!
You read that right.
This extraordinary, quite unprecedented collapse of a steel-framed concrete tower block - an event essentially unreported by Australia’s mass media - was noted by the flagship British broadcaster in advance.
When the footage in question was brought to the attention of the BBC (and tens of thousands of interested citizens around the world who track the mystery of 9-11 via the internet) , the discovery caused quite a stir at BBC HQ. Unable to deny the accuracy of the video footage or its astonishing timing, the BBC eventually settled on the position the premature report was simply a ‘mistake’.
The BBC's News Editor attempted damage limitation partly by rebutting ‘conspiracy theories’ about the overly-prescient report in his official BBC blog. He has permitted (moderated) reader responses to be posted. See them here and here. Nearly a year later, alarmed, angry and concerned people are still demanding an adequate explanation from the BBC. It doesn’t seem we’re going to get one... anytime soon.
Significantly, the BBC hasn’t reported on its own miraculous reporting in on BBC news or current affairs (nor has ‘Our’ ABC for that matter). You’ll only find out about this story if you are looking for it.
Precognition at the Beeb? Nothing to see here, folks! Move along!
Admission on PBS
So, perhaps the ABC was right to be cautious about telling the tale of WTC-7? The story is a minefield for public broadcasters!
Even so, after a seemly six year delay, perhaps there's an opportunity for the ABC to break its silence on the topic and leap-frog the competition? It’s about time Australian journalists got a real scoop.
If the ABC does investigate the case, a call to the influential and well-resourced Lowy Institute for International Policy might be useful.
Scarcely a week goes by without the Lowy Institute pronouncing on one or other of the topics de jour… climate change, terrorism, the world economy etc. The ABC runs frequent stories about the Lowy Institute's latest opinions, which it seems to hold in very high regard.
The Lowy Institute was founded by billionaire-philanthropist Frank Lowy. Sometimes described as the richest Australian, Lowy had a long and interesting career that included a spell, early on, as a warrior in the Haganah during the Israeli ‘War of Independence’ (which others call the Nakba). Lowy settled in Australia in the 1950s and became a shopping center magnate.
Lowy’s global corporation Westfield has been exceptionally successful in the USA, where it operates under the name of ‘Westfield America’.
In 1997, Larry Silverstein was appointed to the board of Westfield America.Now, Larry Silverstein was the leaseholder on WTC 7 – and also the leaseholder for the Twin Towers – at the time of the September 11th mass murder.
Silverstein was interviewed by America’s public broadcaster (PBS) a year or so after the attacks. In that interview, he made the extraordinary statement that the order was given during the afternoon of September 11th to ‘pull’ WTC-7.
Now, that remark implies that the building was pre-rigged with explosives – a very odd suggestion indeed. A controlled demolition of a tower block cannot be carried out in a few hours. It requires days, if not weeks, of careful preparation.
America’s mainstream media hasn’t followed up Silverstein’s gob-smacking admission. Perhaps it feels he deserves a little privacy to get on with his life? Nor, it seems, have the US law enforcement authorities bothered him unduly.
However, Australia’s very own Frank Lowy is presumably on first name terms with the New York developer. Frank must be able to pick up the phone and ask Larry exactly what happened with WTC-7 and what he meant by ‘pull it’.
Publishing Larry’s clarification might just give this aspiring research organization a world exclusive.