The SBS documentary, The Kingdom, deals with – well, I thought it was about the church known as Hillsong until I watched it. Turns out that this isn’t the case; it’s actually about Marc Fennell, the presenter, and his quitting of the church. It is narcissism at its very best.
This would become apparent to the perceptive viewer right at the start of the 72-minute documentary when it opens with a view of Fennell’s chubby face. Such views are common, with the camera sometimes favouring his visage from the left, at others from the right. Not to mention views of him walking purposefully down some street or the other in a T-shirt that is a few sizes too small for him.
The level to which Australia’s government-funded media corporation, the ABC, has sunk is illustrated by the fact that in a slot reserved for its main investigative stories, it ran an American propaganda documentary from the American publicly-funded outlet PBS on 3 July.
Titled “Putin and the Presidents”, the documentary made no effort to disguise itself, conveniently leaving out masses of context in its bid to paint the Russian president as the villain supreme.
It covers Putin’s interactions with American presidents from Bill Clinton onwards, painting the American leaders as trying to get along with the Russian president, while he did everything to spoil relationships.
David Speers, the ABC employee who hosts the Insiders political current affairs show on Sunday morning, is not known for being afraid to confront his guests during an interview. He interrupts them frequently, always trying to get a point across and validate a narrative that he has.
But in front of Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko on 2 July, Speers was like a lamb, never asking the envoy anything that would cut across the latter’s view of the Ukraine war — obviously a sympathetic one — and seemingly unable to ask even a single contradictory question.
As OPEC+ showed its muscle today, cutting its output and spitting in the face of the US which was seeking lower oil prices, one was reminded of how this organisation first flexed its muscles – 49 years ago, in the wake of what is known as the Yom Kippur War or the Ramadan War.
It was on Saturday, October 6, 1973, that the combined forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan launched an attack on Israel at two minutes to two in the afternoon.
In 1991, the US, aided by a number of other countries, waged a war given the moniker Operation Desert Storm, to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, after demanding billions from that tiny country which it claimed it was owed because the Kuwaitis had stolen oil from wells which were on the Iraqi side of the border.
In recent years, there have been a number of remakes of old films, underlining the fact that people in the industry appear to be running out of good ideas.
That trend will be emphasised in February 2022 when a version of the Agatha Christie novel Death on the Nile is released, with Kenneth Branagh playing the role of the detective Hercule Poirot.
It is worth noting that this film was first made in 1978, with the late Peter Ustinov leading a cast full of big names: Mia Farrow, David Niven, George Kennedy, Olivia Hussey, Angela Lansbury and I.S. Johar.
Twenty years after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the mastermind of the attack, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, has still not been put on trial despite having been arrested in March 2003.
KSM, as he is known, was picked up by the Pakistani authorities in Rawalpindi. Just prior to his arrest, the other main actor in the planning of the attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh, was picked up, again in Pakistan, this time in Karachi.
A report says KSM, Ramzi and three others appeared in court on Tuesday, 7 September. KSM was reported to be confident, talking to his lawyers and defying the judge’s instruction to wear a mask.
As the US marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre, a theory, that can only be classified as unadulterated BS, has been advanced: the event led to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq which in turn led to the emergence of Donald Trump.
Such a narrative sits nicely with Democrats: the election of the worst US president, a Republican, was caused by the actions of another Republican president, George W. Bush.
Part of this logic — if you can call it that — is that Trump’s opposition to the wars launched by Bush put paid to the chances of his brother, Jeb, gaining the Republican nomination.
National Bird is a disturbing documentary. It isn’t new, having been made in 2016, but it outlines in stark detail the issues that are part and parcel of the drone program which the US has used to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and a number of other countries.
The use of remote killing was even seen recently after a bomb went off at Kabul Airport following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. There were boasts that two people responsible for the blast had been killed by a drone – only for the truth to emerge later.
And that was that the people killed were in no way connected to the blast. Using faulty intelligence and an over-quick finger, America had pulled the trigger again and killed innocents.