Over the last three weeks, viewers of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program have been treated to what is the ultimate waste of time: a recapping of all that has gone on in the United States during the investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential campaign.
There was nothing new in the nearly three hours of programming on what is the ABC’s prime investigative program. It only served as a vanity outlet for Sarah Ferguson, rated as one of the network’s better reporters, but after this, and her unnecessary Hillary Clinton interview, she appears to be someone who is interested only in big-noting herself.
Exactly why Ferguson and a crew spent what must be between four to six weeks in the US, London and Moscow to put to air material that has been beaten to death by the US and other Western media is a mystery. Had Ferguson managed to unearth one nugget of information that has gone unnoticed so far, one would not be inclined to complain.
But this same ABC has been crying itself hoarse for the last few months over cuts to its budget and trumpeting its news credentials – and then it produces garbage like the three episodes of the Russia-Trump series or whatever it was called.
As an aside, the investigation has been going on for more than a year now, with special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, having been appointed on May 17, 2017. The American media have had a field day and every time there is a fresh development, these are shrieks all around that this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But it all turns out to be an illusion in the end.
Every little detail of the process of electing Donald Trump has been covered and dissected over and over and over again. And yet Ferguson thought it a good idea to run three hours of this garbage.
Apart from the fact that this something akin to the behaviour of a dog that revisits its own vomit, Ferguson also paraded some very dodgy individuals to bolster her program.
One was James Clapper, the director of national intelligence during the Obama presidency. Clapper is a man who has committed perjury by lying to the US Congress under oath. Clapper also leaked information about the infamous anti-Trump dossier to CNN’s Jake Tapper and then was rewarded with a contract at CNN.
Clapper does not have the best of reputations when it comes to integrity. To call him a shady character would not be a stretch. Now Ferguson may have needed to speak to him once, because he was the DNI under Obama. But she did not need to have him appear every now and then, remarking on this and that. He added no weight to an already weak program.
Another person Ferguson gave plenty of air time to was Luke Harding, a reporter with the Guardian. Harding is known for a few things: plagiarising others’ reports while he was stationed in Moscow and writing a book about Edward Snowden without having met any of the principal players in the matter. Once again, a person of dubious character.
One would also have to ask: why does the camera focus on the reporter so much? Is she the story? Or is it a way to puff herself up and appear so important that she cannot be out of sight of the lens lest the story break down? It is a curse of modern journalism, this narcissism, and Ferguson suffers from it badly.
This is the second worthless program Ferguson has produced in recent times; the first was her puff interview with Hillary Clinton.
Maybe she is gearing up to take on some kind of job in the US. Wouldn’t surprise me if public money was being used to paint the meretricious as the magnificent.