Fri, 12 Aug 1994

On John Pilgers film

I must admit to being taken aback by the low quality of journalism represented by Dino Patti Djalal's article on John Pilgers film. The writer seems to mistake personal attack for analysis (a common tendency alas) and a belief that if one quotes a few fellow thinkers, that this should be enough.

It is usual in these events to allow the "defendant" a say, but in view of the sensitive nature of the issue, it would clearly not be allowed in Indonesia's current ambiguous climate. What I may think of the film (having seen it in Australia) is in this instance, is neither here not there, but that it has been supported by the evidence of both rapporteurs of the United Nations and eminent churchpersons, tends to off-balance Mas Dino assertions that the film is, totally "full of misrepresentation, half truth exaggeration and extreme tendenciousness." In fact he gives little attention to the film itself but resorts to snide asides and allegations of alternative motives. I am only sorry that good trees were sacrificed for his inelegant prose.

I feel concerned that comment such as his are fundamentally anti- intellectual and that railing against something as ferociously as he does only leads me to believe that he "protesteth too much."