Or: how not to report the glaringly obvious
Stuff goes on to say that "extremist" material was found on one of his mobile phones. Does this mean he is an IRA sympathiser? Or possibly that he agrees with the motives of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army? Maybe he's one of those radical "Ultra Orthodox" Jews we hear so much about? Nope. Still have to guess.
Surely they will tell us soon exactly what kind of "extremist" he is? That's just a basic reporting of the facts as they are currently understood isn't it? Any professional journalist would do that. Wouldn't they?
Stuff goes on:
"It's understood the boy's family, described by sources as a moderate, hard-working family who were all born in Australia, are in shock and had little idea of his alleged activities." Hmmm, there's that word "moderate". Seems to me to always be associated with a particular religion that is so often in the news. There is also the oft repeated tone of "shock" from the boy's family. We hear that a lot too from certain family members of certain "extremists". Just trying to remember what ideology this expression is usually associated with... but we're still groping in the dark. Nothing is being explained in plain English.
Then there's this: "The 16-year-old boy does not have any convictions at all, he has never been in trouble with the police previously nor has any of his family," his lawyer, Zemarai Khatiz, said outside court. His lawyer has a name that sounds like he might be associated with a certain religon.... possibly Sikh? Or Hindu? Jain perhaps? One or two other sorts of options occur to me, but if I were to suggest one in particular that comes to mind I might be called a "racist" - even though a religion is not a Race.
Stuff goes on to mention that the Federal Justice Minister is "very concerned" about the "accused boy's age". He then says the boy was incited to commit "an act of terror". There's that word "terror". What well known ideology is that word usually associated with? Apparently Stuff still has no idea.
Australian Federal Police Commander Chris Sheehan implored families to be on the lookout for "signs of radicalisation" - you mean he was a radical Rabbitoh supporter? You don't mean that? Well, what exactly DO you mean? According to Stuff Commander Sheehan then says "Clearly this is an ongoing problem for [a] very, very small proportion of our society, the radicalisation of youth". Hmm, "very, very small" - is that the same a "a tiny minority"?
I am quite sure the reader grasps exactly my point here, but to sum up: Why is it that everyone knows exactly what group this "boy" is from - what religion he is and what ideology is driving him and what radicalisation he supports and why he wanted to perform a terror attack on ANZAC Day in particular - why is it that we all know the answers to these questions and yet still Stuff doesn't seem able to bring itself to simply tell us?
In 1989 I visited China just after the Tianamen Square massacre and found the locals talking about two "truths". There is something that is called "the Truth" and then there is something else, called "the Official Truth." In China at that time, I found that everyone knew "the Truth" on certain matters, but nobody would be caught saying anything but "the Official Truth" because that represented a very real threat to their freedom. Has New Zealand's news media actually got to the point where the blindingly obvious can no longer even be breathed because it goes against some "Official Truth?"
This is a mess we're getting ourselves into here friends. If we can no longer bring ourselves to state the obvious because it violates some "Official Truth" that must not be offended against - another version of "he who must not be named" - we have lost the ability to discuss the very genuine, real and growing threat we all face.
Can Stuff not simply say the word "Islam" and put us all out of our misery? Or are we to focus on the amorphous and nebulous "extremism" - whatever that is.
If we can't define our enemy how do we understand it? If we don't understand it, how can we defeat it? Does anyone at Stuff care any more? Or am I just a racist for even asking the question?