Waleed Aly: Fact or fiction?


Yesterday, the cartoonist and author, Paul Zanetti penned a rather interesting piece concerning media darling and host of Channel 10’s the Project,  Waleed Aly, on the Adam Goodes saga.

Zanetti notes that Aly is a master of a special art known as “fractionalism” (a mix of fact and fiction dressed up as journalism). You see, although Aly is billed as a journalist, “he has not been trained as a journalist but as a lawyer” a profession that Zanetti highlights, “that trades on cherry picking convenient facts to win a case for their clients(s).” No insult intended to lawyers!

Zanetti has noticed, that:

“As a lawyer and former spin doctor for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Aly has mastered the skillful of manipulating the information he dishes up to the public, not so much by what he tells us, but by what he doesn’t tell us.”

This is precisely what Waleed Aly does. There is a lot that Aly doesn’t tell us about Islam and terrorism, conveniently cherry picking what he presents to his non-Muslim audience in order to present Islam is the most positive and friendly light, knowing full well that there is much, much more, and a much more sinister element to the story.

I was also struck by the silence of this talkative commentator on the occasion the Project, Aly’s daily hipster news show presented a 10 minute plus piece gushing over the same-sex marriage victory in Ireland. As each of Aly’s companions around the desk took their turn to express how beautiful and wonderful this victory was, Aly was untypically silent. What was that Waleed Aly? We couldn’t hear you. We’re still eagerly waiting for you to tell us what you think about this topical and important social issue. Furthermore, it is disappointing that Channel 10 thought it good that Aly stay silent, rather than potentially adding diversity to the opinion and discussion on the Project.

Zanetti is right. “Fractionalism” sums up perfectly the slippery, cherry picking, and opinionated Waleed Aly.