British comedian Russell Brand has taken a dig at Rupert Murdoch, the media and Australian prime minister Tony Abbott in a 9-minute YouTube video entitled “Don’t Let Sydney Siege Claim Your Freedom”.
Brand, shirtless and sitting on the edge of a bed wearing what seems to be a towel over his head, began by criticising Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter reaction to the Daily Telegraph’s coverage.
AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) December 15, 2014
“Congrats doesn’t seem like the right way to comment upon three deaths and a very volatile situation,” Brand says.
He claimed that while watching coverage of the siege he noticed hostages that were “brown” made a “particular effort to hold their hands up” when they were exiting the cafe.
The comedian goes on to analyse the media’s rolling coverage of the siege, telling viewers to “try to understand how we should feel and think about this incident and how it will be used by the mainstream media and authorities”.
“This guy is clearly a mentally ill criminal,” Brand said of Monis.
“Typically, if a mentally ill person says something you don’t go with their version of events, unless their version of events chimes with what you want people to believe,” Brand said.
“Terrorism is typically conducted in order to meet an objective. This guy, when he was asked what he wanted, he asked for a flag and a chat on the phone with Tony Abbott.”
Brand said that “us labelling him a terrorist as opposed to a dangerous, mentally ill person… and by allowing him to set the agenda… it gives a certain grandeur to nihilistic and violent actions.”
Brand’s video was interspersed with clips of media coverage and Abbott’s press conferences. The British comedian scolded the prime minister’s apparent assessment that the gunman’s actions were linked to religious-inspired terrorism, however, in a radio interview earlier this week Abbott said that while these types of offenders may claim to be acting under the aegis of faith, religion is not to blame.
Brand went on to accuse the Australian government of attempting to “perpetuate a certain story”, dismissing a range of the PM’s claims, including one comment that “there is nothing more Australian than dropping in at the local cafe for a morning coffee”.
“There’s loads of things that are more Australian than that,” Brand said.
“Having a coffee in the morning. You do that, I think, everywhere. I think you can do that in Tiran, Beirut, London… Auckland.”
The video was released via Brand’s YouTube Channel as part of a daily series called “The Trews (The True News)” and has garnered more than 235,000 views in just two days.
Watch Brand’s version of the news below.
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