Prime minister John Howard and foreign minister Alexander Downer will waffle until your ears fall off about the terrible repression of media in 'regime' countries like Russia and Iran.
But they don't mind engaging in a bit of media banning and compiling a few 'blacklists' themselves, particularly if troublesome journalists trying to ask Australia's APEC guest some hard and important questions might end up queering natural gas deals worth more than $40 billion dollars :
The Australian Government has secretly blacklisted a host of Chinese media organisations and journalists from official APEC functions in an effort to avoid exposing Chinese President Hu Jintao and other dignitaries to embarrassing questions.
APEC officials have drawn up a list of Australian Chinese media that have not been permitted to register for APEC, including at least one respectable newspaper with links to the NSW Government and a journalist who had already been given accreditatio
When Iran and Russia ban media and compile blacklists, they're being totalitarian. When Australia does it, well, we're just being polite to our cashed-up guests.
Howard's Democracy - it's kinda like communism, but with lots more capitalism.