The Australian Defence Force has pulled advertisements from the conservative website Breitbart.
It did so after receiving complaints that it was racist, sexist and homophobic. And also because it is an alt-right news site.
— Defence Jobs Aust (@defencejobsaust) January 30, 2017
I think the latter objection was the point that sealed the deal for Defence. The thought that it was potentially recruiting conservatives probably sent a shiver through the Green/Labor battalion that conquered Russell Offices some time ago.
Funnily enough, not everyone in Australia seemed to agree. Hey! Maybe we are a diverse nation after all.
This actual diversity of opinion was brought to the attention of the #youradf that likes to go on and on and on and on and on about how it pretends to represent all of us.
And so out came the weasel words.
Here is one email:
And here is another:
It is somewhat ironic that Defence has pulled advertisements from Breitbart on the basis that it is a site ‘aligned with political views’ at the behest of a political activist on Twitter.
In between single-handedly directing Australia’s Defence recruitment strategy, the Twitter account belonging to @__eclectica seems to do nothing more than promote anything that’s anti-Trump, anti-Wilders or that Bill Shorten said.
Interestingly, the Defence Force advertisements were not directly placed on Breitbart. They were google ads that targeted users’ browsing history. So the ads pulled by Defence were directly pulled from readers who had internet histories indicating that they were interested in a military career.
Here are two reasons why this decision is just plain stupid.
Firstly, last year the Chief of Army went on the record to moan about how Defence was not only having difficulty recruiting enough soldiers, but that its new age recruitment strategy was also going to result in less women in the Army.
Secondly, the Army’s own research shows that Australians with conservative views are more interested in signing up serve this nation than those with ‘progressive’ views. I can’t think why.
Strangely, the Army has purged this report from its website as well. So you can read it here. It’s the same report that also found most soldiers think Islam is violent. Again, I can’t think why.
By the way, while Defence is pulling ads from Breitbart because of ‘core values’, it is promoting strategic communications to the LGBTI community. This is from the Defence Diversity website:
Now, please have a look at the photo below:
No. This not the actual Defence contingent at the Mardi Gras, even though you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. I do recognise that it is getting harder to tell who’s in what Army these days, as I have written before.
However, this is a photograph of the Mardi Gras. And it is a photograph of a group that Defence gaily marched with down Oxford Street.
One could surmise that they share the same core values. That’s why Defence would rather advertise to people wearing gimp masks than conservative Australians.