Papua New Guinea Public Enterprise and State Investments Minister Ben Micah today lashed out at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for sensationalizing his comment on the Australian kangaroos in his Parliamentary statement relating to the success of the Pacific Games. Mr Micah was responding to the ABC's story headline "Papua New Guinea rugby league team will 'kill and eat' Australian players, MP says.
Mr Micah stated in a media statement today that his comments were in jest - light humour about sports and anyone listening would have heard the context in what he spoke which is common in sporting banter. He said, the local ABC journalists like to sensationalize stories and make the country look bad.”
Mr Micah said the ABC tried to make parallels with the young New Zealand athlete who made cannibal comments and tried to suggest there was hypocrisy.
"Well what the local ABC does not know, because they don’t check facts or seek for balance, is that there is more to that story.When that young New Zealander made comments in jest, and was being removed by his team from the country, Prime Minister O’Neill intervened and tried to prevent him from being kicked out.
"The Prime Minister’s Office contacted the New Zealand Games team and said the Prime Minister accepts his apology. The Prime Minister’s view was that he did not think a flippant comment, that was out of context and unfortunate, should end the young fellow’s Pacific Games dream.”
"So to the ABC I ask you to stop taking cheap shots and suggesting hypocrisy if you are serious about covering news Papua New Guinea." Mr. Micah said.
Mr Micah further quipped "I am a vegetarian anyway so the ABC can relax!"