One Nation’s damning new footage
NEW footage from a One Nation visit with America's gun-obsessed National Rifle Association has been aired for an Australian audience, and it's a bad look for Pauline Hanson and her party.
Part Two of Al Jazeera's documentary How To Sell A Massacre is going to cause more headaches for Ms Hanson as she attempts to deny any wrongdoing on the part of her chief of staff James Ashby and Senate candidate Steve Dickson.
Hours after the One Nation leader fronted the media and labelled the documentary a "stitch up", new footage shows her team discussing ways to funnel donations from the NRA through a third party in a bid to avoid scrutiny.
It shows Mr Dickson bragging about how he would use all the money he gets - including a boast about hiring "one of those drug dealing mansions on the beach" and shooting "the shit out of everything in the water" with "machine guns and everything".
The footage includes a conversation about repealing Australia's National Firearms Agreement which was set up after the Port Arthur Massacre and involved a national buyback scheme and the banning of all semi-automatic weapons.
Mr Dickson tells Mr Ashby and Rodger Muller - who is working undercover for Al Jazeera's investigative unit - that the law would need to be whittled away bit by bit.
"We need to take a piece of bread we know we can get," he says. "Then we can take another piece of bread and end up with the whole loaf."
The Al Jazeera documentary is part of a three-year project that involved Muller playing the role of a member of the fake pro-gun lobby created for the documentary - Gun Rights Australia.
Mr Dickson, Mr Ashby and later Ms Hanson were all filmed without their knowledge. Ms Hanson today called it a "day of shame for the Australian media who have been sold a story that is too good to be true".
"Media across Australia have been blinded by hate and bias towards One Nation and myself, and rushed to report on heavily edited footage," she told reporters.
"You have come here baying for my blood, and I will not give it to you. I answer to the Australian people only and they will have their say at the ballot box."
Ms Hanson said the comments captured by Al Jazeera had been taken "completely out of context".
But the footage unequivocally shows Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson meeting with members of the NRA to discuss potential donations and techniques they could use to sell a pro-gun message to the Australian public.
"It's like Vegemite," Mr Ashby says when discussing how to make Australians fall in love with guns.
"You don't put a f***ing bundle of the shit on the toast. A light smear first. Get them used to the flavour."
The pair talk about covering their tracks, never discussing their visit in written form and not being friendly with journalists.
"It's like owning a viper," Ashby says. "It will bite you eventually."
At NRA headquarters in Washington DC, Mr Ashby, Mr Dickon and Mr Muller hold discussions with PR guru Catherine Mortensen.
She tells them they can easily sell a message on the need for gun ownership in Australia by thinking broadly.
"The Constitution guarantees us (the right to own weapons) but it comes from God. If you're a person in Australia, you share that right."
Mr Dickson replies: "Absolutely."
Later, the NRA's Lars Dalseide tells the trio they should get close to a journalist who "maybe leans to your side".
"You want to print up stories about people who were robbed, beaten, whatever it might be, that could've helped if they had a gun. They've gotta write five of those a week."
The trio are told never to use the word "weapons". Instead, they should talk about the specific guns.
Mr Dickson and Mr Ashby visit a gun shop on their trip. Mr Dickson tells the shop owner about what happened after Port Arthur.
"I lost all my guns," he says. "Mate, that was a bad time for us. It was like hell on earth."
In a meeting with senior members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Mr Dickson discusses how political correctness is getting in the way of Australians owning guns.
He says he plans to "kill" it.
"By killing (political correctness) in our country, we'll kill it in your country. If I said that to the public I'd probably lose everything I ever worked for in my life, but that's the truth."
Those comments have now been made public, but One Nation says they are part of a conspiracy led by Al Jazeera and adopted by the ABC, which is airing the documentary tonight.
"If the ABC had any ethical bone in their body, they would refuse to put this unethical and unfair behaviour to air," Ms Hanson said today.
"The question must be asked, how much involvement did the ABC have in this illegal, covert operation? How much money has the ABC paid, using taxpayer dollars, to organisations affiliated with the Qatari, Islamist government?"
The ABC told news.com.au the documentary was "created, commissioned and produced" by Al Jazeera.
One Nation referred the matter to the AFP and ASIO earlier this week.
- with Sam Clench