Government and the ABC

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Crikey today wades into the increasingly hostile attack on the ABC from the Abbott Government:

The ABC Actsection 78, subsection 6:

“Except as provided by this section, or as expressly provided by a provision of another Act, the Corporation is not subject to direction by or on behalf of the Government of the Commonwealth.”

Malcolm Turnbull is dangerously close to doing exactly that. Put aside the ideology of the war on the ABC, the grudges and accusations of bias that have come from every government since Aunty’s first broadcast, the convention is clear: ministers can’t interfere in the editorial content of the ABC.

Turnbull, we’ve learned, not only contacted ABC managing director Mark Scott — not, as convention dictates, the government-appointed chairman — but complained specifically about the deal under which ABC News ran The Guardian‘s cracking Edward Snowden-derived scoop on Indonesian spying.

It’s an extraordinary intervention, perhaps the worst since John Howard’s media minder Richard Alston formally and vigorously complained about the broadcaster’s coverage of the Iraq war in 2003.

Scott stood firm, as he should. And he’ll have the public firmly on side — the ABC is one of the most trusted institutions in the land; its many viewers don’t take kindly to bully governments trying to influence its reporting.

We’re told this morning’s Coalition party room meeting was dominated by talk of ABC bias. As if there’s nothing more pressing for a new federal government to focus on. The war will wage. But Turnbull won’t win.

I’ve a couple of points to add here. First, it is surely absurd for the Government of the day to attack the national media outlet for breaking news stories. The fact is, that’s the media’s job. To attack the ABC for “amplifying” the Snowden story is also bananas. The story was coming to light whatever the ABC did. If the Government does not like having a national broadcaster then it should mount its argument to close it down and put it to the polls.

Second, both sides of politics complain about ABC bias but the Coalition much more so. It’s certainly true that the ABC has a culture that is Left of the Coalition and is very annoyingly entitlement driven. But most of the ABC journos are pros and the bias does not often result in tilted news or current affairs coverage that I can see. In cultural material the strong links with the BBC probably prevent it becoming overly progressive as well.  It could sure do with more business and economics coverage, but hey, the Chaser is more entertaining.

The preponderance of conservative complaints says as much about the Party as it does the ABC. Libs have this weird habit of howling every time there’s a threat to freedom of speech then screaming for censorship when that results in criticism aimed at them. I personally think this is an issue with conservative culture. It operates through a masters and apprentices prism that venerates power and age above even its core values of liberalism.

Third, the last thing that this Government needs is a more compliant ABC. It has a raging supporter in seventy percent of Australia’s print media telling the naked emperor that it has beautiful clothes. That will not lead to good government, it will not lead this Government to improve its performance and it will not extend its tenure in power.

Comments

  1. It’s disappointing that Turnbull did that, or, because it’s in his portfolio, he was pushed to do so by his colleagues; it’s still something in his own judgement he ought to have known was unprincipled and wrong.

    This gvt becomes more like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Secrecy, cock ups, angering the neighbours – the list goes on.

  2. As opposed to the left who shut down debate with accusations of “racism”. How about Roxon’s proposed laws? Pot kettle. Both sides are an enemy to free speech.

    Given the ABC’s intentional failure to report about the going’s on with the housing market, and given they have zero talk of immigration levels, they massively deserve a few blows to the head. Cut their funding in half I say. That’s still more than enough funding to give views on climate change, the NBN and other such failings of the Liberals.

  3. I agree the Government does not need a more compliant ABC. What is needed is a more impartial ABC. It is hopelessly biased when it comes to matters political.

    This should surprise few considering a recent poll that showed ABC journos overwhelmingly supporting firstly the Greens, secondly the ALP. Most are unable to extricate their political leanings from their reportage responsibilities.

    The ABC does some things really well – some drama, BBC reruns and the occasional doco. Alas many stories with political content are inexorably skewed to the left. This has eroded confidence in the objective capacity of the ABC by those whose personal political leanings are centre/right – only those that share the political ideology of the bulk of ABC would suggest otherwise – there are none so blind…

    Scott justified the ABCs co-release of the Snowden leaks as being in the national interest. Still waiting his explanation as to how it was in the national interest? Clearly it was not.

    • According to who? You? A straight mining spruiker.

      Governments lie. If media is not exposing those lies then it has no purpose at all. If Government does not want to fund an interlocutor then shut it down.

      You are the anithesis of media, sent out to undermine it from the inside. And you complain of bias…

    • “This should surprise few considering a recent poll that showed ABC journos overwhelmingly supporting firstly the Greens, secondly the ALP. Most are unable to extricate their political leanings from their reportage responsibilities.”

      One of these sentences may be true* – the other is not.

      * If you completely ignore the fact that the poll was self-reporting and covered a tiny fraction of journalists. Personally I consider it just as reliable as those hosted on news.com.au.

    • Snowden’s leaks might not be in the govts interest but they certainly interest me.
      Do you think the ABC should only report what is in the govts interest 3inchK ?

      • Were you unaware that States undertake surveillance on each other? It is the 21st century mate – where have you been?

        Which is why the media hysterics on the Oz/Indo intelligence operation was so out of proportion and an immature race to fan the flames of discontent.

        Now that more rational views have reigned the accepted position is that Abbott was correct to neither confirm nor deny nor to apologise.

        • Jeez. It was all media hysteria, eh. It wasn’t SBY taking massive umbrage to Tone’s ill-considered comments. The irony of your comments on this thread should rend the space time continuum.

        • Well, those unaware can now consider themselves informed, and the ABC and Guardian have fulfilled their role. Good for them. As for what constitutes media hysterics over the actions of government, your own judgement is inconsistent to say the least.

        • mine-otour in a china shop

          States spying on each other.. I thought you meant Queensland spying on NSW, spying on WA to see how quickly mining investment was growing.

        • Were you unaware that States undertake surveillance on each other? It is the 21st century mate – where have you been?

          The whole Indo Snowden ‘release’ was a non-issue yes, the reaction by the Govt maybe not so much.

          The biggest thing to come out of this is the Govt spying on its own citizens indiscriminatingly, and then offering the information to ‘partners’ overseas.

          Say whatever jingoism you like about national interest and national security, but you cannot deny that it is in the public’s interest to know exactly what information the Government is collecting and storing on them.

          Public interest should always trump ‘national interest’ and ‘national security’, without question. Based on recent Snowden releases, it seems this has not been the case for awhile now.

        • Brilliant isn’t it….afraid I can’t take anycredit for it mate, a smarter poster than me came up with it. But it suits the shill well and i will use it at every opportunity. Seems to rattle her cage too….what a pity 😉

    • Crikey ran a break down of those ABC employees that became ALP or LNP staffers or politicians.

      The result was more were in the LNP camp than Labor.

      Only the LNP put in place a Chairman (Mauric Newman) who IMHO appeared clearly biased against balanced news reporting and in favor of supporting the LNP agenda.

      It just rubs that the unwashed masses want to critic those who we should fawn to.

      Get over yourselves you have MURDERDOCH to prosecute any trash you wish to name.

  4. HnH! How can you say this: “But most of the ABC journos are pros and the bias does not often result in tilted news or current affairs coverage that I can see.”
    The program directors and reporters for both the ABC and the BBC, from whom the ABC sources much of its material, is so far biased to the left that its programs are a national disgrace. Those same pros are paid by the ABC and the BBC which (most likely) fully supports the attitude.
    The sooner someone wades into the management of the ABC both radio and television and insists on unbiased reporting the happier I’ll be. Kerry Packer could do it for Ch9, Maybe Mr. Turnbull could do it for the Nation. Lets hope so. WW

    • Give me some examples.

      Do you see the Indonesian story as bias?

      I don’t watch much TV these days so could be convinced I’m wrong. I don’t see bias in the news, 7.30 Report, The Business, Kohler’s stuff or Q&A mostly. But that’s about all I watch.

      • Just one for the moment, but I will start to keep a record. How about the ABC’s support for the Arctic 30, Pirates by any measure, whether the rig was afloat or not, and who seem to have a straight through line to the ABC Program manager. Now unfortunately I’m biased against these guys who sail about the ocean boarding the vessels of others and who ask for mercy when Russian Commandos give them a bit of their own medicine.
        Run this story again in a month and I will have a better reply.
        The BBC has a business program on at 7:30 pm (Peter Day) of a Sunday which is worth listening to, but the rest including the ABC is horrifically hard to listen to. Hopefully Mr Turnbull will get to hear of this protest against the ABC and move to action. I think you could propose the tone of these responses as indicative of the general feeling. WW

        • This comment is not about bias its about antipathy to an open society and is simply authoritarian.

          Firstly, for the right to suggest bias and the possibility of objective reporting when they mean unbiased to their own views is archaic. The simple idea of objectivity ended in the 1950s with a range of intellectual movements which the right seems unaware occurred.

          Secondly, the attacks on individuals for bias is an ad hominem attack and has no basis in fact unless proven and that rarely occurs because the recourse for the right is that it tended to ‘such and such’;inevitably a position the right does not like.

          Meaning in language is often accompanied by signification that may appear to a locked in perspective contrary to the one the receiver likes to have endorsed.

          A conflation of bias with basic support authority is the first thing to untangle. That is mostly overlooked in the conviction of a position which is weak to begin with.

        • Now unfortunately I’m biased against these guys who sail about the ocean boarding the vessels of others and who ask for mercy when Russian Commandos give them a bit of their own medicine.
          Can you point to some examples of “those guys” shooting at, or in any other way physically threatening, people on the vessels they “board” ?

          Would you advocate a bunch of peaceful protesters in Australia being threatened with 15 years in gaol ?

      • Try Q&A. A few weeks ago Peter Hitchens was on, a real conservative who supports UKIP, not one of those neo liberals we most often get these days. There were 3 other panelists, including Germaine Greer who were very “left”, I say “left” because given the “left’s” failure on housing they are not very left at all, they are chardonnay socialists. Anyway he was constantly interrupted and jeered at by the audience.

        This is quote of the year in my books:

        “PETER HITCHENS: What is really fascinating – what is really fascinating is this extraordinary alliance between radical leftist feminists and corporate multinational business which is probably the most sinister and cynical alliance since the Nazi Soviet pact, under which the ’60s leftists applaud as millions of women are marched into wage slavery and exploitation by corporations. The people who claim that women were being exploited by marriage and by raising children don’t raise a whisper against the immense exploitation of women by corporate business. Not a word and this endless continual ceaseless denigration of the most important and responsible task most of us will ever do, the raising of the next generation.”

        Well, I don’t know about feminists not caring about women in the work place, they’re always whining about equal pay, which is really just a nice term for communism, but clearly we do have something of a sick pact between the right and the “left” these days. Where are they on the hideous corruption we have on auction results? That’s just hidden away in the AFR, they should be screaming that out.

        Anyway, I wouldn’t care about their bias if they were actually left and did their job. But they have clearly shown nothing but contempt for doing their job. Far too easy to look down on the rest of us from their fancy Inner West enclaves.

        • nice post Bluebird – undoubtedly the biggest winners from feminism has been the banking and property industries

        • Even more sinister and cynical than the libertarian right’s rhetoric on Chinese communism ? Wow.

        • Try Q&A. A few weeks ago Peter Hitchens was on, a real conservative who supports UKIP, not one of those neo liberals we most often get these days. There were 3 other panelists, including Germaine Greer who were very “left”, I say “left” because given the “left’s” failure on housing they are not very left at all, they are chardonnay socialists. Anyway he was constantly interrupted and jeered at by the audience.
          He was jeered because most of the views he was promoting ranged from anachronistic, through discriminatory, to simply absurd.

          What is really fascinating – what is really fascinating is this extraordinary alliance between radical leftist feminists and corporate multinational business which is probably the most sinister and cynical alliance since the Nazi Soviet pact, under which the ’60s leftists applaud as millions of women are marched into wage slavery and exploitation by corporations. The people who claim that women were being exploited by marriage and by raising children don’t raise a whisper against the immense exploitation of women by corporate business. Not a word and this endless continual ceaseless denigration of the most important and responsible task most of us will ever do, the raising of the next generation.”
          As usual the right construct tenuous conspiracy theories and ridiculous straw men in an effort to try and demonise hard-won rights by the historically oppressed.

          Ask the average woman if they like having the opportunity to leave the house, have a job, be financially independent, have a CHOICE in how they live their life, and I suspect you’ll find most of them prefer that to the conservative alternative.

          Well, I don’t know about feminists not caring about women in the work place, they’re always whining about equal pay, which is really just a nice term for communism […]
          Wow.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I completely disagree!

      Grandstand is awesome!!!! Don’t you dare take it away and force me to listen to garbage MSM cricket coverage!!! You’ll hang!

  5. Chris Uhlmann and Mark Simpkin come across as fair and balanced however I’m not sure about the majority of the others.
    It is a joke at the start of each Q&A episode when they claim that the audience is evenly balanced when it is clear that conservatives make up probably less that 25% of the audience.

  6. “It has a raging supporter in seventy percent of Australia’s print media telling the naked emperor that it has beautiful clothes” you have to be joking right? ABC/SBS/Fairfax are all raving lefties … not to mention this publication it would seem. Many of these jourbalists come from left wing universities (like monash) where sociology is nothing more than left wing politics dressed up to look like science (… has sociology been anything other than this?). This is why John Howard was so right to try to win back history from the left wing idealogues so we dont lose sight of the fact that white males built far and away the greatest and most enlightened civilisation the world has ever seen. We aint perfect but a damn sight better than anything else thats gone before.

    • ” white males built far and away the greatest and most enlightened civilisation the world has ever seen”

      We did too …

      all on our own, without exploiting anyone less powerful than we were … go us, we’re the best!! /s

      I would argue that our enlightenment is also largely due to exploited minorities standing up to white males and saying ‘No more’

      • what a crock DrBob – name me a civilisation that had a complete democracy before the west, that implemented the notion of human rights and got rid of slavery, that invented universities, modern science not to mention the greatest art and architecture the world has ever seen? Other civilisations had the opportunity to exploit but they achieved diddly squat by comparison … and how many civilisations pre western ever apologised to colonised peoples for what they did and sought to correct injustices.

        …. your thinking is so typically left wing / marxist ie look with cynicism on any human action, everything is about power blah de blah

        • I am not denying that our society has achieved some amazing things, but to attribute it all to white males?

          I think you can see where the crock is

          name me a civilisation that had a complete democracy before the west

          The Greeks

          that implemented the notion of human rights and got rid of slavery,

          because slavery was ended solely by the actions of white males wasn’t it? (get you head out of your arse)

          that invented universities

          Cairo, Egypt and Fez, Morrocco both lay claim to founding the oldest university. I’m guessing not built by whites or westerners.

          modern science

          No female scientists? or non-white scientists? please define ‘modern’ for me

          not to mention the greatest art and architecture the world has ever seen?

          This is a pretty subjective statement, but I would think that the pyramids are would rank up there as would the great wall of China.

          The problem that I have with what you have said is that you attributed all of the contributions that have made western society what it is today to white males.

          To do so is just historically inaccurate and the fact that you would even make this claim shows that you do not know very much about the subject.

          • the greeks had a limited form of democracy for the upper class. Rights language comes from late medieval theology and slavery was a vital component of greek civilisation. the university system as we know it with formal degrees, academic freedom etc was a medieval invention. Modern science is the one which requires hypothesis to be tested by empirical observation thus leading to progress and continual refinement (the later was not the greeks strong point).

        • migtronixMEMBER

          Geez lets see, the universities were created because we needed somewhere to house all the book learning we re-inherited from the Muslims because the Goths had little need for written works and burned them all resulting the the 800 years of Dark Age.
          The hospitals were created during our invasions of Muslim/Orthodox lands because as the idiots (my ancestors mind you – some of them direct) left the west headed to Jerusalem they invariably got sick and malaised — the east was full of herbs and spices and the knowledge of their medicinal usage.
          The books (parchement) was a technique brought over from China by the Mogols.

          Want me to keep going oh fount of Western Supremacy?

          • yes and it was white males who restored all the roman learning and the universities achieved a hell of a lot more than housing old texts. the muslim learning was actually a rehash of greek learning which they stumbled across via an accident of geography. Western learning took this basis to unparallelled heights. And i wouldnt belittle hospitals, if you want to go back to medecine with herbs and spices be my guest.

          • or maybe i should spell it out in plain English. In terms of advanced civilizations, the difference between first place and second is far greater than second place and last. Anyone can point to isolated achievements across a range of civilizations – western civilization stands unparallelled, the difference is exponential.

          • I am not arguing with what you are saying about the heights of western civilization.

            I am arguing that you can’t attribute it all to white males exclusively, because to do so is to ignore all the non-male and/or non-white people that have also helped to get us to where we are.

            It’s a ‘team-humanity’ thing not a ‘white-guys-carrying-the-world’ thing …. geddit?

          • migtronixMEMBER

            Exactly DrBob, and to ignore our lows (Atom Bomb,Occupation of South America/North America/Africa/India/China/Australia, international slave trade,…) is so biased as to decry the entire momentum of this thread.

        • what a crock DrBob – name me a civilisation that had a complete democracy before the west, that implemented the notion of human rights and got rid of slavery, that invented universities, modern science not to mention the greatest art and architecture the world has ever seen?
          The shallowness of your argument is shown simply by pointing out if we were having this discussion a thousand years ago the answer would have been Muslims.

          You mistake a snapshot in history with the pinnacle of human achievement.

          …. your thinking is so typically left wing / marxist ie look with cynicism on any human action, everything is about power blah de blah
          YOur thinking is typical right-wing. Airbrush out of history anything bad western civilisation has done (and there’s plenty to pick from) and only talk about the good stuff, while doing the exact opposite to every other civilisation.

          There is no cynicism in looking at the whole picture, merely honesty and intellectual integrity.

    • The blackout curtains view of history is certainly more temperate and comfortable for occupants.

      • the left wing view point is that all histories are equally bad, if thats the case whats the point of trying to improve things, after all it will all be bad regardless. Fatalistic determinism runs deep in left wing thought

        • Progress in ‘improving things’ is generally made by first recognising the error of past behaviour. Fatalistic determinism has, generally speaking, run far deeper in conservative thought.

          • i believe it was Engels who said something along the lines of “the bourgoisie will oppress the proletariat as surely as oxygen reacts with hydrogen in electrolysis”. Reductionist philopsophies allow no other force in the universe than the physical, in doing so the human mind becomes no more than a passive chain of cause and effects with our consciousness a passenger rather than a driver. how can this produce anything other than fatalism??

          • If you’re arguing the Left’s view of history essentially renders it impassive, I think the 20th century would beg to differ.

          • yes spleenbatt – Stalin justified many of his policies based on acknowledging reality and speeding up a process (dialectical materialism) which we ultimately can’t stop.

          • migtronixMEMBER

            Hegel DESTROYED Engels and all that self referential rubbish – cleaned up dialectic analysis once and for all.

          • and it might also help to recognise what is GOOD, then we dont throw the baby out with the bathwater???

    • It’s high time someone stood up for the rich white men of this world!

      Good for you squirell!

        • Hmm…..either the interweb has yet again foiled my attempts at sarcasm, or it is lost on your ignorance, my dear fellow!

      • What’s wrong with that? Oh that’s right, it’s because we’re white. We should just accept poverty and the ruination of our countries, you know, because it’s cool.

        One of the main reasons why we’re rich is because we breed responsibly. Maybe non whites should try that on for size. Or is that not intellectual enough?

        • We should just accept poverty and the ruination of our countries, you know, because it’s cool.
          The greed of rich white men, is the main reason our countries are facing “poverty and ruination”.

          • dumb_non_economist

            I go to work for the day and look what happens! Who left the door open? Which of the Docs is responsible?

    • There are non leftist unis? I suppose all those regional ones.

      When I was at uni it was the lefties who had all the fun, working on the student paper, there were a million clubs, with names like the “Armenian Orthodox Christian Club”, none for white guys though.

    • “It has a raging supporter in seventy percent of Australia’s print media telling the naked emperor that it has beautiful clothes” you have to be joking right? ABC/SBS/Fairfax are all raving lefties …
      Can you highlight where some of these “raving” left-wing views are ?

      I’m expecting to see them advocating stuff like compulsory unionism, centralised wage fixing, forced nationalisation of industry, that sort of thing.

  7. Jeez HnH you know how to fire up the wingnuts.

    The ABC has specific guidelines in their Code of Practice dealing with “impartiality”, amongst other things

    “Standards:
    4.1 Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.
    4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought
    or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.
    4.3 Do not state or imply that any perspective is the editorial opinion of the ABC. The
    ABC takes no editorial stance other than its commitment to fundamental democratic
    principles including the rule of law, freedom of speech and religion, parliamentary
    democracy and equality of opportunity.
    4.4 Do not misrepresent any perspective.
    4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another.”
    – ABC Code of Practice

    If anyone has specific details that an ABC employee has breached these or any other standards or broken any law in the course of their employment they are entitled to complain to the ABC or direct to ACMA or the police for that matter.

    Next.

  8. I’m so pleased you have posted this discussion on the ABC, and the tone of the responses so far.
    I often have the radio on of an evening tuned to ABC Radio National, in order to pick up on any news which may be occurring, and over the last couple of years from the tone of the reports, on, from Indonesia, to refugees somewhere, to a train accident coming to rest “just inches” from a river, to those bloody pirates in Russia, to anything Christine Milne says, (all these programs are complete with the sound of rifle fire in the background or motor cycles etc to add to the drama of the story)
    I was starting to think I was an out and out right wing imbecile devoid of all feeling to the underprivileged who seem to inhabit the majority of the planet (according the reports).
    My reaction was well if that is how it is,, tough. What works for me, works well in my situation, I’m just going to have to be different.
    But now I read the comment by others, in the majority saying the ABC is (heavily) biased to the left, I don’t feel nearly so isolated with my opinion. WW

    • bang on wiley wolf – i love it how the left feel they are so oppressed when their patronising arrogance DOMINATES the cultural zeitgeist and sadly as a result make conservatives feel embarassed and afraid to express an opinion less they be considered “unmodern”, “reactionary”, “medieval” etc etc.

      • Is that not the nature of the conservative though? At least the definition is ‘a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values’.

        Whereas a reactionary wants to return to the way things were, which is different.

        The political adoption of such terms by interest groups / parties notwithstanding of course.

    • You’re criticising the ABC for sensationalism, but it seems that has been the general trend in all journalism anyway.

      The world is safer than it’s ever been, so how else do you jazz up the news reports to keep Joe Sixpack tuning in?

    • If you want to feel even more at home in that opinion, there are other (unmentionable on this site) forums out there with a pipe and slippers at the ready.

    • General Disarray

      A lot of those stories you mention require the ability to put yourself in another persons shoes, WW. If you’re only concerned with what works for you then there is no need to feel isolated – there are plenty of people that share your view.

      Society is becoming increasingly narcissistic.

      • Society is becoming increasingly narcissistic.
        This is a result of the thirty-odd year shift in western politics to the right – a lack of empathy appears to be a key personality trait of those on the right.

    • Brilliant, elicited a few chuckles from this loafer.

      Also, best comment –

      “It is indicative of just how democracy has waned in this country when an Australian federal government can undertake such an orchestrated, pernicious and vindictive campaign against the public broadcaster for simply publishing documents. The latest justification for the onslaught (and it would seem the coming punishment) is that the ABC “advertised” for “The Guardian” newspaper. The ABC was not paid by “The Guardian” for the material, so it is false to claim it is advertising and breaking its charter. Releasing the material at the same time as another newspaper is not advertising, nor is mentioning that “The Guardian” published it advertising, yet that is the lie being put about by the Government.

      The ABC offers a range of opinions as it attempts to offer diversity. What the current Government and its supporters do not like is any criticism of, or embarrassment of, the Government. None. Their view apparently is that the public broadcaster should be like an arm of the Government, only disseminating views supportive of the ruling authority. So much for the claim that the Coalition do not wish to impose “command and control” via federal government power. So much for George Brandis’ talk of freedom of the press equalling freedom of speech, when his Government sides with the sneering denigration of the ABC undertaken by rival media outlets, who want to get rid of a successful competitor.

      This isn’t about security, judgement or adhering to a charter; it is about profit, power and control of propaganda.”

  9. If the ABC is not biased in how they choose what voices are heard and what is news and what is not, can you please answer me this.

    Why did the ABC run completely dead on the story about then PM Gillard being under police investigation? All other media outlets ran various coverage on it.

  10. General Disarray

    Apparently someone at the cabinet meeting suggested Sophie Mirabella should be MD of the ABC. The suggestion met with a great deal of head nodding.

    Cory Bernardi was the most vocal of course. In his world there is no room for media that isn’t blatantly right-wing.

  11. It amuses me that so many on the left hyperventilate when it comes to their perceived bias of say the Murdoch press – often supporting restriction of media ownership policies etc – even supportive of Conway’s recent foray into media censorship – yet fail to understand the need for impartial objective non editorial political content from the generously taxpayer funded ABC.

    Funded by all taxpayers for all Australians, meticulous attention to non biased political reporting is essential.

    ABC fails on this count.

    http://m.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/malcolm-turnbull-calls-abcs-operations-oldfashioned/story-fn59niix-1226774150212

    • migtronixMEMBER

      +1. But seriously on rural matters and other esoteric and under represented Australian reporting they are very very good and dearly appreciated! Right flawse?

    • General Disarray

      LOL!

      “..their perceived bias of say the Murdoch press”

      “…yet fail to understand the need for impartial objective non editorial political content..”

      Oh that was good. Please go on.

    • Your phantom symptoms of amusement and linking to The Australian indicate a heightened risk of developing irony deficient conservatism. I suggest a month away from Battleaxy files, News Ltd papers, and the Bolt Report.

    • News Ltd is a privately owned company and so is entitled to be biased. Just like the Guardian is leftist biased, but who cares because it’s not tax payer funded.

        • It’s not a subtle distinction, and that’s not what’s being argued.

          The bias is all in that big head of yours.

          • Diddums, did I hurt your feelings posting a mocking comment about the Libs on another blog ? Did you fail to read the dozens I made mocking Labor and Ellis himself ?

      • Yeah, right, and like any privately owned company they want to see their competitors destroyed, preferably by lobbying the government of the day to do their dirty work. Especially if that competitor is more successful than you are.

        All the coverage and opinion pieces in The Australian have nothing to do with actual bias issues at the ABC.

        • I would miss the ABC to a reasonable extent. But if I want to see the lefty point of view, I can go to the Guardian.

          Didn’t Gillard’s Labor want to muzzle News Ltd?

          I also recall Roxon’s “racism” laws, where by someone could take you to court, say you offended them, and you’d have to prove your innocence. The left seems to think it’s devoid of tyranny, when a closer look shows they can be bloody terrifying, and if you’ve ever met a lefty, well you’d know they often are.

          The left have failed very badly on many issues, unforgivably, and they need to be punished.

          • Didn’t Gillard’s Labor want to muzzle News Ltd?

            Actually I believe they wanted the Press Council of Australia (a private organisation made up of the major press companies) to uphold and enforce their own code of ethics.

            Roxon’s proposals about amendments to the racial discrimination act were ridiculous, and that’s why they were never even tabled. The idea that everything is “Left vs Right” is probably the biggest fallacy being perpetuated in this thread. Censorship is actually authoritarian and fascist – the opposite of true ‘left-wing’ small-L liberal social values. The ALP is actually Centrist – not ‘Left Wing’. Just because they are to the left of the Coalition on the spectrum does not make them ‘Left Wing’.

            You totally ignored my point about News Ltd wanting to see the ABC dead because it would eliminate a successful competitor.

    • 3 champions of freedom trying to shut down an independent media outlet with evidence-free allegations of bias and treason.

      If you want to muzzle the media make sure you have a good case first.

      If a law has been broken, then prosecute.
      If codes have been breached, prove it and sanction.
      If not, get out of the way and let them do their job.

      • I’m not a wingnut. I deplore the political bias at Aunty. ABC has to rein it in and do far better. ABC should be in the position that claims of bias do not arise – the good commentators you have no clue – unfortunately despite the handsome salaries (although granted a reasonable operator in resources sector would earn similarly but of much greater worth to the nation ) most ABC have political preference indelibly cast. They simply can’t help themselves – it’s like a closed workshop!!

        Time for stringenT adherence to objective reporting. It ain’t student politics no more / particularly if you are creaming $200k+, professionalism must be absolute.

        • GunnamattaMEMBER

          Basically 3d1k you – and all the other wingnuts here – when you say you deplore the bias of the ABC are not saying you deplore the bias in any story, because the ABC goes to far greater lengths than just about anyone to remove it and to ensure that it is balanced when it needs to be there (ie it is the story).

          What you should just venture out and say is that your perceptions of bias in the ABC (and I must confess I find it a fairly lacklustre organisation myself on occasions, with a real Sydneycentric feel) stem ultimately from the fact it is about the sole form of credible news and current affairs programming in the Australian public domain.

          What you think is bias is someone in at Pyrmont thinking ‘yes lets ask questions about global warming and the economic narrative and if mining reliance is a plausible economic narrative?’

          Its report selection you want banished, not report presentation. If the ABC was simply serving up the same pap as the commercial media (and treating news and current affairs – particularly economic with the same reticence; unless there is an owner message to be broadcast) then you wouldnt have an issue with it.

          • Firstly I’ll say a curious phenomenon occurs where I have to three or four times login to post. Does thuis occur to others?

            Gunna, not the selection. Couldn’t give Flying fuck what they choose to focus on – it is ALL about the presentation which is, unfortunately biased.

            Don’t really care if the Oz, Smage take a perspective (although Smage pretends otherwise ). ABC is publicly funded. There should be no overt bias!!

          • Please give examples of editorial bias on ABC news that don’t link to some rightblogger wingnut.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            I know exactly what you want old coq, I have spent a decade working in international broadcast (mainly business and economics) media.

            What you, and all the other wingnuts want is basically the same as every despot or one party state east of the European Union wants – someone to say nice things about them, and to focus on utter irrelevancies rather than anything which may give voice to the day to day experience of anyone watching, someone to do do it not in a manner which may be in any way authoritative, but preferably from a slinky 25 year old airhead with a nice smile [and a little cleavage even better] and maybe with 90 second reports from those who can distill every sentence to 7 seconds and wont trouble the dimmer switch for 90% of the punters.

            Australia’s commercial news and current affairs is leading the way

            Yes I have had the odd 300 word masterpiece embark into another dimension from the reply box here.

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            @spleenblatt

            Dont ask for examples of ABC bias (or anything else)

            Ask for an example of something which is thought well done. It is only then that you would see how utterly bereft of substance any bias claim directed elsewhere generally is.

        • ABC should be in the position that claims of bias do not arise […]
          How is that possible when people like you will claim bias whenever a view opposing your own (or the one you are paid to present) is published ?

        • 3d1k, like has been repeated here many times already the ABC has a pretty strict charter and unlike the Press Council of Australia, employees are actually required to follow it!

          If you have a problem with bias, then collect your evidence and present it in a complaint to the ABC and/or ACMA if necessary.

          Bleating here certainly isn’t going to change anything.

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            But it’s about the vibe. Like that crap yesterday from our Tony about them advertising left-wing newspapers. The ABC runs numerous stories picked up from Murdoch as well but I didn’t hear the clown bagging Aunty for running advertising for right-wing media.

            No, this is all still about trying to undermine the ABC in the public eye as a forerunner to selling it off.

  12. Well the ABC is only about 10% as bias as this website, I started looking at this site for it’s economic content now hate it because of the political crap that gets spruiked here.

    Seriously you have lost all credibility, go and work for the MSM!

    • AF, I sympathise but there is no avoiding politics if we’re covering economics. That has never been more true as Australia slides further and further into a vested interests economy.