Abbott’s ABC blunder


From John Birmingham comes an insight I agree with:

You could cut Howard’s fingers off and poke him in the eye with them, he wouldn’t blink. He wouldn’t give you the bloody satisfaction of it. John Howard might have looked like a brylcreemed super nerd but he was a hard nut who could absorb inhuman amounts of damage without flinching, because he’d learnt that to show weakness was to lose. Spectacularly.

Tony Abbott is no John Howard. His petulant waaaaaambulance call on talkback radio yesterday, whining about the ABC – not individual journalists mind you, the whole institution, thousands of hard working Australians – all of them, his puerile and disgraceful lie that they do not act in the national interest?

…Howard knew that, as soon as you start complaining, you’re done. You look like a loser. You are a loser. You don’t look like a bloke who’s got the ticker for the hard work.

The PM would be far better off applying himself to governing.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Still.. not half as petulant as the last 5 years of Rudd Gillard Brown Conroy and their mob attacking the haaate meejah.

    • Yes. The ABC factually reporting allegations of military misconduct is totally comparable to a full page headline stating ‘KICK THIS MOB OUT’.

      How astute.

    • With the difference that the vast majority of content in the “haaate meejah” was almost entirely just mindless “haaate meejah” – either as bilious opinion, or opinionated anecdotes masquerading as fact.

      The amount of rancourous hot air and confected outrage generated around carbon pricing, alone, more than outweighs even the most generous assessment of Abbot’s complaints.

  2. ‘The PM would be far better off applying himself to governing.’

    And the ABC reporting facts rather than ideologically driven editorialising.

    • And in the scheme of things who should lead by example do you reckon 3d? Personally I can’t figure out why he has the time to look at the media! Fire Peta and do something about land supply FFS.

    • Agreed,

      The only difference is that the first is critical to the country and the second is only occasional and then just a bit irritating.

      Hopefully, Mr Abbott understands these differences.

      He is starting to sound a bit “look Squirrel”

      Just like Gillard (and Rudd)

    • Facts:

      Turned back asylum seekers have claimed to have suffered at the hand of australian defence personnel.

      This is a fact.

      The truth of those claims has not been established (and in my opinion are not likely to be proven true), but that is not the issue here.

      The claims have been made, and the ABC rightfully reported on the fact that the claims had been made. This is not the same as reporting that reporting that ADF members harmed assylum seekeers, which I haven’t seen the ABC do.

      Maybe it’s the way that you interperet it, but then again you’re pretty biased against the ABC.

      Aren’t you?

      • No such proof shall be forthcoming. There is an fervent anti-ABC cottage industry on the conservative side of politics, whose perception of the broadcaster is stuck in the 1980/90s. They cannot be reasoned with.

    • “And the ABC reporting facts rather than ideologically driven editorialising.”

      Do you have concrete examples where this is a entrenched problem?

      • “And the ABC reporting facts rather than ideologically driven editorialising.”

        More like a Murdoch driven push for his Sky network to win the $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting contract. And it will be a fair payback from the LNP for the “kick this mob out’ headlines!

        And people like 3d1k are being played so a rich man can make even more money.

      • And people like 3d1k are being played so a rich man can make even more money.

        Do not think for a second that 3d1k is being “played”.

        He is an enthusiastic collaborator.

    • Only thing wrong with the ABC is too much Fry!

      This overweight know all gets far too much air time.

      Re Abbott — those “Ordinary Australians”that voted for him will surely get a gut full of pain before the first term is up.

      • While I quite enjoy Stephen Fry, it does seem like QI is the ABC’s default filler (*cough*) program whenever they don’t have anything else to show, and it’s been getting a lot of airtime (and repeats) lately.

    • Yeah, the ABC is just another right-wing nutter organisation trying to make unions like the CFMEU look bad with their ideologically driven editorialising.

    • This is all about eliminating the editorial independence of the ABC, a key battleground in the culture wars that Abbott is clearly obsessed with.

      What Australia needs now is a sensible middle ground liberal government, not some thug trying to land some killer blows on the lefties.

      If Abbott persists with this stupidity Turnbull be PM by years end.

  3. I thought that this website was a economics forum not a political hack MSM rag

    I am not impressed at all, sort your shit out! Or go and work for the ABC.

    • Abbott said there was a budget emergency. So why is it unreasonable for an economics blog to ask why he is doing a childish dummy spit about the ABC during said emergency?

    • “I am not impressed at all, sort your shit out! Or go and work for the ABC.”

      There is a third option. It’s kinda radical, but you could frequent a different website if you’re not happy with this one.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I know you do, in fact I wish you would more often – that’s kind of my point really. Don’t you think blog admins look at comment count on stories and push what is popular? If you’d comment more frequently on the other posts we’d get more of them.

    • I think one of the main arguements of this site is that we should be seeing the economic issues of our times as issues in Political-Economy.

      Our current situation (and likely our future) is a story of political mismanagement, and a collective idiocy in much of the mainstream media (and indeed the wider populace) – This article, like many others illustrates this point and is in no way out of place.

      I guess you also take umbrage at HnH’s occasional (yet brilliant) Ashes-related rants too?

  4. I suspect Abbott’s supposed friends in the media have worked out his weakness and are playing on it.

    Instead of them doing his dirty work, he’s weak enough to be doing theirs.

    And for all of them it’s exclusively about ego and how much power they can wield. By threat against Labor and by manipulation against Liberal.

  5. This is a government OF, BY and FOR rednecks.

    Il Duce wants everyone to dance to his tune.



  6. But you have to admire Abbott’s honesty on this occasion.

    The Coalition want to shut down the ABC.

    Abbott is just trying to mediate.

    • And so they bloody should, why are we paying some “reporter” $400k per year for working one day a week, and by we I mean the tax payer.

      That money could be much better spent on infrastructure or nurses, firemen, ambo’s, teachers and the list goes on of people that are underpaid for the jobs they do every day.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Nope those are state services. Abolish the PMs PR department too and I’ll burn the ABC down with you mate.

      • The staff on sunrise get paid $700k, big deal.

        Money is not the reason why they want to get rid of the ABC, it’s power.

        Factions within the Coalition want to get rid of the ABC because, unlike the Murdoch and the Packers, they sometimes provide coverage on bribery scandals, pork barreling, unethical lobbying, and often expose to the public how the rentiers bend our democratic system.

        So Abbott, a skilled leader, is playing the wise card. He is not necessarily against the ABC so much, so he wants an open debate about it.

        Watch how this pulls the faction into line, Abbott knows they are gutless wonders.

      • If you are so concerned about money perhaps you should take a look at countries that DONT have an independent media to hold governments to account.

        Those are the places where you’ll find corruption, graft and mismanagement on a scale that make the ABC’s budget look like a round of drinks.

  7. Abbott seems more than happy to exploit the ABC/SMH’s CFMEU investigation. As Michelle Grattan pointed out this morning on AM, the ABC is a more publically trusted news source than their commercial counter parts. Abbotts attacks on the ABC could be seen my many as an attack on their judgement and reinforce their mistrust of MSM and the Government.

    • Only Grattan could interpret it thus! Abbott more than happy to endorse ABC reporting when coverage deals with fact as in the CFMEU fiasco.

      Add to the mix ABC being late to the party on union shenanigans ie Gillard/Wilson, NSW Right, Thompson, ALP President Williamson…got a lot of ground to make up. Nice to see new direction, keep it up Aunty.

      • Well 3d, if you look at the ‘What do Australians think about ABC bias’ post, I’d say Grattons on the money.

  8. North Korean media tows the government line. Perhaps Abbott would prefer the ABC to do likewise. Unfortunately, like with NK, in doing so, nobody ultimately wins.
    And don’t tell me that there isn’t an adverse economic outcome resulting from one sided, state controlled media.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        You keep swinging 3d1k but you’re not connecting anymore. Getting rid of this guy is absolutely in your best interests – I don’t particularly like Turnbull (ex-banker/Sydney) but I’ll take him.

      • ABC bashing is a dumb political strategy. Mainstream Australia doesn’t care about your silly war with the lefties. They do care about job security and our economic future, and every day brings news of another factory closure. Abbott should concentrating on that not enforcing extreme ideology.

  9. Lorax, you wish.
    The L.P. will not choose Turnbull, they all love Tone.
    As do the media that reaches most of the AUS population.
    He is safe for years, sadly.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Makcolm will be put in charge of the ‘efficiency study’ into the ABC to make him look like the bad guy.

      • Heh. Anyone with any technical knowledge hates him for screwing up the nation’s communications infrastructure. Setting him against the ABC will have the arty types hating him as well.

      • Exactly my thoughts. Dismal polling means nervous Tone’s got sweaty palms (psalms?) and is trying to kill off the competition. Last time it was the NBN.

        Also, talk of “efficiency studies” are a thinly veiled threat for the ABC to tow the government line.

        So much for the love of free press the Libs were harping on about when Conroy wanted to rein in Murdoch.