ABC: institutionalised bias

Faine and Williams

Two stories, taken together, demonstrate beyond any shadow of doubt, that the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is a mouthpiece for Labor, the Left in general and the Green agenda. OK, you’re saying, tell me something I didn’t know. Yes, yes, true, but these two examples perfectly encapsulate the blatant and institutionalised bias of the ABC ,which flies in the face of its legal obligations as an impartial public broadcaster, but somehow it escapes any sanction for doing so.

Story Number 1 – Julia Gillard and the Australian Workers Union

Overseas readers will have to bear with me for a little while. This story concerns our (sub-) Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in the days when she was a lefty lawyer in a lefty law firm in Melbourne in the 1990s. She helped to establish an incorporated association through the bank accounts of which a union official, who was also her boyfriend at the time, siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own personal benefit. Gillard managed to have two journalists who dared raise this issue sacked – Glenn Milne of The Australian and Michael Smith, a radio presenter who now blogs at Michael Smith News (and, I must add, is on a personal crusade to get to the very bottom of this shady period in Gillard’s past – add a bookmark).

There are plenty of questions for Gillard to answer, but at the moment, she’s using the stonewalling technique, alternating with the amnesia defence. The Opposition here is pushing Gillard hard for answers, as the issue goes to the heart of her credibility and integrity – and suitability for the high office of Prime Minister.

The ABC refused to even mention this story until this week, despite it having been rumbling on for several months. Emails of complaint were met with brick walls and a bizarre inability to accept that the story even existed! I personally thought journalists were supposed to ask tricky questions, but in the case of the ABC I assume that they should ask such questions only when it’s not something bad for Labor.

On Thursday of this week, Jon Faine, presenter on Melbourne’s Morning show, did his very best to defend Gillard and Labor against these charges. As the ABC blog notes:

Mornings host Jon Faine has had it with a long-running media campaign casting aspersions about Julia Gillard and her alleged role in establishing a union slush fund. He lays into the journalists who continue to push the story, and raises doubts about whether information from former unionist Ralph Blewitt is likely to produce any evidence.

Jon “has had it” – in other words, he cannot abide the fact that his beloved PM may have some awkward questions to answer, and instead pretends that there’s nothing to see and the main witness has no credibility. You have to listen to it to get the full picture. Following this tirade, Michael Smith contacted the show and asked for a right of reply. He got it the next day. Once again, you have to listen to it to fully appreciate the the contempt in Faine’s voice – he was formerly a lawyer at the same firm – no conflict of interest there, clearly – and thinks he knows something about the law.

So here we have an ABC presenter, paid by the public broadcaster, out of taxpayer funds, who has no interest in impartial reporting but simply defending Gillard and Labor. Faine is just beyond belief. The whole thing is breathtaking.

Story Number 2 – Robyn Williams links climate sceptics to paedophiles and crack dealers

Robyn Williams is the presenter of the Science Show on ABC Radio National and has a long list of form of defaming and smearing sceptics (see here). Stephan Lewandowsky, a psychology professor from the University of Western Australia, has similar form for smearing sceptics, most recently equating them with fruitcakes who believe the moon landings were faked. He also works closely with John Cook of Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science so it’s hardly news that he and Williams are best mates.

“What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or that smoking crack is a normal part, and healthy one, of teenage life, and to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, again and again in recent times distorting the science.

[Quoting The Economist magazine on the US election] It was a telling moment of denial. Much like the comforting myth that there is no such thing as climate change, or if there is, humans are not involved. Ensconced in a parallel world of conservative news sources and conservative arguments, all manner of comforting alternative visions of reality surfaced during the 2012 election. Many […] involved having to think about unwelcome things, often basic science or economics.”

Lewandowsky is then wheeled in:

“I discovered that those people [sceptics] were not sceptical at all. They were rejecting the science, not on the basis of evidence but some other factor. We basically found that the driving motivating factor behind the rejection of climate science was people’s ideology or personal worldview.

[…]

Specifically what we find it that people who are endorsing an extreme view of market fundamentalism are likely to reject climate science.”

I can’t bear to transcribe any more. It’s too painful. You can listen here (if you dare). This, of course, is the moon landing denier paper, rearing its ugly head again for the sympathetic Williams, who will accept it all as evidence of the fact that sceptics are bonkers – and of similar standing to crack dealers and paedophiles.

Once again, it is the same crude characterisation of sceptics as anti-science deniers that we have heard countless times by Williams and Lewandowsky.

All at the taxpayers expense.

Comments

  1. When the Libs get in, they should cut funding and see if the ABC can stand on their own 2 feet, I’d be betting on a more balanced media source in minutes.

  2. Williams wants to imply that climate change sceptics can be equated with child molesters.
    Another way of putting it might be that molesting children is like disputing the details of a scientific theory – no big deal…
    Now that he has gone on record with this I wonder how it is going to play out for him with people who take such things seriously. I dare say that victims of the likes of Saville would not be impressed with Williams efforts to trivialize their plight just to use as a smear.

  3. PS. Williams entry on Wiki shows that he is a left wing agitator with a part time job as a ‘science presenter’.

  4. Williams is now on record and the internet never forgets. Wiki has already got the story.

  5. This is new information? Hardly, they just make it up as they go a long!

  6. All the opposition has to do is privatize the ABC and see how strong there ability to sustain a advertisement base! With their yellow belly bias bullshit!

  7. Fellow tax payers…this is the “value for money” that you are receiving from The ABC.
    It’s enough to make you throw up….And as a side note ABC, I strongly resent being portrayed as a pedophile, just because I’m critical of AGW.
    Whatever happened to impartial reporting?…Oh, that’s right your bills are paid by The Labor Federal Gov’t…we can’t bite the hand that feeds us, right?

  8. I don’t necessarily have a problem with a publically owned media organisation but when that organisation is not held to anywhere near the same standards that privately owned media organisations are held to then the usefulness is only for those who are exxentially corrupt and immoral.

    • Scott,

      It’s not the failure to be held to the same standards as the commercial media that is the issue, rather it is firstly the failure to comply with the Legislated Charter and Code of Conduct. Secondly it is the failure of ABC Management to do anything about the hundreds of upheld complaints throught their own Complaints Process as well as the ACMA judgements against them.

      For a perfect example, look into “The Lords of the Forrest” and see how Tiki Fullerton was rewarded for such a blatant breach of Charter and Code of Conduct with the lead of Their ABC’s Flagship Business program.

      Always remember, when it comes to the ABC it’s

      Your money & their agaenda.

  9. All the folk tales from 5 years ago are being polished up and presented as news, in preparation for Doha. On ABC Radio this am some bloke called Flannery was boasting of a current boom in sustainable energy.

  10. When you ask the wrong people (including faking answers) what their basis for “rejecting the science” is, you get the wrong answer, or in this case, the one that Lew was looking for, in order to paint skeptics as morons. Ironically, all he has succeeded in doing is paint himself as one.

  11. Time to hit them in the complaints dept. I sent one questioning the legal ramifications of such, obviously, untrue reporting. Simon you’re a legal egale – isn’t there an anti-vilification angle on this one? Surely if the Bolta can be brought to heal these mongrels can also feel the same whip?

    http://www.abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm

  12. Flannery should hang his head in shame, he alarmed the populace 6 years ago with the dire prediction that all capital cities of Australia would be dry by 2012. We all know what happened in the meantime, drought breaking rains across all of Australia..and the federal gov’t takes his advice on climate change…We should ask for our money back!

  13. These 2 drongo’s have (collectively) all the brains of a flea circus (sorry fleas). They are up there with Al Gore and Tim Flummery in preaching crap.

  14. Charles Gerard Nelson via Facebook says:

    defund the ABC

  15. Particularly interesting quote today in our lowly esteemed PM’s press conference when she’s trying to avoid answering questions…

    “There has been an emerging kind of consensus amongst the media, perhaps egged on by the Opposition, that I need to give a full and frank account of these matters.”

    Apparently a consensus here ISN’T a good thing! Go figure! I thought that a consensus meant that it was undeniable, or something?!

    And I won’t even start on the irony of a lawyer attacking Blewitt while using the word of someone, accused of defrauding over a million dollars, as a character witness!

  16. Simon, after all that you need to watch Delingpole vs Faine again. James Delingpole stood up to the Fascists. Robyn Williams needs apologize for this vile slur against those who do not share his view. All he has shown is that AGW believers have in mind a stereotype of skeptics which is a million miles from reality.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      A couple of Delingpoles brilliant lines (toned to perfection with sarcasm) to the insufferable Faine.

      Delingpole:- “You’re a master of your craft”

      Delingpole:- “Oh mate…did I hurt you? I’m delighted to hear it”

      Delingpole:- “and you can try and stop interrupting peoples answers next time”

      Faine:- “Only if I’m not getting answers do I interrupt people to try to get the answers” (translation – only if I’m not getting the answers that I want and that suit my ideology do I interrupt people to try and get the answers that do)

      Delingpole:- “Yeah….right mate…good on you….you’re a real pro….well done”

      Faine:- “Thanks you James”

      Delingpole:- “That’s alright…my pleasure”

      Faine is a pompous, fanatical, religious ass….and a disgrace.

  17. It would be ironic and very odd if Abbott didn’t shut down the ABC when he wins given the ABC is for all intents and purposes e propaganda machine of the ALP. Why would a Liberal government support it? It would be total madness.

  18. … and if the Labor Party has its way, the ABC (& SBS) will be answerable to no one .
    Under the current system, complaints in the first instance must be directed directly to the ABC. If your unhappy about the handling of a complaint, then and only then can you refer the matter to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
    Under the new proposed system the ABC will be answerable only to themselves.
    Mind you, this only covers TV and radio broadcasts. What they write or say on an ABC website will not be covered by any codes under the proposed rules.

  19. Funny, but Faine & Williams don’t look any less ordinary than [snip - can't say that!].

  20. Williams reputation will hencefoth be tainted with his ludicrous 100 metre sea rise claim. How can anyone take him seroiously again. Simon , you deserve a medal for listening to Hundred metre William’s and Moon landing Lewandowsky’s pontifications. That is just to paiful for me to contemplate.

  21. All I have to say about Gillard is that Australian taxpayers pay her about $470,000 per annum as Prime Minister. The least she can do is just answer a few simple questions relating to the dirty rotten scandal she was involved in when she was a solicitor many years ago.

    But she cannot even do that… which makes her appear even more guilty of wrong doing than she probably is.

    Whoever is advising this woman is causing her more harm than good.

    Right now, in my mind Gillard appears as guilty as hell of wrong doing, and add to that the great big lie about not having a carbon tax, plus all her policy disasters we have had to endure, she must go down at the next election, and she must go down in history as the worst PM Australia has ever had.

    Australia, it’s time to dump this woman once and for all. Australia does not deserve politicians like Gillard.

    • Merv, waiting for the next election is too long … she needs to go immediately, if not, then sooner !

  22. How pathetic.
    Add “market fundamentalism” and you have a trip to Eurofailure.

  23. Kate Bridson says:

    I’m looking forward to the Libs culling ‘journos’ from ABC next year. They are a joke.

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