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.