Tony Abbott finally makes noises against the ABC’s incessant bias. From global warming to asylum seekers, from Julian Assange to Edward Snowden, from Obama-worship to apologists for Islamist atrocities, from smearing our Navy to damaging the relations with our international neighbours, the ABC is always of the hard left. It even criticises Labor and the Greens from the left! I repeat my post from September 2013:
Reform of the ABC long overdue
This blog has frequently exposed the barely-concealed left-wing bias of our publicly funded broadcaster, the ABC. As Gerard Henderson points out regularly on his must-read Media Watch Dog, there isn’t a single conservative presenter or editor on any mainstream current affairs programme, earning the corporation’s acronym the alternative interpretation of “Anything but Conservatives”.
In their stead we have had to suffer “Red” Kerry O’Brien (whose “old leather bag” visage will be gracing the ABC’s election coverage tomorrow, naturally), Tony Jones (adding another lefty voice to the already skewed Q&A panel every week), Fran Kelly (activist presenter of Radio National’s Breakfast show), News Radio’s political editor and resident Lefty, Marius Benson, Jonathan Green (editor of the Drum, which is banged repeatedly for Labor/Green causes) and Mark Scott himself – wilfully blind to the “groupthink” that is endemic in his organisation – to name but a few.
Then we have all the climate change alarmists, like Dr Karl, Robyn Williams, Adam Spencer, Bernie Hobbs, Tony Jones again, all the Catalyst team etc., 95% of the contributors on the online site, extremists like Clive Hamilton, Stephan Lewandowsky etc, and the list goes on.
It is galling that taxes paid by all Australians go towards funding that Lefty/Green echo-chamber, which caters for a small urban elite, staffed with inner-city Ultimo types who couldn’t run a chook raffle. Privately owned media organisations stand or fall on their output, witness the enduring success of News Corp, and the rapid decline of Fairfax, as it too panders to the latte-sipping, sandal-wearing intelligentsia, and in the process ignores the vast majority of Australians. The Age astonishingly endorses Labor for the election tomorrow – as one commentator pointed out, after asylum disasters, NBN, massive debt, waste, dysfunctional leadership, knifings, in-fighting, Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper, what would it take for them not to endorse Labor?
But the ABC is paid for by all of us, and it should be representative of the views of all Australians, not just a mouthpiece for the Left. It is probable that a Coalition government will be elected tomorrow, sweeping away six years of Labor incompetence. Yet you wouldn’t believe it listening to the ABC this morning, with the majority of stories either puff pieces for Rudd and Labor, or criticism of the Coalition and Abbott. Maybe they realise that the clock is ticking, time is running out, so they have to make the most of it, like the last gasp of the Roman Empire.
It’s time for the ABC to be subjected to significant reform. Balance must be restored in current affairs broadcasting, and the ABC must fully reflect the diversity of Australian opinion. Whether this is by some form of privatisation or otherwise, the population have switched off in droves, with Sky taking over as the de facto national broadcaster.
When the ABC isn’t trusted to run the election debates, something is seriously wrong. Let’s hope Tony Abbott and the Coalition will start to fix it.
It looks like they might. The ABC itself reports (ouch, that must hurt…):
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stepped up his criticism of the ABC, accusing the national broadcaster of being unpatriotic in its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims.
Mr Abbott also questioned the ABC’s newly established Fact Check unit, saying he wanted the corporation to focus on straight news gathering and reporting.
“A lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s,” he said in an interview with Ray Hadley on Sydney radio station 2GB.
“I think it dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but its own and I think it is a problem.”
Asked if he shared those sentiments, Mr Abbott said he was “worried and concerned” by the ABC taking a lead in reporting leaks from Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor.
The NSA leaks revealed Australia’s spy agencies tapped the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudohoyono and his wife in 2009.
The revelations caused a rift in the Australia-Indonesia relationship early in Mr Abbott’s prime ministership.
“The ABC seemed to delight in broadcasting allegations by a traitor,” Mr Abbott said.
“The ABC didn’t just report what he said, they took the lead in advertising what he said, and that was a deep concern.”
Mr Abbott’s attention was also drawn to a Facebook post published by an ABC researcher seeking off-the-record discussions with Navy personnel.
In the post, the researcher said her “boss” doubted asylum seekers’ claims they were mistreated during a boat turn-back operation.
The asylum seekers say they suffered burns when Navy personnel forced them to hold onto hot pipes coming out of the boat’s engine.
The Navy has denied the allegations and the Government has strongly defended the military, without confirming or denying the operation took place.
“You can’t leap to be critical of your own country and you certainly ought to be prepared to give the Australian Navy and its hard-working personnel the benefit of the doubt,” Mr Abbott said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the ABC should apologise for casting doubt on the reputation of Royal Australian Navy sailors if the organisation felt it was wrong.
“If the ABC now finds that these allegations were utterly unsubstantiated then it should come out and say so,” Ms Bishop told reporters in Brisbane.
The first step on a long road, Tony. Don’t waver. You can listen to the interview here.