It is without a doubt that the Abbott Government is intent on curtailing as much scrutiny of itself as possible. Step 1 is the ABC, with step 2 doubtless being the alternative and social media. However, for the moment it’s the ABC. Recent events include:
“Tony Abbott’s comments today show he’ll blame everyone – including the media – for the promises he continues to break,” she said.
True enough Ms Plibersek, but more importantly – as broken promises are there for all to see – is the intention to deny the Australian public the chance to form their own opinion. There shalt be only one opinion and his name shall be Murdoch.
It cannot be denied that the overwhelming bias since 2007 and before, has been pro-conservative and anti-most of everything else. As an example, such was the success of the anti-Climate Change agenda, that the mainstream media sent Australia back a decade in terms of finding solutions. A survey at the time (during Kevin Rudd’s 1st year at Prime Minister, but this is just from memory) provided that of all the Murdoch stable, only Melbourne’s Herald Sun provided anything near a balanced approach, and this was around 67%. For others, the figures were far worse. A balanced approached? Unbiased?
Clearly, if you want to get the message out who does Tony Abbott run to?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has fired a verbal warning to Jakarta…
Did he pass on his displeasure to Indonesia? No. Did he do it by way of a media press release? No. Did he pass the job onto his Minister? No.
The article tells us – wait for it – that . . .
Mr Abbott told radio station 2GB.
Specifically, Alan Jones’ Breakfast Show.
Clearly buoyed by his success in “accurately” enunciating his foreign policy intentions via shock-jock radio with a sure certainty that (of course) senior Indonesian officials have similar enthrall with Australian talk-back radio, Abbott has now turned to that other well-known broadcaster Ray Hadley, likewise at 2GB. At least on this occasion Tony Abbott had at least a miniscule chance that someone/anyone from the media might listen to Ray Hadley, plus take it seriously.
Abbott’s interview with Ray Hadley is quoted below – this one should note, is the same Ray Hadley who was recently ordered to pay a woman $280,000 as compensation in a defamation case. “Acting Justice Henric Nicholas described Mr Hadley’s attack on Carlingford fish and chip shop owner, Kim Ahmed, as an ”unbridled tirade … spat into the microphone for the consumption of the audience”. Note: damages will be paid by the Macquarie Radio Network’s insurer.
“Meanwhile, people’s reputations are under question because of the ABC’s reporting of this matter, so I trust that the ABC will do the right thing.” Ms J. Bishop was of course not speaking about the victim of Hadley’s defamation case.
However, undeterred by providing this interview to Mr Hadley and whilst knowing of Mr Hadley’s recent conviction of only a little over a month ago (and if not, one should ask why not), Tony Abbott then proceeded to shed crocodile tears about the naughty ABC not being on his side.
“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.”
It lacks ”at least some basic affection for the home team”.
Translation: the ABC has criticised me, and is therefore unpatriotic. I am, I am, I am, the Australia. Tony, your ego is once again on display for all to see. Tony, there is no home team; Tony Abbott currently heads one of the major political parties and the one which currently happens to be in power. Tony, you are not “the home team”, Australia and the well-being and benefit of all Australians is the prime concern of all, irrespective of voting preferences.
Does Tony Abbott expect a robust critique of himself by appearing on shock-jock radio talk-back shows? Or is this avoidance? A token gesture so that he doesn’t cop the criticism of being entirely invisible. Look at moi, I’ve been on Ray Hadley . . . duty done regarding “communication”.
Abbott’s crusade continues, to politicise the armed services, who as per the ABC are apolitical and who are sworn to adhere to basic practices. Abbott’s awkward attempts to cosy up to the Navy in particular is nothing more than political opportunism. By the way, Abbott if you are so concerned about Navy personnel, why this?
“Navy personnel carrying out border protection were quietly stripped of some workplace safety protections last month . . .”
So much for concern about “the home team” . . .
Well said by Wendy Harmer,
And what of the other national state-funded outfits he (Abbott) is, by inference, comparing with our ABC ? Russia Today, France 24 , those in Laos or the “baddies” North Korea? Their aims are clear: to promote the current government (or regime) in a favourable light and to vilify the opposition. To be a mouthpiece for those in power. To cosy up to governments and vested interests in affectionate embrace.
Is it any coincidence that certain ABC journalists have been threatened with “services no longer required” should they dare write a critique which might be unfavourable to the current ruling classes?
It is no secret that the NBN is being canned due to Murdoch:
The biggest fear for pay TV is advertising dollars being sent elsewhere as online services offer more affordable advertising rates than pay TV or free-to-air TV can offer.
The next stage on the path to control of what we see and what we know is our ABC is control of all dissenting opinions.
Malcolm Turnbull (this comment rapidly taken from the front pages, but still available via this link as I write):
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC’s editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ”instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s”.
Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.
Further from Turnbull:
Mr Abbott told radio 2GB that Australians wanted ”some basic affection for the home team”, but Mr Turnbull said the broadcaster was more constrained by rules around editorial fairness than its competitors in commercial media.
Without putting words in Mr Turnbull’s mouth, this might be interpreted as, “Abbott, what on earth are you raving on about? The ABC is “more constrained” than anything and anyone in the the commercial media.”
Speaking at Canberra airport on his way to a cabinet meeting, the Social Services Minister said that in a robust democracy, the media should be scrutinised as much as anybody else.
Indeed Mr Andrews, and we all look forward to your critiques of the unsubstantiated rumours, false information, and opinion dressed up as fact as is currently presented to us by the mainstream media. Surely, if your boss desires to continue to give patronage to such things as shock-jocks, the requirement should be that these persons must come under the same scrutiny as the ABC.
Coalition senator Ian Macdonald vigorously supported the Prime Minister’s criticism of the ABC on Thursday, noting that constituents asked him, ”when are you going to get rid of the ABC?”
Here we arrive at the crux of the matter, Tony Abbott wants the ABC to be his own personal cheer squad, as if we don’t have enough of that already from the Murdoch media and it’s associates. However, this is a mere side issue on the road to the silencing of all dissenting opinions, the inability of Australians to read alternative views. This is of course quite suitable to the Murdoch media who currently languishing behind paywalls, who wants opposition silenced, or as much as possible in a semi-democratic society – first step, procure excuses to cut the ABC’s funding . . . next step . . .
We are therefore placed with a Prime Minister who believes that “the home team” is the only team that one is allowed to barrack for. However, when he stated that “Test cricketers occasionally drop catches, great footballers occasionally miss tackles and, regretfully, there were a couple of occasions when this mistake was made – but it won’t happen again.”.
Labor’s communications spokesman Jason Clare said the study was ”all about providing an excuse to cut the ABC’s budget”.
“The night before the election Tony Abbott said there would be ‘no cuts to the ABC,” he said.
“If Tony Abbott cuts the ABC’s budget it will mean he is a liar, simple as that”.
This issue might have conveniently disappeared for the moment, but watch out come budget time, it is likely that B1 and B2 will be hocking their ‘jammies.
When the Institute of Public Affairs starts talking about the irrelevance of Australia having a national broadcaster, then we should be doubly fearful. I wonder if having nobbled the ABC via budgetry means that there will be any “takers” to fill the shoes of the ABC in providing news transcripts for the blind? Not much money in that one for Murdoch, so I can’t see it happening.
If there was ever a case for a taxpayer-funded state broadcaster, it doesn’t exist today. Australians have at their fingertips access to more news from more varied sources than ever before. Online, every niche interest and point of view is well covered. And as private media companies continue to struggle with profitability, the continued lavish funding of the ABC only serves to undermine their business model further.