James Allan

Anything but the truth

Any readers unlucky enough to have watched last week’s Q&A program on the ABC [or seen the video below] probably will have had uncontrollable urges to yell ‘you pompous, sanctimonious, self-satisfied twits’ at the panellists on the TV.

I know I did. At least I did when I wasn’t wondering why I had to pay taxes to fund this sort of programming.

Let me recap for those of you lucky enough to have been watching Mythbusters or repeats of NCIS or even Wife Swap USA, all more morally uplifting than the massively one-sided fare churned out by ‘our’ ABC.

Here’s the gist of what you missed. All the panellists had a jolly good time poking fun at Gina Rinehart. Viewers learnt she is fat; she is ugly; she is greedy. Or so it was claimed, despite none of them having admitted ever to having met the woman.

What of the thousands of jobs she creates by building mines and taking risks? The unspeakably self-satisfied David Marr pooh-poohed that suggestion, putting it all down to stimulus spending by this Labor Government, a view that can be charitably described as, shall we say, contentious. (Perhaps the amazing fiscal inheritance from the former Howard government bequeathed to them might be a better answer, but this being the ABC one doesn’t expect or receive such answers.)

Of course by way of digression some of the panellists told us they really liked Julia Gillard; some that they liked Tanya Plibersek; some that they liked, let me think, was it Penny Wong or Jenny Macklin; inevitably some avowed their dislike for Tony Abbott. And of course the token Coalition supporting panellist, however much to the left of his own party and voters as a whole, could barely summon up the resolve even half-heartedly to defend Mr. Abbott, which makes it immensely likely that he will be invited back for dozens of future ABC appearances.

As I mentioned above, anyone who does not share the world outlook of chardonnay-sipping, inner city, self-consciously ‘progressive’ elites (a description of every single one of the panellists, including the host), would be infuriated that their tax money is used to broadcast such one-sided tripe.

But there are two deeper messages that came through to me. One is about truth-telling, or rather the very, very low value these sort of panellists ascribe to honesty. You see amidst all the moral censure at Ms. Rinehart for being unattractive, for being overweight, for being greedy, not a single panellist, audience member or the host mentioned what most of us would consider the much more morally egregious sin of lying.

And I mean lying to the voters just before an election, promising something you recant on within weeks of squeaking home in that election. Of course I refer now to Julia Gillard, though this character flaw may also apply not just to her carbon dioxide tax lie but to her claims of lack of knowledge about the recent guest worker scheme, about her lack of knowledge about the small little riot that engulfed Mr. Abbott in Canberra, about how she knifed Mr. Rudd, and, well, you get the idea.

In a democracy the worst thing that can happen is for the voters to be lied to, at least if you think all of us should be counted as equal and given a vote to choose the party whose policies we like best.  This is the sin of sins, as it were.

Indeed, in my view it is this that drives Labor’s awful poll results, that will see the party lose the next election, and that undermines all their bad policies.

But not to the panellists picked by the ABC. To them it seems mere voters, the great unwashed, have no clue what’s best for them, and so a little lying here and there are next to irrelevant provided the great progressive game plan is advanced a few metres.

And anyway, in the Q&A world honesty is as nothing compared to ugliness and being fat. (And to give credit where credit is due as far as balance is concerned, the panellists did allude to Julia’s bottom being a tad too expansive – so take that you bias alleging whingers!)

The other striking thing about this program is just how hypocritical so many of the self-styled progressive elite are. In between vomiting as I watched the show it struck me that there is something more than a tad hypocritical about feeling free to let rip about Gina while at the same time loudly despising Andrew Bolt because you don’t like the tone in which he discusses Aboriginal identity and the benefits that might flow from describing yourself as such.

And by despising I include applauding as Mr. Bolt is dragged before the court under an idiotic piece of speech-stifling legislation that is an embarrassment to this country and that allows some judge to say he didn’t like Mr. Bolt’s tone.

These inner city elite get to do that while at more or less the same time they can call one of Australia’s greatest job producers a fat, ugly, avaricious, family-hating woman.

Compared to that Mr. Bolt’s tone was positively angelic. Seriously.

Not that I in any way support letting people go to court when their feelings are hurt. I’m sure Ms. Rinehart is more than tough enough to give these pathetic panellists’ views the consideration they are due.

But I do detest the hypocrisy. It’s the same sort of hypocrisy on display when similarly politically-oriented self-styled human rights experts lament and lambaste water-boarding by President Bush but say next to nothing about exponentially increased drone attacks that kill lots of people by President Obama.

It’s not that I’m against the latter. It’s the hypocrisy of screaming about something that doesn’t kill or seriously injure people but saying almost nothing about something that does, and not always just the intended targets.

And then of course there’s the inevitable lamenting of Israel (as one of the panellists preened herself for doing) but without a single, solitary mention of the dozens, no scores and scores, of countries with massively worse human rights records than Israel.

Fat, ugly and greedy people of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your one-sided ABC.

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