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January 31st 2014 print

Philippa Martyr

A Torture Story The ABC Won’t Like

An ideological gun-battle over the ABC would be entertaining and the official exposure of its shortcomings immensely satisfying. But a really thorough audit, that's the shot! Why, lots of budget cuts might even prompt a cheaper, fresher and altogether more entertaining kind of programming

auditLovin’ the ABC/SBS terms of review. It’s right up there with the IRS auditing Al Capone. The G-Men couldn’t get him, but once the accountants looked at the books, he was toast.

Ditto the ABC/SBS. An ideological gun-battle won’t work, but a really good audit and lots of budget cuts might do more good than anyone expected.

It’s surely time to consider some fresh ABC series like The Hamster Decides. This could become an exciting new iview program which can also be watched on older content platforms such as the Marconi wireless, home-made crystal set and ABC1 television.

In The Hamster Decides, those whacky pranksters, the Chaser ‘boys’, are locked in a room with three baseball bats, a bag of cement and a hockey stick. They battle it out to find out which one of them gets his contract renewed. This edgy, ironic new series is bound to be a big hit with younger viewers.

I’d also love to see an entire episode of Q & A on the topic of ‘Why I’m Paid More Than You’.

Fabulously well-paid Tony Jones could adjudicate as Leigh Sales, Virginia Trioli, Phillip Adams, Jon Faine and Kerry O’Brien justify their salary to each other.

An interesting new twist – or maybe not – would be to have the entire audience made up of other ABC journalists and senior managers.

Or how about next New Year’s Eve? ABC coverage of the Sydney fireworks display would be hugely improved if at some point in the evening, a giant piñata in the form of Tony Jones’ head was suspended over an arena full of ABC journalists, who then got to bash it to pieces and grab a contract as it flutters to the ground.

Philippa Martyr blogs at Transverse City