We’re no Partisan Hacks, say the ABC’s Partisan Hacks

What a brouhaha over ACMA giving the ABC, Four Corners and reporter Sarah Ferguson a bit of stick on December 21 about their lack of fairness, accuracy and honest dealing.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority was referring to Four Corners’ two-part jeremiad in August 2021 about Murdoch’s Fox News (US). Executive producer was Sally Neighbour, presenter was Sarah Ferguson and a job called “writer/producer” was filled by none other than Ferguson’s squeeze, Tony Jones, the ABC’s one-time top-paid presenter and now his former employer’s hire-a-hubby contractor.[1] The series was charmingly titled Fox and the Big Lie. ACMA said it “came close to, but did not breach, the high bar set by the impartiality standards in the ABC’s Code.” In what is hardly a revelation, ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin grumped that the ABC “omitted relevant contextual information in the program in a way that materially misled the audience.”

ACMA’s critique of the left-woke infested ABC program is a bit like critiquing the Mafia for illegal parking in the course of a hit job. It’s not an isolated case of leftist bias; the whole ABC news and commentary edifice is rotten with it.

I’d better declare an interest: two years ago I complained to the ABC for creating and broadcasting TV porn about women being triple-penetrated; defecation during coitus in a hotel corridor; abusing a dog; and raping a woman from behind with a two-metre penis. On the basis a technicality, Lauren Crozier of ABC Complaints told me to get lost[2] and I appealed to Ms O’Loughlin at ACMA. She said I had no case[3], so I appealed to the Commonwealth Ombudsman who agreed with ACMA and declined to investigate further. On legal advice, I refrained from an appeal to the Federal Court. It’s all water under the bridge and I’ve no hard feelings towards nice Ms O’Loughlin or then-Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe, though I’m still cranky with ABC chair Ita Buttrose. At the moment, her taxpayer-paid Triple J crew are advocating for sex threesomes – “Don’t forget a threesome can be the best sex of your life” and in August Triple J was recommending the “doggy position” for “two people with vulvas [i.e. women, who] can definitely still enjoy doggy with a strap-on.” (Caution: this ABC Triple J link is not safe for work). Ita, managing director David Anderson et al are forever bleating to Parliamentary Estimates about community values and expectations[4] and the essential need of Australians for Their ABC, but do young Australians require ABC recommendations for threesomes and strap-ons?

Sorry to have digressed. Now back to Sarah Ferguson and Fox News. I’ll look briefly at the Fox-ACMA-Ferguson conversation. Then I’ll demonstrate how Ferguson, feasting on close to half million taxpayer dollars a year,[5] needs a refresher on the ABC impartiality charter. Finally, I’ll discuss the ABC’s outrageous concealment of whatever US news doesn’t fit its green-Left, Biden-loving narratives, particularly in regard to Hunter Biden’s laptop and the pro-censorship emails of the old guard at Twitter before Elon Musk took over the business. The ABC, itself a censor of conservatives, has responded with 100 per cent hostile coverage of Musk.

There’s a reason for Ferguson’s hit on Fox News, a small sample of which can be viewed via Ms Ferguson’s Twitter feed, apart from general Murdoch derangement syndrome: it’s because US viewers love Fox News. [6] Murdoch took the risk of creating Fox News in 1996 to offset the mainstream leftist media bias, and it’s been an unalloyed success — top-rated for the past 20 years, and crushing leftist rivals MSNBC, the Disney-owned ABC (US) and especially CNN.

The ABC gotcha was supposed to show Fox behaving like a satrap of President Trump. And Ferguson carried on about Fox News supposedly whipping up the anger about a “stolen 2020 election” that led to the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Ferguson’s hate speech against the conservative media outlet was doubly absurd since Fox News offers viewers a broader spectrum of political views than the ABC would ever permit (the ABC last cited the Institute of Public Affairs in April 2021, and that involved a presenter’s false claim which the ABC had to grovel about and correct.)

In September 2021 Fox News protested to ABC Complaints about Ferguson’s show, got nowhere (of course) and appealed to ACMA. The appeal body’s findings against Four Corners include that

the ABC reported the appearance of two Fox presenters at a 2018 Trump rally without disclosing that Fox had issued a public statement censuring the two presenters … In a further omission of relevant facts, the ABC also failed to report on the role social media played in inciting the Capitol Hill riots.

The light spanking was on the second anniversary of Four Corners getting another ACMA spanking. That episode was on Murray-Darling water rights. Ms O’Loughlin had found that

the program did not present sufficient information from other relevant perspectives to enable viewers to make up their own minds about the schemes… Australian audiences expect the ABC to give proper treatment to differing perspectives when exploring controversial issues.

It hurts me to say so but ACMA’s other finding was pretty daft. Ferguson and her crew did a door-stop ambush of a Fox presenter, Jeanine Pirro, whom Ferguson cattily described as “one of the cheerleaders of the Big Lie”. Ferguson told her, “We’re from Australia”. With camera and sound recorders trained on Pirro’s face, the US TV veteran could deduce she was dealing live with an Australian TV mob.[7] Ms O’Loughlin opined that the crew should have further identified themselves as the leftist ABC doing a hit job on Fox. Apart from confusion between America’s and Australia’s “ABCs”, ambushee Pirro would have flown the coop before Sarah’s long-winded introduction finished. Door-stop TV has to cut a few corners. 

Ferguson, basking in the limelight as a certain species of journalist loves to do, issued next day her own hyberbolic rejoinder to what she called ACMA’s O’Loughlin’s “inflammatory” press release. To summarise, she said the chairlady was an ignoramus and the ABC team was doing a fantastic job lambasting the evil Trump, reponding

The press release issued by ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin and the language of the report create an overall impression that our programs were misleading and not honest. I take their words extremely seriously.

Praising herself to an invisible Walkley-awarding panel, she continued (my emphases) about her own “powerful analysis”: 

Understanding the role of one of the world’s most powerful media companies in supporting this damaging [“stolen election”] conspiracy was a compelling story in the best traditions of public interest journalism… Australian journalism deserves a higher standard, meaningful communication on important topics, not empty PR gestures… If anyone thinks the ABC — which has strongly defended its [my] reporting — should choose this moment to dilute the sharp focus of its investigations and the fearless nature of its [my] reporting, they are seriously adrift from the values of public interest journalism.

In her ACMA responseFerguson quoted Murdoch’s son, James, calling Fox News a lie propagator that “unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.” She should have added that James went Left-woke long ago and his wife, Kathryn, used to work for Hillary Clinton’s climate-cash apparatus. News agency AP has taken a $US8 million handout from James and Kathryn – so much for  fearless media independence.  

Ferguson accused Trump of creating “deep enduring divisions in America” – I suppose one example is President Biden flanked by a pair of marines on a blood-red TV set calling any American who disagrees with his agenda a subversive.

Ferguson’s Fox circus had found anti-Fox talking heads, including disgruntled alumni who had left Fox years earlier. Fox executives refused to give interviews, she griped. A wise decision, methinks – they’d be crucified in Four Corners’ editing suite. Her piece finished by giving the finger to ACMA, with a note that Fox and the Big Lie remains unmodified on ABC iview.

My next topic: the calibre of Sarah Ferguson’s output. Let us consider her three-part Trump:Russia “story of the century” in mid-2018 alleging Trump’s collusion with Vlad Putin to steal victory in 2016 from Sarah’s saintly Hillary Clinton.  Details, see here.

In close-to-defamatory mode, Ferguson reported how “members of the Trump team, including possibly the President himself, actively colluded with Russia to subvert American democracy“.

In this three-part investigative series, Walkley award-winning journalist Sarah Ferguson follows the spies and the money trail from Washington, to London, to Moscow, to deliver a riveting account of the allegations and evidence against US President Donald Trump and his dubious connections to Russia – speaking directly to the characters central to the unfolding collusion drama. This extraordinary report interrogates the evidence so far and brings fresh perspective to a gripping story that could have been lifted from the pages of a blockbuster spy novel.

It was fiction all right, Sarah. The US Special Counsel reported after two years’ work,

the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Ferguson’s skew-whiff trilogy, according to the ABC sales pitch,

♦ Sparked nationwide conversation, reaching over 2 million metro and regional viewers

♦ Outstanding performance with younger audiences, with premiere securing Four Corners’ highest audience share in the 25-34 demographic for the year

Four Corners’ most watched special on catch-up, +117% above the 2018 series average

♦ Episode 1: “Follow The Money” seen by over 700K metro viewers, +7% above 2018 series benchmark

Have Ferguson and the ABC ever apologised to Trump or run (let alone published) a post-mortem on how they stuffed up so comprehensively, in preference to waiting for Robert Mueller’s report based on 500 witnesses and thousands of documents?

I mentioned Sarah’s affection for 2016 loser Hillary Clinton. The ace reporter later skited about the rigors and research involved in interviewing such a goddess, who curiously claimed in May 2019 about her 2016 loss, “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can “have the election stolen from you”. Ferguson has never called this a “big lie”. In the July 2017 interview, she tossed Clinton marshmallows like

♦ We’ve looked at the pictures of you recently about to go onto the balcony for Donald Trump’s inauguration. No one could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at that moment.

♦ Millions of Americans responded to Trump’s racist, sexist and bigoted appeals during the campaign by voting for him. Can you forgive them?

♦ Do you think it’s possible that this virtual break-in [of the Democrat National Committee’s servers] could lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump?

CLINTON: Well, we’ll have to see. But I believe it was actually more significant than Watergate.

♦ Do you [think] Donald Trump is too clever to have had his fingerprints actually on this kind of activity?

♦ You’ve described Trump as a clear and present danger to the US. Is he also a clear and present danger to Australia? … Is he the most dangerous President you’ve ever had?…Should we be worried in Australia?

In the event, this “dangerous” Trump started no wars, defeated ISIS in Syria,[8] brokered peace pacts in the White House between Israel and United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, began the Afghanistan withdrawal (utterly botched by Biden, who donated $US7 billion in abandoned arms to the Taliban), warned Germany (in vain) about reliance on Russian gas, achieved US energy independence from OPEC, lowered tensions with North Korea (albeit temporarily) and began the securing of the US’s southern border (sabotaged by Biden, who has let in 5.5 million illegals, about the population of Victoria).

The take-home from Ferguson’s adoring Hillary interview were that Clinton blamed the following for her 2016 defeat: the Russians, the FBI and James Comey; Facebook and Twitter; Assange and Wikileaks; Trump’s son-in-law, Jarrod Kushner, and data analytics; New York’s ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani and, inevitably, “endemic sexism and misogyny”.[9]

Later, Ferguson gave a commercial FM station an interview about the interview. Ex-national Labor leader Mark Latham (now One Nation’s State leader in NSW Legislative Council) cites from the transcript (at 3.00 minutes):   

Q: How do you brook [sic] the discussions with Bill [Clinton] and his infidelity? Did you get into that?

Ferguson: Not too much … I reckon she’s been through enough … It is a very interesting marriage but I don’t think that every time she sits in a chair she needs to be asked about her husband. So I didn’t’ go into that history. (At 3.00 minutes in).

Latham then comments, rightly or wrongly:

Imagine that! A journalist with so little objectivity, a journalist with so few ethics and a determination to put hard questions said, ‘No, poor Hillary, she’s been through enough.’ Sarah Ferguson, you are a fake journalist at a fake news outlet just acting as a cheer squad sycophantically clapping and applauding and patting Hillary on the back, rather than asking the tough questions.

So it’s a puff piece we’ve got here. What’s happened is the fake media have lost the plot. They act as a cheer squad instead of acting according to the public interest with objectivity and tough questions … Hillary Clinton is a delusional failed candidate who has lost the plot and hanging out with people like Sarah Ferguson. It ain’t going to do you any good, Hillary, I can guarantee you that.”

 I am not saying Latham’s allegations are true, only that he broadcast them.

Incidentally, Ferguson’s bestie, Hillary, also went for the Big Lie about the 2000 election, saying Republican George W. Bush had been “selected not elected” over her pal Al Gore. Hillary is even running her Big Lie right now about the 2024 election-to-be: “Right-wing extremists already have a plan to literally steal the next presidential election,” she said, “and they’re making no secret of it.” She’s urging her followers to mobilise to “crush the coup”. Somehow Ferguson and her ABC haven’t covered this indignantly, or at all.[10]

In this month’s rejoinder to ACMA, Ferguson mentioned what she called “bipartisan members” of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 investigations committee. I found Ferguson’s use of “bipartisan” curious, given this history of the committee’s establishment (pardon the detail but it goes to Ferguson’s credibility about ‘bipartisan’).

Protocol was that Pelosi as Speaker appointed all nine members, five of them after consultation with the minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California). Instead Pelosi filled seven of the “majority” slots with Democrats plus Trump-hating Republican Liz Cheney as vice-chair. (Cheney had voted in 2021for the impeachment of Trump over January 6. She then lost 66%-29% in the Wyoming Republican primaries last August to pro-Trump rival Harriet Hageman, and in the 2022 midterms Cheney ran anti-Republican ads and endorsed multiple Democrat candidates).[11] Pelosi took the unprecedented step of rejecting two of Republican leader McCarthy’s five recommended minority slots — Jim Banks and Jim Jordan — claiming they were too pro-Trump to exercise proper judgement. Thereupon the remaining three of five Republican nominees refused to serve, so Pelosi made a captain’s call by appointing another Trump-hating Republican, Adam Kinzinger, who like Cheney had already voted to impeach Trump. Pelosi left the remaining four Republican slots vacant.

Contrary to what Ms Ferguson would have ABC viewers believe, this was all about as “bi-partisan” as, hypothetically, John Howard running a parliamentary Star Chamber to prosecute Opposition Leader Kim Beazley for allegedly inciting Australia’s own Parliament House riot and looting by ACTU ferals, students, Aboriginal agitators, drunks etc on August 19,1996.[12]

Topic Three is how the ABC hypes whatever fits its US narrative but keeps Australians in the dark about whatever incriminates Biden’s Democrats. Prime example is the revelations from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop about how the Biden family operates – with 10 per cent of some of Hunter’s multi-million international scamming  plots reserved for “the Big Guy” Joe Biden.

When the New York Post broke the laptop story a few weeks before the election, accurately documenting the scamming and Hunter Biden’s porno selfies, the FBI, the Deep State intelligence community, social media owners and mainstream outlets closed ranks to censor and suppress the story. Their rationale was the lie that the material had been “hacked” by Russians. Most Americans cast their votes in ignorance of this scandal. Polling of key-states Democrat voters suggested they would have flipped the election to Trump. Eighteen months later, The New York Times and Washington Post sheepishly conceded the laptop contents were authentic. I’ve dealt with the ABC’s original treatment of the story here, titled “What the ABC Decided You Didn’t Need to Know”. It involved an ABC farrago of lies, innuendo, mockery and concealment of essential facts.

That was Laptop Scandal 1.0. The even more disturbing Laptop Scandal 2.0 broke this month as Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, began releasing a trove of incriminating emails he found in the social media platform’s archives. From them we now know how the FBI groomed Twitter, Facebook and the media beforehand to beware of “hacked” Russian disinformation, and stage-managed the pre-election censoring of the laptop disclosures. All this, while the FBI knew full well the laptop contents were the real deal. These revelations of the FBI corrupting the democratic election process are material for a separate essay, so I’ll just tell what my searches of the ABC website reveal about the ABC’s coverage of the revelations.

♦ Search on “Hunter Biden”: zero

♦ Search on “FBI and Twitter”: zero

♦ Search on “Elon Musk and ‘FBI”: zero

♦ Search on “Elon Musk and Twitter”: Heaps of stories. All negative and zero reference to the email/FBI trove.

This is why I’m not too excited about ACMA’s little critique of Sarah Ferguson and her hissyfit about Fox News. After all, the whole ABC political apparatus is weaponised to promote the “progressive” Left on the taxpayers’ dime.

Tony Thomas’s latest book from Connor Court is now available: Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. For a copy ($35 including postage), email


[1] Email from ABC spokesman, Sept 2021: “Tony is not an ongoing ABC staff member but continues to make contributions by agreement with program makers.”

[2]Audience and Consumer Affairs will generally not accept for investigation complaints lodged more than six weeks after an item was broadcast or published. As you have not indicated that any special circumstances apply in this instance, we decline to investigate your complaint. Your comments have nonetheless been noted and made available to ABC Entertainment & Specialist.

[3] ACMA: “…while we acknowledge the lack of ambiguity surrounding the activity depicted, we note the rudimentary animation style employed, the lack of visual detail, the absence of real people, and the relative brevity of the depictions. We noted that warnings of sexual references and coarse language were provided and considered that any potential offence was likely to be justified by the editorial context of a satirical program about life during the coronavirus lockdown.”

[4] Chair Ita Buttrose: “Our 90th year is a chance to not only celebrate but also to reaffirm our relationship with the Australian people as a trusted and cherished national institution, deserving of the investment placed in us.” Annual Report 2021-22, opening page.

[5] Whether it’s Ferguson or Leigh Sales on the $460,000 top taxpayer dollar is a topic for another day.

[6] Within the US, a 2021 Gallup Poll-assessed trust in media at 36 per cent, the second-lowest on record. Only 11 per cent of Republicans – who comprise half the population – trust the media

[7] ACMA also found this term “mob” used by Four Corners to be unacceptable. This seems silly too, but strangely, the ABC has never described the looters, killers and arsonists of the year-long Black Lives Matter riots in the US as a “mob”.

[8] More or less, anyway

[9] Hat tip to Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Blair for the transcript extracts (the original now 404’d) and his take on them.

[10] Instead the ABC serves up pap like, “Director Nanette Burstein combines detailed interviews with Hillary Clinton, her family, friends, and colleagues with hours of off-the-record campaign archive to trace, not only the story of Hillary Clinton, but also the arc of women’s involvement in US politics over decades.

[11] Hageman told her supporters, “While it may not be easy, we can dislodge entrenched politicians who believe they’ve risen above the people they are supposed to represent.” Trump said, “This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the unselect committee of political hacks and thugs.”

[12] Weapons used by the rioters included rocks, sticks, cans, paint bombs, a sledge hammer, a wheel brace used to smash glass partitions, a steel shop-trolley and diluted acid. One rioter tried to trigger the fire sprinkler system with a lighter. Ninety police and Parliamentary security people were injured — lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. At least a couple were hospitalised. 


30 thoughts on “We’re no Partisan Hacks, say the ABC’s Partisan Hacks

  • Malcolm Wilson says:

    When two battle-hardened protagonists such as News Corporation and the ABC are having a no-holds-barred fight, you don’t want to get into the middle of it.
    The poor old ACMA gets asked to be the umpire in a knock-down, drag-out brawl between the two over a Four Corners piece about the Murdoch group’s treatment of Trump in the US.
    The ABC’s Four Corners program gets stuck into News Corp and Trump, so News Corp complains to the ACMA. The ACMA decides in favour of News Corp. Then the ABC reacts quite nastily by ripping into the ACMA.
    The question is: How do we ordinary mortals decide who is right and who is wrong on these sorts of brawls? I decided the best way was to ignore what the two protagonists said and see what other news groups were saying.
    So I read both the SMH/Age and the Guardian, to see what less involved bystanders were saying on this matter. Both took the side of the ACMA. Enough said.

    • DougD says:

      The ABC is occasionally valuable. It’s amazing what can slip out when you’re talking to friends. Remember Albanese’s response on ABC Insiders to David Spears’ when he asked what government would do if the Voice advised restoration of cash cards? Well, said the PM, it would be a brave government that didn’t follow that advice.

  • Michael says:

    The ABC is green-left propaganda.

  • Daffy says:

    Do we still have an ABC? I stopped paying attention when James Dibble retired.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

      Me when Russ Tyson of the breakfast session pulled the pin and then again, many years later when they interviewed me about a Cyclone of some notoriety in Darwin and then cut and pasted it to place a whole different slant on things, and then in 1989 when I told the now backroads lady to report the bloody news and not make the news. Surprisingly, that lady knew more “langwidge” than my bullock driver grandfathers did. Sadly, we are stuck with them so it’s of no use bitching since Labor and their ilk would never allow them to be shut down or transferred to Panawonika, Fitzroy crossing, or even Heard Island in this electronic age.

      • Sindri says:

        Botswana, you were in Darwin a few Christmases back when there was that rainshower? We don’t see eye to eye on a few things but we have that in common.

        • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

          I did think to myself afterwards that one of those surrealist painters would have been envious of that small car embedded way up in the water tower but freighter blokes like us in large aeroplanes were “realists” and did what we had to do on account of it had to be done despite the authorities refusing to give us entry clearances so ancestor bullocky language was used to effect. The ABC are usually somewhere safe and venture out when the fuss and feathers settle.

          • Sindri says:

            Not to mention the Torana in the swimming pool at the Travelodge and you would have noticed the assorted 172s, warriors and the odd chieftain twisted to hell and scattered round the airfield like crazy sculptures. As for the ABC, don’t include the local people in that assessment. They did an amazing job putting the radio transmitter back into some sort of operation, basically with string and sticky tape, and worked their backsides off keeping it going, raising local morale, with their dazed, shell shocked mostly young families scattered all over the premises because their house were matchsticks. It was actually the abc’s finest hour.

  • lbloveday says:

    “…ACMA’s little critique of Sarah Henderson”.

    Sarah Ferguson?

  • Citizen Kane says:

    Sarah Ferguson is, in my humble opinion, a loathsome bourgeois hack feeding from the swill of taxpayers hard earned money to produce the journalistic equivalent of ‘pig shit’ – it stinks to high heaven. That certainly should be in the public interest.

  • ianl says:

    On a thread from Tony T’s article above:

    Laptop Scandal 2.0 (the FBI using Twitter to censor information flows)

    I’ve read elsewhere that when the Republicans take control of Congress later this month (January 2022), there will be cross-examinations of subpoenaed FBI officials to expose the dirt.

    Fine, great … but what if the R’s turn turtle to avoid exposure of their own dirty laundry (which the FBI have hard evidence of in droves, to be sure, to be sure) ?

    Absolute rule: one cannot trust those with power, they *will* abuse it. No ifs, no buts.

  • brandee says:

    If Tony Thomas had been Communications Minister in the vapid Morrison government we would surely have put some stick put to the ABC. Instead we had a do-nothing Minister in Paul Fletcher who actually gave the ABC more money before the election and then he only held his seat by a whisker. Fletcher may have thought that his ABC donation was essentially like protection money some feel compelled to give to the Mafia. His PM must have approved with no qualms as he invariably said that he would not engage to contest values. So this valueless former PM who had prepared the ground to run with Labor on ‘the second voice’ for aboriginal and mixed race Australians now sits in Opposition like lead in the saddlebag of the Conservatives.
    What a weak lot Peter Dutton has to pick up and run with and save the country whilst fighting the ABC!

  • BalancedObservation says:

    Tony Thomas, my word you are persistent.
    But as my dear mother would say: “you’re a glutton for punishment”.
    I made a complaint to the ABC once and it turned out to be a complete and utter waste of time. I couldn’t believe the bureaucratic run around I got. I’ll never do it again. It’s simply not worth the time.
    The ABC complaint’s department waffled at first in response to my well argued points. Then I got very specific referring precisely to the specific words which were used in the programs I was referring to. They simply had no answer to my argument. The facts were all too obvious.
    So you know what they did then? They said they didn’t have access to the programs so it was not possible for them to respond adequately. They were programs only a day or so old. This was after initially rejecting my complaint. Absolutely incredible.
    Life is too short to be wasting any of it pointlessly complaining to the ABC.
    In fact it’s generally a waste of time complaining to any organisation unless it’s over an everyday thing like a delayed delivery etc or being charged twice. It’s worth it for that.
    Organisations aren’t interested in your opinion despite the fact that they often bombard you with requests for feedback etc on how they can improve their businesses. I guess that is generally so they can tick a box on a quality review process or something. I’ve never had any follow up from any suggestion I’ve made in a feedback form.
    So I make a point now not to complain unless it’s absolutely necessary like being charged twice or to draw attention to a delivery that hasn’t been made etc. Other than things like that it’s generally a useless waste of time. And I never ever complete an automated feedback request. They are rubbish. If I get great service though I’ll go out of my way to pass it on but never through an automated feedback process.

  • Paul W says:

    I made a complaint once.
    They rejected my complaint about inappropriate language and said it would only be inappropriate if they used certain words: but they did use those words. So I wrote back telling them they had just admitted their guilt. They officially continued to reject my complaint and passed my feedback on to the producer. The article was silently edited.
    You are never more wrong than when you are right.

    • BalancedObservation says:

      Paul W

      I agree with your very appropriate comment: “you are never more wrong than when you are right”. You will really be treated worst of all if you are clearly right and can prove it – like you did. Organisations can’t tolerate that.
      The worst are mainstream media organisations who often tout their great integrity. Organisations which hold themselves up as champions of free speech. It makes me laugh when I hear them doing that, knowing what I know from personal experience with them.
      When you offer a well argued, respectful comment which very effectively challenges their political line they’ll simply censor you. However they’ll tolerate a lot of poorly argued incoherent comments attacking their political line because they know it only helps them.
      So I totally get your expression : ” you’re never more wrong than when you are right”. Expect to be treated very harshly by the mainstream media on the right and the left in such circumstances.

      • BalancedObservation says:

        I’ve often pondered over how this incredible eye-watering hypocrisy is possible in the mainstream media today.
        One explanation could possibly be the brightest minds aren’t going into media – there’s now far too much money to be made in other occupations.
        So possibly less capable thinkers are now in media and they’re frustrated in their inability to handle well argued comments which challenge their rusted-on political beliefs that they are often pushing. It’s far easier simply to censor fair comments which challenge their political views.
        But this still doesn’t explain the significant level of dishonesty involved it what they’re doing. You don’t need to be a top thinker to be honest. It surprises me that they can do what they do. You’d think it must damage their self-worth.
        But when you think further about it there’s always been an expression : “you can’t believe what you read in the papers”. There’s probably a good reason for that. And it’s also telling that surveys show journalism is one of the least respected occupations in Australia.

  • Paul W says:

    Videos of ABC journalists doing street interviews in the 1960s shows a completely different style of journalism: a professional one where everyone is questioned respectfully and properly. Journalists in the past were respected more because they had to be literate, able to write well, and communicate with people from all walks of life. They usually had different backgrounds and became journalists because they could do the above.
    Nowadays journalists are trained at universities, 90% being women. Competition is stiff for jobs.

  • BalancedObservation says:

    Having made my critical comments above about the mainstream media in general I take a different view on Sarah Ferguson personally than others might here.
    However I was actually shocked by her program on Trump and the Murdoch press ( I know others here probably think it was par for the course).
    It lacked the competence and objectivity that I’d argue she’s brought to the 7.30 Report.
    The editing and presentation was deliberately more sensationalist and emotionally charged than a fair and objective coverage of the issues. As I recall it was sprinkled with contrived gotcha moments. It seemed designed more to push a conclusion which had already been reached, rather than a program designed to investigate the issues.
    However overall I’ve been impressed with Sarah Ferguson’s performance in her new role at the 7.30 Report. It’s been a pleasant surprise to me. I’d rate that program the most objective and important current affairs program in Australia now. More objective than other ABC current affairs programs. And more objective than the main news mastheads. She’s asked some of the hard questions both of Labor and the Coalition that other outlets have failed to ask.
    But she seems to be somewhat brainwashed by the anti Trump culture. That’s I guess understandable. It seems to have taken over much of the media here – not simply on the left where you’d expect it. It’s almost regarded as a badge of honour to criticise Donald Trump and deliberately fail to mention his achievements, some of which this article documents well.
    The impression you get from the mainstream media following the recent midterms is that Trump is a spent force. It’s far from the case.

  • Dallas Beaufort says:

    ABC Splaining, fear driven content. Not man made.

  • Brian Boru says:

    I have never been a fan of the media. Maybe that’s because I have always been a cynic.
    I have often thought that someone should make a complaint to the ACCC about media organisations using the word “news” in their descriptions when they are really acting as advocates for their agendas.
    I read BO above referring above to a saying their mum used. My darling mum used to say “there’s good and bad in every lot”, I don’t know whether she would use that expression about the ABC these days.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Some ABC defects are baked in from a long term of assuming a type of Royal Privilege about veracity.
    This defect was there way back in 1984 when I managed a visit of Four Corners and Kerry O’Brien making an episode about our uranium mining near Jabiru, East of Darwin.
    Example. KOB was interested in a prospect named Ranger 68, which finally was taken from us without compensation by the United Nations world heritage process and the Hawke government. Repeatedly, I told the camera people and His Eminence that it was pointless to film some scenes
    – the geology indicated barren ground there – because there was no intention for mining to ever affect them. On cue, the places were shown in the final cut without mention that they were irrelevant to planned mining.
    Later, PM Hawke visited and bravely declared on ABC national TV that no mining would ever be permitted at the beautiful place (shown in the background).
    The side story was that I was reluctant to show anyone the location of Ranger 68 because it was evident that they planned to stop us. Why help the enemy? The ABC reporting for the O’Brien and Hawke visits was therefore fiction dressed up as fact by ABC. Later, when Hawke was told he he was talking about the wrong place, I had the mild pleasure of seeing him turn quite red of face on the 7 pm TV news. The larger displeasure still exists, because Ranger 68, whose mineral value is unknown because we were evicted before full testing, is still there. If it was similar to Ranger One, now mined, its value would be of the order of $50 billion.
    Note: Nobody asked me to take them to Ranger 68. I merely drove one vehicle in the caravan to where others thought it was located. Geoff S

    • BalancedObservation says:

      Geoff Sherrington
      Uranium mining is arguably now more than ever one of a number of the increasingly important issues for Australia’s long term future. It certainly has wealth and export income implications; and energy resource implications at a time when that is becoming critical. And it could have more remote but nevertheless extremely important defence implications.
      Your example is also possibly an excellent illustration of how the media can distort understanding of an issue by others so that the view of others aligns with the media’s own beliefs or interests.
      I’d like to ask a couple of questions about what you said. It’s all not completely clear to me. I’d like you to clear it up so it’s completely unambiguous. I’m not wanting to be critical of you but because it’s so important, I’d like it to be crystal clear.
      You described an area they filmed and presented on ABC TV as barren because the geology indicated that. Did this mean barren in the sense that there was unlikely to be commercial quantities or perhaps any uranium ore there?
      Did the area also look barren in the sense of the word as most would understand it – like a barren landscape devoid of interest or beauty?
      Or was this area itself – that there was no intention to mine – quite beautiful and therefore likely to evoke an emotionally negative response if people thought it was to be mined?
      I’m assuming it was beautiful because you mentioned Bob Hawke appearing on camera in front of a beautiful landscape backdrop. I’d really appreciate it if you could remove any ambiguity for me.
      This seems to me to be extremely relevant to this article. It seems to be an excellent example of how the camera or what’s selected to present on camera can create false impressions or make it harder for the viewer to make an objective assessment of an issue.
      And further still, perhaps encourage the viewer to reach a conclusion that was in line with the beliefs held by those presenting the program – a conclusion that the viewer would perhaps not come to if the situation was presented in a completely objective and fair manner.
      To me this sort of thing occurs everyday in media coverage of a large number of varied political issues – where the beliefs and interests of the media outlet take preference over a search for the truth.

      • Geoff Sherrington says:

        Balanced Observer,
        For clarification, it was Hawke who spoke of “beautiful country”. Not me.
        Some history: Naturalist Harry Butler was a TV idol for many children and conservationists at the time. He described Kakadu National Park as “clapped out buffalo country” and was crucified for his sins. When you have been over the area dozens of times, you come to agree with Harry. There is no “beautiful country”. Most of it is flat, repetitive, dusty in the Dry, impassible in the Wet. Park people have made most of it inaccessible to common folk. After a few days there you can yearn for a lookout, a view with more variety than scrubby termite-ridden trees flashing past as you drive for hours, but there are only tiny examples of roads up hills to lookouts. You cannot drive to the top of the prominent Escarpment. There are 10 European countries with smaller land areas than Kakadu National Park (and some with less dogmatic governments). We were there years before the park people and were friendly with the few locals, so we got to see most of what might be interesting. There is little of it, even less allowed for the public to see. Rules prevented you even to collect firewood and light a match for a camp fire, without permission.
        Re geology. “Barren” is a common term for a concept like “devoid of known minerals of economic interest so far as we can tell.” It is not related to scenic attraction in this article. In the Top End, far better scenery is East of Kakadu, in the vast Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve where whiteys are banned without permits.
        Is that helpful? Geoff S


    The ABC appear to be Teflon coated. The truth about how amoral they are won’t stick. Hopefully, someday their ABC’s Teflon-like anti-stick protection will wear off, the truth will shine through and defunding will result. Looking forward to that day. No boo-hoos from me.

  • BalancedObservation says:


    The truth usually sticks but people have to get the opportunity to see it. They don’t get the full truth a lot of the time on our mainstream media. The full truth doesn’t “shine through” a lot of time not just for the ABC but for most of the mainstream media.
    Stripping funding from the ABC is no cure. It would be likely to reduce competition in our relatively small media market and essentially restrict the coverage of news and opinion to commercial operators who quite rightly have commercial imperatives. It would be likely to narrow the coverage of news and opinion in Australia.
    And it’s never going to happen. The last Coalition government actually increased ABC funding. It’s hard to imagine them stripping the ABC of funding altogether.
    Labor are highly unlikely to reduce it let alone strip the ABC of funding altogether.
    Why is this? Because they know any party that tried would lose a lot of votes over the issue. They’re all very well aware of that.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Well done Tony ; thank you and keep up the good work.

  • Brian Boru says:

    I note that the failure of the United States House of Representatives to elect a speaker has been attributed in the media to the Republicans. There has been no mention that Democrats are also eligible to vote as you would expect them to do if the Republican candidate was a moderate.
    Could that be media bias against the Republicans?

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