Yes, it takes all sorts to make the world, although some manifestations of masochism are milder than others – the Sunday morning sort, for example, when conservatives who know just what to expect nevertheless tune in to Insiders for the latest updates on why Tony Abbott will never move into the Lodge, how Australians yearn for a carbon tax and the wave of misogyny engulfing the entire nation.
Actually, those observations from regular guests haven’t quite worked out as promised. But not to worry, it is Sunday morning and Their ABC’s congregation must have its set-piece sermons, which is what they get from Sister Tingle and Parson Marr, not to mention the perpetually grinning Halloween pumpkin otherwise known as Mike Seccombe of Greens-backing internet tycoon Graeme Wood’s hobby site, The Global Mail.
True, every so often a conservative is allowed to join the choir and sing out of tune – Piers Ackerman and Gerard Henderson the most frequently discordant — but there can be no mistaking either for a full-fledged and equal participant in the discussions. The temperance preachers of old would often drag out some shambling wreck of a dipsomaniac to illustrate the ravages of demon rum. So, too, with host and ex-Labor spinner Barrie Cassidy’s weekly assembly, where the token, irregular conservative is clearly booked to serve as a lesson in moral vacuuity.
All this is music to ABC ears; less so to those who notice the soundtracks laid over the regular video montage of the previous week’s key events. Clive Palmer, for instance, scored a perky little rap song, Boom Shake The Room, while an item about the rival quests of Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten to lead the parliamentary Labor Party prompted a neutral and innocuous rock number, Bad Blood.
But when Tony Abbott’s recent trip to Indonesia and Malaysia was introduced, well let’s just say the background number selected to accompany the footage was somewhat more subjective. As Quadrant Online reader Doctor Gee notes, the use of Sympathy For The Devilby the Rolling Strones came perilously close to an out-and-out editorial.
In the introduction of Insiders last week (6th October) there was a package on Tony Abbott’s visit to Indonesia. The background music for the package was from the Rolling Stones. Although the lyrics sounded ok at the start “Please allow me to introduce myself…” as the song goes on, Mick Jagger reveals that the name is Lucifer. The song is “Sympathy for the devil”.
This was just malicious. It reminds me when another conservative, Michelle Bachmann was introduced on the Jimmy Fallon tv show with the music from a song called “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”. The band was forced to apologise. Of course this was a commercial channel, and the ABC never apologies.
Can you imagine the fuss that would have occurred if Bachmannn’s intro was played for Julia Gillard. What is it about the left and hate?
The recent broadcasting of an ABC critic as having sex with a dog and deemed as acceptable by ABC shows that if it wasn’t for it’s double standards, it would have none at all.
I expect this complaint will be dismissed as they always are. ABC investigating itself and finding itself innocent — never a standard it would accept from any other organisation. If Abbott does end up defunding the ABC you only have themselves to blame.
What is it about the ABC placing itself, and its adolescent sense of humour, at the beck and call of the left? It is a question Tony Abbott should address with an inquiry into the national broadcaster and the endemic bias that makes it not an impartial news source but a megaphone for a very narrow body of left-canted opinion.
That would be the first question.
The second, only slightly less intriguing, would seek an explanation for Cassidy’s bizarre habit of standing to one side while quizzing his seated guests. Given his organisation’s $1.1 billion budget, couldn’t ABC editor in chief Mark Scott find just a few lousy dollars for one of those inflatable cushions with a hole at the centre?
Roger Franklin, a Sunday morning masochist, is the editor of Quadrant Online. If Insiders would like to expand its quota of conservatives, he can provide bookers with contact numbers for any number of interesting potential guests