Of all the programs on Their ABC, the 7pm nightly TV bulletin is the flagship. It must cost taxpayers a decent slice of the ABC’s billion-dollar-plus funding for the swarms of reporters, correspondents, presenters, editors, producers and enforcers of staff diversity. On the authoritativeness of the 7pm News rests the ABC’s credibility and the public’s trust. (Actually, Australians rate the ABC at a lousy 15th among “most trusted” brands). As I mentioned a week ago about ABC Gaza coverage, my household is a regular viewer of the 7PM News (Victoria). It’s a vice formed by 40 years of conditioning that would put Pavlov’s dog to shame.
Well, we missed the 7PM News on Wednesday (Nov 15) because a daughter came to dinner with her beau, a potential son-in-law and hence getting five-star treatment (pork spare ribs and fruit salad). I consoled my household later that we could catch up on the Wednesday ABC news via ABC iview. Not heard of iview? Here you go:
ABC iview is the 24/7, free video on demand TV streaming service from the ABC. It is available across Australia on Smart TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, games consoles, and other media streaming devices. With ABC iview you can catch up on programs from ABC’s broadcast TV channels … Most programs on ABC iview are available for catch up 30 mins after broadcast for at least 30 days. New programs are added every day.
So I logged into iview on Friday morning and scouted the thumbnails for the 7pm News we missed. What!? Thursday’s 7PM (Vic) News is there, and Tuesday’s and Monday’s, but not a trace of Wednesday’s. Some mistake, surely, I reasoned, switching to the NSW version. What!? Same story. No Wednesday 7PM. Growing desperate to feed my shameful ABC addiction, I tried Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania and even NT and ACT but not a trace of it.
Did something drastic strike the backroom iView management just as they were compiling Wednesday’s items? Ever resourceful, I checked instead the next program, Wednesday’s 7.30 with Sarah Ferguson. Despite her earlier misbegotten “stories of the century”, which treated as gospel every Democrat talking point asserting Donald Trump was Putin’s stooge, she’s been doing a better job on Gaza than the hundreds of other staff who are rooting for the Hamas Jew-murderers. So, I see Sarah is there on Wednesday iview large as life. Whatever meteorite, sinkhole or space alien struck the ABC iview compilers for Wednesday, the impact was limited only to the 7PM flagship news.
Our household resigned itself to going cold turkey on 7PM News consumption for at least that Wednesday evening, and it settled down Thursday night in its dressing gowns and slippers to watch, if not enjoy, the ABC’s regular Hamas-endorsed footage of purported Israeli atrocities. Then came the revelation, at 10.50 minutes in: News reader Tamara Oudyn put on her most sobering expression (no eye rolls) and announced in a gallop lasting 17 seconds,
Last night [Wed] we broadcast a story about Israeli military operations at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Due to a production error we inadvertently included incorrect footage of a hospital incident in Egypt ten years ago. We apologise for the error. [My emphasis]
Gosh! I’ve never seen such a grovel on Australia’s third-most trusted news (the ABC 7pm was behind Channel 7 the other day by well over a quarter-million metro viewers and behind Nine by 150,000). Who will be sacked for this taxpayer-funded exercise in incompetence? Maybe Justin Stevens, news director on $530,000? Who sprung the ABC on its fake news? Some external source, maybe Jewish, I’d say, otherwise the ABC would stick to standard operating procedure and pretend it never happened. Were the team members compiling the Wednesday news part of that 200-strong staff cabal wildly protesting on November 8 at the ABC’s allegedly over-favourable treatment of Israel? That meeting protested the ABC’s cruel slanders against Hamas, such as for allegedly beheading babies and cooking at least one other baby in the kitchen oven after murdering the parents. I doubt if even the ABC’s imported sleuth Vera could solve all these conundrums.
My first thought was to get hold of the ABC fake footage (Egypt 2013) that was so damning it forced the ABC to euthanise the iview version in all states. I tried YouTube, no joy. I tried reverse engineering it by seeking out actual footage of hospital wreckage in Egypt in 2013. I did discover that 2013 was the so-called “Arab Spring” era during which Egyptian youths and young men of a certain religion did a little rioting and looting and molesting of female Western reporters. But I couldn’t find anything about hospital wreckage. (Talking of the Arab Spring, Barack Obama got his $US1m Nobel Peace Prize purely for making a soft-soapy speech to Cairo University. As Mel Brooks might have said, “It’s good to be a US Democrat President of colour.”)[i]
My final attempt was to work on the theory that the ABC staff collective is so incompetent they left the 2013-Egyptian-hospital fakery, aka innocent mistake, somewhere else among its rabbit-warren of programs. And I turned up Peter Hartcher on ABC via YouTube the same day (Wednesday, November 15) talking about Gaza hospitals as voice-over to vision of wrecked buildings (from 30secs). Could that vision be the missing link on iview, the ABC version of Piltdown Man? I can’t say. I can’t see the Pyramids of Cheops or Khafre in the middle distance. Maybe Quadrant readers can establish this scene’s provenance.
As a conspiracy theorist, I’m seriously tempted to guess that the ABC killed its Wednesday iview stream to escape adding a printed correction. To its credit, the ABC has indeed added a wrong-footage correction to its Corrections and Clarifications page, not that very many its 500,000 news viewers would wander there. From that page, I learnt the wrong-footage was also on its The World report on Wednesday. The World’s presenter, Yvonne Yong, repeated the same lugubrious grovel as Tamara Oudyn (at 4.07mins). But what do you know! ABC iview has omitted that Wednesday World item. The Gaza stuff-up has eradicated from history an entire day’s work by the news team.
There is one last speculation: perhaps it was all just “inadvertent” as the ABC now claims.
Consider this scenario: Visualise a hung-over archival librarian, quite possibly with purple hair and a nose ring, keying into the ABC mainframe the query, “Get me 2023 footage of Israeli war criminals wrecking Gaza hospital.” But she/he/they mis-keys 2023 as ‘2013’, and predictive text turns her “Israeli” into “Egyptian”. Stranger things have happened, even at Quadrant which I understand has less than a billion-dollar taxpayer annual budget. My main reason for withholding benefit-of-the-doubt is that whenever the ABC makes a mistake involving politics, the mistake is never in favour of anything or anyone right-of-centre.
Tony Thomas’s new book from Connor Court is Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. $34.95 from Connor Court here
[i] The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Barack Obama mere months after his inauguration for allegedly “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Obama’s promotion of a “new climate” in international relations, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.