Their ABC

The ABC’s Grumpy and Abusive Fellow Travellers

It’s possible to feel sorry for ABC managers and presenters, so often attacked for bias. These criticisms leave them distraught, little more than human wreckage. I’m not referring to mild critiques from Quadrant, like my Referendum one, where ABC crews were unable to find a single No voter in the northern outback despite weeks of searching.[1] The ABC laughs this stuff off. The attacks they anguish about are from the army of far-left/green trolls who view the billion-dollar ABC behemoth — with some justification — as their mouthpiece.

For these trolls it’s a crime for the ABC ever to allow a conservative on their ABC platform. If someone like Tony Abbott gets on by mistake, the trolls demand blood and gore, not an interview.

My ABC sympathies arose from a reading of material, including speeches in the past month by Leigh Sales (her Andrew Olle Memorial Lecture, Oct 27), and another by managing director David Anderson (to ABC Friends Victoria Nov 17). I’ll first background the trolling, then look at how Sales and Anderson, in that order, view the trustworthiness of the ABC.

The trolls give editorial policies manager Mark Maley the heebie-jeebies. He’s just done a report (60 pages) asserting the ABC’s Voice referendum coverage was splendidly impartial, responsible, high-quality, respectful and accurate. He did note that the Yes crowd got 51% ABC airtime compared with 23 per cent for Noes, who were perverse enough at the polling booths to garner 60 per cent of the actual votes. In passing, Maley mentions,

Q+A also had a deluge of trolling on social media. Posts had to be carefully moderated and often comments had to be closed off because of their volume and viciousness. The trolling is often a disincentive to people joining the panel because they know they will be inundated on socials. (p5, my emphasis).

Maley doesn’t say so, but the trolls were obviously from the Left. He makes no references to Yes types being hard to recruit for QandA or pulling out. The talent that avoided appearing on QandA were ‘No’ types like Warren Mundine, who pulled out twice, and Jacinta Price and Senator Kerrynne Liddle, both invited but refusing just about every week of the campaign. Ms Price was actually invited at least 52 times but somehow wasn’t tempted to step into the ABC snake pit.

I went looking for troll messaging on the QandA Facebook site where Pat Karvelas hosted referendum chat, but there were only harmless glimpses, for example, “It was like watching [Murdoch’s] Sky News.”

ABC management policies enforcer Leigh Sales[2] has bemoaned the trolling for more than two years. Her piece about it on ABC News itself in 2021 was headed, “Bullying on Twitter has become unhinged. It’s time to call out the personal, sexist attacks.” Among the feral-left trolling she’d got were accusations of “performing sexual acts on Liberal men. Yes, people do say that.” She also disclosed that leftist trolls had run a campaign against one of the Canberra bureau’s females, falsely accusing her of having an affair with a Liberal politician. Even Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas were trolled as right-wing plants within the ABC, as if.

Sales also condemned the trolls for piling on to any questioning of covid vaccines and lockdowns – an inadvertent illustration of the green-left’s tyrannical instincts. She wrote, 

Something has changed recently which is making political bullying far more insidious and increasingly challenging to bear. It is that the bullying and harassment now comes, not in an occasional phone call from a real person, but at a furious pace on social media from politicians’ acolytes, lackeys, fans and proxies, mostly — but not always — operating anonymously. It is non-stop, personal, often vile, frequently unhinged and regularly based on fabrications. It has the effect of an angry phone call from a politician magnified thousands of times over…

Let’s not duck the common thread here — it is overwhelmingly left-leaning Twitter users who are targeting ABC journalists for abuse. Of course, there are right-wing attacks too but the most ferocious campaigns are reserved for any journalist who questions, in even the most anodyne manner, the policies or public statements of Labor politicians, particularly the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the West Australian Premier Mark McGowan. (My emphases).

Other journalists seem less worried about trolling. In her recent book Storytellers, Sales quotes The Australian’s star writer Hedley Thomas,

I don’t care about making lots of friends in journalism. If I upset people with something I write, I don’t care. Like, Twitter? Twatter. I’m not on it, it doesn’t bother me. Too many journalists have become hostages to what they think is the perception of them by ugly, agenda-driven apparatchiks, and others on social media platforms. If you pull your punches because you fear you might get people offside and be the subject of a pile-on, that’s a big problem. (P108, my emphasis).

In her lecture a month ago, Sales explained the intimidating effect that the ABC’s trolls aimed at. She said that during her coverage of the same-sex marriage debate of 2017, merely to give a ‘No’ campaigner a say involved serious courage — and afterwards she was touched and grateful when a gay staffer re-assured her it was all OK. “I share this to illustrate that while I believe journalists must forfeit the citizen’s right to activism, I’m not saying it’s easy,” she explained.[3]

When she gave her Andrew Olle address, this year’s Voice referendum had just been defeated. Doubtless many ABC journos were conflicted between smooching their Aborigine-identifying pals and giving the No case a fair trot.

Editorial director Maley has provided a reasonably fact-based report on the ABC’s referendum coverage, though larded with self-praise like “fulfilled our role/high-quality/respectful discussion/reporting accurately and fairly/responsible/impartial.” The guts, however, was in the third-party survey data in his report:

Overall, by exposure time – Yes case, 51%, No case 23%.

ABC Radio: Yes 47%, No 21%.

ABC TV: Yes 59%, No 28%.

ABC OnLine News: Yes 50%, No 24%.

ABC National TV – Evening News: Yes 42%, No 36%.

ABC National TV News – Yes 56.5%, No 32%.

Complaints to the ABC Ombudsperson Fiona Cameron: Total 383. Investigated, 121. Validated, 4 (all concerning a 7pm TV bulletin mis-statement that the 1967 Referendum gave Aborigines the vote – who let that howler through?). Fixed by corrections etc, 5. Complaints into her shredder, 112.

Maley had a variety of explanations for the data disparities, including that many ABC regulars (and voxpop interviewees from everyday communities) were fearful of being identified on the ABC as No supporters (why would that be?).[4] He found that of the prominent voices, ‘No’ people (eg Jacinta Price) were equal pegging with the Yes ones (eg Linda Burney), notwithstanding that No campaigners tended to shun the ABC.

Sales’ speech was on October 27; Anderson’s followed on November 17. Sales gets it about the ABC; Anderson doesn’t. That’s ironic because Sales is not even on half of Anderson’s pay of $1.16m.[5] Since Sales dislikes her views being taken out of context, I’ll consider both talks in detail.

WHEN Sales was invited to give the talk, she declined: “Do they really want me to say what I actually think? That’s what it is to step into the arena in 2023.” She was then persuaded by pressure from chair Ita Buttrose and Anderson. An extract is suggestive of her reluctance:

My own honest opinion as to why many people are losing interest in the news? Because … people rightly don’t always trust us any more. Too often, too many journalists, at all media organisations, are abandoning values espoused by people like Andrew Olle, for various reasons.

One is that some reporters prefer to be activists and crusaders rather than fact-finders or straight reporters. They enjoy their heroic status among the tribes of social media or their subscribers. I’m not sure they can even identify their own bias.

Others haven’t had enough training to understand what independent journalism actually is, or their organisation has an ideological bias and the reporter knows the way to get ahead is to toe the line … better still, to step over it. Or perhaps it’s awkward and exhausting to constantly push back against the groupthink of your colleagues.

Another reason is fear of the consequences of reporting the full picture: that inconvenient facts could set back a cause the journalist believes in … I believe that becoming a journalist means you relinquish the right to be an activist, even on important issues you really care about … When I see reporters whose work always somehow lines up with one side of an issue that’s complicated, I know I’m seeing activism, not journalism. It erodes my trust in what they’re telling me

According to Roy Morgan Research, the ABC is Australia’s most trusted media organisation. But let’s be honest, all media organisations, from the ABC to News Corp, are being affected by news avoidance and declining audience trust.

The media overall is close to the bottom of the trust index. The ABC is currently the 18th most trusted brand in Australia, while News Corp is the 4th most DIStrusted. Back in 2019, the ABC was fifth most trusted. 

Let’s have the guts to look that in the face. It’s incumbent on every individual journalist in every newsroom, and I include myself in that of course, to ask ourselves, are WE doing something that’s causing audiences to avoid the news and to trust us less? If we’re too scared to scrutinise that, and to examine the issues we choose to emphasise and how we go about reporting stories and to perhaps have some awkward conversations about that, then we compromise our integrity.” (My emphases).

In contrast, David Anderson had all the resonance of Comical Ali, Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister in Baghdad. Ali proclaimed victory on TV even as US armour rumbled into the city.

On Gaza, Anderson said Australia can be “enormously proud” of the trustworthy and impartial ABC coverage and its appropriate historical context. At least 5000 viewers have disagreed, complaining to the ABC about its pro-Hamas bias and distortions. The petitioners accused the ABC of fostering a “staggering” rise in anti-Semitic incidents, and breaching its impartiality charter and damaging social harmony.

Meanwhile, a couple of hundred rowdy ABC staffers vented anger in Sydney on November 8 at the ABC not being pro-Hamas enough. The SMH reported them wanting to lard ABC coverage with terms like Israeli “invasion”, “genocide”, “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”. Editorial policies manager Maley, in appeasement mode, told them that Israeli war crimes were “obviously a credible allegation … it’s an opinion which has got enough basis, in fact, that it’s credible enough for us to be reporting it.”

The Muslim and Arab-background journalists also complained that the alleged ABC pro-Israel bias was harming their reputations in their communities: “Another staff member voiced concerns the broadcaster has made ‘possibly irreparable damage’ to the trust it has built with the Australian Muslim community over the years with its reporting.”

Let’s look at one example of ABC Gaza coverage, Hamas mainstream strategy of human shields. As I’ve mentioned previously, our household is a regular viewer of flagship ABCTV 7pm News. Night after night the Gaza segment shows bombed, injured and suffering civilians. A trope involves a Gazan male rushing into a hospital carrying a child victim of bombing. The clip implies a child’s life-or-death crisis from Israeli brutality. We’ve seen so many varieties of this trope that we have to wonder if they’re Pallywood productions. Whether or not that’s so, all video out of Gaza is either vetted by Hamas or self-censored – if you transmit anything unfavourable to Hamas, you’ll cop a bullet or worse.[6]

Out of curiosity, I checked the ABC search box for “human shields”. This turned up all of eight mentions since October 7: two quoting the IDF, two quoting Israel’s PM Netanyahu, one merely talking about human shields as an abstract concept and one each quoting the UN’s chief clown Antonio Guterres, a US journalist-interviewee, and a US human rights professor. (The professor was actually urging Israel not to attack any Hamas centre protected by human shields, because Israel was historically blameworthy for the conflict) [7]. Apparently ABC reporters themselves will not use the “human shields” expression concerning Hamas though they used it happily in regard to ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

On the ABC generally, Anderson’s good news was surveys showing that in the past year the public rating of the ABC as “good” had climbed from 78 per cent to 81 per cent, and trust in the ABC was up from 77 per cent to 79 per cent. His figures are from the ABC’s Corporate Tracking Survey each four months, involving online sampling of about 4500 people aged 18-75.[8] It also gets top marks for trust from the green-leftist Australia Institute, which the ABC is forever quoting as an authority on whatever comes up day by day.[9]

Anderson said that the ABC was the top-ranked broadcaster in fiscal 2022 with 6.8 million metro viewers (his annual $1billion-plus from taxpayers must have help) and ABC Radio had grown its reach 14 per cent in the past decade (Whoops! Australia’s population grew 16.5 per cent). But he conceded that on the 2023 global Edelman Trust Barometer, Australia was on a path to polarisation and weakening of the social fabric. Half respondents (51 per cent) blamed journalists for the division, slightly more than the 49 per cent blaming government. “That’s worth thinking about,” Anderson mused, overlooking the ABC’s effective deplatforming of conservative think tanks Institute of Public Affairs, Centre for Independent Studies and Menzies Institute, in favour of Australia Institute, Grattan Institute and countless academics of progressive persuasion. He didn’t mention an awkward Edelman figure that trust in the Australian media overall was down 5 per cent to 38 per cent (p44).

Anderson claims ABC impartiality is based on the facts and the weight of evidence from credible sources. He’s forgotten how the ABC witch-hunted the late Cardinal Pell, who unjustly spent 406 days in gaol after the pile-on by Dan Andrews and Victoria Police, with the ABC as their cheer squad. It was on Anderson’s say-so that $200,000 of taxpayer money was misdirected to pay off reporter Louise Milligan’s bills for defaming Liberal MHR Andrew Laming in posts on her private account.

As usual, Anderson lauded ABC diversity while ignoring its political monoculture of wall-to-wall leftist presenters. His ABC has just lost its last conservatives Tom Switzer (Between the Lines host) and Amanda Vanstone (Radio National’s Counterpoint). The Financial Review’s Aaron Patrick and The Australian’s excellent Adam Creighton were earlier cancelled by The Drum for speaking out of line, according to Gerard Henderson at the Sydney Institute.

 Anderson did fret that the ABC might be exacerbating divisions in the community – by not being leftist enough! He believes, for example, that young people want even more spending to change the weather than Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen is currently wasting.

On US reporting, Anderson put the boots into Fox News – Sarah Ferguson already had multiple goes at that one on Four Corners and for her pains got a rocket from ethics guardian ACMA. Sure, Fox News highlighted 2020 election frauds – which probably weren’t big enough to be a decider. The deep-state and legacy-media coverup of Hunter Biden’s laptop, on the other hand, might well have done the trick for the Democrats. Unlike the New York Times and Washington Post, the ABC has yet to even admit and correct its reports that Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation.[10]

Re glass houses, Anderson also forgot about Sarah Ferguson’s 2018 “Story of the Century” on mythical Trump/Russia collusion, together with the ABC’s four years of Democrat-sourced lies about it. And the Biden crime family’s money-harvesting from China and Ukraine continues to be resolutely ignored by Anderson’s ABC.

Heavens, it’s time for my household to watch the 7pm News coverage of Gaza again. We’re sure they’ll mention the “human shields” aspect this time.

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


[1] In the ABC piece’s two minutes we see 13 “VOTE YES! ” signs, three “VOTE YES!” T-shirts, two “VOTE YES!” flyers, and the ABC finds three vox-poppers to deliver YES messaging. The ABC’s score for the “NO” camp: zero, zero, zero, and zero respectively.

[2] Leigh Sales supplied ABC presenters and reporters with scripts to be delivered with a straight face: Ms X, respectfully, I’ll correct your claim that the Uluru statement is a 26-page document. It is a one-page document, the other 25 pages were minutes collected during a consultation phase [as if!] that do not form part of the final document.” If any punter pushes back, Sales’ script went, “It is inaccurate to suggest I am correcting the record because the ABC is ‘biased’ ” or “The ABC is far from the only organisation to call out the spread of this misinformation.

[3] Sales found reporting the same-sex-marriage debate to be the hardest task in her entire career, “because of how much I love my LGBTQI friends and how important that issue was to them.”

[4] Maley: “Local Radio also consistently recorded difficulty getting No voices on talkback even in communities which ultimately recorded high No votes.”

[5] Sales says the high pay for TV anchors reflects their often precarious tenure: “The position is subject to intense scrutiny and can be short – lived .” (Storytellers, p277). Her own tenure at 7.30 lasted a decade, ending in 2022. Hence she adds, “The flipside is that a skilled anchor can turn their programs – and themselves – into beloved and trusted public institutions .” She also remarks about hesitating to see a London show in the West End, “And then I was full of self-loathing because I was like , ‘ You are such an entitled moll because look at you, you’ve got the money to go and see one of the world’s great shows.’ (Well Hello, p478).

[6] The ABC quickly rotated its Middle East correspondent Tom Joyner out of Israel after he told 600 media reps on WhatsApp that the baby-beheadings were “bullshit”.

[7] Andrew West (ABC) introduced the segment: Now as we were completing the show, Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were blaming each other for a missile strike on a hospital in Gaza that’s killed at least 500 people [what a ridiculous recycling of Hamas propaganda].

On human shields, Professor Samuel Moyn, Yale University, replies: “Now, someone might say, well, that means that Israel can’t ever attack, because Hamas is going to operate in ways that raise the levels of likely harm from any Israeli attack, such that it outweighs any military objective. I guess I would respond, well, that’s a situation in which Israel was involved in creating. This is a tiny piece of land. It’s been under de facto or even according to some de jure occupation for so long. I’m not sure we should want to have the view that Hamas’s activity should allow Israel to leave the moral high ground when it comes to protecting civilians. It has to fight consistent with these rules, or it has to explain why not.” 

[8] The ABC’s submission to the federal government’s transparency portal gives minimal information about this Corporate Tracking Survey.

[9] “Research from the Australia Institute, the independent public policy think tank, consistently shows that the ABC is the most trusted source of news in the country.” ABC annual report 2022, p2

[10] The ABC’s last significant mention of the all-too-real laptop contents was three years ago, in an exculpatory piece headed, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden have been accused of corruption, but there’s good reason to be sceptical


22 thoughts on “The ABC’s Grumpy and Abusive Fellow Travellers

  • Andrew Campbell says:

    I don’t know how many times I have written to ABC Online to protest at their heading, ‘Analysis’. One sided opiniated adjectives litter many of their ‘Analysis’ pieces. I have asked that in honesty and transparency call them ‘Opinion’.My comments have disappeared over a black hole horizon. I no longer bother.

  • Stephen Ireland says:

    ‘What could be more metaphysically puzzling than addressing an unseen audience, as every writer of books must do? And correcting oneself because one knows that an unknown reader [watcher] will disapprove or misunderstand? I bring all of this up because what my book is about is how our own tribe is undergoing a vast and trembling shift from the magic of writing to the magic of electronics.’

    Neil Postman, analysing the effects of television in his Amusing Ourselves to Death, 1985.

    One could suggest that journalism has become a victim of the medium, as it happens, over our lifetime.

  • Lytton says:

    Happily, The Drum has been terminated. That’s a good move but it appears that the saved funding is going to be used for TikTok vertical videos which hopefully very few will ever watch, except some rusted on luvvies. The latter might not happen either because that group, or the older trolls, are unlikely to use TikTok. It’s a slippery slide down for the ABC.

    • PeterPetrum says:

      Apparently there were 42,000,000 views on Tic Toc of the Advance Australia’s arguments against the voice, plus goodness knows how many on other sites populated by our youngsters. Advance says that it was this free publicity that turned the young vote from Yes to No.

  • Michael Mundy says:

    An independent news organisation cannot have agendas. This is where the ABC comes undone. My criticism of the ABC throughout their referendum coverage was their use of what I call stealth articles to promote the YES campaign. I subscribe to the ABC’s Just In news page and it wasn’t uncommon to get five YES slanted Aboriginal ‘interest’ articles in every twenty news reports. News reports that are supposed to cover every topic from local to international news and events. The ‘interest’ articles would highlight disadvantage in unserviceable remote communities with ‘if only they’d listen’ embedded somewhere in the article. They rarely involved any metropolitan based Aboriginal success stories preferring to dwell on ‘poverty porn’ for impact. The same stealth articles on many social issues dominate the Just In news feed.

  • kh says:

    At 7:54 am on 8 March 2023, whilst listening to ABC 702 on the Sydney radio on 8 March 2023 I heard a report on the slowness in the growth of women’s participation in the workforce and sent the following text message to the programme’s comment line 0467 922 702:

    The ABC uncritically champions every progressive cause but perceives itself as intellectually advanced. When will it recognise itself as hopelessly captive to a single paradigm that almost never permits intelligent alternative voices to be heard? K***** H

    At 7:55 am I received call in response on a “private” number from an apparently young man who identified himself as “Rob” a producer with the ABC.

    Rob asked, “You sent us a text. Do you have any examples of what you mean?”

    I said, “I haven’t had any notice but you often interview editors from progressive magazines such as but you never interview Keith Windschuttle. “

    He said, “Who is he?”

    I said, “It is telling that you don’t know. He is the editor of Quadrant magazine.”

    He asked, “I’m only new here. What that?”

    I said, “It’s even more telling that you don’t know that. It’s a leading intellectual magazine that’s been around since 1956 and has articles by High Court judges and professors. It has had articles by Michael Kirby and Bob Carr.”

    He had obviously been searching online as we spoke and said, “Oh yes. I see. It is a conservative magazine.”

    He asked, “Can you think of a specific issue.”

    I said, “You have just been talking about women’s participation in the workforce. Without necessarily saying what I think, there are some women who believe that motherhood is a vocation.”

    He said, “Well, we try to present majority viewpoints.”

    I said, “But doesn’t ABC see itself as a voice for minority groups?”

    He said, “Yes, that’s right.”

    I said, “Well, sometimes non-progressive views are in the minority.”

    He said, “It’s getting to the end of the show, so I have to go now.”

    End of call.

  • Twyford Hall says:

    I think this is part of a wider issue with social issue. There have always been people whose mental capacities are impaired substantially, who make unfounded assertions about public figures.

    Until recently they would make these claims to an empty room, unfortunate relatives, at the pub or at a speakers’ corner in a public park, Hardly anybody heard these people except for those who wanted to or those unfortunates who had to.

    Today these people are on social media and their hugely improbable claims are transmitted around the world in an instant. And so, it is much easier for them to contact people of like mind and build a group which demands action to address the supposed issue.

    Just what the solution is, I don’t know. I don’t like blocking free speech. But it is wrong that people who make fanciful claims such as “Pat Karvelas is a right-wing stooge” can influence what is broadcast on the ABC.

    • kh says:

      Is not the solution simple courage? The same kind that any professional person is expected to exhibit when pressured not to do their job.

      • Brian Boru says:

        You are right kh. In another realm it is the difference between a statesman of integrity and a poll driven opportunist.

        • DougD says:

          To quote the ABC staffer mentioned by kh above, do you have any examples of your first- mentioned kind of politician?

          • Brian Boru says:

            Thanks for the opportunity DougD. Brian Harradine.

            • Brian Boru says:

              It might surprise but although I disagreed with him a lot I might even be persuaded to give Arthur Caldwell a mention.
              It is not a matter of agreement but a matter of whether a person acts with integrity.

          • kh says:

            People mis-judge politicians in a similar way to how they mis-judge lawyers – by not appreciating the nuances of the job. A principled lawyer may vigorously represent a person they suspect to be guilty because it would be a greater injustice for them to be put on trial in the lawyer’s office (rather than a court of law) than to be wrongly acquitted. I am not a politician but I can recognise the tightrope that they have to walk between supporting what they judge best and supporting what their constituency judges best. To not be elected is to cease to be a politician. In a democracy we expect our politicians to be sensitive to the will of the people but we can hope and expect that they will not take bribes and will apply themselves diligently to achieving what they judge to be best within the practical constraints of their situation. I expect that there are many who do that.

            • Brian Boru says:

              Thanks for that kh. An exquisite description of the position of the politician with a platform objective but who has to be responsive to the wishes of constituents if he or she is to retain their seat to have any chance of implementing the platform. I agree with you that we have many politicians applying themselves diligently to achieving what they judge to be best within the practical constraints of their situation.
              My earlier comment above is crass by comparison where I mention integrity and poll driven opportunists.

  • Brian Boru says:

    Great article from you again Tony. I was particularly taken by the figures highlighting the bias on the Voice reporting.
    I have also recalibrated my opinion of Leigh Sales.
    Tony, you might like to look at your reference point 6 which is supposedly substantiating that video out of Gaza is vetted by Hamas or is self censored. I don’t think that Tom Joyner being rotated out is evidence of that.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    The fruits of your detailed research show, again. Thank you.
    Their ABC was/is largely captured by interest groups. But, this is what happens. What alternatives exist? Show me a social organisation that is not driven by special interest.
    A national broadcaster might be excused in times of war when propaganda stresses are high. Why do we need an ABC now? This is a question rarely heard. Maybe ABC exists today because interest groups in ABC align with those in government who hand out the money. Happy Happy.
    An example comes from your addendum 3 –
    ‘[3] Sales found reporting the same-sex-marriage debate to be the hardest task in her entire career, “because of how much I love my LGBTQI friends and how important that issue was to them.” ‘
    For decades it has become increasingly obvious that homosexual people as an interest group regard themselves (for undisclosed reasons) to be the elites in society through having superior intellects. They are the natural leaders in the arts, they assume. Yarts includes part of what ABC tries to cover. Leigh Sales is admitting to personal lack of balance in her reporting, but the important issue (apart from why ABC exists) has to be ways to clean out ABC policy management stable so that it represents the majority in society, not smaller interest groups. Geoff S

    • kh says:

      The case for closing the ABC is very strong. It is so entirely the prisoner of one side of politics that it does not even recognise that it is. It is hard to imagine that an indigenous supporter of the Yes campaign in the recent referendum would have received, on the ABC, the tough, forensic interview that Senator Jacinta Price did. The left has never cared for the independent role of institutions other than as hard-won prizes that they intend to keep. The left sustains itself and grows on sinecures gained within its captive institutions, at the same time hollowing out the competence and purpose of those institutions. The ABC is just an example but there is no reason for taxpayers to keep sustaining it simply because it was once a respected organisation.
      Looking more broadly, the simplest way to understand the driving spirit of Marxism (in its multiple permutations) is as the skilled slander of virtue. Free markets feed and clothe millions – they must be evil. Independent institutions provide political balance within society – they must be evil. Police protect us from violent criminals – the police must be evil. Christianity provides a coherent, durable moral framework, a practical ideal for living and a sound foundation for existential hope – it must be evil. Honesty, thrift and hard work produce dignity – they must be evil. Almost nothing I hear today on the ABC is supportive of traditional virtue. When all virtue is perceived as evil, what are we left with?

  • Solo says:

    One day we’ll have a government who will simply make the ABC a subscription service. If you want to drink up the drivel, you can pay for it out of your own pocket. We can only dream.

    • ianl says:

      This idea – having the ABC with its’ many splinters as subscription services, so freeing up $1bn/annum for useful tax expenditure – had merit, I thought some time ago.
      The issue of how to force subscription fees from the owners of all those car radios out there gave pause, though. The vindinctive Bowen has resolved that now. One simply bans all private cars … only rentals are available then, with their radios only operative on the ABC channels when subscription fees have been included in the rental.

  • Sindri says:

    Twitter puts me in mind of what Anthony Daniels said in another context: the inflamed desire for self-expression by people who have nothing worthwhile to express.

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