Talking Points for ABC Defenders

zaky tweet

Whenever the national broadcaster does something irresponsible, stupid, partisan, corrupt, nepotistic, wasteful, dishonest, rude and/or vulgar — every other day, in other words — the sort of Labor/Greens voters who recognise Malcolm Turnbull as their kind of Liberal begin making excuses on its behalf.

Here are some fresh ones, ready to use. They are perfect for defending Q&A‘s decision to slip into its audience the author of the tweet above, even going so far as to shuttle him at taxpayer expense from Parramatta to the studio and back:

  • Will everyone please calm down! In the last 36 hours we have had calls for everything from the dismemberment of the ABC board to the execution of the Minister for Communications. This is hysteria!
  • Some people want to privatise the ABC. Silly!  This would be an IPO not even Bear Stearns could have dressed up to look attractive.
  • More than 800 comments appeared on The Australian’s website yesterday about a few misunderstood comments on an unpopular TV programme. Another 200-or-so came when that right-wing zealot Chris Kenny weighed in with his tuppence worth.  Rupert Murdoch owns The Australian and Chris Kenny does what Murdoch tells him. That’s why the ABC is vital: Murdoch! Murdoch! Murdoch!
  • And all this fuss over what? Free speech on free-to-air!
  • Anyway, what was so bad about what Zaky Mallah said? An inoffensive remark or two urging Australian Muslims to go do their duty for ISIS, and pointing out, justifiably, that the government’s oppression of the Religion of Peace is making them do it.
  • Malcolm Turnbull, ever reliable,  introduced the sweet voice of reason by announcing yesterday that the ABC would conduct a fair, unbiased, rigourous investigation of itself.
  • It was Malcolm — isn’t he just wonderful! — who first pointed out that the ABC’s real mistake was letting a potential terrorist sit among the audience. What if  he had been wearing a suicide vest? As ABC defenders, we need to make this the real issue. We cannot allow the conversation to touch on the ABC’s duty to bushwhack conservatives with plants in the audience.
  • Without the ABC, how would Australia get the balanced views it needs to offset the fascist assaults on freedom by this government, and the reactionary bile of the Murdoch Press lackeys?
  • For heaven’s sake, the ABC has apologised, hasn’t it? What do all you people want, resignations?
  • You’re going to get an inquiry and, in the fullness of time, you’ll hear the outcome.
  • Whatever it finds, be confident it will end with these familiar words from Audience & Consumer Affairs unit, which never varies its response:

“Thank you for taking the time to write; your feedback is appreciated. For your reference, the ABC Code of Practice is available online at http://about.abc.net.au/reports-publications/code-of-practice-2014/ 

Should you be dissatisfied with this response to your complaint, you may be able to pursue your complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, http://www.acma.gov.au .”


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