In our narrow and port-canted media landscape there is reason to be grateful that one newspaper, The Australian, has a centre-right attitude while maintaining a tolerance for opposing views. In today’s edition, for example, you will find Chris Kenny and Peter van Onselen advocating a big ‘yes’ in the Voice referendum while Janet Albrechtsen and Warren Mundine take the counter view. That used to be called balance, which is what you will seldom find in the Nine rags and never at the ABC.
There is a mystery, though, about the newspaper’s handling of readers comments, rejected ones being regularly copied to Quadrant‘s inbox with various theories advanced as to why they ended up on the spike. Could it be, as several correspondents speculate, that the comments are being vetted by cookie-cutter work experience kiddies fresh from their J-school indoctrinations? Or is itsimply the luck of the draw, with some comments randomly rejected while others get a guernsey. Whatever the reason, there seems no apparent reason why either of those reproduced below were deemed unfit for publication:
If the yes case wins then expect to see calls for other Voices from other minority groups. It sets the stage for the Balkanisation of Australia. When my family came here and gained the privilege of Australian citizenship we were equal with other Australians. One vote one value. This Voice will see us and all those who can’t claim Aboriginal descent relegated to second class citizens being denied similar access to government. With my single vote, my small quiet voice, I will be saying NO to this blatant discrimination – Marc Hendrickx
And from another miffed Australian subscriber, Billie, there is this about the about the hapless, hopeless Victorian Liberals:
It’s not Ms Deeming who needs to be shown the door, it’s Pesutto. Do you remember Vic election night in 2018, when Pesutto was on ABC TV’s expert panel and watched as his own blue-ribbon seat went to Labor? Asked what the Liberals should do, he replied along the lies that the party needs to be more pro-active about climate and renewables (because his young daughter told him it was ‘the most important’ issue of all all), women’s issues (because abortion is terrific) and a whole bunch of other fashionable preoccupations with stuff the ABC loves. Look, given Daniel Andrews grubby little regime, the current Premier should be a sitting duck. Instead he hands the useless Pesutto his backside on a plate. Boot Deeming and not only will I never vote Liberal again, I’ll contribute financially to Lib Dems or One Nation. Someone has to stand up for conservative values. Someone has to take the fight to the Left — and that person sure ain’t the member for Hawthorn.
Just for interest’s sake, Quadrant subscribers are invited to click this link and paste their rejected observations. Who knows, perhaps a pattern will emerge and the mindset of The Australian‘s censors will become apparent. — rf