Bias from the ABC: Is it Getting Worse?

Am I the only one who thinks the bias emanating from the ABC is getting worse?

I remain absolutely flabbergasted that the ABC’s lead journalists are permitted to express personal and explicitly political views over at The Drum.  Barrie Cassidy, in particular, seems to have completely lost the plot, slagging off at Alan Jones and Neil Mitchell – they were mean to his Julia; he didn’t like it.

And has anyone noticed the decline in the quality of  The Insiders this year, including one program that was entirely focused on the Opposition in a week in which there were important policy and political stories about the Government – you know, the Government that is in power and actually makes decisions?  And of course anyone who expresses the slightest reservation about asylum-seekers, immigration or multiculturalism is immediately branded a racist bigot who should probably be expelled from the country – perhaps to Christmas Island?

I have been away from Melbourne for a while and had quite forgotten how brazen and biased is Jon Faine on ABC 774. He was absolutely gushing this morning over the suggestion from the Climate Institute person – ok take a breath for laughter here – that the carbon tax would generate 30,000 net GREEN jobs – you know the ones, cleaning out windmills and turning solar panels, etc.  And of course, Jools has not told a lie – circumstances have changed!  Would he take the same approach with Tony Abbott, I wonder?

And then there have been several stories revealing what a sham the ABC’s complaints handing processes are: you know the ones where you complain about a story and they fob you off as an ignorant, right-wing idiot.  In fact, I was at a function recently and was chatting to two ABC persons and they were having a good laugh about it all. 

Always the same response:

  • Tell the complainant that all complaints are taken seriously (general laughter in office);
  • Tell the complainant that the ABC follows the highest standards of journalism and adheres to the policy of communicating different points of view as specified in the ABC Editorial Guidelines (more raucous laughter);
  • Tell the complainant that the ABC has seriously considered the matter but can see no reason to uphold the complaint (that is, allow the complaint to sit in in-tray for a while before standard response is given);
  • Add some blah-blah stuff about the complainant being able to take the matter further.

In fact, I tested the system and the above was exactly what I got, written by some recent Media Studies graduate no doubt, and notwithstanding the fact that I was once the Deputy Chairman of the ABC.  Despair springs to mind. There was absolutely no indication whatsoever that any analysis had been actually undertaken.

And in the meantime it has taken nearly three months to build the new set for 7.30, replacing the 7.30 Report.  What a joke! And when so many important stories needed to be covered.  You don’t see the commercial channels take that sort of break.

So, Jools, forget the Flood Levy – take an axe to the ABC and we would all be better off – and many Australians wouldn’t even notice!

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59 Responses to Bias from the ABC: Is it Getting Worse?

  1. C.L.

    I think it’s a case of the Rudd-Gillard swaparoo – and the rise of the Greens – being the project that’s too big to fail. The ABC has formally declared its hand: it sees its role as protecting the government at all costs. Cassidy came across as a complete creampuff with his whiney piece of chivalrous outrage on behalf of Our Julia. Tony Jones has simply stopped pretending – he’s out and proud about being a PR flunky for Labor and warming hysteria.

  2. Sleetmute

    I’ve been a defender of Barrie over the years, but I agree this year he has been quite partisan. Not sure why.

  3. Sleetmute

    BTW, Faine is an absolute joke. He makes Peter Mares sound quite reasonable.

  4. dover_beach

    And of course, Jools has not told a lie – circumstances have changed!

    Hilarious. That is why promise-keeping is important, it is supposed to cover the promisee if circumstances happen to change.

    Gillard’s vow to the Australian people:

    I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life until circumstances change.

  5. Jarrah

    Barrie has been getting more strident recently, I agree.

    The solution is simple – privatise the ABC by gifting it as shares to the Australian people (who paid for it all this time), then let it compete for advertising revenue or set up a donation/subscription model. It will get less money either way, but maybe then it can concentrate on a core business properly.

  6. Jarrah

    Obviously that solution is not a solution for Barrie, but for the awkward position of the ABC as a whole.

  7. Bill

    I’m sure you are all correct about “our ABC”, but only political junkies ever watch ABC. The voters dont, (not since it lost the only sports worth watching anyway).

    The networks have considerable political influence, papers some, ABC none.

  8. New Gold Dream

    Leader of the Resistance to Humans, John Connor, still hasn’t posted the actual report on The Climate Institute’s website(that name always reminds me of the The Pond’s Institute for some reason).

    He has been good enough though to acknowledge taxpayer funding for the research they commissioned, which was absent from the press coverage:

    The Climate Institute was awarded a grant from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water to assess the employment opportunities in six NSW renewable energy precincts. As part of the project it commissioned Ernst and Young to develop roadmaps detailing opportunities and challenges for each precinct.

    I doubt whether “awarded” is the correct term where the NSW government is concerned.

  9. C.L.

    At the Drum today:

    Ageing lefty dinosaur Mungo MacCallum:

    Some political promises should be broken, and this is one of them.

    So chorused the economic rationalists, the gurus of business, the moral arbiters of the media and the entire Liberal Party of Australia back in 1998, when John Howard reneged on his “never-ever” pledge about the GST and put the great big new tax back on the agenda.

    This wasn’t really a broken promise claimed Howard – well, it was, but it didn’t count as one because he was giving the public another chance to vote on the hated impost.

    See what he did there?

    Howard puts question to the people. Ergo qua Mungo: he’s a lying liar like Julia (who isn’t a lying liar).

    Mungo on ‘climate change’ critics and critics of Gillard’s new tax:

    Let us call them what they are: mendacious, stupid or at best delusional…

    But their opinions are important only to each other. Their views should no longer be part of any rational discussion and they must not be considered at all by Gillard and her fellow decision makers.

    Professional Muslim, Irfan Yusuf, mocks critics of multiculturalism:

    If we don’t do anything about this soon, the communist socialist PC brigade led by Julia Gillard will have Barack Hussein bin Osama installed as Australia’s first Prime Ayatollah. And when that happens, our nation will be overrun by a Left-Islamist coalition of hand-chopping communist chador-wearing gay Islamic pro-abortion lesbian homophobic secularist elites.

    Only perceptive political leaders like Vicki Janson and Fred Nile can save us from this fate.

    A wog tries Anglo sarcasm. Cute.

    Finally – and perhaps most hilariously – Alan Kohler:

    At least we can’t accuse this Labor Government of being automatons focused entirely on spin, unwilling to produce true reforms like those of the Hawke government in 1980s.

    Excuse me but ahahahahahahahaha!

    Go on, Alan:

    Julia Gillard is attempting two of the riskiest, most challenging reforms ever undertaken in this country: the national broadband network (NBN) and taxing carbon emissions.

  10. Infidel Tiger

    It appears Kohler doesn’t know what a reform is.

  11. Adrian

    the ALP thinks reform is taking and spending a hellofalot of other peoples money

  12. dover_beach

    But their opinions are important only to each other. Their views should no longer be part of any rational discussion and they must not be considered at all by Gillard and her fellow decision makers.

    Modern secular fundamentalism.

  13. As to Barry Cassidy,note that comment on most of his articles is not permitted for an undisclosed reason.

  14. New Gold Dream

    Reforms are meant to increase living standards and productivity, not reduce them. Someone memo Kohler some basic economics.

  15. No Worries

    The only economics Kohler cares is his bank balance.
    He sings for his supper.

  16. Peter Patton

    CL

    A wog tries Anglo sarcasm. Cute.

    Fortunately, a wog whose parents had the good sense to educate their son at elite Sydney private Anglican boy schools, to de-wog him as much as possible. You will find a number of the leading Orstrayan Muhammadan voices were similarly de-wogged. Not quite ‘give us the boy until he’s 7′, but still enough to save us from the ghastly fate of England and Europe, where the wogs remain native.

  17. Quentin George

    Peter – there’s an interesting youtube clip from Salman Rushdie where he explains the difference between education of young Muslims in the Indian subcontinent pre 1960s to that of today. Basically, the old elite were all educated in Anglican or Catholic institutions – madrassas were seen as places for the lower class.

    Now, however, even the education system has been Islamicized in Pakistan, with horrendous results. In India, however, things are still like they once were and hence despite having a large Islamic population, things get on better.

  18. Brindie

    If you lot think the ABC is biased you should read the Canberra Times. Dear old John Howard used to call the rag the Fyshwick Pravda. It makes our Canberra ABC presenters look right wing.

  19. Peter Patton

    Basically, the old elite were all educated in Anglican or Catholic institutions

    Including Tariq Ali.

  20. Peter Patton

    Be interesting to know where Jemima and Imran Khan are educating their boys?

  21. rog

    A wog tries Anglo sarcasm. Cute.

    For a minute there I thought you meant the dago “also known as” Dave Curry.

    He doesn know sarcasm, he just knows mindless rage.

  22. C.L.

    Frech article from the Drum – the ALP’s official site…

    By somebody called Natalie Latter:

    To fail to act on climate change … now that would be unethical.

    Natalie Latter is a postgraduate student at the University of Western Australia, researching global justice and a human rights framework for climate change.

    Tony Abbott also claimed that the lack of international action makes any Australian action pointless. We will not solve the climate change problem alone, though Australia can make an important contribution to international action. But that is not the point. Our social values have never made doing the right thing dependent on what others do. Children understand that even if everyone else is doing the wrong thing, it is still wrong.

    Australia has one of the highest rates of per capita emissions in the world. We also pay less for our electricity than most other countries. Household emissions are a large portion of our national emissions. Paying more for our electricity is not going to solve our reliance on fossil fuels but it will make us think more about our priorities and reflect on what is important to us.

    The new Amish Labor anti-modernity, anti-electricity thesis in a nutshell.

  23. daddy dave

    But their opinions are important only to each other

    Doesn’t this sum up the ABC/Fairfax/PGL* nexus?

    *Press Gallery Luvvies

  24. Fran Barlow

    Am I the only one who thinks the bias emanating from the ABC is getting worse?

    Truthfully, their general drift to more or less expolicit support for the coalition agenda and integration into the culture of the Murdochracy has been evident for years. I doubt they can get much more explicit before even the craven ALP starts to acknowledge that there is a problem.

    So, Jools, forget the Flood Levy – take an axe to the ABC and we would all be better off – and many Australians wouldn’t even notice!

    I’ll tell you what though — I’ll do you a deal. From now on all ABC departments are to stay absolutely clear of local news. If the news mentions anything to do with any place in the jurisdiction of Australia, it’s outside their brief. They aren’t allowed to mention any political figure in Australia or discuss any issue in local politics. All funding for the parts of the ABC that do that are cut.

    They can do local documnentaries if they like providing the issues addressed are more than 5 years old.

    That way we can stop worrying about which way the ABC leans. Deal?

  25. daddy dave

    their general drift to more or less expolicit support for the coalition agenda and integration into the culture of the Murdochracy has been evident for years.

    name one policy area where the ABC is pro-coalition over Labor or Greens. Let’s get specific, because I can’t think of any.

  26. Infidel Tiger

    Your suggestion sounds okay to me, Fran. Better still let’s mothball the place.

  27. Fran Barlow

    Better still let’s mothball the place

    The ABC is more than the local news and current affairs. There’s a lot of good cultural and historical stuff there, stuff for children and so forth.

  28. JC.

    There’s a lot of good cultural and historical stuff there, stuff for children and so forth.

    So rent time on a free to air or cable channel. they can even send it out through the web. No biggie.

  29. Fran Barlow

    name one policy area where the ABC is pro-coalition over Labor or Greens. Let’s get specific, because I can’t think of any

    The ABC is somewhere that you can virtually guarantee that the headlines will be the coalition talking points du jour, often expressed as if it were news rather than a claim.

    From ABC NewRadio right now:

    PM’s carbon price alliance already looks shaky – The Greens want Transport included,Tony Windsor says that would lose his vote .. (audio)

    Greg Hunt says Coalition carbon policy IS serious, despite leader’s claim that climate change science is ‘crap’ .. (audio)

    Climate Change minister defends decision to impose Carbon Tax despite pre-election promises .. (audio)

    The Drum features IPA reps + Glen Milne more often than any other group.

  30. JC.

    name one policy area where the ABC is pro-coalition over Labor or Greens. Let’s get specific, because I can’t think of any

    Go ahead Fran.

    Stop the delusional babbling about “Murdochcracy” like someone who is having a stroke and answer the question.

  31. Rob

    ” stuff for children and so forth”

    I presume you are referring to their political coverage.

  32. C.L.

    Truthfully, their general drift to more or less expolicit support for the coalition agenda and integration into the culture of the Murdochracy has been evident for years.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    By the way, Tony Abbott never said ‘climate change’ was crap. He said the idea that there was a ‘consensus’ about ‘climate change’ was crap.

    Which was – and is – correct.

  33. JC.

    Murdochracy

    Last week Nixon killed Kennedy. Now Murdoch runs the ABC, according to Frannie.

    (this one is a real keeper)

  34. Quentin George

    “He said the idea that there was a ‘consensus’ about ‘climate change’ was crap.”

    Actually, he said the argument about it was complete crap.

  35. daddy dave

    The Insiders guests are a mixed bunch. There are the ‘token conservatives’ of course, who it has to be said, are usually quite partisan. The other non-token-conservatives range from reasonable to blatantly partisan left-wing.
    Crabb and Marr both still think Abbott’s speedos are funny. Nobody has told them that he’s a surf lifesaver and a triathlon – both very impressive undertakings – and speedos are what you wear.
    If he was a volunteer fireman they’d be laughing at his “funny hat” and “enormous boots.”
    Some here think Megalogenis is as bad as the others, but I don’t mind him, because I sense he prides himself on being an impartial analyst, and therefore keeps partisan impulses in check. Toohey’s also pretty good. It’s not a complete wash.

  36. daddy dave

    sorry, I meant “surf lifesaver and triathlete” not “triathlon”.
    (The point being, this actually gets him big kudos in some sections of the community.)

  37. Dandy Warhol

    Judith the communards are becoming more shrill because La Gillarda is tanking in the polls.

    They think that if they just crank up the volume on the ‘Abbott is a joke Julia is the ants pants’ routine to 11 then they can turn things around.

  38. JC.

    Barrie Cassidy is past his used by date. The program is a complete joke.

    Enough of these former ALP staffers getting gigs on TV after their party gets booted from office.

  39. JC.

    Judith the communards are becoming more shrill because La Gillarda is tanking in the polls.

    Aren’t they. I can’t wait to see which trick Tony Jones takes out of his hat this evening to make the conservative look bad.

    I noticed on last week’s program Barnaby Joyce gave him a decent head kicking whenever he spruiked for labor and Jones was left speechless. I only hope other conservatives learn from this and give him a really hard time….. ignore any questions and just start attacking Jones.

  40. papachango

    Every time I watch the ABC current affairs it’s way, way to the left. Ditto the Drum which regularly gives airtime to far leftist Trotskyite views like John Passant.

    The 7pm news is reasonably neutral but certainly not right leaning or in any way supportive of the Coalition.

    How then, could those 2 academics from ANU conclude though reserach that the ABC is rightwing? Did they re-define rightwing as ‘anyone who doesn’t call for violent overthrow of capitalism’

  41. JC.

    H

    ow then, could those 2 academics from ANU conclude though reserach that the ABC is rightwing?

    Don’t get me started on those two mutton-heads papa.

    In a just world they should have had their compensation, including pension entitlements, reduced so the taxpayer should recover the cost of that propagandist swill.

    As you know, one of them has gone onto to better things- representing the interests of public sector unions inside the ALP greens Alliance.

  42. boy on a bike

    Fran, even some of the stuff for kids is blatant Green propaganda. Ever watched “Dirt Girl World”?

  43. papachango

    JC – yes I know it defies all rational logic, but the Lefties all seem to rely on these guys ‘research’ to be all like ‘Ha! the ABC is fair and balanced, it even leans to the right so stop whining’

    I’m just wondering if anyone with half a brain has actually looked at their research data and found out where they actually went wrong or how they managed to cook it.

  44. papachango

    maybe they think ‘In the Night Garden’ is right wing. Apparently a few at New Statesman do.

  45. JC.

    Papa.

    Don’t get me started. Seriously. The site owner has frequently chided me for bringing up this stuff and I don’t wanna get him angrified at me again over the same thing. :-)

    yes, everything you say and more. LOl.

  46. Peter Patton

    For some reason, ABC Online has decided that white, middle class Trotskysists are the go-to experts for issues on race and culture. FMD.

  47. Peter Patton

    Papa

    That NS article. All I can say is F.M.D!!

    So I implore the left to start now to win the battle of interpretation. In the way that Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies became a gay icon (and seen by some on America’s religious right as a symbol potent enough to threaten the very existence of mankind), so, too, Igglepiggle will come to symbolise a new political era. And, just as the Postgate classic Ivor the Engine became an allegory for the simple, clean-living ways of working-class people in South Wales, so will Upsy Daisy, “a brown-faced smiley rag doll who keeps losing her bag”, come to embody multiculturism in Britain

    Revolver time.

  48. Fred Argy

    What happens if a Government gets rid of the ABC (which is far more balanced organization than you make out)?

    The Murdoch press, who already owns more than 70% of all morning newspaper coverage in Australia, will control even more closely how opinion is formed in Australia. From the viewpoint of democracy and leaving aside your own ideology, doesn’t that worry you a little bit, Judith? The Murdoch press is a long way from offering us detached, objective journalism.

  49. papachango

    PP – it’s fun sometimes to check out what the loonier element of the left is up to periodically, isn’t it?

    Let them have their fun – I’d rather they were wasting their time with postmodernist interpretations of the Pontipines as an allegory for immigrant families class struggle than actually planning some sort of revolution.

  50. Peter Patton

    The poor dears actually think they are achieving both, with their postmodernisings of the Pontipines. ;)

  51. Judith I sent an email to the ABC in relation to the depiction of violence by the protesters in Egypt. On ABC online they steno-graph the feeds form the international agencies that include bias in the package.I got the standard reply as well. I wonder what happens to these complaints, whether some attempt is made to analyse them?

    On the tangential matter of Tony Abbott’s doubts about the findings of climate science, somebody should ask him to set those out clearly. It seems to me fundamental to the carbon tax debate.

  52. 2dogs

    When one looks at ABC bias, judicial activism, and the role of the ratings agencies in the GFC, I think we need to be admit that independence as a concept of good governance has failed.

    It probably happened when ‘duty’ lost its sppeal as a virtue. ‘Independent’ deciders now either have an agenda, or they aren’t interested in the job in the first place.

    We do need to stop the pretence of an independent ABC. If its not scrapped or privatised, we should replace the current editorial board with multiple separate news services, giving every side of politics its own mouthpiece; not independence, but the neutral approach of documenting the dispute.

  53. .

    My little nephew loves in the night garden. Uncle dot will need to cheer him on re: taxes but soften his ideas about civil liberties.

  54. boy on a bike

    My youngest hates the Pinky Ponk, and will only watch episodes that contain the Ninky Nonk. Read into that what you will.

    Shouldn’t the Tombliboos be charged a Carbon Tax everytime they go for a ride on the Pinky Ponk (for those that have never watched the show, it’s a kind of blimp)? Why doesn’t it have to pay landing fees? I’m half expecting to see Tim Flannery sitting in the First Class section, sipping a vintage Krug as he blimps off to another conference.

    And the Ninky Nonk – shouldn’t it be full of passed out winos and vomit?

  55. papachango

    An even better intpretation of the Night Garden here

  56. Davo

    The bias is getting worse; the Right-wing bias. The ABC is entirely in the grips of conservative right-wingers in league with the Liberal party. ABC news is the parroting of idiotic opposition slander and misinformation. Even progressive comedians are gone. Trust a rabid right-wing ideologue, probably associated with the IPA, young liberal party or some such far right outfit, to find what small piece of somewhat objective commentary is let on the ABC somewhere and bang on about the left bias at the ABC; which is part of a long running campaign to corrupt the ABC so it pushes right-wing ideology, and that is what it does today; the Right, the Libs and the IPAs, and the Murdochs etc, disguised dragging the ABC to the political right as restoring balance, which is an insult to the intelligence. The only biased the ABC used to have was one toward reality and the common Australian; which right-wing nutters consider a “left-wing” bias. Well reality has a “left-wing” bias for this author apparently.

  57. Aydeesee

    I’m with Davo and Fran Barlow. There is quite a lot of absolute rubbish put about regarding ABC bias towards the ALP, green issues etc. The insiders is a classic example of conservative journos and others having free swings at ALP, Greens etc. Token conservatives. I’m sure Gerard Henderson doesn’t consider himself a token nor Nikki Savva, Stutchbury, Akerman etc etc.
    The journos who show a professional approach often are talked over. As for Barrie Cassidy being biased he does little to moderate the wild ramblings of the “token” conservatives
    The Murdoch press shows absolute bias towards the L/NP. I regularly check out the stories thay run and the anti ALP/green bias is there for all to see. Perhaps given the comments here, the Australian is seen by some as a left wing rag.

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