The drumbeat is getting louder

You know, if I were over at the ABC, I would be hearing the drumbeat getting louder. This is from an article in today’s Australian with the ominous title – ominous if you think you are an untouchable media organisation even though funded by a government you do everything you can to undermine – Tony Abbott says ABC ‘takes everyone’s side but our own’.

TONY Abbott says he is concerned the ABC takes an anti-Australian stance in its reporting and wants the broadcaster to stick to straight news-gathering.

The Prime Minister said the broadcaster was, like all media organisations, entitled to report “credible evidence”.

But “you shouldn’t leap to be critical of your own country”, he said, referring to reports of alleged mistreatment of asylum-seekers by naval personnel.

“It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but our own and I think it is a problem,” Mr Abbott told radio station 2GB

“You would like the national broadcaster to have a rigorous commitment to truth and at least some basic affection for the home team, so to speak.”

He said the broadcaster should have given the navy and its personnel “the benefit of the doubt” in its reporting of the matter,

“I want the ABC to be a straight news-gathering and news-reporting organisation, and a lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everybody’s side but Australia’s,” Mr Abbott said.

He said he was also concerned at the ABC’s reporting of leaks by the “traitor” Edward Snowden, saying it “seemed to delight” in broadcasting his allegations.

“And of course, the ABC didn’t just report what he said, they took the lead in advertising what he said. That was a deep concern.”

ABC spokesman Michael Millett said the public broadcaster would not be commenting on Mr Abbott’s statements.

This no longer feels like our ABC.

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143 Responses to The drumbeat is getting louder

  1. Mike of Marion

    Geez, I hope someone is lighting the blowtorch – nothing like lwatching what a gas-axe can do

  2. braddles

    I think we have heard enough on what the PM would like to see. I want to know what he is going to do.

  3. james

    The scary part is that no-one at the ABC believes that the ABC has any bias whatsoever.

    It is a remarkable insight into the leftist mind. There is bias, and then there is what I think is right, and never the twain shall meet.

  4. Jannie

    I was discussing this very point with MemoryVault this am. I think something is subtly changing in the body politic, and fortunately the ABC will be the last to detect it.

    There are consequences for all actions. The ABC does not have much room to many new friends, and it has plenty of enemies. Enemies that will never forget, and are prepared to bide their time.

  5. Gab

    You know, if I were over at the ABC, I would be hearing the drumbeat getting louder.

    So far, Abbott is a little drummer-boy playing on his toy drum. Get back to me when Abbott starts beating a timpani with a mallet.

  6. Infidel Tiger

    Abbott is going to clean up the ABC by increasing their budget. Mark my words.

  7. calli


    This one
    looks to be the right size , Gab.

  8. steve

    Why am I hearing nothing from Malcolm “I joined the wrong party” Turnbull

  9. Riverina Matt

    The scary part is that no-one at the ABC believes that the ABC has any bias whatsoever.

    Worse than that – the more the Libs and the right in general complain about ABC bias, the more chuffed they feel about “holding the powerful to account”.

  10. Jannie

    Um, its been a long, long, time since it felt like “Our” ABC. Back when Yes Minister was fresh, and the Left had a sense of humour.

  11. I’m afraid I’m with Infidel Tiger on this, and not just because she’s my mum.

    This could go backwards in a bad way.

  12. Makka

    “the more the Libs and the right in general complain about ABC bias, the more chuffed they feel about “holding the powerful to account”.

    Quite true. Abbott therefore should get his boxing wits about him and stop telegraphing his punches if he intends to throw them. Just get on and pull the ABC completely into gear and stop talking about it.

  13. Leigh Lowe

    Well, at least he is talking tough.
    Time to give local members a touch of ginger to ensure they develop enough spine in the Cabinet room to scorch the earth around Ultimo.
    Malcolm needs to feel a taste of that 2009 moment when he thought he might impose his Climate Change views on the party.

  14. H B Bear

    The ALPBC doesn’t give a shit. The co-operative united will never be defeated.

    There is no-one in the Abbott Cabinet with the ability to reform the ALPBC, let alone the responsible Minister. They know it is all just piss and wind.

  15. H B Bear

    Get back to me when Abbott starts beating a timpani Mark Scott with a mallet.

  16. egg_

    Yup can just see Abbott sending Turncoat round to ‘clean up Aunty’ – likely a lickspittle polish.

  17. Fitter of East Melbourne

    I think the PM is wrong. The ABC should be a sports-only network.

  18. JMH

    Oh – I don’t know – I think something is afoot. We may have to quietly wait until after the Budget and probably after the new Senate take their seats in July.

    In the meantime, however, I suggest we keep the pressure applied to our local members and a heap of other relevant politicians. I know Senator Abetz is taking this ABC stuff pretty seriously. Well, that’s my opinion as a result of communications with him.

    I will be bitterly disappointed if what we’re seeing from Abbott today is just feather-fluffing.

  19. Mark from Melbourne

    It is a remarkable insight into the leftist mind. There is bias, and then there is what I think is right, and never the twain shall meet.

    It is one of Bernard’s Irregular Verbs…

    I am right.
    You are biassed.
    He is a raving right-wing nutter.

  20. john constantine

    cold dead hand of the left choke the senate for long empty months yet. they count the days they can steal from the abbott government. [and why do you think the abc are sucking up to palmer,when he is all they despise?.] they hope make palmer into the new tony windsor,if the abc can stroke his ego enough

  21. bruce willis

    I’ve just read some comments on the SMH web after they published Abbotts comments. Wow, talk about heads in the sand. Abbott should know, and so should his advisers, that he will NEVER win the left vote but will continue to alienate his supporters if he does not purge the ABC board and management. And l will be very surprised if Turnbull initiates any of this.

  22. twostix

    So far, Abbott is a little drummer-boy playing on his toy drum. Get back to me when Abbott starts beating a timpani with a mallet.

    Abbott can do nothing until the lame duck no-mandate Senate changes in July. What good is it to start pounding the table then….pass no legislation. After July however if this soft cockery continues it’s war.

  23. Driftforge

    We don’t view the ABC as ‘state media’ in the same sense that Pravda was for the Russians. And true, it isn’t a voice for the government of the day.

    It is however, a voice for the bureaucracy of the day, which is in a sense the permanent part of our government. It is also a voice for the University sector, which again is a permanent part of our government.

  24. And Another Thing

    I think Abbott is playing it cool here. The ABC will go ballistic trying to show it doesn’t care what he says and is likely to amp up the anti-Coalition line to the extent that blind Freddy won’t miss the fact that it’s biased. Then something will have to be done. People phoning an ABC talkback I just heard were about half and half on bias. And there was no middle ground.

  25. Good thing Turnbull is on the ball …

  26. JohnA

    twostix #1170925, posted on January 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    So far, Abbott is a little drummer-boy playing on his toy drum. Get back to me when Abbott starts beating a timpani with a mallet.

    Abbott can do nothing until the lame duck no-mandate Senate changes in July. What good is it to start pounding the table then….pass no legislation. After July however if this soft cockery continues it’s war.

    Driftforge #1170926, posted on January 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    We don’t view the ABC as ‘state media’ in the same sense that Pravda was for the Russians. And true, it isn’t a voice for the government of the day.

    It is however, a voice for the bureaucracy of the day, which is in a sense the permanent part of our government. It is also a voice for the University sector, which again is a permanent part of our government.

    However, note the PM’s careful framing of his comments.

    He has shifted the debate from the ABC is “anti-the Libs” or “anti-the conservative side of politics” to “the ABC is anti-Australia” ie. working against Australian interests.

    Do we hear an echo of the “un-Australian” concept which won Mr Howard a lot of voter traction?

    Yes, he may have to wait for the Budget and/or the new Senate to take its collective seat in July . But meanwhile the debate has been de-personalised. If the ABC collectively tries to “attack the government” with similar silly antics, the public perception will be (finally!) that it has lost the plot.

  27. incoherent rambler

    On reflection, it is possible that Malcom has not been idle. I’ll warrant he has been (off record) encouraging the recent ABC behaviour.

  28. MemoryVault

    The ABC have a story on Abbott’s statement that is open for comment.
    Some of the comments from people professing to be ABC supporters make for interesting reading.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-29/tony-abbott-steps-up-criticism-of-abc/5224676

  29. blogstrop

    This no longer feels like our ABC.

    Steve, that statement would have been current at least a decade go.

  30. Nic

    Abbott is going to clean up the ABC by increasing their budget. Mark my words.

    Yep, you watch. He’s gutless when it really matters

  31. brc

    Abbott is reframing it as unAustralian, a term I actually despise. For the ABC, though, they made a mistake to attack the Navy. Most normal people instinctively support the armed forces. Stand by for a couple of photo ops of happy young naval officers, probably female. The voter will be invited to wonder if this wholesome looking sailor would sadistically burn someone. The spying debate was less useful against the ABC, but can now be resurrected as further unAustralian behaviour.

    I think a split of the ABC is more effective than an assault. They’ll be so busy angling for the plum jobs in a reorg to realise they are being divided. The ABC has no real leader and no internal discipline, so expect more outrageous behaviour as the battle lines are drawn.

  32. JMH

    I think the ABC is slowly but surely impaling itself. Most of us here are aware that one does not extend trust where the ABC is concerned. We’ve seen that with how the Q and A audience figures are manipulated. We know that news items are presented from one point of view only – and generally backed up with interviews/comments solicited from the like-minded. We’ve witnessed that with the ABC’s coverage of gerbull warmening. I believe (nay – hope) that those out there who consume ABC stuff are now being quietly educated with regard to the ABC’s agenda.

    I would like to think Abbott et al – bar Turnbull – because I don’t trust him, are effectively feeding out the rope and an almighty yank will happen before the end of the year.

    There are obstacles such as tenure of the current board members but nice Mr. Scott might receive some pressure to choose another avenue of employment.

  33. 2dogs

    Hmm … changing the ABC charter to add a national interest clause would require a new Act….

    … a new Act would justify an entirely new board – just look at what Rudd did with the Australia Council 29/06/2013 …

    … Mark Scott should be sending around his CV for a new job come July.

  34. JC

    … Mark Scott should be sending around his CV for a new job come July.

    my impression is that he’s deadmeant. He’s gonesky.

  35. Jannie

    A Royal Commission to Inquire into allegations of systematic political bias (journalistic corruption?) within the national broadcaster.

  36. Cold-Hands

    Surely stripping the Australia Network contract from the ABC doesn’t require a senate vote. The only excuse for not putting it up for tender or giving it to the winner of the last two tenders NOW, would be to save the announcement to coincide with the double whammy of merging the ABC with SBS while at the same time halving its budget. The ABC cannot continue thumbing its nose at the rest of Australia.

  37. Notafan

    A lot of Australian either have or have had family serving in the military, I am sure that many of the ‘little people ‘ are letting their MPs know how they feel.
    Sack Mark Scott give the ABC budget a number 0 haircut and do something about the nepotism and cronyism.
    Moving out of central Sydney would be fantastic no reason with the NBN and all it couldn’t run out of a large regional centre say Albury Wodonga, perhaps they could bring some much needed employment to Canberra

  38. nonmus

    I can’t wait to hear what the ABC’s resident Indonesioan spokesperson Tantowi Yahya makes of all this.

    ABC news host: “Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot (curls lip) has accused the ABC of political bias and anti-Australian activism, particularly relating to matters dealing with Indonesia’s evidently tacit support of the asylum seeker industry. Do you believe that Mr Abbot’s attitude is unhelpful in fostering good relations with Indonesia?”

    Tantowi Yahya: “Yes”.

    ABC: “Do you believe Mr Abbott is a useless Prime Minister and should be sacked?”

    Tantowi Yahya: “Yes.”

  39. duncanm

    Hmm — changing the ABC charter to add a national interest clause would require a new Act.

    Not for step 1 – the Australia Network, in which the contract explicitly states that the provider will work ‘in the national interest’

    step 2 may need to wait.

  40. Delta A

    I’m not writing Abbott off yet. I will in a heartbeat if he really does prove to be as namby-pamby as he sometimes presents, but I also see some subtle victories taking place: increased Indonesian naval presence in their southern waters, something the Labor slackers couldn’t achieve. Murmurings of a union shakeup and a desperately needed overhaul of the school curriculum. Yes, I’m prepared to wait a little longer.

  41. rickw

    Tony shouldn’t be whinging about the ABC, he should be fixing it by selling it.

    ABC Governance problem solved, plus a massive budget line item removed forever, plus the one-off hit of the sale revenue. Then on to SBS!

    We can fix the “culture wars” once and for all, stop using taxpayers money to fund the other side!

  42. Can’t wait till the first sitting after July 1.

    Their ALPBC can be as biased as it likes as long as I’m not forced to fund it.

  43. Fred Furkenburger

    As much as I worry about the Abbott government not seeming to be achieving (so far) a lot of things which people here want I do think that he is probably being very ducklike. Nothing much seems to happening on the surface but there is furious paddling happening below the surface. Look at the boat arrivals over the past weeks. They look to have almost stopped (although we need to keep an eye on the long term) and on the surface he didn’t seem to do much by comparison to the last governments antics. It all happened “softly, softly” and now he would even appear to have the Indonesian Government potentially patrolling their borders for us!

    To me this looks like a “warning shot over the bows”. As someone mentioned above he can’t do much until the senate changes but this sort of approach might at least have the short term effect of bringing them under some control until he is able to do more. We shall see.

  44. Habib

    Hasn’t been “our” ABC since about when Mr Squiggle was trying to use Miss Pat as a sharpener. It’s been steadily getting less connected and more demented over at least two decades, I doubt it’s salvagable, and why would we want to? A broadcast behemoth? Why not bring back steam and the mouldboard plough?

  45. Kaboom

    Habib, I really miss “Romper Room”, since that auspicious day when the presenter (I forget who) said “And I spy Kaboom!”

    I’m happy to spend 8c per day, if they bring back Romper Room…

  46. entropy

    If not a drumbeat, maybe the sound of spars being slapped on shields.
    As Lieutenant Bromhead observed, “it sounds like a train in the distance” although I hope the ABC’s defence isn’t as successful as that VC winner.

  47. Habib

    Re ADF vs ABC, last open day I got shanghai’d into was on the Newcastle in Port Melbourne, along with Perth. Opened at 9am, by 3 or so when they were trying to shut it down there’d been about 70,000 through, and a queue still out past the tram stop. Melbourne admittedly, but similar events draw droves, as does ANZAC day now. I’d like to know how many punters the ABC would pull, even with free Kerry O’Brien rugs and Tone Snow Cones.

  48. tomix

    It’s more like 14c a day per person now.

    Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you’re gay……

  49. manalive

    After July however if this soft cockery continues it’s war …

    Any measures that do not precipitate an instant indefinite staff walk-out will be inadequate.

  50. gabrianga

    Possibly a start would be to recall tenders for overseas broadcasting rights which Labor blatantly filched from SKY.

    Just as a sidebar. Doesn’t the RAN rely on ABC for news on their ships at sea?

  51. Shelley

    Aaaarrrggghhhhh! I have come here for some bloody sanity. Trying to debate with lefties on this issue is doing my head in. Just come off a discussion whereby said leftie believes somehow that it is Abbott attacking the ABC – so blind to their hating of the man that they cannot fathom how wrong their ALPBC was/is re smears to the navy, trying to cause confrontation with Indonesia, etc, etc. I am off for a strong whiskey. We are seriously in a horrific culture war aren’t we?

  52. It isn’t that the ABC has a political bent that offends me the most, nor is having a political bent on my money the most offensive thing to me, it is the condescending dishonest denial of by the organisation and their fellow travellers, that I can not tolerate.

    All media out-lets that offer news or narrative with a political bent always end up narrowing their market base and run themselves out of business. Of-course the ABC won’t go out of business because it can always rely on an income stream but it will eventually become irrelevant and find itself only preaching to the choir, and a choir of fewer and fewer members.

    The odd thing is, why do so many people not of the left continue to watch the ABC? Is it some vain hope that they’re miraculously going to change? Just stop watching it, stop going to their websites, stop tweeting about it, an absolute boycott of the network would do more harm to it than endlessly complaining about it, because if you’re complaining about it, you’re taking it in, and that’s what they want.

  53. calli

    The odd thing is, why do so many people not of the left continue to watch the ABC? Is it some vain hope that they’re miraculously going to change? Just stop watching it, stop going to their websites, stop tweeting about it, an absolute boycott of the network would do more harm to it than endlessly complaining about it, because if you’re complaining about it, you’re taking it in, and that’s what they want

    The simple answer – my taxes pay for it. I expect value for money.

  54. gnasher

    Scary stuff, TA will probably break a few match sticks, write “bum” on a wall somewhere & give Rudd a job.

  55. HK_Brother

    This no longer feels like our ABC.

    Because it isn’t. Its THEIR ABC. They just get YOU, ME, and EVERYONE ELSE in Australia to pay for it! All AUD$1.2 BILLION per year of it…Where they use approx AUD$400 MILLION to pay themselves! (About 1/3rd of their total budget goes into their own pockets.)

    You see, the Left have a way of leeching off the taxpayer. They do it all the time. (If you ever have the privilege to run a review or audit on Govt depts, you’ll see what I mean).

    This is because in the real world, NO ONE would honestly listen to their horse manure ideas. Seriously, the political Left is not a very profitable ideal to base on, as a business model. Like their flawed ideas, such a business is unsustainable. (Which is extremely ironic, given the extreme Left that is the Greens constantly promote that idea of sustainability.)

    One can simply look at Fairfax, BBC, MSNBC, CNN, etc…You can see they don’t hold a candle to Right or Centre-Right leaning media outlets.

    It’s not that they lie. Its the way they lie. They outright think they are smarter and know better, so they treat everyone like mugs. It makes them look stupid and turns people off.

    Regardless, I don’t think Abbott isn’t going to do much about the ABC. (I’d be surprised if he does!)

  56. Calli, the less people that watch/listen/browse the less funding it will get.

    I understand you want your money’s worth but you’re not going to get it. If those on the right just stopped watching/listening/browsing it can’t make the argument for funding because its marketability would be shot.

    Personal choice of course, just offering a suggestion.

  57. 2dogs

    the less people that watch/listen/browse the less funding it will get.

    If only that were true…

    … and would be if it were privatised.

  58. “If only that were true…

    … and would be if it were privatised.”

    There would be no harm in trying, because as others have expressed there is little chance of it ever being privatised. Marginalising it may be the only remaining hope.

  59. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake’.

    The ABC is ripping its own guts out.

    It is shredding its credibility to nothing.

    Leave it go as it is for another six months and middle Australia will be very happy to see it spiflicated and the ground at Ultimo salted.

    The only concern is that we can’t be sure that ‘Big Government Tory’ Tony Abbott will seize the opportunity.

  60. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Shelley, there are people at Macrobusiness who think that the ABC is too right wing.

    That’s not a typo.

  61. Bons

    We are experiencing the same syndrome as when TLS suddenly confronted a silent majority that was no longer silent. They cannot understand; their insularity prevents them from acknowledging the reality of a diverse electorate.
    I drove past the Kawana Hardware with the famous sign today. Looked like a party scene.

  62. Tintarella di Luna

    I drove past the Kawana Hardware with the famous sign today. Looked like a party scene.

    Heard the owner on Ben Fordham this afternoon. Sounds like a beaut bloke and good luck to him

  63. Grigory M

    The ABC has been giving the finger to Tony Abbott and the Coalition Government for far too long. Any (every?) morning on TV, the ABC Breakfast Show has been providing ample evidence of this. It has to stop, and it’s time the Government made it stop. Sabre-rattling is not enough, it’s way past time to actually do something. Sell it off a.s.a.p.

  64. The Pugilist

    I’m afraid I’m with Infidel Tiger on this, and not just because she’s my mum.

    This could go backwards in a bad way.

    That’s the thing. Having stirred the hornets nest he now has to follow through mercilessly. Otherwise, the ABC cretins will really let loose knowing that he hasn’t got the cajones to take them on. They’ll make it their mission to see him turfed out at the next election.
    DON’T YOU DARE DISAPPOINT US TONY!!!

  65. Andrew

    ABC spokesman Michael Millett said the public broadcaster would not be commenting on Mr Abbott’s statements.

    Are these fucking grubs KIDDING?? The Prime Fucking Minister has just said they’re acting against AUS’ interests and they don’t believe this warrants some kind of self-examination followed by honest assessment and comment? If they believe he’s wrong, why? If he’s right, that would also warrant some action plan. They’ve committed the biggest blunder in their history with the RAN smear, and then backed it up by uberclownment in saying they don’t believe their own article was accurate as the allegation was probably untrue! But still to say nothing??? Any CEO in the country likely to make no comment when his Chairman says he’s acting in direct contravention to shareholders’ interests?

    However, note the PM’s careful framing of his comments.

    He has shifted the debate from the ABC is “anti-the Libs” or “anti-the conservative side of politics” to “the ABC is anti-Australia” ie. working against Australian interests.

    What John said. Abbott666 said after the election he had thick skin and the PM has to suck up criticism unlike Emily’s cry-monkeys. He would rightly be sneered at if he complained about bias. This is an excellent piece of work, and probably explains why he’s been an enabler of the GuardianTV so far. Waiting for the perfect opportunity when they stitch themselves up. He didn’t have long to wait – about a month.

  66. thefrollickingmole

    Im sort of thinking of that scene in the Lord Of the Rigs when one of the Hobbits drops the bucket down the well with a horrible clatter and they all grimace and look at each other..

    I think we are at that point and they are breathing their sigh of relief when the faint drumming starts… All it needs now is for Mark Scott to announce “they are coming” before the siege starts..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TofMWRNYDwo

  67. cohenite

    You cannot go past what Trioli did to Joyce as the personification of what the abc is and does.

    Just fucking look at it.

  68. Toiling Mass

    Apart from the Libs needing to wait until the new senate, perhaps Abbott is just starting to introduce the topic and start making his case.

    Most people watch the couple of shows on the ABC that they like. Its more egregious fare is only really known to people like the Cats, and those lefties who like it the way it is.

    Most people know little of the damn thing, but it having been there all their lives they think we it is supposed to be there.

    Important point raised above – the way Abbott is introducing the issue to the broader public is ‘un-Australian’, not anti-government (which would elicit little sympathy but vast cynicism).

  69. johanna

    Is it “the drumbeats are getting louder” or “the nips are getting bigger“?

    While the kiddies in the ABC playground are running around spraypainting graffiti on the dunnies and pulling up the newly planted saplings as usual, rest assured that Chairman J J Spigelman is not asleep.

    As I have warned here before, he is a formidable opponent, and if it means lopping a few heads within the ABC to bring them back to at least a defensible position, he will do it. Oh, yes. Watch this space.

    As for all the frothing “why hasn’t Abbott DONE SOMETHING commenters, like what? They have a fixed budget till 30 June. He has a hostile Senate. What is seems to be doing, as perspicacious commenters have noted, is softening up the public by declaring that they are unpatriotic and biased against Australia. As we know, accusing the RAN (who have saved thousands of boat people’s lives) of being torturers is an absolute gift. People who don’t know or care about political bias respond to this.

    I doubt that Ms Bishop has let go of the Asian broadcast contract issue either. It’s not her way to let go of things.

    Patience, people. Some Cats seem to think that this is a banana republic, where the mere election of a new government means that the old regime can be swept away by executive fiat.

  70. Marko

    Mr. Abbott “just doesn’t get it”. The whole point of being left wing is to have no loyalty or respect for authority.

  71. Michel Lasouris

    No longer feels like “our” ABC? Yes it does…the ANTI Australian Broadcasting Corporation

  72. JC

    Yea possibly Johanna. Possibly.

    But attacking the funding isn’t the right way to go. Okay so they fire a couple of hundred far left idiots , but you’re still left with thousands of the fuckers angrier and more malicious than ever.

  73. Notafan

    Hear hear Johanna! let The ABC continue hoisting their own petard and see what happens post 1 July

  74. Notafan

    They do need to remove Scott and bring in a determined new broom and not renew some contracts though. Set up new external hiring panels and independent tendering for product

  75. candy

    Obviously the next step is for Malcolm Turnbull to contact Mark Scott to discuss the issues, and pretty much straight away.

    If that doesn’t happen, then it’s a poor state of affairs that will get worse but mostly for Tony Abbott.
    Malcolm Turnbull must step up to the plate.

  76. jumpnmcar

    Even a jjj promo I heard ( frickin con creatures early start and got station dibbs)
    Idiot 1, ” So you don’t like monks? ”
    Idiot 2, ” No, I do, just not this mad one ”
    Yes, a promo!! heard it 3 times in 2 hours.
    They’re rubbing our noses in their bias!

  77. Andrew of Randwick

    Before Abbott starts with the boards of the ABC and SBS, he has to start a level higher…

    Nomination Panel for appointments to the boards of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS):
    … Mr Ric Smith AO PSM has been appointed as Chair of the Nomination Panel for a period of two years until 25 March 2015.
    … Mr David Gonski AC has been appointed as a member for a period of two years until 25 March 2015.
    … Professor Allan Fels AO has been appointed as a member for a period of one year until 25 March 2014.
    … Ms Leneen Forde AC has been appointed as a member for a period of one year until 25 March 2014.

    Mr Smith, Professor Fels, Mr Gonski, and Ms Forde were members of the previous Nomination Panel which conducted five appointment processes resulting in the appointment of 14 new directors to the ABC and SBS boards since 2009.

  78. johanna

    Yup, Andrew, it’s not just a matter of crudely imposing your will.

    I point out also that the next Budget (including ABC funding) will have to get through a hostile Senate.

  79. The Pugilist

    As for all the frothing “why hasn’t Abbott DONE SOMETHING commenters, like what? They have a fixed budget till 30 June. He has a hostile Senate. What is seems to be doing, as perspicacious commenters have noted, is softening up the public by declaring that they are unpatriotic and biased against Australia.

    I agree Johanna, but having stirred things up he HAS to act. Not now, maybe. But he absolutely must act, and with malice too….

  80. jupes

    The whole point of being left wing is to have no loyalty or respect for authority.

    Unless of course you have a Labor government. Then you have no loyalty or respect for those who oppose their authority.

  81. Walter Plinge

    Um, its been a long, long, time since it felt like “Our” ABC. Back when Yes Minister was fresh, and the Left had a sense of humour.

    For me that was back when the ABC cost each of us a mere 8 cents a day. Times have moved on and nowadays it costs a lot more. Sadly, the information and entertainment value returned to us is worth less than 8 cents.

  82. Leo G

    Anyone remember the Friends of the ABC claiming that “ABC is uncompromised by commercial or political influence and is able to report without fear or favour”?
    Fairfax and the Guardian are commercial interests, no?
    Reporting false allegations against the Defence Force as if those allegations had been verified, as part of an ABC campaign coordinated with commercial media and political groups, suggests an ABC compromised by political influences unfriendly to the Australian Government, no?

  83. danno

    Malcolm Turnbull is to Wentworth what Petro Georgio was to Kooyong .. a pretender disenfranchising the electorate, who are held to ransom by the lack of alternative.

    If there was a more conservative party, we might shake the Liberals up, they live too much in knowledge of our lack of choice.

    A far-right party, would certainly get some attention from those of us who feel the current government lacks the balls to do the hard things. Perhaps we’ll follow Europe on that count.

  84. Geriatric Mayfly

    An apt comment from a listener tonight on the Price/Bolt show. The ABC is always keen to display its anti Australian credentials by giving credence and weight to the thought bubbles of non-entity U.N. busy bodies, especially if they criticise Australia from their multi storey cocktail lounge on the East River. Sometimes, they actually come out here, to cast a jaundiced eye over the illegals or the Aborigines, and the ABC takes their every word as holy writ. The UN Boxwallah damns the resident culture, the ABC takes our red-neckery to heart and then proclaims it to the world.

  85. James of the Glen

    danno: ” …a pretender disenfranchising the electorate”.

    What an excellent description, danno. The oaf Georgio’s stay in Kooyong was a tragedy of wasted time, almost a dog in the manger, and a huge opportunity lost to place an intelligent and hard working representative who might have risen to the top.

    Indeed, Turnbull closely mirrors the oaf, but at least we now know he’s useless at the top which makes him all the more a lazy time waster.

  86. egg_

    As I have warned here before, he is a formidable opponent, and if it means lopping a few heads within the ABC to bring them back to at least a defensible position, he will do it. Oh, yes. Watch this space.

    It’s “leadership” to give an interview saying that you won’t touch the ABC but then secretly wait for a change in the Senate?
    Paint me naive.

  87. johanna

    egg- huh? My quote doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your comment.

  88. wreckage

    egg gets a bit bitter and angry sometimes. It leads to tangents.

  89. egg_

    They have a fixed budget till 30 June. He has a hostile Senate.

    Perhaps the more relevant portion; but I’ll “watch this space”.

    egg gets a bit bitter and angry sometimes.

    When being instructed what to do on another’s private blog?
    Possibly.

  90. johanna

    Anyone have a link to Spigelman’s address to the National Press club?

  91. Squirrel

    Interesting to see the issue framed in this way (quite correctly in my view) and to reflect upon where it may lead.

    For some time, I have felt that the ABC suffers from its own version of cultural cringe – along with its core demographic – so there is a neat, satisfying, mutually reinforcing feedback loop going on (at the expense of all taxpayers, not just those who share the ABC world view).

  92. egg_

    so there is a neat, satisfying, mutually reinforcing feedback loop going on

    Quite plausible and target audience aging GetUp! types.

  93. Tom

    Hi,

    Only new here – so please be kind :)

    I’m stuggling to understand why libertarian bloggers are applauding the elected leader of a nation going after a media organisation because they dared to raise allegations about the military.

    Should’t libertarians want governments (of all sides of politics) to be open to as much scrutiny and transparency as possible?

    I can understand why a libertarian may not want tax payer funded media at all – that is consistent with libertarian values, but it is also a completely different issue from politicians trying to influence media content.

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter.

  94. egg_

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line?

    What place does the Government broadcaster have in editorialising in this day and age?

  95. johanna

    Tom – when all “allegations” (such as those raised against Julia Gillard) are treated equally, fair enough. However, at the ABC, some “allegations” are more worthy of mention than others.

    I am giving you the benefit of the doubt here.

  96. Gab

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter.

    Impossible. The ABC has been towing the government line for the well over six years, just not when the Libs are government.

    There is one thing constant at the ABC; they will always be a propaganda unit for Labor and the Greens.

  97. JC

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter.

    The government shouldn’t be funding a government news outlet, full stop. Abbott is perfectly within his rights to criticize the ABC. Why shouldn’t he? Is the ABC beyond criticism because it’s government funded? I didn’t notice you were around here when the Lying Slapper was attempting to throttle the private media by finkelstiening them.

  98. johanna

    Pedant alert – it’s “toeing” the line.

    (Grumble, mutter, oh FGS etc)

  99. Gab

    Oh yeah. Damn. I know better too.

  100. Gab

    Well, it’s not a timpani, maybe just a bongo drum, still, it’s a louder noise than Abbott’s toy drum:

    THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of “soft diplomacy” in the region through television.

    Federal cabinet has already discussed the option of dropping the ABC’s contract to broadcast Australian news and entertainment in the region, with the Government Solicitor providing advice on the ramifications of stripping the ABC of its 10-year contract.


    Laughable that last bit given the “contract” was “awarded” to them by Conroyand gillard interfering with the tender process.

    Still, it’s a barley audible drumbeat given Turnbull is defending all things ABC like the leftie warrior princess he is.

  101. johanna

    Gab- at least you know the difference.

    The Cat scores high on literacy, especially when Deadman is around.

  102. Gab

    Sssh. I only hope Deadman didn’t see my fox’s paws. I’d be mortified!

  103. Tom

    Right you are Johanna – of course it is. (Toeing)

    And, you are also of course right that all allegations should be treated equally, although of course not everything can be covered and there will always be different opinions about what should and should not. After all it is the ABC (and fairfax) who broke the allegations about corruption in the union movement today.

    Not sure why I needed the benefit of your doubt… but anyway.

    Gab – I really think that is a bit extreme and does not really make a sensible contribution. You may find the ABC – a bit to left of your personal leanings, but political propaganda?? Really?

    Egg – I guess there is an argument to be made that the ABC should cut editorialising, although I would be inclined to think that the ABC adds to the diversity of editorial sources available to all of us, which may not be a bad thing.

    Cheers

  104. Gab

    I really think that is a bit extreme and does not really make a sensible contribution.

    I see we have another “Hi Alan” on board.

  105. Cold-Hands

    I’m happy to spend 8c per day, if they bring back Romper Room…

    Sorry to disillusion you kaboom, but Romper Room was on a commercial channel- Channel 7 I think. So you can save your money.

  106. egg_

    Cold-Hands
    #1171582, posted on January 30, 2014 at 1:06 am

    (Hehe resisted my inner pedant.)

    Doubtful most Libertarians would gladly part with 14c/day for ‘Hi Alan’ to enjoy some (more) meeja diversity – pay for your own!

  107. Fisky

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter.

    Mnyesss. What was your take on Finkelstein?

  108. Fisky

    Egg – I guess there is an argument to be made that the ABC should cut editorialising, although I would be inclined to think that the ABC adds to the diversity of editorial sources available to all of us, which may not be a bad thing.

    Sorry, how does the ABC add to the diversity of editorial sources? I’m not clear on that.

  109. Tom

    Gab, Egg – I’m not up with the in jokes… so you have lost me there.

    Fisky – personally I’m in favour of a free press, unencumbered by regulation – in my ideal world Andrew Bolt would not have lost his court case (although to be fair, in my ideal world I’m not sure that Bolt would be Australia’s most read blogger, but anyhow…)

    I just meant the ABC is one more source – folk can choose to listen/what/read whatever they like and the ABC is another option.

    Anyway – I’m sleepy.

    Have a good night all.

  110. Fisky

    I just meant the ABC is one more source – folk can choose to listen/what/read whatever they like

    No, we can do that anyway. Also, no one else needs to pay for it. Just you.

  111. Oh come on

    The ABC is a quintessential and useful example of Leftist myopia. Most Leftists will tell you that the ABC is non-partisan. Some old Leftists will even tell you it’s conservative (!!!) because 60 years ago it basically was, even though the old lefties adore it today.

    However, practically every non-Leftist will tell you it has a leftwing bias. So this is true.

    The Left, as a group, are particularly intolerant of views that oppose theirs. So the fact that they think the ABC is neutral means it isn’t – if the ABC started broadcasting unqualified conservative perspectives, the left would be outraged. Oh sure, the ABC is smart enough to ask John Hewson or Malcolm Fraser on every once in a while, and this is ‘balance’ for its leftist audience. But only if it’s someone who you agree with 90% of the time but is nominally Liberal.

    Compare the ABC with Channel 4 in the UK, who bankrolled the Great Global Warming Swindle. C4 will broadcast just about anything, whereas the ABC staffers insisted on a lengthy rebuttal talkshow following the GGWS. What about just running a docco with an opposing point of view at some point in the future? No, the ABC staffers had to conspicuously nail their colours to the mast there and then.

    Leftists would have watched the GGWS, seen the hatchet job that proceeded, and applauded their ability to listen to different perspectives, safe in the knowledge that the post-GGWS will show them how wrong they are

  112. Oh come on

    Correction: ‘that the post-GGWS gabfest will utterly refute the documentary, proving the CAGW theory beyond a doubt, but that’s non-partisan television for you!’

  113. sabrina

    Bias or otherwise is a personal perception. Some will consider the ABC fully biased, others will think not. Similarly, some listeners dislike the Alan Jones’, others will find them likeable.
    I think the PM should carefully choose his words, even though he has every right to voice his concerns. He may lose some parts of the electorate if he is not careful with his words.

  114. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Lose some parts of the electorate??

    He will lose his job if be doesn’t man up and start doing what he was elected to do.

  115. 2dogs

    Bias or otherwise is a personal perception.

    Bias can be measured objectively. People typically have a confirmation bias in respect of their beliefs, and will fail to adequately check the provenance of a “fact” they like the sound. Consequently, they will more often make errors by stating as “fact” that which they wish to be true.

    Consequently, a person’s bias can be objectively measured by categorising a person’s errors.

    I can’t recall the ABC ever making a mistake which favoured the Right. Their Left wing bias seems pretty clear.

  116. JohnA

    “He may lose some parts of the electorate if he is not careful with his words.”

    Exactly Sabrina, and I think he has been careful – so careful that he has shifted the debate onto neutral territory, by which I mean the debate is no longer couched in political terms of “us” and”them”, “left” and “right”.

    However, if the ABC activists don’t catch on, they will continue with their simplistic bagging of the PM and the government, and will alienate many mover voters. And if they do catch on, and shift with the argument, then it will represent a significant straightening up of the culture so that the ABC can fly right (well, we can dream).

    It’s the media equivalent of the political wedge.

  117. JohnA

    “mover voters” = “more voters”

    Pardon the morning typo…

  118. manalive

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter …

    The government shouldn’t be funding a government news outlet, full stop …

    Exactly, the libertarian argument here isn’t about freedom of expression, it’s about who pays for it.

  119. Tom

    Bias or otherwise is a personal perception.

    In the case of the ABC, that’s bullshit. Every word that’s written by ABC news and current affairs is approved bv the Greens, who, as an interim strategy, will enter coalition with the ALP en route to destroying it. What this means is that, if any story is in conflict with the instinctive Greens policy platform, subjective quoting of opinions will be inserted or facts omitted to remove the conflict.

    The ABC is a public service department with guaranteed funding. And successive managements have perfected the system of accountability avoidance, where complaints enter a circular file before they’re laughed out the door.

    This poll is an indicator of the bias of ABC journalists. If it was conducted comprehensively, it would find that these results are understated.

    If you landed a high-paying public service job, where there slacking is institutional and sinecures abound, where no-one is ever sacked and your job is effectively for life, what would your political orientation be? Out of self-interest, you certainly wouldn’t support the side of politics that wanted to constrain public spending.

    The ABC is an anachronism whose reason for being has been blown away by technology. The ABC is an indulgence for the most politically extreme 10% of the population, who will defend to the death their “right” to have a public-funded political megaphone. It has become a disgusting misuse of public money and it can’t be “reformed”.

  120. Tom

    Reposting from the OT:

    THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of “soft diplomacy” in the region through television.

  121. Rabz

    The new ‘green’ tom @ 1:31am:

    although to be fair, in my ideal world I’m not sure that Bolt would be Australia’s most read blogger, but anyhow…

    Yes, in your ideal world he’d no doubt be languishing in a labour camp or pushing up daisies.

    :)

  122. entropy

    Good. Why are we funding propaganda of any sort to other countries. And that certainly wasn’t good propaganda.
    Next step, merge SBS and ABC and fund news and drama to the average of the commercial networks. You know it makes sense.

  123. Token

    I think the PM should carefully choose his words, even though he has every right to voice his concerns. He may lose some parts of the electorate if he is not careful with his words.

    Imagine if someone in the government called a particular organisation the “Hate Media”, accused it of regime change and the threats of the PM lead to journalists being sacked for reporting verifiable truths.

    Oh my, it has.

    Of course Sabrina you were silent when all that was happening.

  124. Leigh Lowe

    THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of “soft diplomacy” in the region through television.

    All good, Tom, but the report also says the Government is taking advice from the Solicitor General on the legal implications.
    What legal implications?
    If it was a commercial contract, I would understand, but this is merely government budgetary priorities.
    I can see the network going and the bureaucrats advising that the ABC is entitled to a shitload of compensation.

  125. Tom

    The deranged modern left wants to destroy everything that’s standing just because it’s there, helped along by useful idiots in the political class:

    …writing and amending a Constitution is not a matter of the heart as Tony Abbott suggested recently. It is about producing a document that will stand the test of time and that will allow democracy to flourish so that our kids and grandkids can make decisions for themselves. And it is a matter of hard-nosed calculation with more than a little cost-benefit analysis. It is not a matter of emoting or tugging at the heartstrings.

    A great read by Professor James Allen on the hijacking of parliamentary democracy by fucktard activists on the High Court.

  126. Leigh Lowe

    Isn’t Abbott trying to intimidate the ABC into towing the Government line? I cant imagine anything less libertarian or conservative for that matter.

    A simple demonstration right there of how arrogant the ABC has become. They regard themselves as having equal status as the judiciary. That is, independent of government (read feral), accountable to no-one and beyond reproach.

  127. Luke

    Fairfax is reporting Turnball’s support for the ABC and telling them that “politicians can’t tell them what to report”. No ABC, no return to leadership for Malcom.

    BTW. Nothing short of shutting down the entire ABC will solve the problem. Simply removing the overseas contract will merely harden their resolve and rally their base as now they will have ‘proof’ that they have been mistreated by the government. Just like a particular religion. After years of attacks, one retaliation will provide them with decades of justification for all their future attacks. It’ll be as if they never did anything before the Abbott government did something to them.

  128. Tom

    Malcolm Turnbull defends ABC after Tony Abbott’s attack

    ShakeMyHead.com has rounded up all the usual popguns to defend the ABC mafia from the AbbottSatan Regime, helped give the ABC legitimacy throughout today to talk up the split between Lord Turnbull and AbbottSatan and, of course, provided the click bait being denied Fauxfacts by AbbottSatan’s decision to get the government off the front page — 270 comments so far from the howler monkey choir.

  129. candy

    I’m pretty sure Malcolm Turnbull believes he has a chance now for the top job. He is the sweetheart of the Left and can do no wrong. He would make a very odd leader of the Coalition though – he supports carbon tax, climate change Green initiatives, same sex marriage, and I think open borders, deluxe NBN.

  130. Jannie

    The ABC is working in the best interests of Australia in the line they are taking about torturing ‘asylum seekers’. It goes down well in Jakarta with the ‘asylum seeker community’. They could improve it by announcing our policy is to feed boat people to the crocodiles, after stealing their money and mobile phones. The ABC would believe it, and broadcast it far and wide.

  131. With friends like these…
    Loopy Greens will believe in any silly conspiracy theory, and Gosford Anglican Church, naturally, asserts that we can’t ever find independent information without our ABC which, for example, defames the RAN by accepting far-fetched claims from self-serving crooks only because it’s ever, relentlessly searching for the truth against the evil, government-controlling Murdoch.

  132. CatAttack

    I tell you what I bet if the ABC was filled with conservative voices the Left would recognise bias. In fact even if one or two (say an Andrew Bolt or Gerard Henderson) were allowed a regular gig you would never hear the end of it.

    I think what is happening is that the number of Leftards has reached such a critical mass in the ABC that a bit like nuclear reactor it has become self perpetuating. When an organisation is filled overwhelmingly with like minded people agreeing with each other they tend to genuinely think their views are representative or mainstream and that everyone else is an extremist. The Phillip Adams of this world think Andrew or Gerald are gibbering nut job extremists somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan and their supporters are by definition redneck knuckle draggers.

    Turn on ABC News / Current Affairs at random and you will within 10 minutes be presented with a story about asylum seekers / global warming / gay marriage / sustainability / Big Coal Oil Pharma or in the case of Mark Willessee endlessly obsessing about that bloody nuclear reactor in Japan.

    A couple of token conservatives lite doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

  133. .

    I’d say they’re having a meltdown, CatAttack, wouldn’t you?

  134. JC

    I’d say they’re having a meltdown, CatAttack, wouldn’t you?

    I reckon too. Fatty Jones is supposed to have an entourage of 60 people for Q&A. Seriously, how the fuck do you justify that sort of headcount. It’s not a fucking research laden show, it’s a panel with the fat idiot as moderator and the stacked leftwing audience gets to ask questions.

    Al you’d need is three people and the assistant. Tops.

  135. Leigh Lowe

    THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of “soft diplomacy” in the region through television.

    As I understand it, this funding represents the direct cost of running the Australia Network. The removal of the contract should be revenue neutral apart from some redundancy costs.
    Surely, if the ABC claims compensation, isn’t that a defacto admission that they have been fiddling the books and using the Australia Network funds to cross-subsidise pet projects or other cost blowouts?

  136. JC

    That’s not $223 million per year. Leigh. At least I hope it isn’t.

  137. Leigh Lowe

    I reckon too. Fatty Jones is supposed to have an entourage of 60 people for Q&A

    FFS!
    How many people does it take to wait 15 seconds after a conservative starts to speak and hold up a prompt-card saying “We’ll come back to that. Let me just ask [insert name of rabid lefty and his/her pet issue here]“?
    Or another card saying “I’ll take that as a comment [snigger now Tony]“.

  138. Leigh Lowe

    That’s not $223 million per year. Leigh. At least I hope it isn’t.

    No, I think that is a 10 year figure, so it is $20m per annum. I am not sure why that figure is quoted because the Oz reported today that they had been awarded an “in perpetuity” contract by the Slapper. But seriously, running repeats of Skippy, Play School and Bellbird …. how much does that cost?

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