What about cabinet solidarity?

Well there’s ABC independence and then there’s cabinet solidarity. From The Age:

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC’s editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ‘instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s’.

Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.

Do I get this right? The Government sets up a media organisation that has been captured by its ultra-left staff and staffing policies and that’s the end of it. This is not Fairfax or News Media whose life and death is dependent on earning an income in the market. This is a government-paid-for media organisation over which the government apparently has no control. Is that the point? Is that what he means? Doesn’t work for me. This works for me, from The Australian:

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.

Cabinet ministers believe the ABC’s coverage of Australia in the region is overly negative and fails to promote the nation as originally intended in the Australia Network’s charter by using the “soft diplomacy” of Australian news and cultural programs.

The ABC is unresponsive to what its market wants, more than half of whom voted for this government which the ABC is viscerally opposed to. No one says that the ABC has to be a government news service but it is also not supposed to outrage more than half the country with its approach to political issues.

This entry was posted in Federal Politics, Media. Bookmark the permalink.

131 Responses to What about cabinet solidarity?

  1. Token

    The government media agency is distorting the market and making viable commercial ventures unviable.

    Look at the fact checking unit FauxFacts set up. The ABC’s duplicate service crowded the private service out, making the publicly funded body the only option.

    This is repeated endlessly by the organisation which employs more journalists than any other organisation and covers all forms of media accept print (which private organisations may not legally do).

  2. Rabz

    THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service

    And just how again exactly did the ALPBC end up with this wonderful $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service?

    Oh,that’s right, as a result of an utterly botched, corrupt ‘tender’ process presided over by everbody’s favourite fascist, the Nuclear Milkman.

  3. candy

    M.Turnbull pushing for the leadership, of course. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was close friends with Mark Scott, they look two of a kind :-)

  4. Senile Old Guy

    Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.

    Actually, it should be accountable to the public who pay for it.

  5. incoherent rambler

    Since his appointment as Minister for Communications, Malcom is responsible for the ABC. What the ABC says and does is Malcom’s responsibility.

  6. manalive

    ” Remember, if it wasn’t for the ABC and Fairfax we might not know of the latest round of union corruption … “

    Nice attempt at confusing the issue Malcolm, what Fairfax outlets report or do not report or their spin is irrelevant.

  7. Nic

    They are being naughty skewing this as a debate about Governments being held to account. It’s about a publicly funded entity that selectively airs or withholds stories based on its own agenda. The same goes for the types of views it employs. Ironic given that .”diversity” is something the ABC normally harps on about.

  8. Jannie

    The Asia Network is a good diplomatic and propaganda tool, it should not be scrapped because the ABC has turned it against Australia. It should not try to compete in the Asian market, just quietly push a pro Australian line, and broadcast the rugby and football for Aussie expats and tourists. Just get it awarded to a trustable outfit, like in an open tender.

    On the other hand, the ABC’s hysterical coverage of navy torture etc has probably had the perverse effect of deterring ‘asylum seekers’.

  9. .

    Jannie – my response to that is the AN is not needed with modern technology.

    Nor is any of the ABC or SBS, actually.

  10. ” Remember, if it wasn’t for the ABC and Fairfax we might not know of the latest round of union corruption … “

    And if it wasn’t for ABC & Fairfax we might not know of the sheer number of boat arrivals under Labor, of the fact that boats have now stopped. If not for ABC & Fairfax what would we ever know of the HSU scandal, of the Wilson/Gillard slush fund affair……….. oh wait… oops

    Malcolm, that’s an “own goal”. Far Queue.

  11. Tom

    Abbott was astute when he told Hadley: “It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but our own and I think it is a problem.” He has read the public mood accurately and, with all the publicity it has generated, has made it a major political issue.
    However, he erred tacticly when in the follow-up:

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

    Having been a journalist, he should have known better. He is inviting the conclusion by the haters that he wants the ABC to be a propaganda rubber stamp for the government of the day.

    Which took the focus off his next, excellent point:

    “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.

    So the supercilious Lord Turnbull sets out to sound like one of trollscum at Destroy The Joint:

    ”What’s the alternative … the editor-in-chief [of the ABC] becomes the prime minister?” he said. ”Politicians, whether prime ministers or communications ministers, will often be unhappy with the ABC … but you can’t tell them what to write.”

    So now according to the Fucktard Media Industrial Complex twists it into a “freedom of speech” issue.

    No, it’s not 1996, Mr Rabbit. You can’t fuck around with the Alinskyist garbage who want to destroy you, including the supercilious Lord Turnbull.

    As SJ says, Turnbull has breached cabinet solidarity to deliberately undermine Abbott. Turnbull has little support inside the party. Time to cut him loose.

  12. Frank Brus

    Tom: Ditto – Time to cut him loose.

  13. Some Georgio/Turnbull type liberal-in-name only was on ABC24 juz now, banging on about how this is a ‘freedom of speech’ issue, and gave the Voltair speech (“I may not agree but I’ll defend the ABC’s right to say it… blah blah blah”)

  14. Leigh Lowe

    Remember “Malcolm’s Great Climate Adventure”
    Clearly he doesn’t.
    I hope he stands up for the ABC in the party room, predictably gets rolled, and is forced to resign as Comms Minister because the party lacks faith in him.

  15. james

    Turnbull obviously want’s to try and keep the ABC onside so that they will support him in a leadership coup as soon as the Govts poll numbers take a dip.

    He has always been transparent, and he has always considered himself to be a part of the class that the ABC represents and caters to.

    This is the new class warfare, the boundaries of the old parties no longer seem to make sense. The strict internal rules of the ALP is all that is stopping their left faction from splitting off from their right.

    Turnbull is on one side of the modern cultural and class divide and most of the government is on the other.

    Unless dropped from Cabinet he will continue to block any moves against the ABC out of vain hope of an eventual quid pro quo.

    Anyone who remembers Ozcar knows that he will end up stabbed in the back by his new friends. They hate him even though all he seems to yearn for is their approval.

    Pathetic is too weak a term.

  16. It is not an issue of whether the ABC should be “government propaganda” or “holding the government to account”.

    It is a matter of whether the ABC is sticking to reporting the news, or is it deliberately dictating an angle with an agenda, with its leading and loaded questioning, selection of Left only panelists and rushing to judgments with insufficient proof, choice of topics to raise while deliberately neglecting some, insensitive to diplomacy, poor taste and lack of humor.

    The failure to cover Gillard AWU scandal while day in day out broadcasting of the punching the wall myth;

    unfunny and crass NYE firework presentation;

    megaphone advertising of Snowden leaks and the push for Abbott to apologize against our national interest in preserving Australia’s intelligence assets;

    damaging the reputation and morale of our Navy;

    pushing Indonesia with leading questions to undermine government policy…

    This is no lapse of judgment.

    This is deliberately done to dare the government into taking issue, thus casting themselves as freedom of speech martyrs.

  17. Jannie

    Dot, how would new technology give you access to say, Aussie sports? The wifi in your average Asian hotel room does not provide much bandwidth, even if I could figure out how and where to download it. Its been many years since I switched on the ABC, but I quite often watch AN movies and sports when stuck in Asian hotel rooms.

  18. Alan Moran

    Interesting that 62 per cent of the Age on line poll support Mr Abbott

  19. candy

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

    I’ve got no problems at all with what he said, apart from the fact that he now he’s said it, he has to follow it up, and it looks very hard to do at this stage especially with Malcolm Turnbull eyeing off the leadership while the polls are poorish.

  20. james

    Some Georgio/Turnbull type liberal-in-name only was on ABC24 juz now, banging on about how this is a ‘freedom of speech’ issue,

    Gee I wonder why they went to him?

    Just like Sally whoever the academic from Melbourne University who was brought in for an interview about how the government is evil on Newsradio this morning.

    The interviewer seemed entirely oblivious to the fact that the only person they brought in to be interviewed on the subject of the ABC being biased was a left wing academic who agreed entirely with what the presenter said in every particular. They then ran quotes from Red Tanya and SHY about how evil any assault on the ABC would be.

    These people have more than selective blindness or deliberate bias, this verges on a mental disorder.

  21. Ant

    I met Turnbull once. He was extremely articulate, erudite and confident. The sort of politician who, upon first impression, makes you want to vote for him.

    Then came ‘Utegate’, handled with an ineptness and level of stupidity that left me completely gobsmacked.

    Then came the ETS, Crapenhagen and crossing the floor to vote with Rudd. A spectacular trifecta to ram home a display in stupendous arrogance, conceit and idiocy.

    Substance matters while talk is cheap. Turnbull to date shows his “brilliance” is reserved primarily for the latter.

    I’m proud to say that I was one of those who lobbied the Liberal Party hard to rid themselves of this disastrous leftwing imposter they had as leader.

  22. Frank Brus

    I don’t think it would cost $220 million to provide Aussie sport coverage to Asia. What if we just paid to broadcast it via another carrier?

    Anyway, who should pay for this?

  23. Boambee John

    Some Liberal MHR from western Sydney has suggested that (I paraphrase) “if you don’t like what is on the ABC, you can change channels”.

    I am happy to turn the ABC permanently off, but I don’t want my taxes to continue going to fund their crap, even if I don’t watch it.

  24. Greigoz

    Mr. Turnbull hasn’t quite worked out that the rest of the country is not like his art gallery loving, mummy-blogger, Mercedes driving Wentworth electorate. I think he, and the Lib party, will get a nice shock if he ever gets the reins again.

  25. BM

    And to whom is the board of directors accountable? Generally, to the shareholders, which in the ABC’s case means taxpayers. Politicians are the voting public’s agents, and should exercise our rights on our behalf as we’ve elected them to do, or face the consequences of not doing so. Therefore the board nust be held to account by the government – in line with the public’s wishes.

    The Left’s framing of this debate as ABC vs Government, rather than ABC vs the people of Australia is a deliberate tactic, which desperately needs to be countered effectively.

  26. johanna

    “Dot, how would new technology give you access to say, Aussie sports? The wifi in your average Asian hotel room does not provide much bandwidth, even if I could figure out how and where to download it. Its been many years since I switched on the ABC, but I quite often watch AN movies and sports when stuck in Asian hotel rooms.”

    Why should taxpayers fund sports broadcasts for the benefit of a few people who happen to be travelling/living in Asia?

    Tell the hotel to pay for Foxtel! If there is a business case for it, and they get a lot of Aussie business, it could be a marketing tool for them. If there is no business case, why should taxpayers provide it at their expense?

  27. Mr Rusty

    with the Government Solicitor providing advice on the ramifications of stripping the ABC of its 10-year contract.

    In other words the contract is loaded with booby traps to prevent anyone ending it or handing it over to the rightful winners of the tender.
    Well that is easily dealt with – allow them to keep the 223m funding for the AN and strip 223m out of it’s normal operating budget and fund a rival AN2 (awarded to Newscorp) in the interests of fairness and competition.
    After the 10 year contract is up scrap the AN with the least number of viewers.

  28. Pete

    When I sit in my hotel room anywhere between Nukualofa and Singapore and I turn on the TV, I can generally get the BBC, Al Jazeera, NZTV, the local version and then the ABC. Then depending on the quality of my abode there will be Discovery channel, at least one movie channel and a few neo christian channels.

    The ABC version by comparison to both Al Jazeera (the best) and the BBC (OK) is completely embarassing. Anyone who is Australian could not be but ashamed by the trite and vacuous material that is on show. Its terrible and entirely counterproductive because all it does is show in comparison very poor quality broadcasting. The sooner they get rid of it, taxpayers will be far better off for the reduced cost and than people will learn about Australia from other sensible sources like the internet or possibly Radio Australia (still OK I think) rather then this completely mindless pap.

  29. Empire Strikes Back

    Senile Old Guy
    #1171818, posted on January 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Actually, it should be accountable to the public who pay for it.

    Theoretically it is. The accountability is supposed to be enforced by the Parliament on behalf of those who pay for it.

    Sadly, Parliament has failed us. A useful legislative change, for which the LNP should have sufficient political capital, is to terminate self regulation and subject the ALPBC to ACMA regulation. This would also justify gutting Audience & Consumer Affairs, with a commensurate reduction in next year’s funding.

    Naturally I support the application of the Rabz Doctrine with extreme prejudice, but the LNP isn’t going to go full scorched earth. There are further practical opportunities for our spineless pollies to slowly emaciate the beast, one moocher department at a time. Get cracking soft-cocks.

  30. james

    I don’t know if the LDP is the answer but something needs to be done on the LNPs right flank or we will be having this same conversation in ten years.

  31. Leo G

    Fairfax exercises an improper influence over the ABC and that situation has continued for decades.
    I was confronted with this as a problem almost 20 years ago when trying to get a proper response from NSW Health authorities to several hundred schoolchildren were were accidentally fumigated by a chemical agent that is readily absorbed through the skin and which can thereby cause internal organ damage.
    Fairfax and the ABC put a news blackout on the story. Fairfax I could understand- the fumigants were printing chemicals used in the production of their newspapers.
    I failed to overcome the coverup mentality of the then NSW government, and as a consequence the children were not given the creatinine clearance screening tests that could have determined whether they showed a physiological response sufficient to indicate injury.
    I thank the ABC for that. Their News department just refused to report the situation- one that even the EPA had described as the most serious toxic chemical exposure accident in the state’s history.
    Consequently, what do think my view is about the proper future of the ABC and its dishonest Charter?

  32. james

    Fairfax exercises an improper influence over the ABC and that situation has continued for decades.

    Well they do attend the same dinner parties.

  33. cohenite

    Turnbull is a fat-arsed bastard with a key in his clacker wound up periodically by the abc.

  34. Menai Pete

    The Fairfax article also quoted support for the ABC from former ABC managing director David Hill. However, they failed to mention that Hill is also a former (unsuccessful) Labor Party candidate for the Federal electorate of Hughes and the beneficiary of senior, highly paid appointments by the NSW Labor Party to NSW Railways and Sydney Water.

  35. Frank Brus

    Leo

    Perhaps this explains it:

    Mark Walter Scott AO (born 9 October 1962) is the current Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.[1] He took up his position in July 2006, having previously been the Editorial Director at John Fairfax, responsible for the editorial content of the group’s major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age

    Via Wikipedia

  36. Demosthenes

    The ABC is unresponsive to what its market wants

    The thing is, the ABC’s popularity shows exactly why it should be privatised – it doesn’t need government funding to survive. Abbott should call a snap auction, say in six months time, so there’s no time for poison-pill-making by staff.

  37. Tom

    The thing is, the ABC’s popularity shows exactly why it should be privatised – it doesn’t need government funding to survive.

    Point brilliantly made, Demosthenes. All of the institutions that the left have hijacked are immensely popular with the public and therefore don’t need tax funding. After all, the Climate Council sinecure of the 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery was refinanced by crowd adulation just days after the AbbottSatan Regime beheaded it. Crowd-fund the ABC — now!!!

  38. Demosthenes

    All of the institutions that the left have hijacked are immensely popular with the public and therefore don’t need tax funding.

    That’s quite a leap from just the ABC.

  39. Leo G @12.10

    Yet the ABC has had no problem contracting film-makers to cover petrol-sniffing stories for the Australian public? Where discussion of rape, gunja usage, critique of published petrol studies and study methods could not be had for decades.

    And were other media organisations not invited to cover or denied permit entry?

    A quick google abc petrol sniffing demonstrates expanse of interest. Perhaps Simon Chapman, the expert in media counts and bias studies could assist.

  40. Link was alcohol and justice related, here is eg of ABC coverage on petrol sniffing.

  41. hammy

    this government which the ABC is viscerally opposed to

    What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

  42. Leigh Lowe

    Mark Walter Scott AO (born 9 October 1962) is the current Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.[1] He took up his position in July 2006, having previously been the Editorial Director at John Fairfax, responsible for the editorial content of the group’s major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age

    .

    Via Wikipedia

    .
    I’d sue Wikipedia if they accused me of being “responsible for the editorial content of the group’s major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age”
    That’s libellous.

  43. james

    What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

    Indeed Hammy. These troglodytes here at the Cat don’t even realise how opposed to the former ALP government the ABC was.

  44. What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

    I’m struggling to see where unverified bullshit about Navy personnel fits into this “honest criticism of the govt. in power”

    Defund.the.far.cars.now.

  45. Lysander

    About 5% of Australians watch ABC news and other “premium” shows such as Qanda and 7.30.

    The other 95% don’t watch it (I assume they think it is trustworthy but can’t be bothered tuning in).

  46. .

    hammy
    #1171942, posted on January 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm
    this government which the ABC is viscerally opposed to

    What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

    Right. So when Combet was given a fake press conference with no attendees by the ABC, which is girlfriend happened to be a major presenter at…?

    If you’re not parody, your brain dead mind won’t get it.

  47. What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job

    But the very same ABC turned a blind eye to all Rudd Gillard Rudd government failures

  48. Lysander

    Indeed Hammy. These troglodytes here at the Cat don’t even realise how opposed to the former ALP government the ABC was.

    Yeah they were SO opposed they granted them (forgoing normal procurement and tender processes) the contract for Australia Network!!!

    Liar.

  49. Leigh Lowe

    Well that is easily dealt with – allow them to keep the 223m funding for the AN and strip 223m out of it’s normal operating budget and fund a rival AN2 (awarded to Newscorp) in the interests of fairness and competition.

    Better idea.
    Strip them of the network and pay them once-off compensation for the loss before the May Budget.
    Let them participate in the process and insist that Scott publicly acknowledge that it is fair and just compensation.
    Then, come May, simply reduce their recurring budget by a like amount x 2.
    That way the financial goal is achieved and you stop them spewing bile via the airwaves into Asia.

  50. The ABC is unresponsive to what its market wants

    Depends on how they define THEIR market

  51. Gab

    $223 million? That would be better spent on the NDIS.

  52. candy

    What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

    They are critical of the Navy and effectively accused officers of torture.

  53. Viva

    And yet questioned about Abbott’s comments about the ABC on Sky the normally sound Nikki Savva branded them “over the top” and opined that the ABC is well liked by the general population. Go figure.

  54. Leo G

    What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job. – Hammy

    Hammy, does that mean it’s too late for the ABC to become critical of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd, or do you think that there’s a token effort, now lying dormant somewhere, which might suffice?
    PS: I admire the boldness of your irony.

  55. Demosthenes

    effectively accused officers of torture

    I thought that was the Indonesians.

  56. tomix


    I don’t know if the LDP is the answer but something needs to be done on the LNPs right flank or we will be having this same conversation in ten years.

    The LNP has a right flank?

  57. james

    The LNP has a right flank?

    Yeah, all those people who get called evil, racist, tea partier, extremist, homophobic bigots by all the “Respectable” people in the press.

  58. Saltwater

    As a Singapore based expat the Australia network is a major embarrassment and offers little return for the $223mm annual cost. I fail to see how broadcasting Home & Away and endless reruns of The Block & My Kitchen Rules into our Asian neighbour living rooms furthers our interests abroad. The news offering is amateurish at best and offers a product that is easily accessible elsewhere in this digital age.

    The only programming worth watching is the AFL, and even that is now available via a separate subscription service. Rugby League went to Setanta a few years back. Sell it or close it.

  59. johno

    The Government sets up a media organisation that has been captured by its ultra-left staff and staffing policies and that’s the end of it. This is not Fairfax or News Media whose life and death is dependent on earning an income in the market. This is a government-paid-for media organisation over which the government apparently has no control. Is that the point? Is that what he means?

    This is the fatal flaw in the idea of so-called ‘independent’, ‘taxpayer funded’ media. There is a clause in the ABC Act that prohibits the Minister from influencing the ABC’s editorial content. This is to provide ‘independence’. But, as taxpayer funded media is not accountable to the paying public, and the independence clause prevent the taxpayer’s representitive from holding it to account, end result is that it is unaccountable.

    Howard’s attempt to hold the ABC account through it’s Broad demonstrated that that approach dosen’t work either.

    Either the Minster has to be responsible for what is published ie turn it into a government, rather than a left wing, propaganda unit, or privatise it and give the taxpayers the power to hold it to account.

    There is no other alternative.

  60. .

    For some, the LDP is the answer and I hope you join us.

    For the others, I hope you can transform the TEA Party into an actual party (that would vote with the LDP on a lot of issues and exchange preferences), not just a pressure group.

  61. Ellen of Tasmania

    I’m really tired of so-called ‘independent’, government-funded bodies. Either the government funds and is responsible for the entity, or the entity should be privatised or closed down. These bodies take on a life of their own and whether they continue to be necessary or not, they continue to get our money.

    I’d love to know what the ABC has on the Libs that they seem so submissive to this gang.

  62. Senile Old Guy

    I’m proud to say that I was one of those who lobbied the Liberal Party hard to rid themselves of this disastrous leftwing imposter they had as leader.

    Likewise.

  63. Ellen of Tasmania

    For some, the LDP is the answer and I hope you join us.

    I imagine LDP and Family First between them could probably cover the ground for most small-government voters.

  64. james

    I’m proud to say that I was one of those who lobbied the Liberal Party hard to rid themselves of this disastrous leftwing imposter they had as leader.

    I wish I could say the same.

    Next time Turnbull gets himself in the big chair I will.

    I imagine LDP and Family First between them could probably cover the ground for most small-government voters.

    Then it is time for people who would normally join the LNP out of conviction to join one of those parties.

    Only with outside pressure on votes, the things that they care about most, will the LNP change.

  65. Frank Brus

    On the ABC Website before it was removed:

    Asylum seekers treated for alleged burns inflicted by Navy – ABC

    The wording clearly says the Navy did it. Only the burns were alleged!

    This quality news reporting is worthy of a major award.

  66. Pedro

    Thank god for Turnbull, always sensible.

  67. Megan

    I’m proud to say that I was one of those who lobbied the Liberal Party hard to rid themselves of this disastrous leftwing imposter they had as leader.

    Me too. First time I had ever bothered to do more than creatively curse about politics and politicians.

  68. johanna

    Ellen, setting up “arms length” statutory bodies is a classic dodge by politicians who want to avoid accountability. Trouble is, they are initially stacked with supporters of the government, and then proceed to be captured by various interests (usually unions in cases like electricity/water suppliers, but also e.g. greenies for planning bodies) and become separate political forces which are unaccountable.

    Far from being impartial, they are utterly captured sooner or later, even if started with good intentions. There is a honeypot of unaccountable money there, and it inevitably attracts the usual suspects.

  69. Pedro

    “Far from being impartial, they are utterly captured sooner or later, even if started with good intentions. ”

    Noone is impartial.

  70. johanna

    I didn’t say that they were, Pedro. My point is that it is the rationale for setting them up.

  71. gabrianga

    Listening to Plibersek on SKY spouting about ABC’s right to report on the Abbott Government I noticed she never even suggested that these reports should be honest and verified.

    Of course she also avoided mentioning the ABC had slandered and abused the Australian Defence Forces in an effort to get to Abbott.

    As for Lord Wentworth….keelhaul the prick,

  72. Rob MW

    You missed the point Steve.

    There are 2 ‘Turnballs’. First you have Turnball the tool, and then you have Turnball the fool.

    Rarely do you see the 2 displayed together so you should be privileged to see so rare an event. I’m sure that their ABC will headline this rare sighting tonight and will possibly even call for a left-wing only public holiday in honour of the occasion, or at the very least, an extended version of the 7.30 Report to do an in-depth analysis of this otherwise astonishing event. I’ve already ramped up the video recorder to capture the occasion.

  73. “if you don’t like what is on the ABC, you can change channels”.

    If there is something obviously wrong with it, the public has every right to call it as we see it.

    Taxpayer funded national broadcaster must be held accountable to the public.

  74. I fail to see how broadcasting Home & Away and endless reruns of The Block & My Kitchen Rules into our Asian neighbour living rooms furthers our interests abroad.

    Those are commercial programs, which should be sold to overseas TV channels at a profit. Why is the ABC broadcasting for free? That cannibalizes private businesses.

  75. H B Bear

    $223 million? That would be better spent on the NDIS.

    That is debatable.

  76. Gab

    No, it’;s not debatable at all, as much as I think the NDIS will not serve those in need but will boost public servant numbers, I’d rather the money be funneled to the NDIS than keeping it for the ABC.

  77. Leo G

    Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.

    Not really true. The ABC Charter doesn’t provide ABC staff much protection in court proceedings- read the Act. ABC staff and Board are jointly and severally responsible under our legal codes and to the Executive Government. The Charter of Independence is merely a code of practice.
    Moreover, it may be true that Turnbull’s comments could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott. But the comments, taken more literally, actually support the PM while affirming the present policy of Minister and Cabinet.

  78. H B Bear

    Lord Turnbull of Wentworth is happy to keep the ALPBC going for his prime constituency, doctors’ wives, and to allow him to don the leather jacket of coolness on Q & A for Snowcone’s periodic fellating.

    Even Thommo and the Musselman would blanch at charging the $1.2bn back to the taxpayer for that.

  79. Squirrel

    Perhaps an interesting game of good cop, bad cop is being played – we shall see.

  80. Tom

    Oh, and you know that story in the Oz about the government axing the Australia Network? It will probably turn out to be bullshit.

    A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the story was “pure speculation”.

  81. Lysander

    Interesting that 62 per cent of the Age on line poll support Mr Abbott

    Huh? What poll? It’s gone?

  82. Jim Rose

    ABC Asia is also boring to watch

  83. Robbo

    If Turnbull had a shred of honesty and decency he would resign from the Liberal Party and join the Labor Party. That is where his beliefs belong but of course he knows that his particular brand of disloyalty and disruption would be dealt with savagely by the head kickers who run the Labor Party. That is why he has taken the political coward’s pathway and joined the Liberal Party where he will be tolerated a lot longer. The rats in the ranks are not limited to the Labor Party.

  84. Lysander

    EASY!

    Don’t sell it; don’t break it up. Keep ABC News alone. For the rest: Just make it run within the expense of what it earns from Australians willing to pay for it. (9c a day at present).

  85. Lysander

    Bronze: The Bronze Package will get you access to old age re-runs from bbc at 70c per day;
    Silver: Tony Jones re-runs at 35c per day;
    Gold: Extended interviews and access to iView (scenes with the ABC promoting Clive Palmer).

    Other packages include:
    Red (also known as Green): the latest docco’s on EArth and climate and all politics interview;
    Brown: Access to Tasmania Now Live Webcam of Hobart where nothign much happens.

  86. Pedro

    “If Turnbull had a shred of honesty and decency he would resign from the Liberal Party and join the Labor Party.”

    Nonsense, Turnbull is a classical liberal. While Abbott is a social conservative social democrat. Even the stuff that Turnbull is silly about, namely AGW, he is at least silly in a classically liberal way.

    A lot of the Turnbull haters around here are also Barnaby fans, which goes to show that they are not big supporters of classical liberalism.

  87. Pedro

    “Taxpayer funded national broadcaster must be held accountable to the public.”

    And as that is impossible the ABC should be privatised. However, privatisation is also impossible so everyone is just going to have to muddle along. I suspect the govt could achieve a bit of pruning without serious political damage and I hope they have the guts to do it.

  88. Gab

    And as that is impossible the ABC should be privatised. However, privatisation is also impossible

    Yeah, that’s what they said about the Comm Bank, electricity, Telstra, gas, transport, airports, state insurance offices, state banks, QANTAS…and yet somehow it was possible.

  89. Pedro

    I don’t remember people saying those were impossible. I’m prepared to bet that you will never in your life see the liberal party work up the guts to propose privatising the ABC. The nationals would never agree, and certainly not the parties that really own it.

  90. Gab

    That may be the case, however it is still not impossible to privatise.

  91. johanna

    Pedro says: “Nonsense, Turnbull is a classical liberal. ”

    Pedro, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. Please explain in what way Turnbull and folks like JS Mill et al are on the same page.

  92. Tom

    I’m prepared to bet that you will never in your life see the liberal party work up the guts to propose privatising the ABC.

    I don’t think you understand the fluid dynamics of politics, Peds. Stay tuned.

  93. Combine_Dave

    Face the facts Pedro.

    Turnbull is the best leader (and aspiring Prime Minister) the ALP will never have.

    If he were a classic libertarian he’d never support the ABC, nor even the Libs watered down NBN proposal.

  94. Tom

    As Andrew has just posted on the OT:

    The Abbott government is poised to launch an “efficiency study” into the ABC – a move that will exacerbate the already extraordinary pressure on the national broadcaster.

    Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce the review into ABC spending and work practices within days.

  95. candy

    Malcolm Turnbull tried to join the Labor Party some years ago apparently. I think he supports open borders too. He’s not really aligned with Tony Abbott’s agenda.

  96. Boambee John

    “What nonsense. All media becomes critical of the government in power. That’s their job.

    Indeed Hammy. These troglodytes here at the Cat don’t even realise how opposed to the former ALP government the ABC was.”

    Indeed, who could forget the vigour with which the ABC pursued Julia Gillard about the Australia Day race riot fomented by a member of her staff, and her links with the AWU “slush fund” scandal.

  97. pseudonym

    Steve,

    There is an error in your article, but it is one that can be fixed easily: Delete “viscerally opposed to” and replace with “rabidly opposed to”.

  98. candy

    It doesn’t as if Malcolm Turnbull knew about the efficiency study before now. Puts him in his place.

  99. HK_Brother

    Turnbull => LINO => Liberal In Name Only.

  100. johanna

    “exacerbate the already extraordinary pressures on the national broadcaster” – oh my, excuse me while I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes.

    What “extraordinary pressures” pray tell? The ABC has never been fatter and richer. Despite having more money to spend than any commercial outfit, they need to team up with the likes of The Graundian and Fauxfacts to break stories. They can’t do it on their own. Plus, they are funneling their taxpayer dollars to left-wing outfits under the guise of “joint investigations.”

  101. Jannie

    Johanna, must have missed your comment previously. I am not suggesting the taxpayer should fund my watching football when in Asia. But I do think its a reasonable thing, in the national interest, to spend money on soft diplomacy and propaganda. Oz football codes are pretty good propaganda, I reckon.

  102. Jannie

    These troglodytes here at the Cat don’t even realise how opposed to the former ALP government the ABC was

    Scott has said that the ABC must be balanced, because they get complaints from both sides of politics. Can you detect a flaw in that line of reasoning?

    Even me, troglodyte that I is, has always understood that when the ABC opposes the ALP, they do so from a Green/Left perspective.

  103. candy

    The ABC has never been fatter and richer

    Their leading players on are on pretty good salaries. Mark Scott seems to earn more than a prime minister. Maybe he’s worth it, although release of the spying documents just after the election seems a traitorous act. He surely knew the ramifications.

  104. Pedro

    Tom, that sounds exactly like what I predicted they might have the guts to do.

    The ALP is a social democratic party that believes in industry policy, the primacy of unions in the industrial relations field and a relatively high degress of govt services. Those are the really core beliefs of the modern ALP as demonstrated during the last govt. Malcolm Turnbull is not a supporter of any of those things.

    Along with many liberal voters, Turnbull favours a republic. He sensibly recognises that the ABC is not beholden to politicians and that is exactly right and as it should be. He is silly about AGW fears. Turnbull has no record of pushing the primacy of unions or industry policy, quite the opposite, he’s been very sensible on economic policy and was excellent with this statements at the time of the GFC.

  105. .

    These troglodytes here at the Cat don’t even realise how opposed to the former ALP government the ABC was

    I can’t get over how hilariously stupid and dangerously dishonest this is.

  106. Notafan

    This review looks interesting, certainly with modern technology it seems odd that the ABC could continue to need additional funding. I do expect we will see some serious feather bedding and sweetheart arrangements exposed.
    Australian taxpayers have the right to tell their elected officials that they no longer wish to pay for a public broadcaster or three.
    If the left want a megaphone they can pay for their own. US PBS is privately funded. Keep radio and a news channel if you must. Any decent programs will be picked up by the commercial channels. The ABC devotes so much time to advertising itself advertising is.no longer an issue especially with modern TV’s.

  107. Leo G

    Indeed, who could forget the vigour with which the ABC pursued Julia Gillard about the Australia Day race riot fomented by a member of her staff, and her links with the AWU “slush fund” scandal.

    BJ, if Hammy wants to do our ironing, leave him to it. He’s quite a daft deft hand.

  108. hzhousewife

    US PBS is privately funded.

    Exactly.

    Let the crowd-source crowd fund their own ABC.

  109. JC

    Right. So when Combet was given a fake press conference with no attendees by the ABC, which is girlfriend happened to be a major presenter at…?

    If you’re not parody, your brain dead mind won’t get it.

    Really, did that happen?

  110. Tintarella di Luna

    No, it’;s not debatable at all, as much as I think the NDIS will not serve those in need but will boost public servant numbers, I’d rather the money be funneled to the NDIS than keeping it for the ABC.

    Thanks Gab, you’re right the ABC is an organ bank.
    The NDIS is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that’s over 50 years old and could have been well-under control, well-managed, if the work was done as it was supposed to have been done — now we’re seeing governments playing catch-up in worst possible way, in the greatest haste, and of course more haste less speech and that ol’ goodie – haste makes waster.

    if the NDIS works as it was supposed to have worked it might be OK but ….. there’s a big bureaucracy — and bureaucracy is the enemy of flexibility.

  111. johanna

    Tintarella, having worked in disability policy areas for many years, must agree.

    NDIS has nothing to do with helping people (and their families) who have disabilities. It has everything to do with politicians big-noting themselves and employing armies of bureaucrats.

    Millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money will be siphoned off in the name of “helping people with disabilities”. Hardly any of it will reach the intended recipients.

  112. JMH

    OMG – I have a mess to clean up and I really enjoyed my dinner. I’ve just been subjected full-on bias thanks to the Leftard, Turnbull, interviewed by the luvvie, Leigh Sales on 7.30. Sales, of course, milked the opporunity to ask the Member for Goldman Sachs about the ABC.

    Mr. Abbott. Get rid of him.

    The ABC unbiased? Turnbull obviously has a different interpretation of that word than I. What a disgrace that man is!

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

    The ALP is a social democratic party that believes in industry policy, the primacy of unions in the industrial relations field and a relatively high degress of govt services.

    No, that’s the Liberal Party.

    The ALP is the party of fringe interests, the strongest of which being the trades unions, other fringe interests being country shopper advocates, abortion advocates and apocalyptic climate loons.

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

    I should add: the ALP serves only the interests of those fringe groups, and those fringe groups alone.

  115. Pedro

    It’s only the Libs if you delete liking Unions! But the are all versions of socialist.

  116. Pedro

    JMH I suspect Turnbull is smart enough to know that you should first make friends with the people you intend to gut.

  117. Andrew

    Interesting that 62 per cent of the Age on line poll support Mr Abbott

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL they took it down! No mention of poll on the page now. Hope you got a screen shot Alan, Age readers side with Abbott666! The GreenBC really is fucked now.

    When the Budget papers are released and the GBC loses its $223m gig, I will walk across the road to the Ultimo Kremlin with a huge pre-prepared banner mocking them for all being about to lose their jobs.

    Then I will go to the Daily Mail office and mock them, as the only hope of ever being employed again just closed.

  118. candy

    Pedro
    Are you in M. Turnbull’s electorate and feel l0yal to him? That’s nice.

  119. blogstrop

    Leo at 12.10, good example.
    I thank the ABC for that. Their News department just refused to report the situation- one that even the EPA had described as the most serious toxic chemical exposure accident in the state’s history.
    Consequently, what do think my view is about the proper future of the ABC and its dishonest Charter?

    But the ABC takes every opportunity to bag the NSW Libs about Orica’s plant in Newcastle, even though most of the scares there are beat-ups. The news reports go on for days, weeks, even when no chemicals can be discerned in the neighbourhood allegedly at risk because of the “dangerous venting”.

    However, Leo, the charter isn’t dishonest. The people who are flouting it are more likely to be so.

  120. egg_

    Mr. Turnbull hasn’t quite worked out that the rest of the country is not like his art gallery loving, mummy-blogger, Mercedes driving Wentworth electorate. I think he, and the Lib party, will get a nice shock if he ever gets the reins again.

    Well, it is their Aged Broadcasting Corporation, after all…

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

    It’s only the Libs if you delete liking Unions! But the are all versions of socialist.

    I dunno. Macfarlane seems determined to keep shovelling money towards them in the guise of industrial policy. And no Libs seem keen on taking genuine action to close down the AWU and CFMEU, which the country could get along without very well.

    But yes they are just all shades of the same socialist party. Which is why I am so interested in what David L’s LDP will do in the Senate. I hope he canes it.

  122. Leo G

    “But the ABC takes every opportunity to bag the NSW Libs about Orica’s plant in Newcastle, even though most of the scares there are beat-ups. ” – Blogstrop

    Orica’s accidental toxic chemical release involved 1 kg of a hexavalent chromium compound at Kooragang Island, some distance from a residential area. The incident to which I referred involved the release of a much greater amount of chromium 6 (possibly 100 times as much) as microfine lead chromate. The chromate was not even the most toxic material (a diazo) released. Moreover, the accident occurred during school hours adjacent to a primary school and preschool.
    Many of the children presented to hospital with their skin and clothing heavily discoloured by the chemicals. The official response was to replace the chemical data sheets provided by the importer for the most toxic of the chemicals released with an EPA-produced sheet that obscured the CAS identification and concealed the toxicity. When challenged the government response was that compliance with the Howard government’s MSDS legislation was voluntary, and that the government was not obliged to properly identify the chemical.

  123. Leigh Lowe

    “But the ABC takes every opportunity to bag the NSW Libs about Orica’s plant in Newcastle, even though most of the scares there are beat-ups. ” – Blogstrop

    Orica deserve an arse-kicking over that one.
    I have good reason to believe they are paying lip service to cleaning their act up, believing no-one would dare take action.
    I hope they get called on it and heads roll at the very top.
    Arseholes.

  124. Bethjl

    Malcom Turnbull is a disgrace. He is a failed ALP applicant and now, in the Lib ministry, is doing all he can to subvert the democratically elected government. He is out for himself and himself only. He is a slimy B. Shame on him – it’s time the Libs cut him adrift.

  125. Andrew

    Even me, troglodyte that I is, has always understood that when the ABC opposes the ALP, they do so from a Green/Left perspective.

    Yep. Every leftist grub that claims the GreenBC are “unbiased” – challenge them to name a time when they argued editorially that Abbott666 was right and Rudd-Gillard-Rudd was wrong. Or any CAGW claim by any unqualified activist that was SO exaggerated that even the GBC said “that claim doesn’t stack up ” Or when they predicted a leftist policy idea wouldn’t work, from a perspective of not being far enough right.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an instance of it.

  126. Squirrel

    The Terms of Reference document for the Review is a rather adroit piece of work:

    http://images.theage.com.au/file/2014/01/30/5118462/ABC_SBS_efficiency_study_final_TOR.pdf

    The mention of “cultural issues” in the fourth dot point under the heading “Terms of reference” (page 2) would be open to a number of interesting interpretations, as would the fairly tight timetable for the review.

  127. Andrew

    Speaking of cabinet solidarity:

    LOL

    And the ALPBC had to broadcast the disaster live.

    (Thanks to the Boltster.)

Comments are closed.