Should Mark Scott and other senior ABC staff resign?

When the BBC falsely accused the late great Lord McAlpine of child abuse in November 2012 it rocked the once respected organisation and led to the resignation of the Director-General, George Entwistle, news director Helen Boaden, deputy news director Steve Mitchell, and reporter Iain Overton.

When the ABC falsely accused Australian Navy personnel of torturing asylum seekers, no one at the ABC resigned.

Child abuse and torture are at the top of most people’s list of horrific crimes. To falsely accuse someone of those crimes is an outrage and the reporters and management should suffer the consequences of fact-free reporting. At the very least Mark Scott should resign.

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100 Responses to Should Mark Scott and other senior ABC staff resign?

  1. rafiki

    The ABC’s (and I think the ABC here refers only to the Indonesian based journalist) accusation of torture was implicit (embedded in the comment that the burnt hands photo supported the claims) rather than explicit. ABC management could have handled the matter by recognising this and apologising. Scott’s failure to do so in an unqualified way is the basis for any resignation call, but my guess is that Abbott et al may not think it enough.
    What the ABC is up to is intriguing. In the past, my guess was that they anticipated (or perhaps were even made aware of) a plan by Labor/Greens to block supply in the Senate before the mid-term Senate elections, and were acting to prepare public opinion. On the other hand, maybe Scott and the current affairs crew are just pig-headed and/or stupid. While Abbott remains PM, their prospects are not good.

  2. JC

    Scott seems to be in a heap of trouble, doesn’t he. He won’t resign though.

  3. JC

    Labor/Greens to block supply in the Senate before the mid-term Senate elections,

    What mid term senate elections? There aren’t any.

  4. Andrew

    Well they accused Chris Kenny of fucking dogs, so I’m guessing no. Whatever it takes.

  5. Nic

    Years ago thousands marched in support of South Sydney . The Daily Telegraph, a News Ltd paper , gave scant if any coverage. The reason being was that Super League was controlled by News Corp. people were livid. The issue was, if News alto chose not to report on a massive march, what else would it choose not to report? This is similar to the ABC who emits untruths at every turn, gives its own slant to stories and worse, fails to report certain stories. The management must go !

  6. rafiki

    That should have been mid-year (2014) half term Senate election. This would be obvious to most, but it should be spelt out.

  7. Armadillo

    Michael Smith seems to be taking an interest in this, perhaps more from the point of view of TLS and the AWU affair. He has kept records (as he does) of how the ABC handled this issue compared to reporting of the AWU. He makes some pretty damn good points about double standards and rips the whole argument put forward by the ABC today in the press release as total and utter bullshit. Scott should either resign or be sacked.

  8. JC

    That should have been mid-year (2014) half term Senate election. This would be obvious to most, but it should be spelt out.

    There’s no election mid year.

  9. entropy

    rafiki, there is no election mid 2014. Did you mean when the current senate with the greens with balance of power ends and the new one with the PUP circus takes its place?

  10. H B Bear

    (and I think the ABC here refers only to the Indonesian based journalist)

    George Robert’s report was prepared by Australian producers and program directors. To say responsibility remains with him is not correct. The implication of the wording used was deliberate – as was the decision to run it as the lead story on every radio news program that day.

    Turnbull should demand an unqualified apology from Mark Scott ($678,940). I doubt he will.

  11. Scott must resign or be dismissed
    (for I’m no sentimentalist):
    the ABC’s so prejudiced
    it says its bias can’t exist!
    If the Minister won’t insist
    then he too should be on the list
    of those who get the farewell fist.

  12. Grigory M

    Well, it’s a pretty easy choice for mine. The Government should replace the ALPBC Board and CEO. Damned if I know why they haven’t done it already.

  13. Armadillo

    I am still yet to see an explanation as to why the ABC is running joint investigations with the Guardian and Fairfax. Has anyone heard Scott explain why?

  14. JC

    Well, it’s a pretty easy choice for mine. The Government should replace the ALPBC Board and CEO. Damned if I know why they haven’t done it already.

    They can’t because they’ve stupidly come out in public support of the independent editorial integrity of their ABC. If they went after them with that it would be perceived as government interference. They basically shot themselves in the foot by playing nice.

  15. Colmac

    Does it not require principles to resign on principle?

  16. Grigory M

    If the Minister won’t insist
    then he too should be on the list

    The Minister is the Leader of the Opposition in Exile.

  17. wreckage

    Replace the entire board. Sounds intriguing. If the ABC is to have a future it needs to be much less complacent.

  18. rafiki

    Yes Entropy, that’s what I meant. Time for bed for me; I’m fading. But those of you more alert might ask: just what is the ABC up to? What are they picking fight with Abbott? Is it to provoke the government into doing something that could be added to a list of “reprehensible circumstances” (Fraser’s justification for blocking supply in 1975). Mind you, the prospect of there being a long list is not looking good, what with the success of OSB, union corruption, the Pink Batts RC, etc.). Of course, plain stupidity cannot be rule out as the explanation.

  19. They can’t because they’ve stupidly come out in public support of the independent editorial integrity of their ABC.

    An easy solution thereto: Turnbull sacks Scott and then, announcing that he takes full responsibility for breaking an implied promise of the Government, resigns.
    Later, if he redeem himself by pious works for a few years, he might be reappointed to the ministry—as, say, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

  20. JC

    Rafki

    Stop being an idiot. Of course their ABC wants to see the end of the Coalition just like any self-disrespecting leftwinger does. But to suggest there are a bunch of these idiots in a smoke filled room* plotting the over throw of the government with Tubbsie Milne and Tits Shortened is up there in the birdian parallel universe.

    They hate the Libs, but the razor suggests they’re simply playing the game as events take them.

    * Just kidding about a smoke filled room after the von Roxon ‘reforms’. That’s not going to happen.

  21. Honesty

    I asked for his resignation, note the date, you should all ask for it too if you are serious. Here is my confirmation from ABC for my email. I expect no response from the ABC or a lame response that will give me more grist.
       
    Location: NSW
    Response Required: true
    Program: News
    Program Date: 22 January 2014
    ABC Service\Network: ABC1
    ABC Recipient: Audience & Consumer Affairs
    Subject: Illegal Boat Arrivals
    Your Comments:Your reporting through a political lens of the left has reached a height of disgust that even my ALP friends are ashamed of. You hide behind a non-existent veil of “reporting” to push a left view to attack our brave defenders and our current Government that is in breach of your charter and your support of Australia overseas via the Australian Network.

    Please pass on my disgust to Mark Scott and my request for him to resign.

  22. Leo G

    The ABC strategy is transparent.
    The short-term objective is to undermine the operational effectiveness of Operation Sovereign Borders by pressuring the government to dispense with the secrecy provisions. The motive is probably to improve Bill Shorten’s chances of surviving as Opposition Leader beyond July.

  23. JC

    Please pass on my disgust to Mark Scott and my request for him to resign.

    Their ABC’s response…

    Up yours fella. He’s here for the long haul.

  24. Talleyrand

    No Nic, the circumstances you outline are not similar. What News Corp. papers publish stands and falls by the members of the public exercising their free will to buy the newspaper. There is NO option to not pay for the ABC.

    One is a free market choice, the other is a Government funded monopoly not being held to account.
    FFS, Surely you can see the difference.

    Years ago thousands marched in support of South Sydney . The Daily Telegraph, a News Ltd paper , gave scant if any coverage. The reason being was that Super League was controlled by News Corp. people were livid. The issue was, if News alto chose not to report on a massive march, what else would it choose not to report? This is similar to the ABC who emits untruths at every turn, gives its own slant to stories and worse, fails to report certain stories. The management must go !

  25. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From JC at 11:02 pm:

    “Scott seems to be in a heap of trouble, doesn’t he. He won’t resign though.”

    No and yes JC.

    The ABC can say and do pretty much what it chooses, it has created a position of strength bit by bit over a long period. Even if Abbott acted to initiate now they’d make few inroads by the next election.

    I liken it to ATSIC, so well fortified that it took a decade for Ruddock, Vanstone and Howard to dismantle it. Even with senior people up on charges of corruption, with some found guilty as I recall, it took a decade, with ATSIC financing numerous legal defences with taxpayers’ money.

    The ABC chairman and Labor royalty, Spigelman, hasn’t opened his gob and he should have. Scott’s tweeking the tail of the tiger because he can, and Skull and the rest of ‘em are doing nightly hit and runs on the LNP safe in the knowledge of their protected status. They also know Lord Wentworth will personally deliver every zac they expect in the budget and proudly join them at their annual dinner.

    They have some Mickey Mouse impartiality audit to give the run around for a while and by the time it’s done the Human Rights Commission or some other Labor citadel will run interference to take the heat off.

    HRC chairman Mrszz Triggs just this week declared war on the government, signaling she reckons they’re about as safely ensconced as the ABC too. There’ll be a few other quangos lining up to mount their campaigns as well. Abbott won the election and they are committed to fixing that aberration.

    You or I can splutter all we wish, nothing will change.

  26. candy

    Mark Scott is not in a happy position. Any anti Abbott anti government stories don’t have 100% credibility anymore, he’s lost some stature. It’s not the worst outcome for Tony Abbott.

  27. Cold-Hands

    To resign would imply that there’s some sort of accountability at the ABC. However, as it’s being run as a collective, there is no individual accountability or responsibility. The byzantine internal disciplinary procedures of the ABC are responsible for this- they are ignored by everybody anyway. When Jon Faine was found by internal review to have behaved unprofessionally (by breaching impartiality requirements when interviewing Michael Smith), he refused to accept the decision and (as far as I know) failed to apologise. There was no further discipline- he wasn’t taken off air, suspended, fined, sacked or punished in any way. Clearly the ABC’s internal processes are a toothless tiger; there is no oversight by the MD and all the board does is wring its hands. Scott will have to be sacked.

  28. [we] should all ask for [Scott’s resignation] too if you are serious

    Well, not only have I written to Malcolm Turnbull and Mark Scott several times that Scott (or both) should resign or be dismissed, I helpfully suggested to the PM (on 24 January) that I’d do the job for a mere fifty grand a year—saving taxpayers more than $700,000 p.a.

  29. Honesty

    I first thought the strategy wasto go hard and when the Coalition started “squealing” to say “oh look they are worse than Conroy, what hypocrites!” then they were protected. I think they tried this but overstepped with mistakes, Abbott then countered with “it’s ok to report the facts but why be anti Australian by not checking them out with the Navy first”. The ABC did not realize trashing the Navy and Australia would create such a backlash and now they are screwed. Fight it and get creamed admit it and get crucified.

  30. HK_Brother

    ABC. They tell you what they think you should know…Based on their perspective.

    Like intentionally not covering the AWU issue (police began raiding “slugs and grubs” aka: Slater and Gordan) while Gillard was still PM.

    …Their excuse was the story (to them) wasn’t confirmed.

    But when the story of Australian Navy supposedly treated boat people like crap appears, they are all over it without confirming anything!

    Now, with egg all over their faces, they push out some nonsensical explanation. (Its not an apology…Because the Left do NOT have the humility to genuinely admit with sincerity that they can be wrong. At best, you can expect a non-apologetic explanation. That’s how fragile their self-image is! To admit fault means they are not perfect! That is earth shattering to their ego and pride!)

    The Left will never admit to anything and they will drag this out as long as they can get away with it. They’re hoping any BS excuse will do! The only way to stop this mess is to force them off the deep end. This is the type of people we’re dealing with. Unreasonable, entitled, sociopathic twats who believe they know better, know what’s best, and honestly believe they are right. (How can one be right when they believe the ends justifies the means?)

    …They will keep doing what they’ve been doing because they can get away with it.

    The only solution is to draw a line in the sand, and warn if they cross it, there will be ADVERSE consequences. (Knowing how these twats think, they will act like children and cross the line to test the boundries.)

    They deserve one thing. A good all-Australian kick up the arse.

  31. Nic

    Therefore Talleyrand, what the ABC does is worse.

  32. JC

    The thing is though that their ABC has never had this level of criticism thrown at them about being biased in such a sustained way coming from the punters. Quite a few of them read blogs like the Cat, Bolt and Blair (Blair to a lessor degree) and are amazed at the level of vitriol thrown at them. They really don’t care much about about the libs throwing the kitchen their way. However I reckon they do care when they see a sustained constant stream of criticism, ridicule chucked their way on Murdoch papers, blogs and the social media. It’s unnerving them.

    If they read the Cat as I’m sure a lot of them do because their names are mentioned they would be seriously unnerved as we’re unrelenting and limitless in our abuse.

    What’s even worse for them is that we’re aware o9f every single trick they pull and mock them remorselessly about it.

    Keep it up and a few of them will end up getting a referral to the JC leftie suicide hotline.

  33. Honesty

    I would settle for Andrew Bolt replacing Snowcone on every second QandA, Alan Jones on every second 7:30 report, Gerard Henderson on every alternate Media Watch and Ray Hadley joining Fran Kelly as co host on radio national. I am just after half, the left want it all, as they cry balance. I am of the right and I ask the simple question – where is my red meat on the ABC? where do I go, point me to who I would want to watch or listen to?

  34. H B Bear

    Mick @11.43pm is correct – the ALPBC know they are untouchable.

    Scott won’t resign. Presumably Lord Turnbull’s only option is to refuse to re-appoint him at the end of his contract if Labor mate Spigelman and the Board put him forward as MD. At which point the directors claim political interference.

    Ultimately the only option is nuclear, which would require Abbott to make the case for privatisation, indicate what elements would remain in public ownership and take the lot to a general election. Ain’t going to happen.

  35. JC

    Bear

    There is the outside ombudsman angle.

  36. Paul

    Perhaps we can commence a citizen class action against the ABC board and Mark Scott for not complying with their charter. If this was a public company, the board would be sacked by the shareholders.

  37. H B Bear

    Unless the ombudsman had meaningful sanctions available to them it would just be more of the same. It could be a step in the right direction I guess.

    The hardest part of building the case against the ALPBC is that people have this rose tinted view of the place from the 1960s when it actually was a balanced, authoritative media outlet. Like a lot of issues, I suspect there are noisy minorities at both extreme ends of the spectrum and a vast majority who couldn’t give a rats.

    While Fauxfacts and to a lesser extent the Grauniad, are prepared to go along with the ALPBC while it canibalises what little remains of their paying audience there doesn’t appear to be any likelihood of change.

  38. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From JC at 11:54 pm:

    “The thing is though that their ABC has never had this level of criticism thrown at them …”

    JC – the oldest of them took on Bob Hawke in the early ’80s, when he was more popular than Kylie Minogue in Oxford Street in March; and Paul Keating when he was at his dismissive, destructive best. The pair of them belted their front men time and again and it only enlivened them more.

    Even after Richard Carleton had left to join commercial television Bob Hawke spat on him every time he saw him.

    Those old hands have gone but they still, I’m sure, hold court at morning tea and long lunches, feeding the fervour of the current lot so that they don’t know they are being criticised and don’t care when they discover it.

    They were so “unnerved” this week that they smoothly turned the setting to “Murdoch666″ and sauntered off whistling.

  39. Honesty

    The reporting of this issue by ABC and Fairfax is even biased. They say “Liberal backbenchers” are unhappy with the ABC. This is false, they don’t want the fight they have enough on, it’s the actual electorate, the voters, that are white hot on this. And maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference this time. So I am hopefully JC and Mick, maintain the rage.

  40. H B Bear

    The Australian has gone ballistic on this now.

    Remember these two? I don’t think I can recall a more mendacious useless prick in Federal parliament than the Nuclear Milkman.

  41. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From JC at 12:04 am:

    “Bear

    There is the outside ombudsman angle.”

    The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Colin Neave, was appointed in August 2012.

    That would be because he has the right pedigree, of course, including chairman of the Legal Services Board of Victoria, the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman and Vice Chairman of the Australian Press Council. I reach that point and say no, he’s going to be deliberately useless.

  42. Honesty

    My line would be from Joe Hockey “do you want (a)the ABC or (b) a new cancer ward for children in each capital city and you read the Guardian”.

  43. Honesty

    Mick the ABC spat at the Navy this time, while they were doing a fantastic job, that’s upped the anti on Hawkey v Carlton. This is Defcon 5!

  44. twostix

    Mark Scott is not in a happy position. Any anti Abbott anti government stories don’t have 100% credibility anymore, he’s lost some stature. It’s not the worst outcome for Tony Abbott.

    An astute observation candy.

  45. H B Bear

    Those old hands have gone but they still, I’m sure, hold court at morning tea and long lunches, feeding the fervour of the current lot so that they don’t know they are being criticised and don’t care when they discover it.

    Interesting you mention Richard Carleton. In my opinion, much of the decline in objectivity can be tracked back to This Day Tonight which started to see the beginning of crusading journalism and celebrity reporters. Kerry O’Brien keeps the flame alive, with Snowcone, Paul Barry, Mark Colvin, Tony Eastley and all the other usual suspects as disciples.

  46. H B Bear

    For a more informed comment on This Day Tonight from an insider,

    How the left colonised the ABC - Geoffrey Luck at Quadrant.

  47. Honesty

    Bill Peach I go back to.

  48. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Honesty at 12:31 am:

    “Mick the ABC spat at the Navy this time, while they were doing a fantastic job …”

    and from twostix at 12:34 am:

    ” Mark Scott is not in a happy position. Any anti Abbott anti government stories don’t have 100% credibility anymore, he’s lost some stature …”

    You and I know that because we read and discuss it here. Your average bank teller and shop fitter hasn’t been told what the ABC is up to on television or in the papers. The vast majority of them get home after work and turn on a Current Affair, not Their ABC.

    The ABC heavies have batted each ball back to the field, with no admissions or apologies and there has been no shock horror “ABC bags sailors, gets it wrong!” to report.

    The illegals burn claims were aired, the average bloke glanced at reports and thought “Yeah, they would say that. The reffo boats have stopped, that’s good. Who’s playing on Saturday?” didn’t look at the source and the issue just petered out.

    I’d like to be more excited about the prospect of righting the wrong but I just don’t see it happening.

  49. nerblnob

    By all means they should report allegations. But running with it day after day as a lead story without any serious corroboration or investigation is evidence of obsession. Which is fine for an opinion columnist but not for ABC News.

    However, I don’t see anyone about to fall on their sword over it. As long as it’s Coalition vs Labor/Green, Murdoch vs ABC/Fairfax, Right vs Left, there will be an impasse. People will merely support the side they always support.

    What will make a difference is the anger of the general public and the flaking off of some rusted-ons.

  50. The ABC’s top men can talk about “balance” all they like, but what they can’t hide is how quickly they swung about from intellectually fellating the government while Rudd and Gillard were in (somewhat more metaphorically in Gillard’s case) to desiring immediate castration once Abbott had won the election. Even blind Freddy could see that.

    Three years more of this bullshit and Abbott is going to have an excuse to get the knife out in 2016, both to the ABC and to Turnbull if he refuses to rein them in.

  51. Baldrick

    Marx Cott won’t be going anywhere soon … not while Lord Wentworth is Minister … wishful thinking guys.

  52. gabrianga

    Look who’s been lying now.

    The “Australian” highlights the holes in the “Murdoch Conspiracy” Tony Jones ran with on this week’s Q&A. when he deliberately exaggerated the NewsLtd share in the SKY tender for the overseas broadcasting contract.

    It is surely time to put the cleaners through this outfit which seems to have become the “Speakers Corner” for the Left of politics.

    If Lord Wentworth feels uncomfortable just remove the ABC from his Ministry or even remove LW from the Ministry.

  53. nonmus

    H B Bear:

    Kerry O’Brien keeps the flame alive, with Snowcone, Paul Barry, Mark Colvin, Tony Eastley and all the other usual suspects as disciples.

    No doubt we’ve all enjoyed the ABC coverage and Oz reader commentary over the past few days, of course it’s high time the centre and centre right got a look in at ‘our’ ABC and maybe the current public furore will be the catalyst. Maybe not, we live in hope, meanwhile just read the strangest thing; Paul Barry (Media Watch) admits voting Libs!

  54. gabrianga

    Please help. Have lost toolbar for links ,italics etc.

    As Dusty sang so well ” I just don’t know what to do by myself”

  55. Bruce of Newcastle

    Well Scott is playing with nuclear fire. Julie Bishop asked the ABC to apologise to the navy for getting the story wrong.

    He refused, though put out a statement of regret that is disingenuous.

    I’d say that Abbott, Bishop, Johnson and Brandis, who has been acting MoD, will be earth shatteringly furious. The death stare may even be wielded.

    Why is he inciting them like this. An apology would be cheap and so easy to write.

  56. A Lurker

    If Lord Wentworth feels uncomfortable just remove the ABC from his Ministry….

    Yes, take away the ABC’s #1 supporter in the Abbott Government, and at the Ministry level put someone in charge who not only loathes the ABC, but also possesses the balls and teeth to do something about them. After that, start fundamentally changing and killing the ABC by increments, death by a thousand painful cuts, in places and ways that they don’t or won’t expect. Keep the ABC guessing and worrying about what is going to happen. If they spend their days in caught in an agony of worry and fear and trying to justify their very existence, then they’ll have less time and less motivation to pull stunts like the RAN one.

    The first change I’d do if I were the Minister, would be to physically relocate the ABC from Sydney out to WA – preferably in the remote Pilbara – and relocate their other city staff to regional offices in each respective State – e.g. move Brisbane staff to Mt Isa or Cunnamulla or Chinchilla.

  57. 1735099

    You’re posting lies, Samuel.
    The ABC reported (and showed) asylum seekers had burns.
    They also reported that these same asylum seekers alleged that the navy was responsible.
    They did not “accuse” anyone of anything.
    If you can’t tell the difference between a report and an accusation, you are wasting space (and my time) posting here.
    How about an apology?

  58. Alfonso

    Trouble is the Liberals will claim Their ABC is fixed when comrade Scott is off working for some other statist left think tank other than the ABC. His depart will give them a mission accomplish air…..as if.

  59. Tom

    Fuck off, you dissembling piece of garbage.

  60. JohnA

    H B Bear:

    “The hardest part of building the case against the ALPBC is that people have this rose tinted view of the place from the 1960s when it actually was a balanced, authoritative media outlet.”

    That would be when they were running The Goon Show at midday on Saturdays.

  61. rickw

    1735099 – So the ABC should simply run with claims that anyone makes, and present them in a manner that blurs the line between accusation and fact?

  62. A Lurker

    If you can’t tell the difference between a report and an accusation, you are wasting space (and my time) posting here.

    Numbers, no person is forcing you to post here, or read these posts. No person is extracting coin from your taxes to keep this site operational. If you left, no person would miss you, and I dare say you’d be much happier not having your ‘valuable’ time wasted by all of these ‘lies’.

    So then, why don’t you bugger off if you find this site so abhorrent.

  63. Tom

    Go and get an education, Fucktard. You have the intellect of a five-year-old. Just goes to show how low standards were at teacher’s college in the 1960s. If you couldn’t do anything else, you could “teach”. What a time bomb we were left.

  64. 1735099

    blurs the line….
    so now it’s gone from accusing to blurring.
    The creaking sound is the goalposts shifting……

  65. clive

    I don’t wish to see any of Our ABC staff or management reprimanded,I want them ALL sacked and Our ABC closed for good.These Left-Wing Numpties,are Taitors to our Country and should be Jailed for Treason.

  66. candy

    My opinion is that accused is the word, not blurred. Day after day, from shooting at boats, and kicking asylum seekers and then torture. Story after story in an obsessed fashion, with no apparent contact by ABC with the ADF before putting stories out, as would be polite and reasonable.

  67. Tom

    Albrechtsen is devastating in explaining what the troll, an alleged “school teacher”, doesn’t have the intellect to process:

    Remember this is how the ABC first reported the unsubstantiated allegations: “new footage appears to back asylum-seekers claims of mistreatment by the Australian Navy.” The footage did no such thing. As The Australian has since reported, the man who made the most serious allegations was not on the boat at the time and the burns to the asylum-seekers’ hands happened during a skirmish on board the boat between the sailors and the asylum-seekers. The navy had nothing to do with the burns. Deciding to publish unsubstantiated allegations is not a sign of an independent, fair public broadcaster. It is a sign of lazy, biased journalism.

    Yet on the first show of Insiders for the year, Cassidy said: “It’s not for the ABC to be sceptical.” That will surprise good journalists who apply intellectual scepticism on a daily basis.

    Go and get a real job, you tax-hoovering scum.

  68. james

    Should Mark Scott and other senior ABC staff resign?

    I didn’t know parasites could resign.

  69. Aussieute

    Tim B adds fuel to the pire

    February 3. ABC head of editorial policy Alan Sunderland defends the billion-dollar broadcaster’s navy torturer smears:
    If we relied only on information from official channels then little or nothing would have been reported and the Australian public would have been left in the dark about the dramatic events unfolding on the high seas.

    From the moment the first claims emerged in this messy affair, it was clear there was a significant story. Thanks to the work of good journalists who did not stop chasing, the public now knows that.

    When the ABC starts chasing uncomfortable stories, we expect criticism. But it is indeed a strange world when some of those who should be chasing the story seem to think the story is us.

    February 4. ABC bosses Mark Scott and Kate Torney regret the billion-dollar broadcaster’s navy torturer smears:
    Video obtained exclusively by the ABC, showing asylum seekers with burns, along with reports that Indonesian police were investigating the matter, raised further important questions …

    The ABC’s initial reports on the video said that the vision appeared to support the asylum seekers’ claims. That’s because it was the first concrete evidence that the injuries had occurred. What the video did not do was establish how those injuries occurred.

    The wording around the ABC’s initial reporting needed to be more precise on that point. We regret if our reporting led anyone to mistakenly assume that the ABC supported the asylum seekers’ claims.
    So it’s the audience’s fault. Further on the ABC’s half-arsed regret here.

  70. 1735099

    Tom obviously is incapable of arguing himself, so he quotes Murdoch’s harpy.
    Suggest you check the meaning of the word “appears” – you have a tenuous grasp of English.
    As for the job- I’m hitting the road now for a fifteen hour day.
    Enjoying it immensely, and it pays well.
    Get a life, Tom….

  71. james

    Enjoying it immensely, and it pays well.

    You’re welcome.

    Hope you are enjoying spending the money that real people make.

  72. Meanwhile, partisan supporters of the ABC’s bias still seem to reckon that Playschool and the Bananas in Pyjamas provide their best arguments.

  73. Leo G

    You’re posting lies, Samuel.

    Really?

    The ABC reported (and showed) asylum seekers had burns.

    Several people who apparently were part of a people smuggling operation had burns. They were not asylum seekers- they had not lodged a request for asylum.

    They also reported that these same asylum seekers alleged that the navy was responsible.

    The person who was the source for that allegation did not have burns and was not on that boat.
    The ABC reported that the Australian Navy mistreated asylum seekers, that the Navy caused them injuries, and that the injuries were alleged to be burns.

    They did not “accuse” anyone of anything.”

    The ABC reports, since redacted, asserted that the Navy caused the injuries shown in news broadcasts.

    If you can’t tell the difference between a report and an accusation, you are wasting space (and my time) posting here.

    Then why did you post?

    How about an apology?

    Who should apologise? The ABC? You?

  74. Tom

    Intellect of a fucking five-year-old.

  75. Walter Plinge

    Deadman – your entry triggered the thought that some clever Cat contributor should update W.S. Gilbert’s song for current times:

    As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
    I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground,
    …..

  76. .

    Why is numbers allowed to defame our hosts? It’s libellous.

    Apology or ban.

  77. When the ABC falsely accused Australian Navy personnel of torturing asylum seekers, no one at the ABC resigned.

    The Rudd Gillard Rudd government made plenty of serious mistakes. No one ever admit the mistakes and take responsibility for it.

    They even have the hide to come out later and claim credit for the revised history.

  78. john constantine

    the burns on hands story could lead us to the abc ‘out of indonesia’ story that started the lefty/abc war that destroyed the australian cattle industry. the abc mocks now the financial destruction sitting on the books of the cattle industry,unable or unwilling to accept that an overnight killing stroke delivered by the abc/greens/labor would cascade down business families financial positions for a decade.

    so rich activists went to indonesia,and got to film exactly what they wanted to film poor indonesians doing.the rich activists got to film poor indonesians saying exactly the things that confirmed the rich activists beliefs. the abc was then spoonfed the media opportunity,and presented it as a ‘story exclusively obtained by the abc’.the abc did the same thing earlier this year,with a story sent three degrees of seperation removed.

  79. The ABC did not realize trashing the Navy and Australia would create such a backlash and now they are screwed.

    The Fairfax / ABC / ALP hate the Navy and want everybody else to think the same.

    They have been relentlessly pursuing stories about sexual abuse and rewrite history about the war to make the military a hate target.

    The Navy bashing stories would be part of the brainwashing.

  80. We regret if our reporting led anyone to mistakenly assume that the ABC supported the asylum seekers’ claims.

    The wording of the report is designed to MISLEAD people to assume the claims are true. There is no mistake. It is their intention.

  81. Robert O.

    Navy and Customs were overworked rounding-up Rudd and Gillard’s armarda; a lot of stress was involved in the thankless task of fishing out drowned victims which fell on Navy personnel. As well, the boats and crews were overworked requiring maintenance and leave respectively. Not an Indonesian craft to be seen to in the waters south of Java, except for the smugglers plying their trade. So now the ABC and friends take much pleasure in reporting dubious allegations in prime time about Navy cruelty simply because it appears that the trade is ending due to application of policies that were successfully used in PM Howard’s time and couldn’t be used by Labor/Greens due to their politics.

  82. Bruce

    Resign? Yeah and pigs might fly! When integrity and self interest collide,self interest always wins,remember $600k+ pa. He’s no more likely to resign than the Resident Liar is likely to start telling the truth.

  83. Derp

    The truly funny part is that Numbers McClellan, as blind to inconvenient facts and as ad-hom as usual, has hit the road smugly thinking he has won some kind of victory. Big deal.

    Let the old harpy hunt for more 457 visas in the hinterland in peace.
    That creaking sound is the troll shifting …

  84. gabrianga

    “so he quotes Murdoch’s harpy” Numbers showing his Latham like talents.

    These lowlife Labor misogynists can be found under any rock including the numbered ones.

  85. GerardB

    How can Scott, his (so called) management team and the ABC board apologize when they are so lacking in journalistic integrity and pride in the organization that they control and are paid to lead?

    Their refusal to apologize is an indication of their supreme conceit and the “only we know what’s best for you” syndrome.

    If they were going to do anything, they should hang their collective (no pun intended) heads in shame for sub-standard journalism, outrageous slurs against our Navy and border protection officials and for continually indulging in a charade of false concern for boat people merely to cause discomfit to a democratically elected government which is anathema to them.

  86. stackja

    Should Mark Scott and other senior ABC staff resign? Yes!

  87. JMH

    What stackja said.

    Then the dozer must go in.

  88. 1735099

    Navy and Customs were overworked…..

    Some of you have short memories – I wonder would the world have ever known about My Lai if it had not been reported in the US media for fear of besmirching the reputation of the US military?

  89. .

    Numbers jumps a genetically engineered 60 ft Mako shark using a nuclear power plasma rocket pack.

  90. harrys on the boat

    Fuck off, Bob.

  91. Alfonso

    Indeed 99, whatever would leftard viewers know of a Prime Minister’s alleged involvement with the AWU fraud scandal and an alleged fraudulent witnessing of a POA in Perth with charges pending if it wasn’t for the superb coverage by Their ABC….bwaaaa.

  92. Leo G

    Some of you have short memories – I wonder would the world have ever known about My Lai if it had not been reported in the US media for fear of besmirching the reputation of the US military?

    My “short memory” of early 1968 does recollect that, due to self-censorship, US media didn’t report the My Lai story until after Lt Calley was charged.
    But what relevance did this have to the Australian Navy’s more recent rescues involving SIEVs?

  93. Zatara

    “I am still yet to see an explanation as to why the ABC is running joint investigations with the Guardian and Fairfax. “

    Plausible Deniability

  94. “so he quotes Murdoch’s harpy” Numbers showing his Latham like talents.

    Bob Numbers is sounding much more like Bob Ellis.

  95. Notafan

    And would the media have ever known about My Lai if he hadn’t been charged?
    The US did the right thing the right way seems to me.

  96. Leo G

    And would the media have ever known about My Lai if he hadn’t been charged?
    The US did the right thing the right way seems to me.

    In a very limited sense, yes. There were those in the US Army who risked their own lives and careers to stop the massacre (and possibly a dozen other similar incidents over time)- they were a small minority. It was most directly through their efforts that the world came to know. Government and military investigations and investigative journalists then chased the details.

  97. Brian of Moorabbin

    The ABC reported (and showed) asylum seekers had burns.
    They also reported that these same asylum seekers alleged that the navy was responsible.
    They did not “accuse” anyone of anything.
    If you can’t tell the difference between a report and an accusation, you are wasting space (and my time) posting here.
    How about an apology?

    The ABC’s own Media Watch program joined in the criticism on Monday night.

    “The ABC overreached, by essentially endorsing the allegations of navy mistreatment on radio, TV and online throughout the day,” Media Watch host Paul Barry said.

    “Because even if the (Indonesian) police did back the asylum seekers’ claims, there was no way of knowing they were true … We believe the ABC should have been far more cautious, given the evidence it had, and given it was making such a big call against the navy.

    The only person who needs to supply an apology here is YOU Bob me ol’ son, for calling Samuel a liar.

  98. Derp

    What he said…

    Some of you have short memories – I wonder would the world have ever known about My Lai if it had not been reported in the US media for fear of besmirching the reputation of the US military?

    Back to the Vietnam well AGAIN??
    That trolling is not worthy of a response.

    Just let it be known that 457 Numbers knowingly and in bad faith, conflates and justifies inflammatory, unreliable and unsubstantiated accusations against the Australian Navy with … My Lai.

  99. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Some of you have short memories

    Off, topic, I know, but can somebody with a longer memory then mine tell me if Press coverage of the North Vietnamese massacre of between eight or ten thousand South Vietnamese civilians following the capture of Hue in 1968, compared with coverage of My Lai? I don’t remember too much about Hue?

  100. Truth

    Relax, everyone, relax. Just calm down.
    Here’s the answer… it’s for free, but I need your help.
    My proposal so far:
    The future funding of the ABC should be decided by those taxpayers who choose to “opt-in” on payment for its service. That is, there will be a box to tick on the standard tax return that will nominate whether the taxpayer wishes to contribute to funding the ABC.
    If he/she does, then it will be represented as a proportion of the taxable income – let’s say a thousand bucks or whatever. If not, it is included in the refund.
    This should be done on an honour system. Trust. If people are not using the service they should not have to pay. Or, they might choose to cough up even if they are not using it. Perhaps they might decide they only use a small part and so can adjust their contribution.
    The ABC, meanwhile, can offer an online media service in which viewers can elect to pay and so opt “out” of having advertisements by paying a small amount via credit card. Let’s say, a dollar a day, or 28 dollars a month. Or they can watch the ads. Happens everywhere else.
    Between the opt-ins and the ads they should do pretty well.
    The other thing is that donations to the individual units within the ABC should be made tax deductible with an initial offset of 130 percent for two years.
    This would mean that donors could choose where their money went.
    There.
    That’s my silly idea, so far.
    The ABC responds to markets, those who do not use the service get to spent their dough on a pay-TV subscription, or a new Blu-Ray, or a ticket to a Bruce Springsteen show, whatever.
    And the greatest pay-off? More than a billion big bucks a year back to the national pool, to assist a majority of real, working people who clearly do not give a flying fuck about the ABC. Or make movies, or build bridges, etc. you know the drill.
    Another thing is that only those people who were proved as being registered contributors could lodge any sort of complaint, or take positions on the board, community committees etc. The Government would scale down funding by 20 percent in the first year, then 10/10/10 and so on.
    The ABC Act would also require the Corporation does not hold real estate beyond 2015, with proceeds from sales paying out redundancy entitlements etc.
    Am I on to something here?
    Let’s all work this up and send it through to Peta Credlin by COB next Friday.
    Is it just me?

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