On Monday night the ABC’s MediaWatch show made this false claim:
The new national security law—which was supported by all parties except the Greens—has been in the planning for the last two years, and is not a reaction to ISIS or the latest terror raids.
The ABC likes to pass itself off as a news and current affairs organisation – in fact, it alleges that 85% of the Australian population think it performs a valuable function.
Strange then that the Senate Hansard suggests that not “all parties except the Greens” voted for the new national security bill.
Maybe they made a mistake. If so, you’d think they’d quickly correct such an obvious and egregious error? Well, no – the following email exchange fell off the back of a bus.
Media Adviser: I am writing to you to request a correction.
Senator David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats has probably opposed it more energetically than anyone else in Parliament. I attach a Hansard from 25 September to support this assertion. He has also expressed his opposition to it in several media interviews for several weeks.
Media Watch: We are, and were, aware that David Leyonhjelm was among those who voted against the bill, and that he represents the Liberal Democrats in parliament (as the sole representative). We’re also aware that other senators, Nick Xenophon and John Madigan, voted against the bill.
Our comment in that part of the script was to indicate as succinctly as possible that all of the larger parties (except the Greens) supported the law, and we believe that was the point communicated to our audience.
So Media Watch knowingly and deliberately went to air with false information. In such a manner that ensured The Greens would benefit from being opposed to new legislation but nobody else would. Very naughty, very biased.