ABC chairman thinking of the children

The ABC’s chairman, Justin Milne, gave a speech today justifying the expense that is the ABC. That, and Michelle Guthrie’s speech last month, is a gift that will give for some time. Today I want to focus on his “dear-god-will-nobody-think-of-the-children” ploy. In the speech he says:

Those who would cripple or even abolish the ABC would clearly exacerbate that consolidation, leading to further homogeneity of voices. That may mean that pretty soon our kids only see American stories and perspectives to mould their morals, culture and behavior as adults. And those same kids would need to give up any aspiration to work in a healthy domestic production sector.

Then later:

Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to entertain our toddlers, educate our students, define Australian culture, unite a nation, and serve regional audiences. Some would argue an enlightened private sector dominated by owners in the United States will find a way of marrying commercial and Australian national interest, and produce local content about the arts, sciences, religion or music. What could possibly go wrong?

Indeed – what could go wrong? But, let’s not digress.

Notice the snide anti-Americanism? That’s an attitude lefties take on thinking that it reveals their sophistication. But no.

Anyway what does the ABC serve up as children’s entertainment? I went to the ABC Kids website and checked out the schedule for today. (I’m not going to carry on about the term ‘kid’ being an Americanism itself). I don’t know if Wednesdays are unusual viewing days or not. I then made a list of all of the shows and the country of origin for each show. Today, the ABC had 65 shows on its kids channel. Of those some were different episodes of the same show (for example Bananas in Pajamas aired more than once, as did Sesame Street). Those 65 shows were associated with 83 countries of origin – some shows had more than one country of origin. Arthur, for example, is a joint Canadian/US show.

Four countries make up 73 of the different countries of origin; Australia (17), Canada (10), UK (34), and US (12).  Ignoring that many Australian shows are jointly produced, the Australian contribution to kids TV is just over 20%. Well behind the UK at 41%. So this whole Australian voices telling Australian stories and moulding Australian kids is just nonsense. But for local content rules there would nothing stopping commercial television stations from presenting the same mix of kids television shows.

The great irony here is that because the ABC does not have to comply with local content rules, the ABC probably offers a better selection of children’s television. This, however, is not an argument for public broadcasting, rather it is an argument against local content rules.

That is the point Chris and I make in our book – everything the ABC claims it does, can  be done easier and cheaper.

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61 Responses to ABC chairman thinking of the children

  1. Geriatric Mayfly

    For Milne to emerge into the light of day, something troubling must be in the air around the water cooler.

  2. Some History

    The Children™

  3. Confused Old Misfit

    everything the ABC claims it does, can be done easier and cheaper.

    I agree. And I had 20 years in the business.

  4. pbw

    I don’t know if Wednesday’s are…

    Sinc! Please!

    [Yikes. Fixed that. Thanks. Sinc]

  5. Confused Old Misfit

    Four countries make up 73 of the different countries of origin; Australia (17), Canada (10), UK (34)

    When I worked with the CBC in Canada the canadian Content rules said that we could count material from Commonwealth countries at 50% Canadian Content. If it was a co-production, 75%.

  6. pbw

    Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to … unite a nation… What could possibly go wrong?

    Nothing. It is impossible for the disuniting of the nation to be any worse under any other feasible arrangement.

  7. MACK

    Milne says: “Labor supporters are outraged that we are ‘captive to the right’, and Liberals complain we are a ‘hotbed of communism’.”
    The Greens never complain Justin – I’ll believe the ABC is balanced when the extremist Greens say it isn’t.

  8. Procrustes

    MACK

    There’s one thing I don’t understand from your comment. What, if anything, is the difference between a Green and an extremist Green?

  9. John Constantine

    The difference between a green like Stormy bishop and an extremist green like their plibblefilth is that one despises the proles as a lower form of subhumanity, while the other burns with a frothing genocidal hatred of proles as they are no better than a virus on legs.

  10. struth

    Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to entertain our toddlers, educate our students, define Australian culture, unite a nation, and serve regional audiences. Some 

    This tells you all you need to know.
    The pure arrogance and stupidity on display.
    A true own goal due to a lefties inability to look at themselves.
    The ABC is not supposed to be doing that either.
    You are just a tv station…….alzo obviously you zee your job and influence, as
    vitally more important to ze future of ze nation zan to give up to vat you see az ze wrong people.

    Can anyone tell me where it states in the ABC manifesto where they are to be define culure, unite a nation and to teach our kids?

  11. RobK

    In an age when kids are juggling two or three screens simultaneously the points made by the ABC carry no weight.

  12. OneWorldGovernment

    Sinc

    Can’t we have a good old fashioned burning to the ground of so called enlighted pieces of so called scietntific crap?

  13. BorisG

    A true own goal

    I will agree with this when ABC funding ceases or at least is drastically reduced. So far, this speech will probably help ABC image, even if we don’t like it (and we don’t).

  14. BorisG

    And I don’t really care what the ABC mandate is. In my view, in this day and age, taxpayers should not fund a public broadcaster, regardless of its mandate, performance or biases.

  15. BorisG

    Btw I heard this chairman’s comment on the news today, and was sure sinc will wrote a post about it. I was right.

  16. nerblnob

    Using money derived from primary production to “unite a nation” in hatred of primary producers.

  17. Up The Workers!

    The only time when the A.L.P. and Brown Movement are thinking of children, it’s either the molestation of them (as the number of A.L.P. pollies imprisoned for the sexual molestation of them, proves) or the abortion of them. Their ‘Nationalist Socialist’ colleagues in Germany 80 years ago, famously had exactly the same attitude.

    The Leftard “pro-death” lobby – ALWAYS thinking of the kiddies.

  18. Mother Lode

    They seem oblivious to just how much they sound like they are speaking out of their arses:

    Stories!

    Voices!

    I don’t suppose they will ever get around to detailing their mission to ‘empower’ diverse ‘sexual orientation’, as in two year old boys developing a fixation with penises and being encouraged to fellating old men.

    That is what the obfuscating verbiage is for.

  19. …entertain our toddlers, educate our students, define Australian culture, unite a nation, and serve regional audience,…

    Their ABC is not an approved child minding service.

    Their ABC is not an approved education provider.

    Their ABC is not established or authorised to define Australian culture.

    Their ABC is only interested in uniting the Left.

    Their ABC does not serve me well at all.

  20. Anyway what does the ABC serve up as children’s entertainment?

    Q&A.
    The Drum.
    Chasers.
    7.30 Report.
    Lateline.
    Tom Faggard.
    All other ABC “comedy”.
    97% of news bulletins.
    Mediawatch.
    Jon Faine.

    …Need I go on?

  21. Tel

    Funny how the ABC believes in the whole “blood and soil” schtick when it suits them.

    But other days they believe in the whole “global village” schtick instead when it comes to a different discussion.

    Culture matters, except when it doesn’t. Oh well.

  22. Megan

    Can anyone tell me where it states in the ABC manifesto where they are to be define culure, unite a nation and to teach our kids?

    That bit of Juzzie’s speechifying was where my eyes rolled back into my head and I slid into complete hysteria. As struth points out, this is the single most telling point about the necessity of defunding the ABC. Their deluded belief that the ABC, and the ABC alone, must be funded by everyone in order to inculcate the children with what they believe is the right culture is outrageous. That is a straight out definition of propaganda. And as for uniting a nation? This is the one media channel that actively works to do the complete opposite.

    And as Boris notes, this will thrill the luvvies who still watch or listen and prove the old adage of fooling some of the people all of the time.

  23. Roger

    everything the ABC claims it does, can be done easier and cheaper.

    Alas, we have politicians who don’t appear to care about budget savings measures.

    As to the cultural argument, I dare say nobody hates mainstream Australian culture more than the ABC.

  24. Iampeter

    The Australian conservatives, the liberals and even the LDP aren’t pushing any policy proposals that would even touch the achievement that we would have if we could get the state out of media.
    No, the only person pushing a real right wing political idea in decades in the entire country and is actually ruffling feathers and starting a conversation is some academic from RMIT.

    Bravo Sinclair.

  25. Des Deskperson

    One of the imported kids shows currently screening own the ABC is ‘The Octonauts’.

    It’s an Anglo-Irish animated series about a group of animals who protect and rescue other – mostly – marine animals. Apart from its technical excellence and its well-plotted scenarios, the show contains strong messages about teamwork, selflessness, courage, persistence, respect and helping others.

    I can’t imaging the ABC making or commissioning an ‘Aussie’ kiddies show that would be anything near as good as The Octonauts. Any attempt would be embarrassingly clumsy and patronising: slow, boring, didactic and preachy. The ABC can’t do adult drama, so there’s no reason believe it can do kids’ shows.

    Speaking of the ABC, at the bottom of this post:

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/they-are-abc-the-sequel/news-story/945f450d789f4868bb33ca1885f1d011

    Tim Blair has picked up the story in today’s Oz – paywall protected – about Australia’s stupidest ‘public intellectual’ getting a gig on ‘Foreign Correspondent’.

    The ABC appears to be the only budget funded Commonwealth agency in the country that doesn’t have to worry about stuff like about merit, open competition or the avoidance of patronage and favouritism in deciding – at least above the grunt level – who it employs.

  26. areff

    According to the ABC, gay couples who beat the suitcase out of each are … victims of heterosexual patriarchy. I kid you nor:

    And experts say the previously unacknowledged reality is that the same patriarchal forces that disempower women and enforce a narrow script of what it means to be a man are leading contributors to domestic violence in the LGBT community.

    Up on ABC News site right this patriarchal minute.

  27. Tim Neilson

    Any attempt would be embarrassingly clumsy and patronising: slow, boring, didactic and preachy.

    But would win a plethora of Australian media awards.

  28. Bruce of Newcastle

    Shorter ABC: ‘Give us money or Peppa Pig gets it!’
    Turnbull should tell them that we don’t pay ransoms to kidnappers.

  29. Wil

    And, did you notice, Thinktank last night had an aside by a panellist preaching the godlike propaganda about Al Gore, nothing to do with the topic or any relevance to anything except his rant.
    How can this happen on a pre recorded program that should be vetted for unacceptable content before going to air. Smells of bias to me.

  30. H B Bear

    It’s been a while but here’s a Helen Lovejoy Award for Waffleworth’s mate. Funny it is always Peppa Pig who is the first one to cop it in the neck.

  31. Rococo Liberal

    The irony of it is that in fact the ABC’s whole left-wing playbook was invented in the US, where all modern left-wing idiocy has originated. Identity politics, that scourge of modern life is an American invention that the ABC has taken up with abandon, as they do with all horrible American excesses.
    Close it down and pillory all current staff

  32. Entropy

    There is also the crowding out effect of the ABC when it comes to kids’ programs. A dedicated kids’ channel? Does anyone seriously believe that if the ABC did not exist to provide a dedicated kids’ channel, one of the commercials would not provide one?
    The only excuse they can provide really is lack of barbie, coco pops and puff tart advertising.

    Also, why is the existence of SBS right alongside the ABC always ignored here? Between them these taxeaters have a third of the TV free TV channels in this country. No wonder the commercials are struggling, and no doubt pay more for rights to programs because of the bidding competition provided by ABC and SBS.

  33. Funny how the ABC believes in the whole “blood and soil” schtick when it suits them.
    But other days they believe in the whole “global village” schtick instead when it comes to a different discussion.

    That is because there is a hairs width between the far right of Socialism and the far left of Socialism so it’s easy to switch from one to the other. Same ideology; one National, the other International.

    I do wish more people could comprehend history.

  34. Entropy

    Quite so Mr Rusty. Only diff is whether the authoritarian socialist is nationalist or internationalist in their socialism.
    I would quibble on the right and left description of socialism. It might lead to confusion. Socialism in all its varieties is about ever greater State power. That is a left wing ideal. There is no right wing in it.

  35. Slim Cognito

    That may mean that pretty soon our kids only see American stories and perspectives to mould their morals, culture and behavior as adults

    A blatant admission of what the occupants of the sheltered workshop are trying to do.

  36. win

    As well as the advertised shows Play School for example witll be aired 2 to 3 times more more than the 9.30 and 3,30 pm slots .
    TRhe Show Arthur has been advertised with Arthur blowing a stream of snot from his nose onto the footpath and the male voice telling children its a joke.
    The excelent BOOK A Boo also a Canadian show with a brilliant pupetter and readers of stupendous ability ( even a small girl reading the Smelly Hippo bBaby was brilliant) has been plagerised and was removed as it high lighted the sheer sub standard books used on the ABC the sub standard narators,imajine the ABC prefered luvviese such as the wooden Leihgh Sales reading a book..
    When they do have a superb act such as the the Bear Hunt done with a charasmatic fellow in a wheel chair ,a play school presenter with a gaggle of kids,it has been viewed twice and never to be seen again.
    How ever with two children with complex disabilities the BBC and Canadian programs our Wiggles are a life line and when it becomes too nauseating you turn to the Penquins of Madagassca.

  37. Tim Neilson

    Notice the snide anti-Americanism? That’s an attitude lefties take on thinking that it reveals their sophistication.

    Indeed. Often by arts/media luvvies who’d suck every dick north of the Rio Grande to get a Broadway or Hollywood gig.

  38. Frank

    Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to entertain our toddlers, educate our students, define Australian culture, unite a nation, and serve regional audiences.

    Further to bemused points above, using the television to pacify the toddlers is supposed to be symptomatic of poor parenting. Like bringing them up on a diet of McDonalds.

  39. I would quibble on the right and left description of socialism. It might lead to confusion. Socialism in all its varieties is about ever greater State power. That is a left wing ideal. There is no right wing in it.

    That is an argument that will never be won (thanks to the Long March), so it has to be outmanoeuvred…with the truth.
    The confusion has been long entrenched by labelling everything not of the far left as “far right”. By adding the “of Socialism” qualifier it makes it the left wing ideal that it is.

    You can drive in the “far right” lane of the M1 but you’re not driving on the “far right” of the road.

    Further, the political spectrum is not a 1 dimensional straight line.

    Ref this post.

  40. nilk

    “Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to entertain our toddlers..”

    Oh please. How much revenue do Play School and Bananas In Pyjamas bring in? Nothing commercial about that at all.

  41. Habib

    Perhaps we should leave the commercial media to entertain our toddlers, educate our students, define Australian culture, unite a nation, and serve regional audiences.

    Even an ABC fucknuckle is capable of a stopped-clock moment. I believe this was an attempt at smug sarcasm however, and like all ABC “humour” flatter than a feminists’ chest. And why the fuck are we “serving regional audiences?” do they pay tax here?

  42. Grandma

    Go ahead and kill the pig, ABC. My 4 year old grandson finds a wide range of suitable programs via his tablet already from a variety of vetted sources. We won’t miss Peppa.

  43. tombell

    This clown was a Turnbull pick. Why is anyone surprised?

  44. testpattern

    ‘That is the point Chris and I make in our book – everything the ABC claims it does, can be done easier and cheaper’

    But not better?

    ‘A group of eminent Australian journalists associated with Papua New Guinea and the Pacific have come together to persuade the Australian government to rebuild the ABC’s once great broadcasting services to the region…Ironically, considering the antipathy of some in the LNP to the ABC, the independence of ABC broadcasting is an asset in an environment in which offsetting the tightly-controlled message of China’s state-run media is a key aim.’

    http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/07/heres-how-you-can-help-revive-abc-services-to-png.html

    While I don’t believe the two authors are deliberately colluding with the Communist PRC to weaken what’s left of our soft power in the Pacific, the timing is unfortunate. Calls for the breakup of the ABC, which carries the Australian National Interest in the Pacific, at such a time as this require the authors to explain in detail exactly how they would would guarantee a better result for the NI in the Pacific, and without public subsidy. They could make an open submission to –

    [email protected]

  45. testpattern

    Govts everywhere would like to reestablish a media truth standard in the face of ‘fake news’. Critical attention directed toward the ABC helps to establish trust and promote it an Australian truth standard. Nobody of course even thinks a Murdoch media outlet could perform such a role. It puzzles me that no independent fact check has examined the claim regularly made by ABC and SBS broadcasters that Australia is the only Commonwealth member State not to have a treaty with it’s indigenous peoples. There are 53 member States.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_the_Commonwealth_of_Nations

  46. Habib

    Ironically, considering the antipathy of some in the LNP to the ABC, the independence of ABC broadcasting is an asset in an environment in which offsetting the tightly-controlled message of China’s state-run media is a key aim.’ As stated last time you posted this bollocks testes, if the Chicoms want to waste their ¥ broadcasting commie propaganda to the disinterested natives, why should we blow our borrowed beer vouchers to replicate the message?

    The ABC broadcast more anti-Australian shit than Hanoi Hanna.

  47. Beachcomber

    Chairman Milne is admitting that Their ABC sets out ‘to educate our children and define Australian culture’ ; i.e. cultural Marxist indoctrination. Their ABC’s children’s programming is probably their most insidious and dangerous work; e.g. Behind the News, ABC ‘Education’

  48. Dr Fred Lenin

    One world government ,if you want to burn something down consult Richo the alp guru ,he will give you some usefull tips ,if you insure it heavily he might even help with the name of a Swiss bank or two where the insurance money can be stored away from the taxman.

  49. testpattern

    ‘to the disinterested natives’

    The natives are not disinterested. The PRC funds the Melanesian Spearhead in Vila, which supports independence for Kanaky and West Papua.

  50. leading to further homogeneity of voices

    I just squirted tea out my nose…

    They just hired that crazy ‘bandana man’…

  51. Rebel with cause

    ABC clutching at straws.

    Foxtel already has a CBeebies channel with all the same BBC kids shows the ABC kids puts on.

    There is no market failure here.

  52. Habib

    They’re interested in the cargo that the Chinks hand out. As to the “independence” movements, idiot leftists from here have been funding assorted commie-wannabe ratbags in those shitholes for decades. So what? Our idiot government created a Cuba clone on our doorstep by putting Fretlin into office, let Beijing pay for it for a change.

  53. Tim Neilson

    if the Chicoms want to waste their ¥ broadcasting commie propaganda to the disinterested natives, why should we blow our borrowed beer vouchers to replicate the message?

    The ABC broadcast more anti-Australian shit than Hanoi Hanna.

    Well said. The ABC might technically be Australian, but Australian taxpayers having to fund them to broadcast internationally is akin to Churchill being asked to fund Lord Haw Haw.

  54. JohnA

    Slim Cognito #2761133, posted on July 12, 2018, at 10:46 am

    That may mean that pretty soon our kids only see American stories and perspectives to mould their morals, culture and behavior as adults

    A blatant admission of what the occupants of the sheltered workshop are trying to do.

    Precisely!

    And they have the hypocritical hide to claim that the media do not actually influence behaviour!

  55. Robbo

    The only recognisable service that is provided by the ABC is that it pays a large number of people to turn up and sign on each day who otherwise would be hanging around waiting for their Centrelink payment. The ABC is nothing more than a sheltered workshop for a bunch of nuff nuffs who would struggle to find employment in the private sector. It costs Australian taxpayers over $1billion each year and it does not return anything like the value that such a large sum of money deserves.
    When is the Turnbull Government going to conduct an independent review of this organisation? I remind Malcolm and his idiot minions that the money they hand out is not theirs, it is ours and it should be spent wisely. What is it in that statement that they struggle to understand?

  56. Boambee John

    test pattern at 1401

    Calls for the breakup of the ABC, which carries the Australian National Interest in the Pacific,

    I thought that DFAT did that?

  57. Dr Fred Lenin

    Talking of the huge influence the media has on the public ,very true. Look at the filthy hate campaign gainst Trump ,the dirtier it gets the more support he gets , so they are definitely influencing the people . Their huge campaign to get crooked hilarity elected was an overwhelming success, they all laughed mocking Trump ,no way were they going to allow him to be president,that worked didn’t it ,?The electoral college wouldn’t have a bar of the decromats vote rigging “win” ,getting illegals and the dead to vote didn’t work, another case of influencing the people .We can only hope they keep the pressure up ,the Fourth Reich in Europe will self destruct , Brexit will happen and Trump will get another four years ,the left are so clever,they went to university you know !

  58. Squirrel

    “Ignoring that many Australian shows are jointly produced, the Australian contribution to kids TV is just over 20%. Well behind the UK at 41%.”

    About what you’d expect from an outfit that is, in many respects, basically BBC Australia.

    The anti-Americanism is quite strange, but all of a piece with the standard lefty/progressive world view in Straya – they lurve so much about American popular culture, speak in Americanised voices, use American expressions (going forward, anytime soon, from the get go, whole bunch of etc. etc.) but like to have something to shake their angry little post-colonial-chip-on-the-shoulder fists at.

    If the progressives really want to do something about Australian stories being told in Australian voices, they will advocate for some of the current ABC annual funding that is left after providing broadcasting for the non-metropolitan areas (which are not served by commercial broadcasters) to be put up for grabs by all local program makers and producers (not just those who are selected by the ABC).

  59. Iampeter

    Funny how the ABC believes in the whole “blood and soil” schtick when it suits them.
    But other days they believe in the whole “global village” schtick instead when it comes to a different discussion.

    Not really. These are all collectivist and therefore leftist positions. They aren’t on different sides of the political divide.

  60. Percy Popinjay

    Robbo
    #2761447, posted on July 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Excellent observations.

  61. testpattern

    ‘I thought that DFAT did that?’

    Menzies said in the first broadcast of ‘Australia Calling’ in 1939 ‘The time has come to speak for ourselves.’ The service continued to operated by the ABC during WW2. It later became Radio Australia and from inception was guided by External Affairs.

    Should the two authors wish to examine alternative models to ABC operation of broadcasting to the Pacific, the US Radio Free Asia is one. Even the US recognises there’s a role for State subsidy of some media in the National Interest. Claiming ‘the point Chris and I make in our book – everything the ABC claims it does, can be done easier and cheaper’ is a simpletons’ glib cop-out when applied to security and the national interest. Cheaper and easier doesn’t mean better. And better is what we need.

    Once upon a time, in Darwin, there was a young[ish] journalist mightily enthused by the gathering Asia vision then gripping the joint. He had some friends who’d opened new papers on the other side of the Timor and Arafura seas, one of whom faxed [remember faxes?] to him a detailed report of a Vietnamese refugee boat that had broken down and was being repaired on Sumba, after which they’d continue to voyage to Australia. There was no internet yet, and ‘remote reporting’ the third steam of intelligence along with the better known covert and overt streams had never guaranteed immediacy. A new ABC iteration of broadcasting to Asia had just begun and the young[ish] fellow thought he might do some good by offering the story to them. To his amazement the manager wasn’t interested. So our journo, less enthused than a few days earlier, gave the faxes to a friend who sent a plane out, found the boat and rescued the Vietnamese. A whole new career opened up, and it wasn’t with the ABC.

    Better is what we need, not cheaper and easier. There are alternative models including public-private partnerships. They will still require subsidy. I urge the two authors to make an open submission to –

    [email protected]

    – and further explain alternative models that won’t further destroy our soft power in the Pacific and hand it over to China. On a China plate. If they can’t do that they don’t deserve to be taken seriously. And won’t be.

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