Donor disclosure

There is a bit more bedwetting going on than usual at the moment. Julia Baird,  of Fairfax and ABC fame, had an op-ed in the SMH last week:

Yet there is a concerted campaign on Twitter to ensure the IPA should never be given a voice on a show like The Drum.

One genuine concern is about disclosure of funding, which is a significant one – it would be far better if think tanks were legally required to reveal all funding, so we can best assess contributions to public debate. This includes the likes of the Australia Institute, the McKell Institute, the Centre for Independent Studies and the Sydney Institute, as well as the IPA.

That op-ed earned her a whole torrent of abuse on Twitter.  Mind you, some of the criticism was just rubbish. This intellectual giant was having a go at me for being an IPA mole yet I have never once appeared on The Drum.

But moving along.

Simon Cowan of the CIS responded today on the donor identity issue.

Think tanks are values based organisations and people support us because they share our deep commitment to classical liberal values. No doubt Baird, Fanning and others do not intend to impugn our motives but any implication that we take our positions to appease our funders is unfair and untrue.

That argument is correct – but I suspect not decisive. In any event Baird, Fanning and others do intend to impugn motives.

The better counter-argument, however, is just simple hypocrisy.

The ABC is funded by taxpayers via the government. Are we to believe that the ABC only produces government propaganda? (Yes, I know; only when Labor is in power).  Are we to believe that Fairfax only produces content that benefits its advertisers and subscribers. In fact – where is the list of the Fairfax subscribers? Ditto the Guardian. We read this week that a shadowy cabal of some 65,000 readers are now financing the Guardian – leading to its first ever profit (wonder how much tax they paid?).  Who are these people? What is their agenda? What is the size of their donations? Are they all Australian citizens? Names please.

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13 Responses to Donor disclosure

  1. a happy little debunker

    Who are these people? What is their agenda?

    You only have to venture below the line, at the Guardian to find their agenda and the ugliness behind it!

  2. Combine Dave

    The ABC is funded by taxpayers via the government. Are we to believe that the ABC only produces government propaganda

    It’s 2018.

    Publically funded conveyers of propaganda have no place in this world.

  3. Up The Workers!

    The A.L.P.B.C. is entirely unbiased, fair and even handed. There have been countless independent reviews of the independence of the A.L.P.B.C. by A.L.P.B.C. employees, former A.L.P.B.C. employees, A.L.P. politicians, A.L.P. ex-politicians, their relatives, their neighbours, people who owe them favours, fellow Branch members and even people who look like them, which have all come to the identical conclusion.

    They are funded by all taxpayers and therefore they must present and represent both sides of politics.

    Therefore they infallibly support the Government whenever the A.L.P. is in power, and the Opposition whenever the Liberals are in power.

    You won’t get any more even handed than that under Comrade Michelle Guthrie’s $900,000.00 per annum impartial leadership.

  4. BrettW

    I recall Georgina Downer being on The Drum this week and being repeatedly asked about donations to IPA by Gina Reinhart.

    Obviously for balance they will ask their next Get Up! Panellist the same type of question repeatedly.

    Question. How many times have IPA been represented on The Drum compared to Get Up !

  5. Squirrel

    “One genuine concern is about disclosure of funding, which is a significant one” – absolutely, which is why the ABC should disclose the funding which supports the various ostensibly impartial experts they regularly wheel out in support of the ABC world view on a range of contentious (but settled and beyond debate in the ABC bubble) issues.

  6. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Many left-wing outlets and organizations are funded by taxpayers via left-captured quangos etc. The Australia Council comes readily to mind here, distributing extensive support to Meanjin but none at all to Quadrant. Both are literary and political journals of record with a long history in Australian life. There is no equity at all in this imbalance of support where taypayers’ money is concerned. Currently non-left outlets struggle along, not on the extensive funding of ‘evil capitalists’ as the left would have everyone believe, but with the dedicated commitment of supporters and subscribers, many of whom are by no means well-off. No unions offer support either in the way they offer funding to the left.

  7. Frank

    With regards to funding, Caro and the Destroy the Joint facebook page spring to mind.

    One small niggle, it is Dr Julia Baird now, she seems at pains to make the distinction.

  8. Sinclair Davidson

    One small niggle, it is Dr Julia Baird now, she seems at pains to make the distinction.

    So she should. I always advise my female Ph.D students to use their titles after completing the degree.

  9. Zatara

    it would be far better if think tanks were legally required to reveal all funding

    It would be far better if ‘think tanks’ lost all govt funding to begin with.

    Then reveal the survivor’s funding sources all you like.

  10. .

    No public money and as much secrecy as they like.

  11. Shy Ted

    Dr Julia Baird has a PhD in history. She attended all the classes except the ones that covered socialism, Marxism and communism.

  12. H B Bear

    Are we to believe that the ABC only produces government propaganda?

    The ALPBC criticises both the Lieborals and the Liars. From the Left.

  13. Spring is coming

    Are any of the redshirts in Victorias doorknock vote sham connected to Getup?
    Has any journo asked the question?

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