ABC journos and opinion

Hamish MacDonald tells us that ABC journalists are not allowed to express opinions:

In an aggressive interview with senator Eric Abetz on Wednesday, Radio National Breakfast presenter Hamish Macdonald declared “at the ABC we’re not allowed to express opinions as hosts of programs, as journalists”. This comment surprised Abetz, who responded that he wished “that were true”. But Macdonald insisted on the veracity of his ­comment.

Here is Hamish MacDonald not being opinionated:

HAMISH MACDONALD: It’s a bloc, though.

CORY BERNARDI: No, it’s not a bloc. It’s an alliance. We agree to disagree on certain things. So, we’ll have a meeting in the morning…

HAMISH MACDONALD: So, he’s an ally of yours?

CORY BERNARDI: Yes, he is.

HAMISH MACDONALD: And are you comfortable with what he said?

CORY BERNARDI: I’m absolutely comfortable with having allies in the Senate.

HAMISH MACDONALD: But are you comfortable with what he said to Sarah Hanson-Young?

CORY BERNARDI: Well, I think…I think…I think the world, or Australia, recognises that it’s probably inappropriate, but…

HAMISH MACDONALD: What do you think, though?

CORY BERNARDI: …having said that… Well, I’ve heard worse things said in the Senate, right?

HAMISH MACDONALD: What do you think of this particular thing?

CORY BERNARDI: Well, it was wrong, and he doubled down on it on Sunday, right?

HAMISH MACDONALD: Should he apologise?

CORY BERNARDI: The history is this.

HAMISH MACDONALD: Come on. Let’s get a straight answer.


HAMISH MACDONALD: Should he apologise or not?

CORY BERNARDI: No, let’s get straight to it. When someone says something inappropriate in the Senate, you are asked to withdraw it. I’ve heard Senator Hanson-Young refuse to withdraw things, and so I’m not condoning…

HAMISH MACDONALD: We can all hear that you haven’t answered that question.

Blow out in the weekly interruption lotto right there.


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25 Responses to ABC journos and opinion

  1. duncanm

    More Hamish MacDonald impartiality with David Leyonhjelm

  2. Herodotus

    They’re not allowed to express opinions?
    From what I’ve seen and heard for a long, long time, they’re able to do just about anything they want to.
    But denial and hypocrisy are deeply embedded in the modus operandi.

  3. Mak Siccar

    What credentials does MacDonald have to be an ‘interviewer’?

  4. Oh come on

    Bernardi does sound like a bullshit artist, though.

  5. Slim Cognito

    One only needs to look at the types defending the ABC at the recent Sydney rally to see which way the ABC bias swings. If it is indeed unbiased, why are there no conservative types yelling “hands off”?

    One report of the event says that attendees hissed when the PM’s name was mentioned. Maybe there were some conservatives in attendance.

  6. anonandon

    If it is indeed unbiased, why are there no conservative types yelling “hands off”?

    Or Labor/green types criticising it.

    That is all the proof that is needed given that, by their own admission, bias is supposedly difficult to identify.

  7. Dr Fred Lenin

    They amuse me these soft modern day communists ,they all think everyone should take heed of their valuable propaganda infested”opinions”, you are not allowed to have your own opinions in the groupthink communist playpen . Of course counter opinions are not allowed .they contradict the group line ,most never had an original thought in their life ,they got any originality threatened out of them when they were being indoctrinated at “university” by the Narxist staffand collective . Each one is a candidate for politics ,they can lie as good as any lawtradespersons .
    (Lawtradespersons, love that politically correct bullscheisse )

  8. NB

    I find all this amusing given that leftists tend to worship Paul Keating.

  9. Habib

    All the mongs ever give is opinion. Cretinous, self-important, inaccurate and inane opinion. Why does anyone waste their time with these marxist fucknuckles? And Bernardi should’ve said “if it was me I would’ve punched her in the tits”.

  10. stackja

    Radio National Breakfast presenter Hamish Macdonald is entitled to his opinion so was Cory. Yes privatise the ABC and HM can say what he likes, on his ABC, like other non-ABC radio personalities.

  11. John64

    In their minds ABC journalists don’t express opinions; they articulate unarguable truths.

  12. Howard Hill

    How can you listen to that piece of crap without smashing your radio?

    You’re all far, far, better men than me.

  13. C.L.

    A classic illustration of what happens when you don’t escalate.
    Here’s how it should have gone:

    HAMISH MACDONALD: It’s a bloc, though.

    CORY BERNARDI: No, it’s not a bloc. It’s an alliance. We agree to disagree on certain things. So, we’ll have a meeting in the morning…

    HAMISH MACDONALD: So, he’s an ally of yours?

    CORY BERNARDI: Yes, he is.

    HAMISH MACDONALD: And are you comfortable with what he said?

    CORY BERNARDI: I’m absolutely comfortable.

    HAMISH MACDONALD: … you [are] comfortable with what he said to Sarah Hanson-Young?


    HAMISH MACDONALD: What do you think, though?

    CORY BERNARDI: [and] I’ve heard worse things said in the Senate …

    HAMISH MACDONALD: What do you think of this particular thing?

    CORY BERNARDI: Well, it was … right …

    HAMISH MACDONALD: Should he apologise?


    HAMISH MACDONALD: Come on. Let’s get a straight answer.

    CORY BERNARDI: No, no.

    HAMISH MACDONALD: Should he apologise or not?

    CORY BERNARDI: No … I’ve heard Senator Hanson-Young refuse to withdraw things …

    HAMISH MACDONALD: We can all hear that you haven’t answered that question.

  14. H B Bear

    If there isn’t a branch of the UniParty prepared to sell the ALPBC (and there isn’t) not much point complaining about it. Reform isn’t an option.

    McDonald is just doing what they do at the staff co-op – whatever they like.

  15. H B Bear

    Where is the million dollar a year Editor-in-Chief?

  16. Mundi

    What was actually said to Sarah?

  17. Dr Fred Lenin

    Bear. If you put it up for tender to purchase all or part of it , I doubt anyone would put in a serious bid . The communications department would be inundated with frivolous offers , of course comrade soros(schwartz) might put a bid in ,or Radio China,love to see the comrades work for either of those two bastards you would hear the whining in Siberia .

  18. Boambee John

    What was it Jon Faine said a few days ago? Something about working his guts (such as he has) since 1979 to put a particular point of view? I don’t think he said “agenda”, but that was what he meant.

    “Without bias or agenda”, crap.

  19. BoyfromTottenham

    Sinc, I have to score you an F for this post. After a careful reading, as far as I could tell in that interview with Cory Bernardi, Macdonald did not directly offer any opinions at all, BUT he did interrupt and pre-empt Cory’s answers, ask loaded questions, ignored answers that didn’t suit his line of questioning, and implied that Cory didn’t give a ‘straight answer’ when Cory clearly did. I heard a similar thing when Macdonald interviewed an anti-coal activist who said inter alia ‘Of course Australia is running out of coal, anyway.’ Macdonald let that whopping lie go past without comment.
    This poor quality of analysis of ABC bias tells me that critics of the ABC are going to have to try much harder if they want to make an real impact.
    The ABC is full of journalists, folk who have been professionally trained in exactly how to use words to influence their listeners (aka Propaganda). I am sure that they all know for example not to overtly offer opinions when interviewing a politician or the like, but they can and do use all the tricks that I listed above, and many more, to achieve the result that they want without overtly breaching the ABC’s code of conduct.
    Of course the ABC broadcasts dozens of ‘opinion piece’ programs every week where their journalists can push their narrow and lop-sided opinions on a vast array of subjects without fear of retribution, because these programs are not ‘news’. There are probably even ABC folk with the job title of ‘opinion writer’ or the like!
    If critics of the ABC are going to unmask these professional wordsmiths and subtle influencers they are going to need to brush up on their understanding of exactly what they are trained to do, and how they do it. I suggest they start with this book: “Dezinformatsia – Active Measures in Soviet Strategy” by R Shultz and R Godson, Pergamon Brassey’s 1984. Or they could just subscribe to the English edition of Pravda.

  20. Des Deskperson

    All you need to know about Hamish Macdonald. From Wikipedia:

    ‘Macdonald shares a media pedigree with his siblings. His older brother Rory is a producer and reporter with ABC Radio Sydney, while his older sister Kari Keenan is a producer for 2UE.’

    I wonder if his ABC job was ever advertised.

  21. The BigBlueCat

    #2758482, posted on July 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I think I agree – while McDonald continually interrupted Bernadi did, in fact, answer his questions directly – it’s just that McDonald didn’t like answer. While that may be “opinionated”, it’s more a tactic to try to get Bernadi to say more than he wanted to say, so to say something in anger. Bernadi was, of course, absolutely correct with his answers.

    In any event, it’s not up to Bernadi to call for seek a withdrawal, it’s up to SHY with support or direction from the Senate President. I guess in ABC-land, the Senate should work as they (the ABC) think it should, rather than what the Senate Standing Order and other Senate Procedures and Regulations state how the Senate is to be run.

    If McDonald’s proposition is that alliances shouldn’t be made with Senators who abuse their privileges, then we should expect no alliances whatsoever!! But in the real world, alliances between Senators from minority parties can and do exist, whether McDonald or the ABC like it or not.

  22. Squirrel

    Curious Cats need look no further than Buzzfeed for answers to any questions they may have about HM –

  23. Tracey

    I see Tim Blair is back from his latest US adventure and is ready to conduct this year’s Frightbat poll. Hamish McDonald would be a worthy contender.

  24. nerblnob

    Bernadi should learn from Trump.

    Starting with, “Well, you know, Sarah Hanson-Young is just a horrible person”

  25. Crossie

    What was actually said to Sarah?

    He told her “Go f yourself”.

    After the slime she has flung at DL and others I though that response was rather unremarkable.

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