Latest on their ABC

During the week former communications minister Richard Alston had an op-ed in the AFR.

Nearly 25 years ago, when I became the minister responsible for the ABC, I had to bludgeon it into taking economics seriously. It was happy to provide wall-to-wall political coverage but economics was a no-go area – it simply wasn’t interested.

Since then little has changed – as the pandemic has graphically illustrated. It is simply incomprehensible that, in the depths of the COVID-19 crisis, its so-called principal economics correspondent, Emma Alberici, was urging people to “stop talking about the economy”, as though it was some abstract concept, rather than the lifeblood of the nation.

Fortunately, she moved on, but the damage to the ABC was there for all the world to see.

Australia may be politically diverse, but the same cannot be said for the ABC. It is obsessed with the need for greater diversity in every field except for politics, where its views are overwhelmingly one-sided and always to the left.

It is hard to keep a straight face when Leigh Sales pretends that there may well be some conservatives at the ABC while Barrie Cassidy warns that to have any would be “dangerous”.

Fast forward 50 years and it is unrecognisable – now it seems to take endless delight in being at war with middle Australia, let alone those with conservative inclinations.

The ABC continues to pretend that internal polling, which it always refuses to publicly release, shows that Australians support the ABC. They may well do in regional and rural Australia, where local staff live, but in the urban areas it is a different matter.

This is because its news and current affairs coverage panders overwhelmingly to its peers in elite, inner-urban Australia.

The great majority of its staff work in the comfortable inner-city enclaves of Ultimo in Sydney and Southbank in Melbourne, and nearly all its commentators and presenters are tertiary educated, with the same world view fixated on progressive social issues such as gender diversity, discrimination, climate change, gay marriage and asylum seekers.

So let’s be very clear – Richard Alston was the man whose very job was to keep the ABC on the straight and narrow. A man who drew a salary from Consolidated Revenue and oversaw an organisation also funded out of Consolidated Revenue. This is a man who knows exactly what is wrong with the ABC.

Yet …

Growing up in the post-war years, I felt the ABC was part of the mainstream. My parents started with nothing, including no tertiary education, yet they both had profound respect for the organisation and identified with its values. They regarded it as the electronic media of record.

There is no one in the federal parliament who favours privatising, gutting or defunding the ABC. This chimera is simply a straw person trotted out by the ABC to distract criticism of its real shortcomings. What parliamentarians really want is a balanced, high-quality ABC.

I’ve added the emphasis.

Seriously?

Anyway, I typed out a rejoinder that the AFR published yesterday (ungated version here).

Alston’s bewilderment comes from a lack of understanding of what the ABC is, and what it isn’t. Unlike most other organisations the ABC lacks the discipline that comes from simultaneously meeting the needs of paying customers and meeting the demands of investors. The ABC neither must attract paying customers nor financial backing – they do as they please. There is no need to please anyone else.

Organisations are disciplined by the need to raise funds.  There are two sources of funding – investors and paying customers.

In the very first instance, the ABC has no paying customers. Unless you count the federal government as being a paying customer. That is one view.

Another view is that the federal government is the only ABC investor but that it practices a form of malign neglect.

Whatever. The fact of the matter is that no amount of symbolic appointments to the board or moral suasion can ever drive any change at the ABC. In the absence of any political will to privatise, gut, or defund the ABC there can never be any change at the ABC.

The ABC should be privatised. Either sold as a going concern to an existing media mogul or piecemeal to investors. I have previously suggested that the ABC be given away to current and former staff who pay for the shares via capital gains tax on disposal. It doesn’t really matter how the ABC is privatised – it does matter that even former communication ministers don’t realise that the ABC cannot be salvaged given its current organisational structure.

It being the silly season and all, I have received more twitter ‘love’ for this op-ed than any I’ve ever written. Including this attempt at cancellation:

Posted several times in case anyone missed it.

Anyway, she has missed the bus – the ABC and their confederates made a huge effort to get Chris Berg and I fired in 2018 after we published our book Against Public Broadcasting.

This entry was posted in Shut it down. Fire them all.. Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Latest on their ABC

  1. Rafe Champion says:

    Yes it was James Buchanan who described universities as places where the consumers (students) to not buy, the producers (the faculty) do not sell and the owners (trustees, state boards etc) do not control.
    Surely the students do buy and pay a lot of money. But I diverge.

    I wonder what Buchanan would have said about the ABC. Probably what Sinc says.

  2. Lee says:

    This “Sue Barrett” is projecting very much, I think.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Rafe – comment is OT.

    It was Adam Smith.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Here’s one today:

    BBC’s new chairman urged by Brexiteer to switch to subscription service – ‘Seems fair’ (16 Jan)

    Mr Lowe tweeted: “If the new BBC chairman thinks the organisation provides such popular content, then why not make it a subscription service?

    “If it’s so great, surely getting millions of subscribers would be no trouble at all?

    “Seems fair to me.”

    Critics have suggested a subscription service could be more appropriate, in order to match streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

    Mr Sharp said it is important to reach audiences in all regions of the UK.

    He told MPs: “If the BBC doesn’t mean anything to somebody in Sunderland then it is failing.”

    The ABC doesn’t mean anything to vast swathes of Australians also, yet there are some who value its output. Likewise many people now subscribe to Netflix and Foxtel to receive advertising-free broadcasting, so the people are much more accustomed to paying a subscription for content now. Moving the ABC over to a subscription model would be fair to all those people who do not use their service, yet who currently still have to pay for it via taxation.

  5. Roger says:

    Moving the ABC over to a subscription model would be fair to all those people who do not use their service, yet who currently still have to pay for it via taxation.

    And we know that fairness is very important to folk at the ABC.

  6. thefrollickingmole says:

    There is no one in the federal parliament who favours privatising, gutting or defunding the ABC.

    Uniparty in action.
    https://www.aph.gov.au/senators_and_members/members
    Members
    There are currently 151 members of the House of Representatives, each representing one geographic area of Australia. Members are elected for a 3 year term and when in parliament take part in debate on proposed laws and public policy, representing the views of the people in their electorate.

    Not a single one wants their ABC reigned in.

  7. notafan says:

    Absolutely.

    One way or another.

  8. C.L. says:

    Show some respect to a winner of the Victorian Government Small Business Award.

    https://www.suebarrett.com/about-me/

  9. Tony Taylor says:

    Straw person? Alston’s been got at.

  10. thefrollickingmole says:

    C.L.

    That bio pic just screams COAT.

    I also note she managed to burrow into a uni position doing diplomas in “sales’.
    Awesome.

  11. Just Interested says:

    Professor.

    You may have answered this before, but why not just argue to abolish it? That is as politically likely (or unlikely) as flogging it off either to an investor or issuing shares to members of the employee co-op.

    And as a matter of substance probably the right policy outcome given the multiplicity of media options consumers have that you have highlighted.

  12. Crossie says:

    There is no one in the federal parliament who favours privatising, gutting or defunding the ABC. This chimera is simply a straw person trotted out by the ABC to distract criticism of its real shortcomings. What parliamentarians really want is a balanced, high-quality ABC.

    This is an admission that everybody in the federal government couldn’t care less about their voters, the people who matter are those whom they wish to impress, like Ita, or those who they are afraid of, like the ABC on-air personalities.

    We are governed by weasels.

  13. Cui Bono says:

    The Morrison mob got excited about the ABC only when it examined their private lives. They have no ideological desire to fix TheirABC.

  14. C.L. says:

    Let’s be clear here: that Barrett creature apparently wants Sinclair to lose his job, his livelihood and his ability to provide for his family because she disagrees with him about the ABC. She also wants him to black-banned from publishing.

    The biggest thing happening in the world right now is the left’s “right-wing extremist” lie. They have already corrupted the law and the courts and now they’re looking to institutionalise the criminalisation of all opponents of leftism using the security services. They already have the ear – if not the testicles – of ASIO. They have captured and now control the FBI.

    As with the ABC, the Liberal Party is deserting the field on this.

    They are gutless, morally disgusting cretins.

  15. H B Bear says:

    Give the co-op what it wants or the pig gets it. Or Bluey.

  16. Walter Plinge says:

    Likewise many people now subscribe to Netflix and Foxtel to receive advertising-free broadcasting…

    Plenty of advertising on Foxtel. The 60x fast forward deals with it.

  17. Tom says:

    Excellent post, Professor Davidson. Thank you.

    I am guilty of underestimating the vile, personalised anti-intellectual bile you have to put up with from fascist Brown Shirt thugs in academia, which is now the world’s major enemy of human freedom.

  18. Mark from Melbourne says:

    I have long argued that the ABC should be given to the people of Australia.

    Every Australian citizen living at a given date/time could be gifted a marketable parcel of shares, and the corporation should be officially listed after, perhaps, a three-year transition period, with declining Government funding and a gradual move to whatever new revenue sources the board deems fit.

    Then it would truly be “our” ABC. Or in my case, “their” ABC, as I’d be a seller on Day One of the listing.

    I actually suspect that this might be a marketable model if it were given some serious thought.

  19. Roger says:

    Let’s be clear here: that Barrett creature apparently wants Sinclair to lose his job, his livelihood and his ability to provide for his family because she disagrees with him about the ABC. She also wants him to black-banned from publishing.

    She also quotes the Dalai Lama, saying that if we contribute to other peoples’ happiness we will find the meaning of life.

    Between the ideal and the reality…falls the shadow.

  20. Petros says:

    Or we chop it up into state based broadcasters. Works well in Germany.

  21. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “C.L.
    #3727298, posted on January 17, 2021 at 1:39 pm”

    I was going to write something but then I read your comment C.L. and realised you had written what I was going to write.

    So here we have another priceless example of how a leftist progressive casually smears and attempts to silence and cancel someone they disagree with. Note that Barrett’s doesn’t argue, debate or try and refute…she just smears Sinclair as “far-right” in order to delegitimise and silence him and at the same time sinisterly and wickedly tries to get him cancelled from his job.

    This is the progressive left in 2021…..smear, scream, shout, silence, cancel. THEY ARE SCUM.

    I have long argued that the reason the progressive left are so empowered to behave like this, even agitating for someone to lose their livelihood, is because….

    1. Social media…which provides a platform for these far-leftists to spruik their rancid rabid ideas; and
    2. Very few on the centre, centre-right, libertarian, right-wing side ever fight back.

    This must change.

  22. WX says:

    Forgive my ignorance regarding its corporate structure, but might the news services be split from the other divisions; the taxpayer continuing to support the ‘important function’ of news delivery, and the remainder be offered for privatisation? Emphasis would be placed on the ‘Government’s’ support for the news division (possibly including a budget increase or proposal for revitalisation of the same), and its hope that a patriotic Australian/s will continue the ABC’s tradition of quality drama (etc). All-positive messaging. The Government (taxpayer) to support the news division directly (with continued public funding), and the other divisions indirectly (by desiring their revitalisation, and giving ordinary (or corporate) Australians the opportunity to own a significant contributor to our modern history). How is it that citizens have been denied an active role in their national broadcaster for so many decades? Isn’t it fair and in the interest of equality that everyone be offered that opportunity?

  23. H B Bear says:

    Or we chop it up into state based broadcasters.

    Captures the zeitgeist!

  24. Baa Humbug says:

    The problem with privatising the ABC is the other networks don’t want it to happen as it would eat into their already dwindling revenue stream.
    Any politician advocating for privatisation would be hammered by all media.

  25. H B Bear says:

    IPA is like garlic to vampire Leftists.

    Go Prof!

  26. WX says:

    To summarise my ramble:
    Split the structure of the ABC.
    Continue to publicly fund a news division (revitalise).
    Offer the remaining drama/music/publishing divisions to the Australian public. It’s YOUR ABC, so it’s about time YOU owned a part of it.

  27. Petros says:

    In short no one has a realistic solution to this. It appears the Libs don’t have any interest in ending the ABC’s reign of misinformation.

  28. Adelagado says:

    Its hard to tell the difference between the ABC and (indigenous) NITV these days. Every time I turn on the ABC there’s someone telling me I’m a racist arsehole… and thats just the presenters.

  29. tombell says:

    Split the structure of the ABC.
    Continue to publicly fund a news division (revitalise).

    Sorry – but if by revitalizing you mean restoring balance this zero prospect of happening. Let’s make sure the Q&A audience is selected to ensure “balance” lol. Oh that’s right – the ABC is already doing that.

    What is required is far more fundamental – most importantly a government (the sole representative shareholder for the public) taking real action to, at the very least, enforce the Charter. Labor won’t (why would they?) and the jelly back Libs live in fear of Ultimo (save for the Turnbull/Kean/Photios types – who are part of the club).

    Sadly Alston is correct. There is no political will for change – and that means there will be no change.

  30. BalancedObservation2 says:

    In my opinion the ABC does have a left bias, which even when it’s not blatant, is relentlessly consistent. Over the last ten, but five years in particular, that’s pretty much been the norm for most of the main stream media.

    It’s not confined to Australia either. I can’t believe the shift to the left by say the New York Times over the last twenty years. I once had a lot of respect for its quality journalism. No longer. Incidentally for me respect does not depend on an outlet sharing my own political views.

    It’s hard therefore to pin the ABC bias on a lack of market “discipline” due to the ABC’s non commercial status. There are plenty of commercial outlets that share a very similar bias.

    In my opinion the Fairfax press has had a left bias for many years. Although I should add it has improved noticeably recently with its ownership change. But not in the comments it attracts or their moderation.

    I think part of the move to the general move to the left is a result of the more conservative side of politics losing the ongoing fight with the left.

    I’m not at all so sure of the assertion that the “discipline” of the commercial market is particularly useful in encouraging higher quality in journalism. That argument could go either way. The ABC, for example, was once pretty universally respected by all sides – and it’s never been commercial.

  31. WX says:

    tombell.
    Given this is a public forum, it is difficult to be explicit. Readers will have to make their own interpretations of what I’ve written.

  32. pbw says:

    WX,

    Continue to publicly fund a news division (revitalise).
    Offer the remaining drama/music/publishing divisions to the Australian public.

    If you include op-ed in news, this is the wrong way around. It is most important to remove their malign, tax-funded influence on public opinion through systematic mis- and dis-information.

    If there is one area that is likely to attract subscritions, though, it is classical music. Replays of British-produced series should be just as easily accessible from the original producer. Programmed broadcasts, subscription or not, are a shrining market, given the penetration of broadband of sufficient bandwith to carry video. That presents its own problems.

    I know many Cats find this hard to believe, but there are significant numbers of people out there who budgets cannot stretch to subscription services of any kind. For one thing, they’re paying a mountain of excise tax for alcohol and tobacco. It would be unfortunate if we developed information and entertainment poverty ghettos.

  33. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “pbw
    #3727414, posted on January 17, 2021 at 3:22 pm”

    “I know many Cats find this hard to believe, but there are significant numbers of people out there who budgets cannot stretch to subscription services of any kind. For one thing, they’re paying a mountain of excise tax for alcohol and tobacco. It would be unfortunate if we developed information and entertainment poverty ghettos.”

    pbw…I understand what you’re saying however I think you’ll find that those people whose “budgets cannot stretch to subscription services of any kind” aren’t watching their ABC….they’re watching commercial free to air….and given the crap that the commercial stations throw up…prime example being The Project….these stations are no better than their ABC.

    I no longer watch anything on their ABC…..maybe once a year I’ll watch Australian Story”…however I still continue to watch SBS at times which at least offers viewers some interesting docs and movies. And whilst SBS’s news is left-wing…..I find it much more tolerable than their ABC news etc.

  34. WX says:

    Point taken regarding your first paragraph, pbw.
    There was a specific intention behind my proposal, however. As stated above, I don’t think it’s wise to lay everything on the table here.

  35. Mike Ryan says:

    Their ABC despises Conservatives and their world view. We get nothing for the dollars we spend to feather-bed these myopic parasites.
    If only we could produce an independent poll that samples 10,000 Australian taxpayers to gauge a more current view of public sentiment. Who could fund this?
    We just pissed $1,000Bn up against the wall.

    “You’re interfering with the ABC’s editorial independence”
    Quentin Dempster
    Serial #theirABC Apologist

  36. Cassie of Sydney says:

    ““You’re interfering with the ABC’s editorial independence”
    Quentin Dempster
    Serial #theirABC Apologist”

    Which is why I call him Quentin the serial “Dumpster”.

  37. Lee says:

    pbw…I understand what you’re saying however I think you’ll find that those people whose “budgets cannot stretch to subscription services of any kind” aren’t watching their ABC….they’re watching commercial free to air …

    I agree, Cassie, somehow I don’t think they are part of the ABC demographic.
    Generally speaking, the upper middle, upper classes, the so-called “elites”, and the Turnbull/Matt Kean set, are.

    BTW, the ABC is not just “biased”, but fiercely partisan.

  38. BalancedObservation2 says:

    WX
    #3727359

    Tombell
    #3727392

    pbw
    #37274194

    The ABC is publicly owned! You can’t get more public than ownership by government in a democracy!

    Our centre or centre right current government ( however you want to look at it) has the power, not completely dissimilar to most commercial boards, to bring about change in the ABC.

    But it hasn’t been effective at all. The last attempt was by the Turnbull government as I recall. That seemed more like scourging with a wet tram ticket.

    But the problem is to interfere with the ABC too deeply would be politically untenable for either side of politics in Australia. They simply wouldn’t be up to it. They know that. It’s definitely not going to happen.

    Although Labor would be pretty happy with the status quo. Very happy actually. They would certainly not want to interfere at all.

    The biggest bias as I see it is in the news and public affairs coverage. So keeping them in the same structure would make no discernible difference anyway.

  39. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “BTW, the ABC is not just “biased”, but fiercely partisan.”

    Exactly.

  40. notafan says:

    People on benefits can get (heavily)discounted subscriptions.

    ABC are all about the fair.

  41. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Cassie of Sydney
    #3727298

    You’re spot on with your point 2, above. The conservative side has lost the will to fight the creeping leftism I believe. It’s almost given up.

    And I tend to watch SBS more than the ABC too. Their food coverage is pretty impressive for its comprehensiveness. And hard to be left or right wing biased about food. But I guess give the left time – they’ll probably find a way.

    Of course SBS seems to deliberately or inadvertently created a little niche market for themselves in docos covering Hitler and nudity.

  42. Old Lefty says:

    Sorry, BalancedObservation2, the government and the communications minister have absolutely no authority whatsoever over the ABC thanks to its much-vaunted independence which is enshrined by statute. The only way that could change is if the government could get an amendment to the legislation through the House and the Senate: far chance of Labor and the Greens letting that happen.

    The ‘independence’ covers not just editorial matters and program selection, but also budgets, industrial relations and legal matters. It exempted itself from the pay caps the Coalition imposed on the public service and the government couldn’t do a thing. And the victims of its libels or its in-house p3d0s such as Jon Stephens have to reckon with the fact that it is under no obligation to observe the Commonwealth government policy of being a model litigant.

  43. Megan says:

    We are governed by weasels.

    They are gutless, morally disgusting cretins

    Truer than true. Sadly for the rest of us.

  44. Megan says:

    And Sue Barrett is a disgusting merchant of smear.

  45. Old Lefty says:

    But you’re right about the comparison with SBS, about the only place for a decent documentary these days.

  46. WX says:

    Your dog left you a ‘gift’ on the grass. How can you not only sell it to your neighbour, but have him/her offer you extra money to pick it up themselves? Can you?

    Look at the world around you. Choose a product. Why did you pay that much for it? Why did you pay for it at all? Almost every communication we have with another human is a negotiation. Negotiations have outcomes.

    People are not thinking creatively enough.

  47. MatrixTransform says:

    Negotiations have outcomes.

    People are not thinking creatively enough.

    I hope the Keeping Us Safe brigade really enjoy their Banquet of Consequences

    … an entree

    People may wake up when they realise that things were lost

    might take a while though

  48. Fair Shake says:

    Ms Barrett’s customer base would make an interesting review. I suspect all customers are government aligned / funded or form part of government funded programs. I doubt many self respecting private businesses would engage Barret with a CV like hers unless there is a taxpayer funded incentive at the end of it.

  49. Lrp says:

    There is no need for ABC.

  50. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    But you’re right about the comparison with SBS, about the only place for a decent documentary these days.

    And they too seem to be getting worse and more derivative. You get a docos of the pyramids then the pyramids again and then more pyramids, but fewer and fewer of other stuff (except the woke schlock on SBS Viceland and whatnot).

    One very early series I loved was Haroun Tazieff’s extraordinary series on volcanoes, which SBS subtitled. And played once, as far as I recall. Hours and hours of fascinating material. You can see it nowhere. Instead we now have to have endess docos on lesbian sex culture.

  51. Vagabond says:

    That link to Sue Barrett’s page should have come with a trigger warning.

  52. cuckoo says:

    And they too seem to be getting worse and more derivative. You get docos of the pyramids then the pyramids again and then more pyramids

    The perfect SBS doco would be something like Secrets of Hitler’s mega-pyramids

  53. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Old Lefty

    #3727466

    All you need is the power to appoint the board … if you know how to use it. That’s what private companies have got. And the government has that power with the ABC.

    From there the board members you appointment and the CEO they appoint and the government appoints gradually change management down the line and journalists.

    You don’t naively interfere directly with the slant of news commentary because that would be challenging editorial independence. .

    As an example … I’ve been reading the Age longer than I’m happy to remember and in my opinion there’s less leftwing bias since it changed ownership.

    And yet the Age had a charter of editorial independence ( still has) which in practice used to mean following what the journalists as a group wanted. It didn’t guarantee a lack of bias. But in my opinion the Age has changed and now has less of a left bias. It shows it can be done

    But it would take determination, persistence and a very high level of leadership skill to make it politically viable for the government. And no party has that. It’s never going to happen. It’s definitely not politically tenable though the power is arguably there.

  54. thefrollickingmole says:

    But the problem is to interfere with the ABC too deeply would be politically untenable for either side of politics in Australia. They simply wouldn’t be up to it. They know that. It’s definitely not going to happen.

    You get it defunded by tying its costs to a “woman’s weekly” cause.

    “That billion dollars is for NDIS/Aboriginal/orphaned puppies with AIDs and cancer, why do you hate them by denying them funding??

    And the media creep to the left is partially because they are all auditioning for a suck on Aunties cash engorged tit.

    For the money spent on telling us we are all scum we could negotiate a foxtel package for every person in Australia.

  55. Entropy says:

    The Age only seems less biased as it does not see the LNP in Vic as a threat to its worldview.

  56. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Entropy
    #3727553

    The LNP in Victoria is only a threat to itself.

  57. Penguinite says:

    Instead of relying on fictitious numbers from the ABC collective, why can’t the Government organise its own poll on this rogue organisation. Or better still a referendum asking the Taxpayers whether or not the ABC should be dissolved or sold? I’d favour a similar deal that disposed of Telstra or even AMP, whereby policyholders were granted shares.

  58. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Thefrolickingmole
    #3727511

    What you recommend would guarantee the defeat of any government which tried it.

    They know that and would never try it. It’s totally untenable.

    The final outcome of it would more likely to be be a watershed in funding increases for the ABC – than anything else.

  59. notafan says:

    Perhaps look up her company on Victorian government tender page.

  60. BalancedObservation2 says:

    cuckoo
    #3727530

    “The perfect SBS doco would be something like Secrets of Hitler’s mega-pyramids”

    Or perhaps:

    “Nude secrets of Hitler’s mega-pyramids”.

    What do you think?

  61. MatrixTransform says:

    What you recommend would guarantee the defeat of any government which tried it.

    how many chickens died for that prognostication?

  62. WX says:

    At least Mole is considering alternate strategies, aside from the standard ‘Let me hold up my shirt while you disembowel me.’

    How do I know there are potential solutions to be found (and implemented)?
    Because our opponents have done these things to us over the past several (at least) decades.
    You know, those opponents we mock and deride for being unintelligent and morally-deficient.
    Thank feck we still hold the Peak of Moral Righteousness though.
    At least that’s something.

  63. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “BalancedObservation2
    #3727563, posted on January 17, 2021 at 5:42 pm
    Entropy
    #3727553

    The LNP in Victoria is only a threat to itself.”

    Exactly. This is the same Victorian Liberal party which just merrily continues on its losing trajectory of Labor lite policy……too timid and scared to try and be radically different to the Andrews government. This Victorian Liberal party has the arrogant Tim Smith….who I suspect fancies himself as a prospective leader. Smith has viciously attacked Bettina Arndt and has recently said that he fully and strongly supports the Andrews’ government’s law to ban conversion therapy….a prospective law that will criminalise “prayer”… in December Tim Smith made comments in which he ridiculed “prayer”. Way to go Victorian Liberal party.

    I ask again…why vote Liberal to get Labor lite? May as well vote Labor.

  64. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Cassie of Sydney

    And Victoria used to be the jewel in the crown.

    Every time Tim Smith opens his mouth it’s my opinion Labor go up a point, even with all the covid deaths and cases we’ve seen in Victoria.

  65. Rob says:

    We need an independent ABC complaints process with full on-line transparency.
    With those on the left having little to complain about, conservatives would overwhelmingly dominate the list of complainants.
    A prominently naming and shaming of its biased and partisan programs and presenters would provide a powerful motivation for the ABC to honour its charter.

  66. Patrick Kelly says:

    Agree. Give it, cost free, to the employees.

  67. Lee says:

    Smith has viciously attacked Bettina Arndt and has recently said that he fully and strongly supports the Andrews’ government’s law to ban conversion therapy….a prospective law that will criminalise “prayer”… in December Tim Smith made comments in which he ridiculed “prayer”.

    I did not know that.
    I am absolutely appalled and disgusted with Smith now.
    No one loathes and despises Dictator Dan more than I do (as a pollie, and as a person), and I would never vote for him in a million years, but as a Victorian, I don’t want to vote for the LNP either, if Smith is typical of his colleagues in Victoria.

  68. thefrollickingmole says:

    What you recommend would guarantee the defeat of any government which tried it.

    Would be worth it.
    And, if done right at the very start of a term who will take up the cause of the now gone ABC?
    What will their reach be?
    ABC constantly shifts the narrative to the green left.
    You can reliably predict their take on nearly every social/environmental or spending issue without turning on the TV.

    No government could make the case for reimposing the ABCs costs on the nation in the modern age.
    Its a relic of the days of the PMG and telegraph lines.

    Im pretty sure foxtel play repeats of old Pom shows as well.

  69. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Cassie of Sydney
    #3727594

    And Victoria used to be the jewel in the crown of the Liberal Party.

    When Tim Smith opens his mouth it’s my opinion it usually helps Labor.

  70. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Cassie of Sydney
    #3727594

    And Victoria used to be the jewel in the crown of the Liberal Party.

  71. Geriatric Mayfly says:

    A slap on the back and you get packed off to a seminar as the up and coming cog in the wheel. You accept graciously and see a chance to impress. But doom awaits. Barrett sweeps onto the platform and it’s all downhill.

  72. Squirrel says:

    “Growing up in the post-war years, I felt the ABC was part of the mainstream. My parents started with nothing, including no tertiary education, yet they both had profound respect for the organisation and identified with its values. They regarded it as the electronic media of record.”

    Cut the ABC back to the same number of radio and TV stations which it had in those halcyon days of yore and put the savings into a contestable fund for public interest program making by all Australian broadcasters – two birds, one stone.

  73. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare says:

    Defund the ABC? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    And that’s not just me.

  74. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    The perfect SBS doco would be something like Secrets of Hitler’s mega-pyramids on the dark side of the moon …

  75. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Why are all my comments now being censored?

    I cannot reply to criticism of me. I have no right of reply now.

    Is that how you operate here?

  76. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    All together now, peoples! 🙂

    Shut it down
    Fire them all
    Mound of skulls
    Salt the earth
    Nuke from orbit …

  77. C.L. says:

    Tim Smith is a very confused and very dumb person.

    James Macpherson dealt with him in The Spectator:

    Tim Smith’s gender confusion.

    Five years ago, far from ridiculing prayer, he was insisting on it in the Parliament.

  78. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    Bugger, this should be more reflective of the shitegeist:

    The perfect SBS doco would be something like “Secrets of Hitler’s naked Amazonian lesbians existing in mega-pyramids on the dark side of the moon …”

  79. BalancedObservation2 says:

    thefrollickingmole
    #3727655

    I stand by what I said.

    The Coalition has been in power for about eight years and the ABC has been pretty much the same for all that time.

    If the Coalition thought it was politically capable of solving the ABC problem it would have by now.

    It’s my view they will never, under any circumstances, try what you recommended. It would probably lose an election on its own.

  80. C.L. says:

    Growing up in the post-war years, I felt the ABC was part of the mainstream. My parents started with nothing, including no tertiary education, yet they both had profound respect for the organisation and identified with its values. They regarded it as the electronic media of record.

    FMD. Are the “post-war years” now good enough for sob stories?

    Alston’s parents had no “tertiary education,” he says.
    Plenty of food, water, employment, shelter and civil order but no arts degrees.

    As those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II die out, Happy Days with the Fonz is the new hard times.

  81. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    “A schlockumentary by Perfessser Erich von Dunnikan …”

  82. stackja says:

    ABC no longer is relative.
    Better become subscription service.
    Of course, ALP Greens don’t want this.

  83. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Tim Smith is a very confused and very dumb person.”

    Maybe. I can forgive confusion and I can forgive someone who’s dumb. But I think Tim Smith is a fool who clearly thinks that waving some “woke” flags will lure voters and earn him brownie points amongst the woke. Somebody should tell him that it doesn’t. No wonder the Liberals can’t win elections in Victoria. They are the perpetual party of opposition.

  84. Geriatric Mayfly says:

    “Growing up in the post-war years, I felt the ABC was part of the mainstream.

    Say that again! Nothing else was permitted under our roof. Dodgy daytime signals from the commercials made them even further out of bounds. Blue Hills and the midday news were as magnets; but the 7 pm news was sacrosanct and heard in silence, all ears at attention to the AWA Radiola,** unless a log rolled out of the fire or a vehicle came down the long driveway.

    **This device ran on a monstrous block of batteries.

  85. Davey Boy says:

    It has been said many times before – the ABC is beyond biased, it is partisan.

    So, I agitate against it (lawfully) at the local level as much as I reasonably can.

    Roll out the badges, posters stickers and T-Shirts!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gMtreZETko

  86. Megan says:

    Why are all my comments now being censored?

    I cannot reply to criticism of me. I have no right of reply now.

    Is that how you operate here?

    Not in my experience. Right of reply here is much more like a never-ending game of who can get the last word. You may have inadvertently triggered the Doomlord’s butterfly net for unacceptable words and are being held in isolation until he can closely examine the details and release you back into the thread.

  87. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “BalancedObservation2
    #3727707, posted on January 17, 2021 at 7:34 pm
    Why are all my comments now being censored?”

    Megan’s right…you may have used naughty words.

  88. Megan says:

    Ah, Blue Hills! When we were all sent to stay with my grandparents in the summer school holidays, my dear old granny would make sure the teeming kiddy hordes had all been fed, forced to do the washing up, dry and put away the dishes before being sent out onto the verandah sheltered from from the fierce (and ungodly, according to her) midday sun to read and nap. She would then sit down with her cup of tea and a biscuit to listen to Blue Hills. Woe-betide any unfortunate child who dared interrupt.

    Rinse and repeat at 7pm with grandad as protagonist and the news which we were forced to listen to “so we could expand our brain and acquire some good general knowledge and understanding of the wider world and events of the day”.

    I still cannot hear the theme music of Blue Hills and not feel compelled to grab a book and sit in the shade! Oh, how far the ABC has fallen.

  89. MatrixTransform says:

    I cannot reply to criticism of me. I have no right of reply now.
    Is that how you operate here?

    spamineater got him
    lol

    still, it’s learning

    🙂

  90. Rob MW says:

    If she pulled the flaps over her head she’d be a redback spider, cover your nob Sinc, they lurk in dark places !

  91. John Dee says:

    Yeah yeah…but look you can not deny that the ABC is our most trusted source for news.
    It says so on their website – so it must be true.
    And I offer today’s ABC News as proof but first some statistics:
    Norway
    population : 5.328 million
    Vaccine deaths in last month: 13
    Covid deaths since February 2020. : 27
    Brisbane
    population: 5.17 million
    Vaccine deaths in last month : 0 (Vaccine not yet avbl)
    Covid deaths since Feb 2020 : 6
    Brisbane ABC News TV Report Sun 17 Jan 2021 for Norway – reporting specifically on the Covid vaccine:

    “There have been a few deaths….”

    So….
    Norway thus far: 4.5 covid deaths/month approx without the vaccine
    13 deaths in 1 month with the vaccine
    Most people would not regard that as “a few”.
    Perhaps ” a catastrophic number of deaths attributed to the vaccine” would be more accurate.
    This is the vaccine planned for Australia – with talk of making it mandatory.
    Right.

  92. Tel says:

    As those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II die out, Happy Days with the Fonz is the new hard times.

    The boomers jumped the shark.

  93. John Dee says:

    Correction: 27 deaths in NORWAY in near 12 months is approx 2.25/month NOT 4.5

  94. Forester says:

    What CL said.

    And the Liberal party interfering with the ABC would work against their claim to be a Turnbull/Photios/Keane centrist party. They believe there are more swinging Labor party votes to gain than conservative/Libertarian/classical liberal to lose.

    And the relentless socialist bias of their ABC is the best free campaigning the Liberals have got. Just look at the number of comments here and in the Oz below any article about the latest ABC agitprop.

    As others have mentioned, issue 1000 shares to each employee and announce 20% annual funding cuts from July 1 2021. It will never happen of course.

  95. Snoopy says:

    As others have mentioned, issue 1000 shares to each employee and announce 20% annual funding cuts from July 1 2021. It will never happen of course.

    And associated real property rented to the new entity at commercial rates.

  96. Forester says:

    Snoopy, the cowards would have cashed out their shares to the first offer by October, likely that CCP newspaper that’s often in the news. I’m happy for the CCP to fund it, there would be little noticeable change.

  97. MatrixTransform says:

    you never know, it may actually be come self aware

  98. BalancedObservation2 says:

    Thanks Megan and Cassie.

    However it was not naughty words. Something else I guess.
    Anyway I’m back posting.

  99. The Sheriff says:

    Very disappointed in Tim Smith – he could have been a fighting conservative to resurrect the Victorian Libs but instead he is another woke failure. Sounds like he’s become as left-wing as the dumb and shrill Steph Ryan, who has transformed the Victorian Nats into another green Photios waste of space.

  100. Rex Mango says:

    If someone wants to get into the Senate, start a party based on ABC Privatise Now. You would get a lot of votes & plenty of free publicity, not least from the ABC.

  101. Ubique says:

    It is hard to keep a straight face when Leigh Sales pretends that there may well be some conservatives

    Sales has a sneaking suspicion that there might be a Coalition voter somewhere amongst the ranks of the contract cleaners.

  102. Crossie says:

    Old Lefty
    #3727466, posted on January 17, 2021 at 4:13 pm
    Sorry, BalancedObservation2, the government and the communications minister have absolutely no authority whatsoever over the ABC thanks to its much-vaunted independence which is enshrined by statute. The only way that could change is if the government could get an amendment to the legislation through the House and the Senate: far chance of Labor and the Greens letting that happen.

    The ‘independence’ covers not just editorial matters and program selection, but also budgets,

    No interference necessary, just drastically cut the funding from federal government and repeat the following year. There’s nothing in the charter that sets a level of funding so let the management grapple with their reduced circumstances. Let’s see then who gets eaten and who gets spared.

  103. Crossie says:

    And the media creep to the left is partially because they are all auditioning for a suck on Aunties cash engorged tit.

    In the 60s and 70s the situation was reversed, journalists learned their craft at the ABC and then applied for more lucrative jobs at commercial channels. They simply followed the money which these days is at the ABC that has guaranteed funding and is not at the mercy of consumers or technological trends.

    So let’s radicalise the funders.

  104. maree says:

    ABC used to function quite well as a national broadcaster until Alan Ashbolt began his long march through Public Affairs in the 1960s and then proceeded to undermine News. Downhill from there.

  105. PB says:

    Greg Jennett ran what may be the most sycophantic, uncritical puff-piece on Joe Biden that I’ve yet seen on ABC’s stretched Sunday news. Even CNN would blush.

  106. dopey says:

    Not sure about Alston’s claim about economic coverage. Max Walsh in the 1980’s, often interviewed the great John Hewson.

  107. Vicki says:

    As if RMIT is ignorant of the political persuasion of staff!

    I can’t ever decide if the “Woke Cancel Cultists” are stupid, evil, or both.

  108. old bloke says:

    Spurgeon Monkfish III
    #3727705, posted on January 17, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    The perfect SBS doco would be something like Secrets of Hitler’s mega-pyramids on the dark side of the moon …

    You’re missing one essential SBS ingredient there SM III, trains. Your proposed doco needs a colourfully adorned Michael Portillo journeying to the mega-pyramids in a train (preferably powered by steam.)

Comments are closed.