Wedding coverage and executive bonuses spark new round of Aunty bashing. Plus Daily Telegraph gets it monumentally wrong
News Corp columnists, including the Australian’s Gerard Henderson, the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt and the Courier Mail’s Des Houghton, have all lined up to denounce the ABC in the past few days.
Here is a taste from the Australian’s Chris Kenny: “Since last week’s budget the ABC has taken a bit of a break from demonising Australians as deplorable xenophobes, Islamophobes, homophobes, misogynists and racists to focus on its own funding problems.”
Murdoch and Hannity are Trump “confidantes” and see value in that relationship.
The contradiction then becomes in the terms “news” and “journalism” and the product that’s actually being delivered.
News Corp is trying to blame their source for their lack of verification
The newspaper accused of defaming Geoffrey Rush says the theatre company that confirmed a complaint had been made about Rush’s alleged “inappropriate behaviour” should also have to pay up if the publisher loses the high profile lawsuit.
The Andrew Bolt’s approach to commentary wrong move on wrong move on forget the facts even a clocks right twice a day just say it first. It lingers longer right or wrong ( Old Dog)
So it’s no surprise that these commentators don’t call out politicians for their lack of prophetic powers. After all, when everyone’s getting it wrong, it’s best just to move forward and hope that nobody has a memory or enough time to go back and point out that the most accurate thing that anybody said was: “Whatever. The sun will still rise tomorrow.”
In this case which came first the media or the politicians? In this case the politicians came from behind and were just media puppets pulled by the strings of Murdoch Media. It’s a case when neither the politicians or the media represent us. They merely try to service us in a prick of a way (ODT)
The communications minister Mitch Fifield and Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi both complained about a segment in which a candidate for Bernardi’s party Kevin Bailey was called a “cunt”.
“I would say the majority of people are not offended by the word, they are more offended by the C at the end of the AB than they are about the C-bomb that was used in the sketch,” Anderson, a Triple M Hot Breakfast co-host, told Guardian Australia.
“The majority of people who are offended by these jokes are not really offended by these jokes. They are, by their very nature, offended by the very idea of the ABC and they want to prosecute an agenda against the ABC. This is just an example of something they can use to prosecute an agenda.”
“Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information,” the study authors report in Science. “Whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1,000 people, the top 1 percent of false-n
Shari Markson from Murdoch’s stable didn’t break the Barney Story but did raise it to political thunder to discredit Malcolm Turnbull our PM
Only after billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch gave the nod to his News Corp foot soldiers last week to proceed with publishing the truth about some of the scandals surrounding Mr Joyce, did other journalists suddenly somehow discover their reporting mojo and investigative capabilities.
Over the past week, news headlines in Australia have involved almost nothing else apart from the struggles facing Mr Joyce. The headlines have even travelled around the world with media in the USA and UK reporting on Mr Joyce’s troubles and travails. Clearly and obviously this story was in the public interest. But why not in October and November last year when Mr Joyce was facing an important by-election in New England caused by his own ignorance of his citizenship status?
‘There’s something of a convention in Aus politics: unless there’s criminality, coercion or abuse involved, private lives are private.’
This is nonsense, of course. There is no such convention — “something” or otherwise.
The media presented stories about Gareth Evans’ affair with Cheryl Kernot and Jim Cairns’ affair with Junie Morosi when there was not a hint of criminality, coercion, or abuse. The mainstream media also enjoyed reporting on the private life of Julia Gillard while she was prime minister, even outrageously asking her whether her hairdresser partner Tim Mathieson was a homosexual. The ABC then destroyed any notion of impartiality or discretion when it aired a tasteless and unfunny sitcom based on her supposed private life, called ‘At Home With Julia’.
Most TV news reports over the weekend cherry-picked Friday’s data on January’s jobs. The statistics were a mix of good news and bad. Total jobs increased. But so did people looking for work. The jobless rate for women decreased. But for men, it increased. The overall jobless rate did not go up. It did not go down either. Wages increased over the year. So did inflation.
Naturally, the pro-Trump media highlighted only the positive — in stark contrast to their approach through the Obama years.
Almost as bad is the claim that ’99 per cent of scientists believe’ as if scientific truth is determined by votes rather than facts.”Votes? What votes?Abbott seemed to be suggesting that the 97 percent consensus (the 99 was a mistake by Abbott, it’s actually 97) was based on some bogus poll.Wrong.There was never any poll of scared scientists who pretended to be in furious agreement about climate change lest they be branded as heretics. In fact, the paper which first identified the 97 percent consensus was a 2013 survey of the scientific literature that was already out there.And what 97 percent of that scientific literature effectively said was: it’s happening and we’re causing it.
In an article in today’s Australian, Janet Albrechtsen waxes lyrical about departing boss of the Minerals Council, Brendan Pearson, who she claims was “shoved out of his job as boss of the Minerals Council of Australia by those who prefer feel-good corporate bromides and green myths over energy facts and figures.”These purveyors of “green myths” were, among others, BHP and Rio Tinto who said they had lost confidence in Mr Pearson due to his unstinting advocacy for coal, something Ms Albrechtsen, on the other hand, considers a virtue, Source: Why are we letting the fossil fuel industry make the rules on climate change action? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The prominent white supremacist is given a platform on Israel’s top-rated news show, and the host doesn’t once challenge his anti-Semitism or hateful views. By +972 Magazine Staff Israel’s most popular prime-time television news show gave white supremacist Richard Spencer a platform to try and convince Jewish Israelis that White Nationalism is analogous to Zionism, adding that Israelis should relate to him and his ilk. [If the video below doesn’t play, watch here or here] “As an Israeli citizen, as someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood and peoplehood, and history and the experience of the…
The Murdoch media have gone the full Abbott with multiple articles spruiking a comeback for the former PM.
Finally, to those who jump, without hesitation, to the defence of Cardinal Pell and assume that his accusers are “deluded” or “confused” or hold some maniacal vendetta: As stated above, George Pell is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but that does not mean that his accusers deserve to be summarily dismissed in the way that children almost always had been until the royal commission turned decades of silence and obfuscation and failure-to-believe on its head.
Fox News’ Fox & Friends falsely claimed that Sweden’s reintroduction of the draft was due to violence in the country precipitated by refugees, when in fact the draft is being reintroduced to counter Russian aggression in the region.Despite Fox’s assertion, Sweden’s government is reintroducing the draft for men and women in the count
“A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris. Tourists were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S.”
Six people died at the Quebec City mosque, and one person was slightly injured in the Paris attack.
At noon today, Donald Trump will swear the oath of office and become president of the United States. His ascent would not have been possible without the years of vitriol that the right-wing media directed at his predecessor.That hatred of President Obama, and the related scorched-earth efforts to smother his agenda, prepared the way for Tru
Murdoch and its unthinking “echo chamber” in MSM attempt to conceal the Coalition’s disastrous real news with “fake news”.
Dave Donovan explains in detail just exactly how far The Australian went to smear IA contributor Peter Wicks.
By TeleSur | – – After a series of violent attacks and recrimination, an esteemed Muslim academic flees the U.S. …
Fox News’ media critic Howard Kurtz attributed a fake quote to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, predicting that she would have to answer in tonight’s presidential debate for calling primary opponent Bernie Sanders’ supporters a “bucket of losers.” But Snopes.com and BuzzFeed have already reported that this quote — origina
Journalists at Australian on shortlist for ABC news director. Plus Sarah Ferguson’s candid advice for anyone thinking of going into marketing
The commentators who thought Tony Abbott was their champion are desperately looking for relevance after the coup.
A British woman who can’t recall any of the conversations she has had over the past decade will head up the UK arm of one of the world’s largest media organisations.
A spokesperson for the company said Ms Brookes, 47, was the obvious choice for the position. “Apart from the fact that she has absolutely no recollection of what happened at the previous companies she ran, she is the perfect choice for this role,” the spokesperson said.
“She has a knack for a good story, she’s great with people. Sure she couldn’t remember whether the Prime Minister of Great Britain attended her 40th birthday party. But then, who does remember these sorts of finer details?”
The spokesperson said Ms Brookes would run a tight ship as CEO of UK operations. “Although naturally we don’t expect her to have any idea about what’s actually going on at the company”.
Whatever the Daily Telegraph pays Piers Akerman to spread his unique brand of ‘commentary’, it’s not enough. So if you’re reading this Rupert Murdoch, double the man’s salary.Akerman’s column this week attacking the independent Australian documentary, Gayby Baby – and the Tele’s complementary campaign of smearing shit all over itself and then grinning like a five-year-old – has done more than any hard working publicist could ever do to promote a film that every Australian should see.
John Pilger – Episode 12
the role of the corporate media in manufacturing narratives, its relationship to capitalism and commodification, and the importance of independent media to pierce through the propaganda. Pilger provides his blistering critique of the especially insidious liberal media whose misinformation and disinformation is so critical to the ruling class. Eric and John touch on an array of other topics including Greece, Ukraine, and debt as a neocolonial weapon. All this and much more on a slightly abbreviated Episode 12 of CounterPunch Radio, featuring as always intro and outtro music from the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie,
LONDON — Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Sun has spoken, urging voters to back David Cameron’s Conservative Party in Britain’s election — unless they’re in Scotland. There, it says, they should vote for the Scottish National Party.
The differing endorsements raised a few eyebrows Thursday, since the London-based Sun dubbed the pro-Scottish independence nationalists “saboteurs” determined to wreck Britain.
But the Scottish edition — which has a separate editor — said the SNP would “fight harder for Scotland’s interests” and praised leader Nicola Sturgeon as “a phenomenon.” Its front page depicted her as Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”
The SNP is predicted to win most of Scotland’s seats on May 7.
Murdoch’s newspapers were long a powerful force in British politics, but their influence may be waning in the Internet age.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly continues to insist that he never misrepresented or embellished his wartime reporting experiences and other previous episodes—even after CNN, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Media Matters, and Mother Jones reported significant discrepancies between O’Reilly’s accounts and what actually occurred. Last Tuesday, O’Reilly appeared on David Letterman’s show, where he maintained he had always been “accurate” when discussing his journalistic exploits and had never “fibbed” on air. (“Not that I know of,” he said.) Yet O’Reilly’s characterizations of his reporting during the Falklands war, El Salvador’s civil war, the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and the 1977 re-investigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination have been repeatedly challenged, in several cases by former colleagues. Now a principal character in one of O’Reilly’s more dramatic tales—in which the Fox commentator plays a heroic role—says this particular story is not accurate.
THE CABIN ANTHRAX, MURPHY, N.C. (CT&P) – This month’s edition of Scientific American is somewhat of a departure for a magazine that normally steers well clear of politics. It boasts several well-researched articles examining the right wing in general and the Tea Party in particular.
“We wanted to highlight how a group could overcome the serious handicaps of its individual members to become a viable political force in our society,” said SA editor Michael Moyer. “The rise of the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and their propaganda arm, Fox News, illustrates how a species crippled by superstition, racial hatred, and lower than average IQ’s can rise to a position of prominence in the modern nation state.”
The issue, which is on news stands now, traces the growth of the Tea Party from a ragtag army of inarticulate individuals all the way to this year’s midterm elections, when an alarming number of the insecure cretins won national political office.
“We tried to get inside the minds of these people, as frightening as that prospect was,” said Moyer. “We really wanted to find out what made these people tick. We placed particular emphasis on finding the common threads that unified this group of backwoods bumpkins.”
“What we found was fear. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of minorities, fear of science, fear of gay people, fear of just about any fucking thing you could imagine. The overwhelming consensus was that this group of people yearns to return to the days before the Enlightenment, where their outdated ideas and archaic societal standards ruled with an iron fist.”
The SA team spent a great deal of time analyzing the movement’s leaders Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and a host of other kooks such as Steve King and Louie Gomhert.
“One only has to look at the leadership of this movement to see how incoherent and insane their beliefs really are,” said Moyer. “If you go back and examine some of the speeches and statements made by Bachmann and Palin over the last decade, it reads like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. Nothing makes sense. For example, last weekend in Iowa, Palin was apparently possessed by one of her demons and began writhing around the podium and speaking in tongues. It was truly scary.”
Although the writers and editors at SA came to no definitive conclusions about the future of the right wing and the Tea Party, Moyer said that they will most likely be swept away by the tide of history.
“To paraphrase Huxley, extinguished theologians, and in this case reactionary political factions, lie about the cradle of progress as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules,” said Moyer.
Although many midterm Congressional races were won by Tea Party supported buffoons, the facts seem to support Moyer’s argument.
Gay marriage, Obamacare, and decriminalization of marijuana, three policies that the far right is rabidly against, are more popular than ever and gaining national acceptance.
“It gives us hope for a bright future in which the voices of these kooks are drowned out by the voices of reason and science,” concluded Moyers. “I am a fervent supporter of free speech and support these people’s right to be as ignorant as they want to be, but I fully believe that they will be remembered by history as the wingnuts they truly are.”
Abbott must be having a horrible Christmas break. He can’t have missed that his old buddy, his mentor Rupert has completely dropped him and in doing so, has given permission for his newspapers to admit that PM Abbott is a dud. They’re still not yet ready to admit he’s always been a dud and that they were stupid to support him in the first place (as if they’ll ever be ready for this sort of atonement), but they’re willing to go as far as actually reporting his poll numbers, which speak for themselves, and saying that if only he could get his ‘message’ right, their neoliberal Tea-Party agenda would be gratefully accepted by the electorate instead of wholeheartedly rejected. It’s fascinating to watch an entire news organisation finally coming round to the fact that the public knows better than they do whether someone is a good PM or not. I thought the whole definition of ‘news’ was telling us all something we didn’t know, and being first to the story? Abbott’s incompetence is old news, and News Ltd coming to this realisation last is really the only thing you need to know about the incompetence of News Ltd. ‘Oh Abbott’s polls are bad!’ they all cry in unison! ‘We totally didn’t see that coming!’.
So what are News Ltd going to do now that their favourite son has spectacularly failed? If you’ve been paying attention to the number of puff pieces being written at News Ltd about their chosen successor, Julie Bishop, you will see that a Libspill is clearly being planned.
As soon as I realised that Julie Bishop was being put forward as the most likely replacement for Abbott, I realised just how screwed the Abbott government is. Because if Bishop is deemed as the ‘best performer’, it shows just how badly the rest of them have performed. Think about it for a second. What exactly has Bishop done which is so high performing? Perhaps if the definition of high performing is ‘not stuffing up as badly as the rest of the Abbott ministry and being protected by News Ltd so even if you did stuff up the public never heard about it’, then Bishop has been high performing. But all I’ve seen is very basic no-more-competent-than-you’d-expect-of-an-average-politician-statements from her in response to international tragedies, such as disease, terrorism and plane crashes, and of course I’ve seen her slashing the Foreign Aid budget, making Australia the stingiest rich country in the world, bar none. I can see that News Ltd are clearly happy about this, but as I’ve said previously, News Ltd’s opinion and the general public’s opinion do not match and are increasingly at complete odds so News Ltd being happy about something more than likely works against Bishop in the long term.
But even more interesting than the claim that Bishop is ‘high performing’, is News Ltd’s strategy of backing a female Prime Minister, after systematically mauling our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, with a sexist, low-life, scum-filled campaign of hateful lies and misinformation. Just to remind you all, Julia Gillard was the most successful Prime Minister this country has ever had. You won’t ever see any such analysis done in News Ltd papers, but this Guardian article has run the figures showing Gillard as the winner. So keeping this in mind, and keeping News Ltd’s vile anti-Gilllard campaign in mind, how are News Ltd going to position Bishop, a female, unmarried, childless ex-South Australian lawyer as PM material, when they so blatantly positioned Gillard as unfit, whilst appealing to the scum who read their newspapers, who were only too happy to agree? They built the anti-female-leader narrative, so how are they going to tear it down in support for Bishop?
So far, I have seen three strategies at work.
The first is to dress Julie Bishop up in her favourite ridiculously expensive clothes, to do a bit of airbrushing and to photograph her looking relaxed and feminine as if she doesn’t have a care in the world (or an office, or a desk, or, for that matter, a job. Notice how male politicians are never photographed posing as if they’re in a fashion magazine?). It’s also worth noting at this point that when Gillard posed for a Women’s Weekly photo shoot in 2007, Bishop was reported as saying:
“I don’t think it’s necessary to get dressed up in designer clothing and borrow clothing and make-up to grace the cover of magazines… You’re not a celebrity, you’re an elected representative, you’re a member of parliament. You’re not Hollywood and I think that when people overstep that line they miss the whole point of that public role.”
Clearly Bishop thinks she is Hollywood and is a celebrity and that’s the end of that.
The second strategy to ready Bishop for the position as Australia’s second female Prime Minister is for her to paint herself as not a feminist, and not as having benefited from feminism to get where she is. It was all her, apparently. And women who think they need feminism to get ahead need to stop complaining and get on with it, apparently. I feel that Bishop claiming she’s got where she is without the help of the feminist movement is akin to the captain of a football team being presented with the Grand Final cup and saying ‘thanks so much for all the applause. Clearly I played really well and that’s why the team won. I don’t know what all those other guys on my team were doing, but without my individual effort, the Grand Final cup would not be mine today’. Feminists have every right to be offended by Bishop’s suggestion that their hard fought battles are just a campaign of whinging. And of course they have every reason to laugh at Bishop, who is one of two women in Abbott’s cabinet, after being the only one for the first year, presumably because all the other Liberal women of merit were too busy complaining instead of being merit selected in a cabinet that is full of un-merit-worthy men. You’ve got to laugh so you don’t cry!
Finally, the last strategy to prepare Bishop for a leadership challenge is for News Ltd to claim that she is nothing like Gillard, and so should never be compared. Please look away now if you don’t feel like being angry for at least the next month over the following statement that was made in this Courier Mail Julie Bishop-fan-mail-puff-piece. Or do what I do and try to turn your anger into productive rage:
‘Dignified yet determined, Ms Bishop has succeeded where Julia Gillard failed, by showing that women can perform at the highest levels of political office without either hiding behind their gender or sacrificing their femininity. A passionate advocate of women, Ms Bishop believes in merit-based promotion, and her own hard work is now reaping rewards, both on the international stage and in domestic polls. And the damage done by Ms Gillard to the public perception of women in leadership roles is slowly being healed as voters regain confidence that a female politician can deliver’.
So this is the campaign and it’s well underway. There’s no sign yet as to how News Ltd will deal with Bishop’s embarrassing past of plagiarism, or her seedy career as a lawyer fighting against asbestos victims, and apparently once asking ‘why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying’. But we will watch and see as News Ltd comes up with new techniques of dishonesty to repel any criticism of their new-found-favourite candidate. And of course, it will be fascinating to see how such a leadership spill could possibly be orchestrated without use of the words ‘blood’ and ‘stab’ littered throughout the reportage. No doubt that’s the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be worked out before we wake up to find Abbott gone, and PM anti-feminist-pro-Armani-asbestos-Julie in his place.
There are ways for the media to cover stories such as the Sydney siege without committing gross ethical violations.
AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2.00 am. Congrats.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) December 15, 2014
In one brutally insensitive tweet, Rupert Murdoch told the world everything it ever needed to know about the central tenet of the News Corp culture: nothing matters except the story.
It is a culture in which the ends justify the means.
It is a culture that celebrates cruel vulgarity, infamously exemplified by the headline “Gotcha” in the London Sun when, during the Falklands War, the British forces sank the Argentine warship the General Belgrano, with the loss of 368 lives. In Stick It Up Your Punter!, their account of life on The Sun, Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie wrote that although even the editor, the egregious Kelvin MacKenzie, had second thoughts about the heading, Murdoch said:
I rather like it.
This is a culture that ultimately leads to the kind of criminality exposed in the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed the British branch of Murdoch’s empire in 2011. It is a culture that says if that’s what it takes to get the story or sell a newspaper, let’s do it.
In the case of the Lindt Café siege, it is a culture that permitted the publishing of the faces of hostages as they were forced at gunpoint to hold up the gunman’s black flag in the café window. There was a strong news case for showing them holding up the flag but no case for showing their faces.
These are images that are likely to haunt those hostages all their lives. The risk of doing harm should have been obvious. The disregarding of that risk is unjustifiable and unforgivable.
It is a culture that permits the publication of a door-stop photo of the father and husband of Katrina Dawson, who died at the gunman’s hands. They are leaving the hospital where Dawson died. The photo is clearly taken against the husband’s wishes: he is covering his face with his hand. The father’s face is a mask of shock. The intrusion on their grief is another unforgivable act.
There are ways to cover these stories without committing these gross ethical violations, and much of the other media showed how to do it. Channel Nine’s graphic live footage of the final police assault, and other television footage of hostages dashing from the scene, were vivid and immensely strong pieces of news reporting. ABC TV’s careful pixelating of faces of hostages in footage taken during the siege was another example of good ethical decision-making.
This is a clear violation of a foundational privacy principle that says material supplied for one purpose shall not be used for another purpose without the provider’s consent. Many people – young people in particular – post material on Facebook for the purpose of sharing it with their friends. They do not anticipate that it will be used by the media in whatever context or for whatever purpose the media thinks fit.
The focus of this article has been on News Corp because the connection between its performance and Murdoch’s tweet is the principal point of argument. However, that is not to say News Corp coverage was all bad, nor that others were blameless.
The coverage of the Lindt Café siege is as a strong a candidate as we have seen in recent years for the Australian Press Council to conduct an investigation into the performance of the newspapers generally, and for the Australian Communications and Media Authority to use its own-motion powers to do the same in respect of radio and television.
The mixed quality of the media performance was illustrated by the responses to it by the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, and the chair of the Australian Press Council, Professor Julian Disney. Scipione publicly thanked the media for acting responsibly in the way they covered the siege:
For you to act the way you did, to be responsible, all I can say is “thank you”.
Disney issued a statement, saying:
Much of the coverage has been excellent and has not hesitated to tell painful truths when necessary. But there have been some deeply regrettable errors and exaggerations, spreading dangerous misinformation without any reasonable basis. This type of material can be a serious risk to public safety, as well as causing an unjustified level of fear and distrust across the community.
It was a general statement of assessment, and did not make specific allegations against any particular media outlet.
However, it provoked a response from News Corp broadsheet The Australian, which has been running a campaign to undermine Disney in his last year as chair of the Press Council.
In a front-page story, it accused Disney of “triggering concerns” – by whom, one wonders – about “whether his organisation has abandoned the rules of procedural fairness”.
The basis for this accusation was that Disney had spoken without hearing the media’s side of the story. The weakness in this argument is that Disney was not making a finding against a specific newspaper, but making a general statement about the performance of the newspapers as a whole.
However, the motive for the story became clear in its last paragraph. There, The Australian quoted its own editor-in-chief, Chris Mitchell, as saying Disney:
… has just dealt the Press Council out of any future complaints about the role of the media during this week’s events.
This was clearly meant as a shot across the bow of the Press Council. In the event that the Press Council does decide to hear complaints about the coverage of the siege, it is reasonable to suppose that News Corp will challenge its fitness to do so. This may not thwart any such inquiry, but it might make it more difficult to accomplish, especially if News Corp decided not to co-operate on the grounds of apprehended bias.
This brings us finally to another aspect of the News Corp culture: every critic is an enemy, and we take no prisoners.
The ABC will soon be GONSKI! They are a Biased Lefty, Commie, Greeny Pinko mob… If you listened to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his inner sanctum, Australia is facing yet another war. Not with the people smugglers (again, still), or Indonesia (from fallout of the PM’s handling of spying allegations, people smuggling, general relations…) but with the national broadcaster, the ABC.
This week, Mr Abbott accused the ABC of taking ”everyone’s side but Australia’s“, wishing it would have some “basic affection for the home team”, after the ABC last week reported allegations of navy personnel torturing asylum seekers who were recently towed back to Indonesia. Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily Telegraph—not one for hiding its political allegiances*—backed up the PM’s rant, calling the actions from the national broadcaster as ”un-Australian“, labelling the organisation “The ABC of Treachery” on its front page.daily-telegraph-headline
You could suggest the noise is another government sleight of hand to direct our attention from other matters, such as the secrecy behind the stop the boats campaign and other wobbles, or the prelude to cuts to the broadcaster’s funding.
Funny thing is, though, it wasn’t just the ABC that reported on events. In fact, Seven News and Fairfax Media also carried the news of the torture claims from asylum seekers, gathered by their own reporters. Yet Mr Abbott has failed to publicly attack either outlet.
While some likely members in his camp stand firmly behind his ranting, others (namely Malcolm Turnbull and member for Reid’s Craig Laundy) stand by the ABC.
Perhaps, as writer John Birmingham suggests, Mr Abbott should just call the “waaaaambulance” and be done with it, and leave the journalism to the journalists—remember, Mr Abbott, you used to be one.