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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Americans worried about 'socialised' media being at the beck and call of government - who would pay for it were it expanded in that country - should take heart from Kevin Rudd's tardy apology to the parents of Matthew Fuller, Kevin and Christine, which was announced today in The Australian.

Today, mind. Because the timing is everything. It was just last night that the government-funded ABC aired a 4 Corners program (which goes to air weekly) on the universally-deplored government insulation scheme. In it, Kevin and Christine Fuller tearily berated the prime minister for failing to apologise for the death of their 26-year-old son.

Anyone who questions whether a government-backed broadcaster can be impartial - and fearless - should think again. Scenes from the program include one where Mr Rudd arrived at a school function only to be faced by the ABC's Wendy Carlisle with outstretched hand. He shook it then briskly ducked around the dogged Carlisle as she deftly shot him a prickly question on the ditched insulation scheme, which led to the deaths of four untrained tradespeople.

The Australian has no great affection for the ABC. The newspaper is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who distrusts the national broadcaster's plans to establish a 24-hour news channel in direct competition with Sky News, which Mr Murdoch partly owns.

But the paper reserves a greater quantity of distrust for the Australian Labor Party, which Mr Rudd heads in government.

Pic credit: Brisbane Times.

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