Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fair suck, Hendo, leave off Aunty

It's a good while since his last sledge at the ABC, so this morning Gerard Henderson, the well-known right-wing commentator, pulled out a couple of juicy factlets for his customary anti-ABC spray. In his piece, Hendo reports that Opposition leader Tony Abbott had sledged the ABC in some obscure public utterance, which is remarkable in itself because Mr Rabbitt has been in the naughty corner for some months now, preferring to send out his minions to do battle in the public sphere, ever since he copped a handful from the prime minister and - well, let's be honest - just about everyone else in public about perceptions of misogyny. So good on Hendo for finding something to prove that the Rabbitt hasn't dropped off the far side of the planet during one of his charity cycling events.

But Hendo reported the Rabbitt's anti-ABC sledge as somehow newsworthy. It's not. The reason he picked up on it is because it chimes in with his own, long-standing campaign against the public broadcaster. "And look," he goes on, "did anyone notice that the Rabbitt and ever-the-bridesmaid Malcolm Turnbull had disagreed publicly on a point of opinion?" Wow, knock my socks off Hendo. Imagine.

It's a total beat-up. People like Hendo will not be happy until every media outlet in the country pulls its values out of the same, heavily-sponsored tote bag. There are, of course, some who put out their opinions publicly who think that the ABC is already too far to the Right, such as micro-blogger David Horton, whose Twitter feed constantly sounds off against various media outlets, not sparing the ABC for a moment. Not only that, but we've already got the News Limited behemoth sounding the trumpets for the Right. Owned by prominent conservative media and entertainment mogul Rupert Murdoch, News controls about 70 percent of Australia's print vehicles. As if that was not enough, we've got mining magnate Gina Rinehart who owns about 20 percent of rival Fairfax Media. Rinehart regularly makes the headlines as she tries to convert that stake into board seats, the better to be able to control editorial choices made by editors and journalists who work at the famous Fairfax mastheads.

While the print media is slowly going down the gurgler, Hendo today has seen a new chance to ensure that all Australia's media are playing from the same song-sheet. His latest go at the ABC is just another example of how culture warriors will miss no opportunity to campaign for their side of politics. Fair suck, Hendo, leave off Aunty.


Anonymous said...

You failed to address the basic premise of his article.

That is, the ABC has not one conservative host of a significant program. Why?

It is a fact leftists present the vast majority of ABC radio and TV. Not only that Henderson accuses the ABC of employing not one conservative produecr/editor on those prominent programs.

The obfuscation of those defending the ABC is transparent, simply because they do not address Henderson's arguments.

By comparison The Australian is the most diversified paper re political op ed in Australia. The Melbourne Age by comparison has not one conservative journo employed. It and the ABC are mirrors of each other.

Defunding the ABC will be high on Abbott's austerity agenda when finally the ALP gives back the credit card to the adults.

Matthew da Silva said...

You fail to see the basic premise of my response.

That is, we are heading towards a new status quo if, or when, Gina Rinehart gains editorial influence over the Fairfax mastheads.

It is a fact that Rinehart is stubbornly conservative in her political outlook, just as Rupert Murdoch is.

The obfuscation of those who insist on attacking my beloved ABC is obvious, they want ALL media outlets in Australia to be controlled, at the editorial level, by conservative editors.

Corporations are already immensely influential, especially when they work in consosrt, as they did to protest publicly against a resources rent tax.

Even though the ABC has been moving Right under its present leadership, it is still more objective than the Murdoch machine, which relentlessly campaigns on certain important issues.

Any politician who tries to tamper with the ABC's objectivity will be the subject of vocal opposition by right-thinking people in Australia. That is, not people like you.

Anonymous said...

Gerard Henderson claims:

The ABC has not one conservative host of a significant program

Mr Henderson must be ill-informed. He doesn't know about Chris Uhlmann's background?

Is the 7.30 Report (the ABC's flagship, nightly, national politics program) not "significant" enough for him?

Chris Uhlmann

1) In 1998 Chris Uhlmann stood for election in the ACT Legislative Assembly as a candidate for a right-wing Christian minor party on an anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia ticket.

2) Writes opinion pieces for the conservative publication 'The Spectator' (Australian edition).

3) Like Abbott is an ex-seminarian.

4) Is lauded by Abbott and 'The Australian'. (Big hint, there).

5) Was Abbott's named and nominated moderator-of-preference for the leadership debates in the federal election campaign 2010.

6) Is married to a Labor MP, a fact used by right-wing apologists to make the risible claim he therefore could not possibly be biased against Labor.

Let's look at Mr Uhlmann's treatment of party leaders, left and right, and judge his even-handedness for ourselves.

Chris Uhlmann with Julia Gillard, 09 May 2012
Julia Gillard

Chris Uhlmann with Bob Brown, 17 May 2011
Bob Brown

... Had enough of aggression and interrputions? Then let's look at Chris Uhlmann's chat with Tony Abbott, 28 April 2011
Tony Abbott


Radio National has a program 'Counterpoint', which specifically puts conservative opinions.

RN does not have any programs set aside for left-wing opinions.

On that score, the bias is indisputably to the conservative side.


In December 2011 the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the ABC guilty of bias in a broadcast on Adelaide local radio.

The target of the ABC's attack was not a conservative, it was a Labor politician.

News Story