Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It's Whose ABC?

It didn't take very long for "Tell Us About It Janet" 's rightie mates to come to her defence re her appointment to the ABC board (since, officially, she is now unable to defend herself in her Oz column). PS - Don't ya love how she's proud of the fact that she's "roundly disliked by the human rights industry"? Take that statement and you can run with it all the way to the "Janet Albrechtsen doesn't like human beings to have rights" finish line.

Anyway anyway anyway, Gerard is first cab off the rank. I often feel conflicted about Gerard. Sometimes I think he's the Right commentator with something resembling both a heart and a brain; other times I reckon he's just better at toning down his Orwellian 1984 "Hate! Hate! Hate!" chanting sessions behind carefully-chosen and constructed million dollar words and sentences. I do believe, however, that Bolty, the Devine Miss M, Piers, TUAI Janet etc would never in a million years admit that "Liz Jackson is a fine journalist and a first-class presenter". He could of course be being horribly condescending here, but I choose to believe for the sake of argument that he's being sincere. He even goes on to say that TUAI Janet's grandstanding about "looking at problems of bias and how facts are presented" is in fact a "complicated issue...and there is no precedent...(for this to) be adequately addressed by a non-executive director".

I'm not entirely opposed to having the odd Righter or two or three involved in the ABC administration - public broadcaster, sake of balance, yadda yadda. It does seem strange, however, that said Righters are often the most critical of Aunty, so why would they want to be a part of its management? It's not as though they're rushing to sign up with the Labor Party, Australian (Gay) Marriage Equality, Republican Movement or other groups that trouble them so. Surely, it wouldn't have anything to do with the Liberal party trying to stack Aunty with its Murdoch mouthpiece apologists, suffocating the poor old girl under their combined weight (particularly if Piers belly flops on board)?

Another statement of Gerard's that doesn't sit well:

"(Jackson's) four predecessors have been of liberal (in the North American sense of the term) or leftist persuasion - Stuart Littlemore, Paul Barry, Richard Ackland and David Marr."

Excuse me - Paul Barry, host of 7's defunct Witness programme who falsely smeared John Marsden's name with paedophilia allegations, leftist? Hrm.

Then it's onto David Marr. Marr - along with Rodney Croome, the thinking queer man's mature-aged bit of crumpet - says quite rightly that "the natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft left" and sceptical of authority...If journalists don't come out of that world they should find another job". Gerard would appear to have a problem with this. I don't. Think about it: The Washington Post was the newspaper that uncovered arguably the most significant Western political scandal of the 20th century, Watergate. Whether or not they had an agenda all along to bring down Nixon I don't know, but I do know they adhered to Marr's test of being "sceptical of authority" and not automatically accepting without question - and writing up so favourably - the various directives, agendas and initiatives of the government in power the way all Murdoch newspaper editorials and most of his columnists do.

Do you really see Akerman winning a Pulitzer for outstanding investigative journalism? Mingy Devine? Bolty? Do you reckon the Hun will go down in history as the newspaper that exposed John Anderson's bribery, Tony Abbott's deception about "discovering" his abandoned son? The Terrorgraph as the paper that proved beyond doubt John Howard sent our country to war knowingly based on lies, forcing him to resign his Prime Ministership? Nah, me neither.

The Right rushes so quickly to bash Aunty for being a lefty hotbed, but the reality is that all it's doing is adhering to the usual journalistic principles of questioning and examining the government of the day. It's not as though Keating was their number one fan, as I'm sure Latham wasn't and Beazley wouldn't be were he PM.

Leave the old girl alone.


At 8/3/05 12:29 pm, Blogger Ron said...

I am waiting (but not holding my breath) for someone from the right to complain about the obvious bias of the ABC Board - all members except for the staff rep are Howard appointees.

At 8/3/05 4:29 pm, Blogger DREADNOUGHT said...

They're Howard appointess because of term limits and the fact that the Gov't appoints board members. Perhaps you've missed the fact that the electorate have appointed Howard et al to the board of Australia four times in recent memory?

At 8/3/05 4:29 pm, Blogger DREADNOUGHT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/3/05 4:30 pm, Blogger DREADNOUGHT said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/3/05 9:47 am, Blogger Sam said...

Dread: Election of the government four times in recent memory is still no mandate for it to appoint directors to the board whose aim is to mould - beat - the ABC into yet another pro-Howard media outlet. And I know you would like to see the ABC gone all together but some of us are happy our taxes are financing something that will actually question and analyse the government rather than bend over and take it unquestioningly a la Weyland Smithers.


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