tip off

Losing faith in Aunty

Crikey readers talk refugees and whether the ABC is really unAustralian.

Is the ABC unAustralian?

John Shailer writes: Re. “Get Fact: is Tony Abbott right about the ABC?” (yesterday). At last some plain speaking from our PM regarding the taxpayer-funded ABC’s continual efforts to undermine his relationship with Indonesia, destroy the reputation of our armed services, and restore Labor’s failed boat-people policies with the loss of 1200 lives. Instead of defending the ABC from his inner-city electorate, when is Malcolm Turnbull going to take steps to bring some balance into its news and current affairs, which currently is simply a propaganda outlet for the Greens/Labor left, leaving over 70% of us unrepresented?

Eva Court writes: Concerning the PM’s comments on the ABC being unAustralian, etc, my question is, how Australian is it to go to Davos and bag the previous Australian government. Is that a good look? Methinks not.

Nigel Gladstone writes: The Get Fact piece about ABC bias in today’s Crikey was based on a June 2013 poll, making it irrelevant information to test the claim that the ABC is now unAustralian. It’s pretty obvious Tony Abbott’s dismay with ABC reports is based on the ABC’s recent choices: navy torture reports of asylum seekers, boat tow-backs falling apart and Snowden revelations of SBY spying, etc. These are all issues after June 2013, so a poll from then is not news and should not be used to fact-check contemporary opinion.

If get fact bothered to get facts first they may find Abbott’s claims are not “rubbish”, with recent (small sample) polling and vox pops (in the Tele) showing concern over recent ABC reporting.

Fact-checking is a welcome addition to the Aussie news landscape, but so far it’s been poorly executed and plain lazy journalism, which gives this great concept little hope of survival if it continues in this manner.

Godwin’s law applied

Tim Simpson writes: Re. “Ex-Immigration officer: is there asylum seeker blood on my hands?” (yesterday). Lauren Smith’s article invokes, in relation to Australia’s asylum seeker policy, the Holocaust in the first sentence of the article.

The thrust of the article appears to be that it is not enough that Australia’s current asylum seeker policy is legal and the policy of a democratically elected government. Smith implies that people who voted for the Coalition are in a similar position to ordinary Germans in the Nazi era, who she says share blame. For the Nazi atrocities.

Lauren Smith is described in the byline as “refugee worker and former Immigration Department administrative officer”. A little googling reveals that Smith is a prominent refugee advocate, having co founded Learning and Ideas for Tibet, a “free Tibet” group, in 2009 and having been active in a number of refugee areas since.

Perhaps “prominent refugee advocate” would have been more correct than “refugee worker”.

Correction

Crikey writes: Re. “Kathy Jackson facing litigation of her own in HSU fallout” (yesterday). In yesterday’s piece we reported that two civil actions are underway between the Health Services Union and Kathy Jackson in Victoria. In fact, one action is underway in Victoria and one is underway in NSW. Crikey apologises for the error.

6
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t “Tele polling” tell you more about the Teletrash’s audience?

    And do we really want to be kept in the dark about what allegations and what else is going on “outside the shed” - do we really want to be kept as mushrooms?
    Are so many of us that insular that we don’t want to be kept fully informed, because we can’t make up our own minds; or we’re so scared others might make theirs up, and it might not reflect our opinions?

  • 2
    Will
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Gladstone - you make a valid point about the recency issue and then throw away logic by citing unscientific web-polls of trashy tabloids as if they are relevant. At least scientific polls for the wrong period, show trust and credibility going into recent events. Citating vox pop is absolutely meaningless.

  • 3
    Blair Martin
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    John Shailer’s mathematics would serve him well as part of the LNP’s commissions of audit into anything that spends Government money. “…over 70%” - based on what data, exactly or doesn’t that matter when you are having a rant?

  • 4
    Frank Birchall
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    John Shailer is conveniently innumerate — in the September election the ALP and Greens got 42% of the primary vote, leaving 58% for all other parties of which the LNP secured 45%. Where did ‘over 70%’ come from, John?

  • 5
    Chris Ennor
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    In Defence of Auntie and Lauren Smith. Regarding comments 31st January. Tony Abbott’s combative stance worked well in Opposition, but not in Foreign Affairs. The ABC reports on actions and results, that is their job. I am sure the current critics are happy with Aunty’s exposure of the CFMEU stuff - they don’t seem to mention that? The PM has created these situations. The recent Navy accusations were reported as accusations our Govt’s belligerent refusal to take part in an investigation has allowed it to fester and escalate to Interpol and the UN. More poor judgement from a combative mindset.
    In my past travels I had conversations with some people who were around at the time of 2nd W.W. both German and Austrian. Both commented candidly how they went along with their Governments’ demonising and dehumanising of Jewish and Roma people as justification for their actions. Both said “to our eternal shame” and one said “A Government is capable of persuading the population of anything”. Lauren is drawing the parallel of successive Australian Governments demonising and dehumanising refugees and our population happy to go along with any level of brutal treatment metered out to the ‘Evil Them’
    The criticism of her by Tim Simpson is typical of shoot the messenger rather than debate the proposal.

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    70%” - Rupert’s share of our printed media?

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