Having launched an extraordinary attack
against David Marr, Media Watch,
and the ABC regarding bias, The Australian should now own up to its own
biases. Firstly, Janet Albrechtsen has never provided
evidence to refute Media Watch’s accusation against her of journalistic
fraud, nor did The Australian do so in Part 1.

Secondly, had The Australian followed
its own advice as regards checking facts, The Australian would have
found that David Marr has certainly
criticised Fairfax. Its accusation
that he was acting to advance his employers interests appears to be
baseless.

Thirdly, it does not seem wise of The
Australian
and/or Janet Albrechtsen to accuse others of bias. Murdoch press generally and The
Australian
itself have been accused of a systematic pro-war bias in their
coverage of the occupation of Iraq.

Fourthly, The
Australian’s
consistently anti-ABC bias. We should recall, for instance, The
Australian’s
editorial of 2 July 2002, in which it claimed “the
argument in support of taxpayer-funded broadcasting services for well-off,
usually Left-leaning urbanites starts smelling of middle-class welfare.” In accordance with that
bias, it chose not to publish the ABC Managing Director’s reply.

Fifthly, we should
recall David Marr’s mention (Media
Watch
, 2003) of the utterly baseless 1996 eight-page spread by Chris
Mitchell when at the Courier Mail claiming that Manning Clark had
received the Order of Lenin. Mr
Mitchell – The Australian’s current editor – may not have welcomed the
reminder.

Sixthly, The
Australian’
s active defence of Janet directly conflicts with her claim that
she is simply one of The Australian’s many opinion columnists. That, plus her
continuing failure to dissociate herself from The
Australian’s
attacks, plus history, inevitably suggests an alliance
between the two in consistently anti-ABC positions. Recall her ”Their ABC sells
staff message, not ours
(The Australian, 26 May 04).” Such a position is
completely improper for any ABC Board member.

WA FABC would suggest that The Australian practice its principle that “When a media outlet
corrects an error, it should simply and cleanly correct the error, not mix it
in with assertions that it was right on another claim that proves its overall
point.”

Senator Coonan
appointed Janet, so must also accept her share of responsibility for the
results.