Alan Lander writes:
Santo Santoro’s bluster over the ABC shows that he, like many in the Liberal Party, are beholden to the policies created by the conservatives in the US back in the post-Cold War era of 1991, when they all thought Bush snr was a shoo-in for a second term, as vividly described by US journalist David Brock in his book Blinded By The Right. To counter this, we need to discuss whether the political centre lies between the two major parties, or whether it holds a position of its own. I for one consider myself a political centrist; I believe in a political ‘True North’, ie a central spectral position that balances economic and social needs across the community, as against a sort of ‘Magnetic North’, which would describe the moving position lying between the major parties. But in today’s political climate, that makes me a rabid leftie, according to these people. And it seems that most of the populace goes along with this ludicrous proposition. The matter of the political spectrum needs to be debated, and those on the left should at least realise that it has been a deliberate strategy for this to occur.

Adrian Pineapple writes:

I’d never heard of Santo Santoro until I read the opinion piece in Crikey. Half-way through it I thought “what a w*nker.” But by the time I’d reached the end of it, the penny had dropped. It was a practical joke. Santo (if that’s his real name) is taking the piss out of all those right wing loonies who think that anything the ABC does betrays its institutional bias. “Our troops” indeed. Good one Santo! Now how about a piece on Alan Jones, John Laws, Andrew Bolt, Piers Ackermann, Gerard Henderson or any of the other right wingers who constantly fill the airwaves and newspapers with endless articles moaning about how the voice of the right is never heard. I’m sure your talent for satire would find fertile ground there!

Robert Denmore writes:

Isn’t it amusing that these crusty conservatives, whinging endlessly about alleged ABC institutional bias, never stop to consider that perhaps their own vision of the world is a little skewed. I’m fairly middle of the road politically, but if the ABC started referring to “our troops” in news bulletins, I would have to question its impartiality. There is plenty of jingoistic tub-thumping on commercial media bulletins already – the people’s friend, Ray Martin, being the King of the Patriots. The ABC is not there as some kind of repository of nationalist sentiment, as much as reactionary types like Santo Santoro might wish it to be. He and the rest of the Howard clones already have most of a tame national media under their ideological control. Leave the ABC alone.

James Jenkin writes:

Santo Santoro explains he’s not really an anti-ABC obsessive. He loves the ABC (they do a “magnificent job” – sometimes). He has no complaint with “the overwhelming majority of broadcast and support staff.” His beef is simply this: there is an institutional bias that comes not from management direction, but from a lack of management direction. They let the left-leaning presenters get out of hand. So, we learn, that’s easy to fix. Management should just exercise more authority. No fundamental changes are needed. The puzzling part of Santoro’s argument, however, is that the one example of bias he provides is because of an explicit management directive: “the editorial ban on referring to Australian Defence Force personnel serving in Iraq as “our troops” on the specious grounds that “the ABC does not own the troops.” I think Santoro has deeper problems with the ABC than he’s telling us.