As Bernard Keane writes, fetchingly, in today’s edition:
The insane lurches of the stockmarket have been taken as some sort of proxy for the crisis. Last week we were heading into a depression, and never-ending falls in equity prices. This week — until this morning at least — everything was going brilliantly. It’s like asking a jabbering lunatic to tell you what the weather’s like.
So let’s ignore the markets for a moment, and leave the broader economy to the Prime Minister. Just for the moment let’s focus on whatever it is that the people who run the public broadcaster on our behalf are doing to Radio National. This morning the presenter of the Religion Report, Stephen Crittenden, opened his program at 8.30am with an extraordinary spray at ABC radio management and at an as-yet unannounced decision to dump specialist RN programming — the Religion Report, the Media Report and so forth — in favour of more generalist content aimed at broader audience appeal.
This sounds counter to all the assumptions of our time, but ABC Radio National has no business in devoting itself to either appeal or generalisation. That’s why we pay for it, to know that somewhere in the addled morass of modern media there is a small listenable haven that prizes knowledge and insight over popularity or accessibility.