Mussels off the menu at the ABC.
It was a series of vulgar text messages from Peter Slipper -- including one comparing female genitalia to shell-less mussels -- that eventually forced him out of the speaker's chair. Yet Crikey
suspects many media consumers, especially those who rely on the ABC for news, would be utterly confused about exactly why the speaker has resigned. The mussels remark, first reported
by The Australian Financial Review
last Thursday, dominated parliament yesterday and is repeated in print today by The Age
, The Sydney Morning Herald
and The Australian
The TV networks, however, have been far less forthcoming. In Channel Nine's lead story on the 6pm news last night, press gallery veteran Laurie Oakes said the remarks were "too disgusting for broadcast". ABC political correspondent Mark Simkin, whose 7pm report was accompanied by a blurred graphic of a text message, also gave the remarks a wide berth.
As a rule, ABC online has referred only
to Slipper's "offensive language to describe female genitalia". Latelin
e, which airs at at 10.30pm, also made no mention of the "m word" last night -- even though host Emma Alberici conducted a 15-minute interview with Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek about the messages.
We'd be interested to know what Crikey
readers think. Do ABC viewers have a right to know what Slipper said in his texts and why he was forced from his post? Or are the remarks simply too unpalatable to broadcast? Have you heard the remarks repeated on radio or TV? We'll follow up the issue tomorrow. -- Matthew Knott
'Catch-up' television takes off.
Watching TV online has become mainstream, with 5.2 million Australians looking at professionally-produced video online in the last six months, according to a new report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The report, Online video content services in Australia,
concludes "catch-up" TV (such as the ABC’s iView) is the dominant use of online video. Recent episodes of television shows are the most popular content.
The report also finds a high level of willingness to pay for online video. Half of those intending to access an online video service in the next six months -- 2.8 million Australians -- indicated they were prepared to pay for such access. -- Glenn Dyer
Video of the day.
Julia Gillard tells us what she really thinks about Tony Abbott's new feminist stance, in a defiant speech that grabbed international attention.
Front page of the day.
The only front page that could make the Herald Sun
look restrained is its Sydney sister's whiskers and rat tail on the turncoat ex-speaker.