Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter


TV & Radio

May 21, 2013

'Chocolate-box TV': Carlton blasts Hadley Oz Story 'travesty'

Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton is a staunch defender of the ABC, but not last night's Australian Story program on 2GB's Ray Hadley. He plans to lodge a formal complaint.


Former talkback host Mike Carlton plans to lodge a formal complaint with the ABC over last night’s Australian Story profile of 2GB star Ray Hadley.

Carlton, who was interviewed at length for the program, accuses Australian Story of misrepresenting him and presenting an unbalanced puff piece on the divisive shock jock.

“I was unethically and selectively edited in the most dodgy way and I intend to lodge a formal complaint with the ABC,” a furious Carlton told Crikey this morning. “It was chocolate-box television — all soft in the centre.”

Carlton, who worked with Hadley at Sydney station 2UE, has also described the program as a “travesty”, “disgrace” and “garbage” on Twitter.

Carlton says his strongest and most critical points about Hadley ended up on the cutting room floor.

“I said a lot of strong things about Hadley’s behaviour on and off the air — about his treatment of junior staff and his obsessive attacks on people like [Rob] Oakeshott and [Tony] Windsor,” said Carlton, who pens a weekly left-wing column for The Sydney Morning Herald. “I described his program as a temple of hatred … By selectively and deceptively editing me, they recruited me into his fan club.”

Carlton says Australian Story should have found more critics of Hadley — such as Oakeshott, whom Hadley has attacked on air, or former staff members — to appear on the program.

“[2GB owner] John Singleton was given free rein to promote his most important commercial property,” Carlton said. “If I was a presenter on ABC 702 I would be absolutely ropeable — it was a 30-minute advertisement for a rival broadcaster.”

Carlton says the argument that Australian Story is designed to humanise its subjects and tell their stories through their own eyes doesn’t wash. “Their remit is to tell the truth and to not give only one side of the story to the ABC audience,” he said.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Australian Story told Crikey this afternoon: “We dispute Mike Carlton’s claim that he was unethically and deceptively edited and ‘recruited into his fan club’. We sought Mike Carlton out as a critic and in the program all his key criticisms of RayHadley were covered — within the bounds of normal editorial practices re accuracy, fairness, civility and balance.”

In a lengthy statement, the spokesperson said: ” Australian Story maintains that the episode on Ray Hadley fulfilled the brief of putting new material into the arena about a significant and controversial public figure. Australian Story seeks to shed light on complex individuals. The program’s style and approach has always been confessional not adversarial. Its remit has never been ‘hang em high’ journalism.”



We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola


Leave a comment

43 thoughts on “‘Chocolate-box TV’: Carlton blasts Hadley Oz Story ‘travesty’

  1. Caths

    Er… left-wing column? Don’t get me wrong, I love Mike’s column, but it’s hardly LEFT-WING…

  2. malcolm.grant1

    I agree with Caths.

    Since when did anyone who disagreed with the standard Murdoch/Hancock line become ‘left-wing’?

    What happened to Crikey being a factual site?

    Don’t tell me that I have to ask for the money I paid for my subscription back.

  3. The Pav

    I usually wath Aust Story even when they’re about people I don’t like/regard but in Hadley’s case I made an execption and read a book.

    From Carlton’s response seems I was on the money.

    BTW Cath @ 1 and Mal @ 2

    The meme is now that if you don’t agree with Abbott?News ltd? Alan Jones etc you can “rightly” be portrayed ar=s left wing.

    Balance now only occurs when you support the right.

    Logic or reasoned countervaling opinion is now by definition “left wing” The right has managed to have everything boxed into left or right as Jonathon Holmes so succinctky pointed out a few weeks ago.

    For example Andrew Bolts definition of a balnce newspaper would be one that printed left & right wing views as “reporting’

    That’s not my definition.

    This is why he calls the ABC left wing because it doesn’t fall into line with his views

  4. Eric Sykes

    “Australian Story” always the worst example of a dumbed down ABC to appease conservative ideas of “Australianess”. Just an awful program. Carlton should have known better and said no…

  5. klewso

    The ABC seems to bending over forwards to accommodate the Right – and take it up the tabloid?

  6. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    “Australian Story” has been pretty cr-p for a number of years now. Minor Celebrity/Sports Star breaks ankle/has minor cancer scare and makes a comeback with the support of Family and friends who all tell us what a wonderful/giving/generous person they are. It needs to get back a bit of bite.

  7. chpowell

    Carlton “Left wing”? FFS!

  8. Cuppa

    More than 2,700 people have so far signed a petition demanding the ABC stop the bias to the Liberal-alligned Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). Reading the comments of signers, there is deep dissatisfaction with the overall move of the ABC from the unbiased centre to the right.


    But the ABC isn’t listening!

  9. cicero

    Ray Hadley gets enough exposure on commercial media without the ABC giving him a half hour freebie. People watch the ABC to get away from that stuff. I agree with Mike Carleton.

  10. arnold ziffel

    Caroline Jones – enough said

  11. paddy

    Judging by the twitter feed, this article in Crikey and a heap of chatter from friends. Missing “Australian Story” last night, was an even *better* move than usual.

    The show has long since passed its useby date.

  12. mikeb

    Aus Story is not meant to be hard hitting. It is telling a story from the subject’s perspective. I can’t abide Hadley or his ilk but it was nevertheless an interesting story.

  13. Bo Gainsbourg

    Can we leave off the labeling of mildly centrist views as ‘left wing’ please. Given that current debate veers between largely centrist and lunar right in Australia, its not only wrong its patronising. Hadley is a perfect example, with his fantasy facts about climate change, about how the whole left right thing has completely bamboozled most journos on key issues. And for what its worth, Carlton is right. Puff pieces providing free 30 minute ads for John Singleton are dragging Australian story even lower.


    Let’s hear it from the ABC itself. What is the purpose of Australian Story? If it is anything like what mikeb writes – telling a story from the subject’s perspective – what’s the point? I don’t mind stories about Australians overcoming the odds, adversity in any form. Stories that show the little Aussie battler exists at all levels of Australian society. There have been some inspiring stories in recent years but the Ray Hadley story? How to be top of commercial radio in Sydney? Give us a break.
    But then later in the evening I had to put up with the ABC in a similar puff pastry mood with Tony Jones on Q&A orchestrating an incoherent set of mumblers, stumblers and grandstanders that left Mike Carlton looking like a solemn Sphinx at the left (of no political significance) end of the table of talk. If those on the panel get expenses paid for appearing they should return the money to the ABC coffers. Mike at least looked embarrassed at times at the vacuity of the answers given by some panellists and the puffery of Tony Jones’ praise for the non-Australian guests.

  15. michael crook

    Why the surprise guys, Shiers and Alston did the job assigned them by Howard, cut the ABC’s balls off and make sure they dont grow back. One only has to look at the informationally challenged presenters on ABC breakfast and see Virginia fawning over any News Ltd invitee, not to mention treating News tabloids as legitimate journalism to realise that the ABC we knew in 1996 is no more.

  16. robinw

    Bit of a sick joke calling Carlton ‘left wing’. OK, so he trenchantly criticises the LNP usually on ethical grounds but that doesn’t make him left wing – in my opinion it makes him an honest man searching for the truth, something which is in rare supply from both sides of politics but more so in my experience with the LNP. Really Crikey, get your act together before you too disappear up the sewer called Main Stream Media. And if Carlton is ‘left wing’ as you aver, does this mean that Hadley is a raving fascist by comparison – a Brown Shirt as least as evidenced by his behaviour? One would hope that you had the honesty to draw the distinction but alas, it was not to be. This is almost enough for me to cancel my 10 years of association with you.

    The reason why I have continued with Crikey is that you do attempt at times to portray the non fashionable side of an argument. That appears to be on the wane.

  17. Venise Alstergren

    I started to watch the Oz story program last night then thought Chrïst! Do I have to watch another Alan Jones saga all over again? A sort of ‘Born in the Mallee; Died in Geelong’, via a bitch radio program in Sydney…hard, hard, hard yakka dad-all the whingeing and whining that goes with these stories. Y U K! Thank God for DVDs.

  18. Venise Alstergren

    PS: When the master midget, John Winston Howard, stuffed the ABC with his cronies he made sure they came from long living genetic material. The ABC will never recover from this travesty of misdirectional intent.

  19. Venise Alstergren

    Why bother writing a postscript when one’s main comment has gone into the meat-grinder of moderation?

  20. Venise Alstergren

    I started to watch the Oz story program last night then thought Chrïst! Do I have to watch another Alan Jones saga all over again? A sort of ‘Born in the Mallee; Died in Geelong’, via a bïtch radio program in Sydney…hard, hard, hard yakka dad-all the whingeing and whining that goes with these stories. Y U K! Thank God for DVDs.

  21. Vincent O'Donnell

    Can one say ‘Go Carlton’ from Melbourne without being misunderstood?

  22. drmick

    M Crook is spot on there. There is nowhere to go to get facts anymore. I cant bear to watch commercial or pay TV and commercial radio is a joke. The ABC now pays more ex liberals as announcers and presenters that the commercial stations.
    As always the truth, the unloved, and anyone not on the mailing list are the victims.

  23. klewso

    [Arnold it was Crabb sticks.]
    Where does the Left get their Right of reply (afforded the Right by the ABC) in the conservative oriented Limited News?
    They won’t be satisfied ’til they’ve silenced all alternate opinion as they can edit out in Murdoch’s version of news.
    Thank heaven for the internet – or more of us would be thinking the likes of “Murdoch and Singo Trolls” Hadley, Ackerman, Blot & Jones are normal?

  24. Matthew Knott

    Hi Caths, Malcolm etc.

    I think it would be wrong of me not to note that Mike Carlton writes a (very entertaining) left-leaning/progressive/whatever label you want to call it column. His political opposition to Hadley is relevant to the story. It’s not used in a pejorative (or approving) way.



  25. robinw

    Hi Matt, thanks for the update. For me the issue is the now pejorative term ‘Left Wing’ with its popular connotations of gulags, thought police and the like. What I see around me right now is one group of people who appear to be favouring a society much like the USA where millions of people live on the streets and many more millions live in border line poverty in trailer parks and slums with minimal wages and absolutely no hope of escape.

    So when I see the term ‘left wing’ used these days it is always from that group of people who extol the Yankee societal mess and wish to transpose it here. In addition, while ‘left wing’ has this negative connotation, we cannot, by Godwin’s Law, point out the equally negative connotations of the ‘right wing’ with its death camps and death squads – an equally psychopathic methodology of the popular conception of the ‘left’. And this quite frankly is what frightens me right now. The Junkers of our time are marshaling their forces like they did in the thirties and I truly worry where it will end.

  26. Garry Wilson

    It is warming to see a manipulator such as Mike Carlton believe that he has been hard done by. He leaves a trail of dozens who feel the same about him due to his selective and unfair reporting over the years.
    I suspect I share his politics. But it’s fascinating that despite a pretty good column in the SMH he is so widely disliked. One can just imagine the bile that Carlton endeavoured to get to air about another widely disliked man – Ray Hadley. Hadley is still on radio. Carlton isn’t. He would love to be. He is a good hater with a good memory and he still has a column. That worries people who want to settle scores with him. So they don’t.
    I suspect the piece last night was too puffy and was possibly calculated to assist Hadley and his family through some rough waters ahead in the courts. The ABC should not be party to that. But it was a good show nonetheless. I suspect the take-home for most viewers was “good on Mrs Hadley”.
    Carlton has stuck his head out of the ruck. I suspect it will be kicked this time. He loves Rugby. Fair enough.

  27. Sven Knudsen

    Oohhhh poor Mikey, haven’t they done an Australian Story on you yet…?
    You pathetic jumped up toad..

  28. Kevin Herbert

    Matthew Knott;

    I wonder if you would please let us have your definition of a ‘left wing’ journalist.

  29. kraken

    I don’t blame Carlton for his tirade. Hadley is a nasty bully and is a ‘bit’ of a megaphone for the nasty bully boys who get way too much attention in this country. ‘Left-wing’ is a media construct by the usual suspects used to label anyone who thinks Tony Abbott’s wooing of blue-collar voters is a con-job, and dares to question the nonsense peddled on deficit budgeting by the voodoo economics mob, or who thinks the demonizing of boat people for political gain is just plain wrong – basically anyone with a brain who has not fallen for the wall to wall propaganda being peddled that rich is right, that bully boys rule, that seen one coral reef you’ve seen them all, and that Tom Waterhouse is the new cool. What are the odds…?

  30. malcolm.grant1

    Matt, please define ‘left-wing’.

    Until you do so then I stand by my earlier statement.

  31. AR

    I wondered what Carlton would say but am not surprised that he was editted as was Homer re the babysitter, pity there wasn’t a clock visble to see the cut’n’paste.

  32. David Hand

    The Australian Story has always been an unashamed vehicle for someone to tell their story from their point of view. Balance is not a requirement and that’s how the programme is designed.

    It’s also why I don’t watch it.

  33. klewso

    Maybe the ABC has conceded this election and is engaged in a bit of pre-emptive “self-preservative Right ring kissing”?

    With that, and the “new ABC’s quest for ratings over substance”, in mind, I’ve come up with an idea for a new show – a mocumentary about the election?
    It’s about this North Shore con-man (Arthur Brain-Lee) running for Prime Monster, and he’s got all these minders to protect him from the press?
    Then, there’s the “pocket-press” (as in “in-the”?), that is inclined to leaning over his side of the political fence, doing his PR for him; led by Phillip S. Head – he’s got a few screws loose, and he’s Blot upright in his self-belief that he’s always Right….?
    I’ve even got the name for the show, “Minders”?
    And the first couple of line of the theme
    [“If you want to, I’ll rewrite the situation
    Right people, Right time, scrub the wrong location
    I’ve got a good idea, just you keep me near
    I’d be so goo-ood for you.

    ……I could be so goood to you,
    Love ewe like you want me toooo,
    There isn’t anything I wooodn’t do,
    I’d be so good to you….”?]
    Anyone know music?

  34. klewso

    Sorry, that should be “…It’s about this North Shore con-man (Arthur Brain-Lee) running for Prime Monster, and he’s got all these minders to protect him from the wrong press?…”

  35. Sanjay

    Mike Carlton is unbiased….wot. Married to an ABC staffer and still cant get the rubbish out on garbage day. Makes you wonder who is doing the ironing.

  36. MJPC

    For once I am also with Mike Carlton, who is next for Australian Story…Alan Jones. They will probably treat him as a “lovable rogue”, not the insidious ratbag he is. Also, did he ever rescind his comments on-line about the Boston bombing being caused by left wing students?
    Ray Hadley has his own venues in the media for sprouting his bile, I donlt like my tax dollars supporting it throiugh the ABC, or is the management massaging the public for a possible change of government (as well as getting a few brownie points from the LNP rent takers)?

  37. Venise Alstergren

    You will all be delighted to read in today’s Age that the VIC state Liberals are calling for the ABC to be privatised because of its left wing bias. Where, oh where have we all heard that one before? A dozen times, a hundred times???

    Perhaps one, or two, bods here would like to write a letter to the Age. Also there’s a petition organised by Changedotcom in circulation.

  38. klewso

    That one-eyed unbalanced mob of hypocrites would be wanting to privatise and shut down Crikey and their like, if they could. So there’d be no diversity of opinion – it would be all Murdoch’s.
    Anyone who disagrees with “The Thoughts of Chairman Murdoch” is branded Left.

  39. The Pav

    I see Sven @ 26 It is perfectly OK to misconstrue a persons words and yet when they protest its wrong?

    I guess you’re really Sven of Nein.

    It would appear that group think actually resides inthe right wing

  40. michael crook

    good comment Robin

  41. alan speers

    Among the many questions Hadley should have been asked, and wasn’t, was the reason behind his demonism of Rob Oakeshott. There’s got to something more than Oakeshott’s decision to side with Labor in the hung parliament. The independent member’s input in the parliament puts him way way ahead of the ex-taxi driver’s regurgetating of stories carried in the News Limited press.

  42. Thorn

    I too have been alarmed at the attitude at the ABC lately. The other morning I wrote to them over something Linda Mottram said on 702. She described a Government policy as a ‘debarcle’. I simply do not want to hear her, or anyone else at the ABC’s personal opinion on any subject. If I wanted to hear individuals opinions, which are no more valid than yours or mine, I would listen to commercial talk back (which I do occasionally as a form of intellectual flagellation). I think Hadley is even worse than Alan Jones in the disrespect he shows anyone that disagrees with his extreme view of the world. But like other right wing zealots he is not completely off the planet – after all 90% of what Fred Nile says is also basically common sense – it is the 10% of bile that Hadley spews out every day that truly shows what a hateful man he is.

    There seems to be a tendency for the ABC to mimic the commercial stations, both TV and radio, by having chatty asides between the presenters and the same sad attempts at humor that characterise the Today Show and Sunrise. Am I alone in not caring a jot about the presenters themselves, but caring everything for the facts they can provide me?

Leave a comment


Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.