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.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

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."

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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

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