Jan 30, 2014

Tony Abbott lays out his lines of attack on the ABC

The language of Tony Abbott's attack on the ABC indicate the government's tactics in preparing to cut funding. Aunty staff should prepare for the worst.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The Prime Minister’s extraordinary attack on the ABC yesterday signals not merely that the national broadcaster is to be targeted by the Coalition but that the war on whistleblowers and journalism launched by the Obama administration is being prosecuted with renewed vigour by the Abbott government.

Speaking to Ray Hadley — “interview” would be the wrong word — Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared (oxymoronically), “you would like the national broadcaster to have a rigorous commitment to truth and at least some basic affection for our home team”. He complained that the ABC “appears to take everyone’s side but our own”, criticised the establishment of a fact-checking body within the ABC as a waste of money, agreed with Hadley that the ABC was “self-regulated” and returned to an issue that clearly vexes the Prime Minister:

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64 thoughts on “Tony Abbott lays out his lines of attack on the ABC

  1. poppy41

    Don’t bullies get cross when they don’t get their own way!!

  2. Andrea

    Surely if Tony Abbott thinks the ABC should be doing a better job its funding should be increased rather than cut.

  3. MJPC

    BK, thank you for being un-Australian and reporting this whole sorry beat-up. I think there words say it all:
    “a stumped Abbott refused to answer”, unless it’s to the nodding parcel shelf dogs of commercial radio, namely Hadley on 2GB (by the way, what’s this with Hadley and not the Parrot).
    Two quotes sum the contempt held of this government:
    “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” and
    “Truths not subject to continual challenge cease to have the effect of truthby being exagerrated into falsehood”.
    If he thinks he is on a winner going down this track he is kidding.

  4. Jimmy

    I must say I find it more than mildly amusing that a PM and govt that owes so much to a partisan media department mascarading as an independent news organsiation complains about bias in the media!!

    Gillard would of killed for the media treatment this govt’s constant failings and bungles have received!

  5. Venise Alstergren

    That Tony Abbott would come out with his diatribe against the ABC was predictable. Nearly all new governments have the same crack at it-especially the Liberals. What was unusual was the viciousness and the Gung Ho blather with which he told the electorate the ABC was being un-Australian (??)

    Even by the ever lower standards of Tony Abbott his sledge was insultingly amateurish. The whole thing stank of another person, a powerful person who wants to eliminate the ABC. Rupert Murdoch is no lover of left wing governments -especially Australian Labor governments. And its no secret he sees the National Broadband as being inimical to his own communications set up. What better way to both sabotage the ABC and bury the unspeakable Labor villains of the Party who introduced the National Broadband scheme?

    If this seems unlikely ponder the fact that Rupert Murdoch used a very similar tactic to nobble Britain’s then Labour government because he wanted to make sure his bid for Britain’s B sky B would succeed. And the BBC was against it.

    Then came the English election and their PM, David Cameron, gave Rupert carte blanche as far as the B Sky B bid was concerned. All was roses between Cameron and Murdoch. Paradoxically, it took Rupert Murdoch himself to scupper the bid. He, in a blaze of publicity, lost billions and the bid, thanks to the ‘phone hacking scandal.

    Comments/articles/blogs, here and there are appearing who authors want the ABC to be privatised. Ho, ho, ho, I would ask; who has the money for such a scheme? None other than Rupert Murdoch. This would see his share of the Oz media rise from seventy-five percent to eighty-five to ninety percent. Would the Oz electorate really wish this to happen, or do the purveyors of this tripe work for the Sun king?

  6. K.D. Afford

    Tony Abbott, in farming terms, should be cut!
    Listen to him struggle for words as he tries on his bully tactics, he is incompetent and there in lies his hatred of the truth – or fear of it. He is a moron in front of a microphone, if this is the making of a Rhodes Scholar well I know dogs that would do a better job.
    As for being unpatriotic, lets look at his handling of Indonesia, his turning his back ( our) on China, his denial of Climate Change – backed up this am on ABC RN where Macdonald ( or was it Andrews/ the freaking lot are deniers) said Don Carter should put scientists right and get a equal time to explain why climate always changes on ABC to protect the bias they support in presenting the truth.
    We have on our hands the most dangerous PM ever, sadly the people are too busy trying to dodge yet another heat wave to notice.

  7. K.D. Afford

    Is a Rhodes Scholar some one who is barking mad and chases cars?

  8. JohnB

    Can I send my “8 cents per day” to the ABC instead of via this government?

  9. Dogs breakfast

    A strong and worthwhile synopsis of recent events BK, but I have to pull you up about this;

    “The Abbott brains trust..”

    What the hell? What does that phrase mean? I’m sorry, that’s just not getting through. In what land of non-sequiturs did you come up with that one.

    Can you please edit the copy and fix up this obvious error.

    (scratches head)!!!!!!

  10. drmick

    This was your politician of the year Keane. The emperors new clothes are there for all to see, including his supporters; and especially the fawning “press” gallery. If the churnalists had not been so blindly supportive of this rubbish last year, they might have a case for bias this year; but between you and the Murdoch dailys, he has absolutely no credibility in bagging the only press that did not “support” him.

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