With friends like these.
There are Parliamentary Friends of Science, Parliamentary Friends of Israel and even Parliamentary Friends of Men's Sheds in our august chambers of government, but until now, there hasn't been a Parliamentary Friends of the ABC. The ABC could use friends right now -- its managing director faced a grilling in estimates yesterday and a prime ministerial slap-down in The Australian
this morning, so he'll be glad 65 members of parliament turned up to the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of the ABC on Tuesday night.
The chairs of the group are Liberal Craig Laundy and Labor's Melissa Parke, with co-chairs Nick Xenophon, National Bruce Scott and Green Scott Ludlam. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly turned up to the meeting and spoke, as did Labor's Jason Clare. Clive Palmer also made an appearance, we are reliably informed -- Myriam Robin
Won't someone think of Peppa?
Speaking at Senate estimates yesterday, ABC boss Mark Scott was unable to rule out axing beloved children's show Peppa Pig
due to ABC budget cuts. That, it seems, raised a far more urgent sense of alarm than the redundancies at Aunty to start in a few weeks, if this morning's headlines are anything to go on.
And boy, were there some good headlines. From The Sydney Morning Herald
: "Headed for the Abbottoir? ABC raises doubts about Peppa Pig, dramas."
The Daily Mail
missed the Abbott-Abbattoir pun, but had a worthy effort with "Is children's favourite Peppa Pig off to the abattoir?
In The Australian's
Strewth, the marvellous "Pulled Pork"
. But Crikey's
favourite has to go to whoever does the video titles for Fairfax. The video of the exchange is titled "Fund ABC or the pig goes
It didn't take long for Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to use social media to demonstrate his support for Peppa Pig ...
That led to a whole lot of new puns, like The West Australian
's "I'll save Peppa Pig's Bacon: Turnbull".
But really, Turnbull (and everyone else, it seems) loving Peppa Pig is somewhat irrelevant. Where to find savings is the ABC board's role, and Peppa Pig could, theoretically, go. But it's hard to see an imported children's program being the obvious place to make cuts. Far more likely to suffer is the ABC's regional and international coverage, as, as Scott pointed out yesterday, every efficiency review points to centralisation at the ABC's major bureaux as the easiest way to save on costs. -- Myriam Robin
Video of the Day.
Fairfax found the video of Hockey protesting. We love his fighting spirit (and Joe clearly feels that if you find a good haircut, stick with it) ...