Crikey says: will the right-wing Phillip Adams please stand up?
Keane: Medicare co-payments put Coalition in a hole. Rundle on the end of Rolf Harris. What now for Westfield? Our ‘overly generous’ welfare in context. NBN CEO dodges the hard questions. And a great Austr(al)ia mix-up at News?
Every estimates season in Canberra you can bank on ABC managing director Mark Scott being asked about editorial bias at the ABC. Is the public broadcaster too left-wing? Does it have an anti-conservative agenda?
Both are very compelling questions that have already been answered time and time again by independent reviews (as well as this Crikey research on post-ABC political careers). The short answer is no.
This week, with the kind of vigour that could only be fuelled by a renewed culture war, Senator Zed Seselja was the latest to echo John Howard’s famous plea for the ABC to find itself a “right-wing Phillip Adams”. Perhaps News Corp attack dog Tim Blair would fit the bill, the Senator suggested.
With a slight air of fatigue in his voice, Scott replied that he didn’t subscribe to the views of Gerard Henderson et al that journalists could be so neatly divided into two opposing camps. “The test is not how people vote, but how they do their job, and how they exercise their responsibility as a journalist,” he said.
Here at Crikey we agree that journalists, just like politicians’ daughters, should be judged on merit.
This morning a Crikey reader describing themselves as a Radio National “insider” has reminded us that Blair has in fact already had a stint at the ABC: co-hosting a radio show with Imre Salusinszky called The Continuing Crisis in the early 2000s. The show was a tongue-in-cheek look at the week in politics. “It was so dire as to be unintentionally hilarious and not on air for long,” the insider reckons.