Crikey Says

May 30, 2014

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. We'll take that as a comment.

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11 thoughts on “Crikey says: will the right-wing Phillip Adams please stand up?

  1. paddy

    I thought the current occupant of the “right wing Phillip Adams slot” was Amanda Vanstone. Last time I looked, her pearls of erudite wisdom could still be heard on Counterpoint on ABCRN.
    It’s strange how the right always bemoan the lack of their own Phillip Adams. It *might* just be that he’s unique.
    Perhaps they could dig up Bob Santamaria. Somehow, I doubt he’d have quite the same broad appeal.

  2. Kevin Rennie

    With the ubiquitous Geraldine Doogue, the ABC doesn’t need a right-wing.

  3. Simon

    Echoing paddy – I thought the whole point of Counterpoint was to be the right-wing ‘counterpoint’ to Late Night Live.

    Is it not considered such because Vanstone, with her nominal links to the so-called ‘moderate’ wing of the Liberal Party, is not considered conservative enough? (I have to admit, Counterpoint has been much less predictable, and more frequently interesting, since she took over.)

  4. Paul Syvret

    The only people who believe the ABC doesn’t have a ”right-wing Phillip Adams” would be those who have never listened to Macca on a Sunday morning, with his diet of Alan Jones-lite climate change scepticism, and general home-spun conservatism – and with an audience reach that most conservative commentators in the commercial sphere could only dream of.

  5. klewso

    Conservatives and their Enosiophobia?
    Imagine if they’d been born progressive – copping what they have too, from the majority of Murdoch?

    How can they forget Mandy – but she’s not enough apparently? They want wall-to-wall Vanstone?
    How often does Leigh Sales treat the Left to the giggle and hoot she shares with the Limited News Party? Sure there was one exception in that “that Abbott interview”, everyone has an off day. Check out the archives, that one against the others. Threatening Plibersek with her “grab-bag of Labor embarrassments” – did she ever slap the Right with that? Her demeanour whenever she interviewed Chris Evans was like watching a prelude to a cat fight.
    Alberici? Lane? Their party hats in Labor/Left discomfort – compared their sombreros when the Limited News Party was in it?
    They and Jones don’t have two personas and research capabilities – for interjection – when it comes to party? Check the archives – Turnbull coming on to play his Tony Jones penny-whistle is a joy to behold.

  6. klewso

    Sabra Lane assured us that Bishop would “rule by the book” on the night of her ascension.

  7. David Hand

    Apologists for the left and the ABC will always defend the ABC from accusations of bias. They use all sorts of “measurements” to support that position, “measurements” that ABC’s “Fact Check” can then endorse.

    Then we see a news item on the plan to send asylum seekers to Cambodia filmed in the grottiest, most deprived and most depressing slum of Phnom Penh, something that doesn’t get picked up in the apologists’ “measurements” and we know the truth.

  8. AR

    Continuing Crisis, if memory serves, was the forerunner for Michael Duffy & Counterpoint. Both were so wooden & off-planet that Paul Comrie Thompson had to be added for a bit of human interest.
    I always enjoyed hearing the Duffster freaking out some blood spitting neo-con – Charles “Bell Curve” Murray a good example – as he tried to get the to agree with his off-planet views.
    Good riddance when he went off to be a flack for Fatty O’Barell’s new government.

  9. Ken Lambert

    I have been standing up for some time – not as alliterate as Sir Philip, but good enough for occasional Elmer Fudd-like shoot up of the lefties, Greens and assorted ratbags.

    I applied for ABC board membership once but did not get a reply…strange that.

    Of course the ABC is left biased…it only employs supine males who are always connected in some way to the ALP, females who are either talkative lesbians, chocolate colored ethics, having their pregnancies on the generous ABC maternity leave plan, or just being the divine Gerry Doogue (Ah give us a girl until the age of 10 and we will have her for life)……who would have it any other way?

    There is a sound rightist ascendancy theory that it is better to have all your leftist opponents in the one tent.. pink fluoro colored and able to be urinated upon from a great height when necessary.

    That’s why we tolerate the ABC.

  10. klewso

    “Tolerance”? Didn’t he win a Blue Diamond?

    And the ABC should have “done a FUX/SKY News” on “The Ultimate Cambodian Solution” and filmed the Phnom Penh Best Western Holiday Inn Hilton instead – and encouraged more of these refugees to try to make the trip, by boat or plane?

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