Is nobody editing the opinion page of The Australian (and I use the verb “edit” in its basic journalistic sense, that is, cutting out the rubbish)?

This morning they published yet another anti-public broadcasting rant from Maurice Newman that was so choked with false assumptions and unsubstantiated assertions that any decent editor would have sent it back for a major re-write — or just impaled it on the spike.

By now we’ve become accustomed to Mad Maurie’s suite of paranoias, most of which seem to stem from a belief that there is a Green/left media conspiracy to undermine our great institutions, subvert the economy, impose what he imagines to be gay/lesbian values and corrupt the political process.

As a former head of the ASX, Newman doesn’t so much want to drive the money-lenders from the temple as expel the progressives from our newsrooms.

[What Chris Mitchell gets so wrong about the ABC]

So blinded by his personal prejudices is this neocon zealot that he peddles them as fact. Thus, he can proclaim that a preference for diversity on SBS “has contributed to the abridgement of free speech, identity politics, a divided society, growing intolerance and diminished national pride”.

Not a single example is offered to substantiate this bizarre collection of claims.

Turning his popguns on the ABC, Newman asserts that Aunty has “a lack of editorial curiosity or disposition to surprise”. Yet at the same time he complains about “the undue political attention it receives from Canberra”. Could this possibly be because AM, PM, 7:30 and Four Corners keep showing sufficiently surprising curiosity to help set the political agenda?

But for Newman, there is an even more sinister force lurking behind public broadcasting in Australia: totalitarianism. I kid you not. Listen and learn:

“To the totalitarians, public broadcasters are valuable allies and they religiously court them through direct contact with producers, presenters and management and via organisations like the Friends of the ABC. They want government-sanctioned journalism.”

Yes folks, the Stalinists are marching on Ultimo and Southbank, and for Newman the only remedy is a Final Solution:

“We can no longer dismiss the improvements to our freedoms, budgets and national debate the break-up and sale of our public broadcasters would deliver us.”

Quite who might want to buy these debased media outlets, or how they could then be run as profitable businesses, is left unsaid. Newman has never been good at details. Mind you, he reckons — with a characteristic grand leap of self-contradictory illogic — that the existing SBS ad revenues should be made available to the commercial networks.

[Sport and pop music? What it would mean for the ABC to reach 100% of Australians]

What muddle-headed Maurie misses is the fundamental distinction between public and commercial broadcasting. The customers for the ABC and SBS are their audiences; the customers for commercial TV and radio are advertising agencies.

Newman clearly doesn’t recognise or understand that difference, which renders his whole position absurd.