ABC cuts Liberals

Crikey has acquired* a copy of the ABC news division’s formal apology to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, republished here without authentication or permission:

It has come to the ABC’s attention that certain reports made by our news service regarding the recent violence at the Manus Island Detention Centre have caused distress to the Immigration Minister, the Honourable Peter Dutton. The ABC takes these matters extremely seriously, and would therefore like to make this apology to the Minister.

We are deeply and sincerely sorry that Mr Dutton found himself triggered by our reports. We would like to express our profound regret that the facts conveyed by our journalists upset the Minister’s fragile sensibilities to such an extent. It was never our intention, when reporting on the incident on Manus Island, to expose an upstanding member of the Australian Cabinet as a crybaby of such disturbing magnitude.

We have been informed that Mr Dutton has facts at his disposal to which we are not privy, and which are “classified”. Given this new information, the ABC offers a clear and unqualified apology that in gathering and relaying the relevant information from Manus, we did not take into account these “classified” facts that nobody but Mr Dutton is allowed to know about. We promise to try harder in future to include in all of our reports any and all information inside Mr Dutton’s head that he is keeping a secret from everyone else, and to implement new protocols requiring all reporters, before filing a story, to check whether the Immigration Department has made anything up that might be pertinent.

Mr Dutton has helpfully pointed out that one of the sources used in our reports on Manus was a PNG politician who has been charged with misconduct. We apologise unreservedly for failing to take this into account: in future every effort will be made to ensure all details, however blatantly irrelevant, about every person involved in a story will be included. We are deeply sorry for any offence caused to Mr Dutton for our report that Mr Ronnie Knight disputed his account of the facts, which we concede was based on nothing more than the fact that Mr Ronnie Knight disputed his account of the facts. Subsequent reports will make sure to give equal weight to the accounts of discredited PNG ministers and the accounts of discredited Australian ministers.

Finally, on surveying Mr Dutton’s history in public office, behaviour, personality and appearance, the ABC would like to say that, in general, we’re really sorry.

*As discovered by satirist Ben Pobjie

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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