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The war on the ABC is far from over

Crikey readers reflect on the crisis at the ABC and Kerryn Phelps.

Justin Milne Michelle Guthrie ABC
Justin Milne and Michelle Guthrie. (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

Over the past week at Crikey, we have delved into all aspects of the ongoing crisis of leadership at the ABC, and unsurprisingly, our readers have had a variety of reactions to our coverage, and a variety of positions on the extent of (and cure for) that crisis. Elsewhere, you sent us more views on the political mirage that is Kerryn Phelps. 

On the war against the ABC

Roger Payne: Given the long standing antipathy of News/Murdoch to the ABC and their well-known business model in relation to the government and the Australian consumer, why is ex-Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh being allowed to continue with his review of the ABC? Surely this should be done by someone independent. Perhaps a media expert and a business person.

His continuing in the role is surely a massive conflict of interest and just a continuance of the government’s back-door attacks on the ABC because they can’t defend their policies against rational analysis.

John M writes: Lefty tripe as usual, particularly the “Liberal’s war against the ABC”. Politicians are entitled to complain when the reporters get the facts wrong (as often happens) or when they report opinion as news as the two journalists concerned do, and the term “ABC impartiality” is a joke.

Glen Davis writes: Thanks for Crikey‘s coverage of the War on Auntie. Good job! Milne was not the only Liberal plant on the Board. The real issue here is the LNP policy to privatise the ABC. And just take a survey of their success with privatisation. All the power generators, the power network operators run rampant. Power prices are set by the oligopoly. Service levels stink. The network is critically short of redundancy. The money has been spent instead on “gold-plating” the management information … with the objective of quickly shutting down power supply in bushfire, heatwave, earthquake or any other emergency, to avoid blame.

What is the government response?  To refer people to websites!  The real lesson is: “You’re on your own, mate!” Enough. HANDS OFF OUR ABC !

Sue Mills writes: Excellent myth-busting today Crikey, I’m so tired of hearing there were factual errors in Alberici’s article. I remember Saul Eslake saying he couldn’t find any.

As for the ABC board… it’s tricky. Bipartisan support for each and every appointment to the board? Maybe (ideally) that would get the best and fairest appointments, but is it doable? By the way, I’d prefer a range of skills and experience, bringing the best breakthroughs and all that. Obviously, there would have to be people with media backgrounds and some with experience in independent authorities and working in the public sphere. How does ABC take this chance to wrest independence back? Time for the union to step up?

On Kerryn Phelps

John Power writes: Kerryn Phelps is one of those universal survivors that remind me of a kaleidoscope. Tap it and the pieces form a beautiful array called the AMA President, tap it again and we have a “third way” candidate for Wentworth and so on. All along you know it is an illusion, a mere rearrangement of the fragments. If she is elected then tap again for the compliant LNP voter in the House.

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3 years ago

I hear Scott Morrison continuing to call on the ABC to “get back to work”, when parliament was the only body of note that stopped the work of government on the day of the leadership “changeover”. But we are now learning how to interpret what the new PM means when he makes these four-word declarations – interpreted, he is saying
“Don’t talk about it anymore (it’s embarrassing) – nothing to see here – move on.”