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

As the Michelle Guthrie-Justin Milne ABC leadership saga continues unabated, Crikey readers took to the comments to discuss the legal ramifications of accusations against Milne in the recent Four Corners special on the two (dissected by Michael Bradley) and on perilous fate of leadership at the national broadcaster (Bernard Keane suggests that such positions are set up to fail). Lastly, readers discussed Labor’s position in the face of inevitable intelligence expansion.

On Four Corners’ Guthrie-Milne special

karlreed43 writes: Ms Guthrie went in as a change agent and probably had no idea of the nature of the quality and strength of the ABC culture. However, she had the guts to defend her journalists, and that is fascinating. But the board was not playing straight. The survey that Guthrie failed was loaded. Asking staff questions like that about a change agent is bound to fail.

Ruv Draba writes: Here’s what I still don’t understand: when it’s pretty clear that Mr Milne’s and Ms Guthrie’s credibility are already shredded, why did the ABC think it was in the public interest to publish what, absent an allegation of specific misconduct, seems little more than malignant innuendo? That’s not to say it didn’t occur, or shouldn’t have been addressed within the workplace itself at the time if it did occur, but what public interest decision is this allegation supposed to inform, and who is supposed to be responsible for taking it? Absent some clear and actionable public interest decision (as a sexual misconduct allegation might automatically trigger), how could it be said to be in the public interest to publish at all? Setting aside the legal liabilities here, what sort of journalism is this?

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zut alors writes: One aspect which struck me in the Four Corners’ report was the amount of texting between Guthrie, Milne and the board. No wonder it all ended in tears. Speak to each other, people! Texting can easily lead to misinterpretation and breakdown in communication between parties.

On the ABC leadership

archibald writes: The fact that Ms Guthrie thinks she improved anything at all with her restructure is delusional. I suspect she talked herself into it. It must have be so frustrating for Mark Scott looking on. I seriously hope things improve. I’m hearing David Thodey for chair.

Fairmind writes: Gillian Triggs would make a wonderful chair, with the legal experience to ensure the charter is followed and political interference gets the short shrift.

On Labor’s role in intelligence oversight

John Kotsopolos writes: We need another Hope-style royal commission to guide urgent structural reform, not an expanded platform for political games after the event.

Simon Mansfield writes: Under an LNP government, the national security story is not about what Labor says or doesn’t say — it’s about the Libs constantly trying to wedge Labor, and how it is slowly doing their heads in. The Libs are seething that Labor won’t bite. The same is exactly what’s happening with refugees.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to boss@crikey.com.au. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name.

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Peter Fray
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