The ABC does not exist in a vacuum

Gerard Henderson regularly and rightly criticises the ABC. A “staff collective” he calls it, which has not one single conservative commentator presenting a prominent show. I can’t speak first hand these days. I neither watch nor listen to the ABC. I suppose episodes of Four Corners, e.g., on the Trump “Russian collusion”, the 7.30 report and that awful Q&A eventually wore me to the point of throwing up. I forget which program the ABC used to reach a new low of propagating the traitorous lie that Australian navy personnel tortured asylum seekers. Probably the so-called “News.” At my gym, I also found that the ABC weather report frequently became a vehicle for climate change alarmism. Then, of course, the ABC outdid itself with Covid hysteria.

I reflected. Is the ABC an outlier? Could the ABC exist in its present form as an island of anti-Christian, national self-loathing, green-leftism, among a sea of otherwise objective commonsensical news media? Well, I don’t think it could. Its audience would dwindle still further to nothing much at all. In fact, overwhelmingly, I think, the mainstream media in Australia is on the ABC’s side of the fence. They not all as far left of the fence but they are on that side.

Now I am not au fait with all of the media, so I stand ready to be corrected. But I get the sense that all of the free to air TV channels are woke / left / green. I suppose there is a conservative shock jock or two around on the radio, but they have little influence. I read the Australian newspaper but cancelled my online subscription in 2016 because of its anti-Trump tirades.

It has a few good writers. Steve Waterson was magnificent on Covid but he was among Covid bedwetters like Greg Sheridan. On climate change, the Australian was an early adopter of a price on carbon (dioxide). It seems to me that it always strikes a milquetoast stance even when it is trying to be right of centre. Mealy-mouthed at best. What is the editor’s view on the Voice? Who knows? Which mainstream outlet has come out forthrightly objecting to the racist Voice on principal?

Sky News offers something. Andrew Bolt is usually good value on climate change and on the mythical stolen generations but he goes to water on too many matters. Covid was one. Trump another. The bellicose-by-proxy support of Ukraine is irritating, if you are in search of objectivity. Chris Kenny is good on climate and I think was good on Covid, but his illogical support of the Voice is mystifying. Rowan Dean is good of course. But the other evening I turned off Sharri Markson, who with some ex-political apparatchik gave an impression by innuendo that Kathleen Folbigg, who has suffered so much, might have done it. I complained. Have received no reply. I thought this is exactly like the ABC. Stooping to malign someone without evidence or just cause. It’s exactly the feral atmosphere which allows the tendentious ABC to survive and not stand out too much.

My point. Nothing can be done about the ABC. Can something be done about the rest of the media or at least a substantial part of it. I doubt that too. But railing about the ABC is pointless. It is simply a prominent jackal in the pack.

48 responses to “The ABC does not exist in a vacuum”

  1. Christine Avatar

    It’s a relief to leave the television switched off permanently.

  2. jupes Avatar

    TV stations probably won’t exist for too much longer. Tucker Carlson got millions more views on twitter than on Fox.

  3. Diogenes Avatar

    The problem is people like the IDEA of the ABC even though they do not consume any ABC product its interesting getting people to justify this .

    Other than ABC Kids, which the grandkids love, I have not deliberately consumed any ABC product at all for the last 15 years.

  4. Cliff Boof Avatar
    Cliff Boof

    That the ABC exists in its current form is another example of the cowardice of the Coalition. Morrison and Co. should have disemboweled it when they had the chance.

  5. Rabz Avatar

    There is no logical or even remotely acceptable reason for the ALPBC to exist.

    It should be obliterated.

  6. wal1957 Avatar

    The meejia is the PR arm for whatever is the latest cause.
    Unwatchable, sensationalist garbage sold as news.
    As for balance?
    On nein news last night in brisbane the news reader could barely contain her glee that “orange man bad” had been indicted. Not only that, she couldn’t stop herself fom smirking at the Donalds response to the indictment.
    If I decide to keep watching the “news” I might have to put up a protective barrier in front of the TV or else one of my shoes will end up going through it!

  7. Boxcar Avatar

    Scanning the online HeraldSun and Age was once a useful way of finding out who was reporting what, the news being in the gaps. No more, and the TV news is now in single message lockstep.
    But the ABC has never been an option, a bunch of self important clerks, with the same gravity as Council Parks and Gardens Managers.

  8. Shy Ted Avatar
    Shy Ted

    Albo just doubled the ABC funding. An extra $6bill over 5 years. They’re not going anywhere.

  9. Petros Avatar

    Murdoch has worked out how to get the conservative dollar and to slowly brainwash them into many a stupid, leftist, idea e.g. gay marriage, climate change, Trump, aboriginal land rights etc. Why people support him is beyond me. He puts a few conservative voices in to sucker people in.

  10. Leabrae Avatar

    One question regarding news media is: who owns what?

  11. Bourne1879 Avatar

    Support independent journalists and podcasters for an alternative view. Many put there.

  12. Bourne1879 Avatar

    Out not put.

  13. Roger W Avatar
    Roger W

    My solution, for what it is worth, is that I first record any news programme I intend to watch. I can then fast-forward through any immediately obvious propaganda, and also anything that reveals itself to be propaganda. I can usually watch the 1 hour 6.30 SBS news, for example, in about 10 minutes and still keep up to date with the essentials. Also keeps me up to date with the latest leftist line in a minimalist fashion. Saves a few TV screes through the year!
    I must say that this doesn’t work for the ABC news, because I am on FF for the entire programme…

  14. Bruce in WA Avatar
    Bruce in WA

    Haven’t listened to/watched the ABC since Eoin Cameron died. And proud of it.

    My wife watches the ABC on the upstairs TV, which usually ends up with me shouting from downstairs to “Turn it down!” But even she, stalwart that she is, has been complaining lately about the total bias and lack of balance. Good stuff!

  15. Damon Avatar

    I thought ABC FM was pretty safe, until its presenters started to fall in love with the sound of their own voices.

  16. Muddy Avatar

    I disagree that nothing can be done about the ABCess (sic). We only opine that because in the competition for influence, conservatives are still living in the 1950s. When our droning whines and Pointy-Finger tactics fail to elicit the response we consider desirable in our head, we sigh, shrug our shoulders, and tell ourselves that ‘at least we tried.’ The ashes of our institutions and way of life are gathering at our feet, but all we can do is search through our pockets for an anti-histamine.

    Folks, now is your moment to respond with: ‘But what can WE do?’ ‘It’s too haaaarrrd’ or my favourite: ‘You haven’t given us explicit instructions about exactly what and how and where to do it, and started the ball rolling for us while we find warm socks, so your opinion is meaningless. My pride-induced myopia is hurting, go away now.’

    1. Is what we are doing now, working? (How do we define ‘working?’ Seriously). If yes, great. Continue but pause now and then to re-evaluate. If the answer is no, why? What do we know about our opponents (‘they’ are not one whole, harmonious group, are they?), including the tactics they use; What do we know about ourselves; our resources and tactics?

    2. If we cannot adequately answer the latter questions above, search for an alternative lens or framework via which to view the challenge. i.e. (just one option), historical counter-insurgency theory. This is overly-simplistic, but hypothesise that the ABCess is an insurgent group. (Note that I’m not claiming they are, and certainly not in the accepted definition of insurgents, but rather this is a tool to assist us develop a solution/s). Insurgents cannot exist without support of various kinds. While these types and methods of support differ from historical periods, and due to varying technologies, the point is that no insurgency can be successful if the ‘tip of the spear’ does not have a strong shaft behind it with which to thrust or throw.

    Who or what enables the ABCess to exist, and how can that be threatened. Consider more than simply financial support. It is obviously perceived as politically beneficial to support the continued existence of the ABCess. How can that be changed? Note that I’m not asking IF it can be changed, but HOW.

    Let me wrap this up by repeating an analogy I’ve repeatedly used in the past:
    Visualise a traditional timber chair with four turned timber legs, a timber seat, and a backrest.
    If you saw off a small length of the bottom of one of the legs, the chair can probably still perform its function: supporting a seated person.
    If you saw off a portion of another of the legs, it may still continue to function, albeit with some imbalance.
    The more of the legs – the supports/enablers – you remove, the less the seat of the chair is able to effectively perform its role. When the legs have been chopped or otherwise damaged to the point where the seat is now on the floor, the chair is no longer a chair.
    On the other hand, if you start chipping pieces off the backrest, and leaving the legs alone, you will not substantially affect the ability of the chair to performs its function. The seat remains off the ground and level, able to support the weight of a person.

    Identify, analyse the strength of, and then weaken, the enablers.

  17. Davey Boy Avatar
    Davey Boy

    a reminder that portraying media organisations (and people in them) such as the the ABC, Nein etc as “biased”, is a rookie mistake.

    They are partisan, and need to be treated as such.

    It’s a form of war. imo, citizens need to get their hands dirty, taking on the corporate/media/poligrub power-and-money blob at each and every opportunity using asymmetric tactics, difficult given the kill-the-chicken-scare-the-monkey tactics used by the establishment.

    Collectivists know that being mongrels in numbers gets results. Conservatives (whatever the hell that means these days) seem to recoil at the very thought of not being “nice”. Result: Blob is well and truly entrenched on the collectivist side of the island.

    Stupefaction rules, comrades.

  18. wal1957 Avatar

    Roger W @10:34

    FWIW I do the same.
    I only watch the 1st segment though. Since the news services went to 1 hour bulletins they have rsorted to padding with a lot more crud. They do crosses to field reporters for no reason whatsoever.
    I miss the days where we just had a news presenter reading an intro and then throwing to the story.
    Simple, concise and no BS.

  19. Chris Avatar

    The ABC does not exist in a vacuum?
    As they say in Landmark, ‘Create the possibility’!
    If we work hard enough, the ABC COULD be brought to exist in vacuum.

  20. NFA Avatar

    Rescind the Lyons gubmint dog Act and give the rights to the name back to the original 1924 company investors in the Australian Broadcasting Company Pty Ltd.

    Although it was also known as the Albert Broadcasting Company, Albert Music nee J. Albert & Son, in some radio circles for their original 1924 investment.

  21. Muddy Avatar

    How could a sustained internecine war be triggered within Australian media?

    Leaving aside the ABCess and SBS, Australian media exist as profit-making enterprises.

    I have nothing to support this theory, but I believe that the left-leaning of the majority of the media is mostly because of the perception that that ‘side’ is dominant and has the most to offer. Everyone (except for conservatives) wants to be on the winning side. If there is commercial benefit to switching allegiances, it will be done.

    Returning to my initial question, how can the for-profit media outlets be persuaded to actively undermine the image and reputation of the parasites?

  22. Muddy Avatar

    Diogenes says:
    June 11, 2023 at 8:53 am

    The problem is people like the IDEA of the ABC

    Agreed. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, nostalgia is a powerful drug.
    The ABCess is effectively using nostalgia to drug its viewers/supporters/the taxpayer.
    The ABCess six decades ago is not the present ABCess. It depends on that lineage for its popularity though.

  23. Entropy Avatar

    The idea of the ABC indeed. You can bet nearly everyone over sixty five would want the ABC to remain, even if they never watch it. And a big chunk of twenty year old want to keep it, who definitely never watch it, just because it would annoy the always whinging olds.

  24. Entropy Avatar

    I would point out that at least The Australian, and perhaps every now and again the Hun and Telegraph, unlike most other news outlets, actually air both sides of the story.
    I killed my subscription for a few years when they had that blonde “economics” writer, the Bittered Savv and that “Lebanese ambulance “ dude John someone or other.
    I recently renewed my sub and observe that the lefty columnists at least have a go at a reasonable argument (except The Voice advocates, including that Kenny. They just can’t make sense, all about the Vibe it seems. Kenny even tries “ it’s a bad proposal, but we should vote yes anyway”).

  25. Bruce of Newcastle Avatar
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Unfortunately all journalism graduates are paid up members of the far left. That is because the Left took control of university journalism departments. Thus to graduate you have to either lie or believe. If you don’t you won’t get the good marks required to get a job with an Australian MSM organization.

    Consequently the entire Australian MSM is one enormous lefty echo chamber. The ABC is just the high table that all Aussie journos aspire to.

    And that is the idea of the ABC. They are the priestly class of the lefty journo howler monkey chorus.

    Sky may be an outlying island in a sea of ignorance, but they too are infested by Australian journalism graduates. The climate rubbish spouted on Sky’s website is obnoxious. Ditto the Telegraph, which endlessly spruiks stupid EVs, and the Oz which also abases itself to Gaia continually.

    The whole sector is compromised, the worm promulgated by such people as Margaret Simons is at the roots of the whole tree. Which is why the industry is bleeding money and subscribers. May it die soon.

  26. Muddy Avatar

    If all we do is wait for something we dislike to die a natural death, we’ll simply be passing the responsibility to another generation. By which time there will be nothing left inside the hosts, only the skins and refuse of the parasites that devoured them before leaving for a juicier target. All while the mighty, intellectual, conservative class, gifted with the creations of their forebears, watched in bemused, delusional flaccidity.

    Jeebers effin’ cripes.

  27. Diogenes Avatar

    Leaving aside the ABCess and SBS, Australian media exist as profit-making enterprises.

    Which makes them vulnerable to the whole woke DEI & CSG bullshit. to maintain loans and lines of credit and to keep their shareprice up.

    Lets say in a perfect world I were to take over channel 10 or the Daily Tele as CEO. I announce that I will not be hiring on the basis of DEI, and that journalists I employ will go wherever the facts take them rather than taking a side. If channel 10, I will stop buying woke shows, and started showing what people actually want to watch, oh and btw we don’t believe in the Voice or CAGW

    I bet that within 10 minutes, any banks I have a relationship with will close my accounts and stop lines of credit, and I will find impossible to find another to take my money. Within a day, the major investment groups (ie super funds) will start selling off my stock in order to crash the price in order to teach me a lesson. Within that day my advertisers will also be attacked, and because they worry about their DEI/CSG score they will pull their advertising, not because of the Sleeping Midgets. etc etc etc

    Midnight’s Edge videos (Around 20 minutes) and (15 minutes) or if you want a longer explanation with more details about the DEI/CSG racketeer search Youtube for James Lindsay – Why Bud light and Target are pushing the woke agenda (around an hour)

  28. Diogenes Avatar

    Midnight’s Edge videos (Around 20 minutes) and (15 minutes)

    Sorry that doesn’t parse. (15 minutes) explain how its works – “Nice Line of Credit you have there – it would be a shame if something happened to it”

  29. ArthurB Avatar

    As in Australia, the American media is just about totally controlled by the Left and the Woke. Americans have a term, the ‘controlled opposition’, which they apply to someone such as Tucker Carlson, who is allowed to express his dissent from Wokeism, but only as long as he avoids criticism which might offend the Deep State (or the Swamp, or whatever you like to call it).

    I think that to some extent the Murdoch press in Australia could be called the controlled opposition, but I guess we should be grateful for the Oz, at least they publish Janet Albrechtsen and some others. Here in the West, the only two newspapers (the West and the Sunday Times) have gone totally Woke.

  30. Vicki Avatar

    Steve Waterson was magnificent on Covid but he was among Covid bedwetters like Greg Sheridan.

    Funny how we get different impressions. I think Waterson was fabulous for his opposition to government policy regarding vaccine mandates, lockdowns etc. As was Adam Creighton.

  31. billie Avatar

    It doesn’t matter where you look these days, you have to be able to find second and other sources to anything you read or hear for corroboration. I mistrust all news now, particularly the local msm.

    There is so much poor information.

    Now we’re hearing that Meta was censoring correct information, because they didn’t want anyone looking further, during covid.

    I wonder what it’s like in the non western world, is the information availble as poor as ours?

  32. Muddy Avatar

    Diogenes says:
    June 11, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    Leaving aside the ABCess and SBS, Australian media exist as profit-making enterprises.

    Which makes them vulnerable to the whole woke DEI & CSG bullshit. to maintain loans and lines of credit and to keep their shareprice up.

    Solid point. Comparatively recent, but still a solid point.

    … more details about the DEI/CSG racketeer [my bolding]…

    Excellent word choice.

    This is a super longshot, but …

    It’s illegal for businesses to agree to act together in a cartel instead of competing.
    Cartels cheat consumers and other businesses. They restrict healthy economic growth, drive up prices and reduce innovation and investment.

    Rather than meekly reacting and defending, letting our opponents call the shots and make the rules, how about we be ambitious about this?

    Perhaps it could not be argued in a legal sense that media outlets act in a cartel-like manner, but what about Collusion? What can be redefined or tweaked to undermine the reputation of our opponents?

  33. Muddy Avatar

    What I mean by the above suggestion is not that we appeal to bodies such as the ACCC, but to the consumer. How can a seed be planted that suggests their ‘trusted sources’ consider them idiots who are easily manipulated?

  34. Tom Avatar

    Nothing can be done about the ABC.

    Yes it can. If the ABC keeps ignoring its charter to be a news organisation for Australian taxpayers with its bias toward political radicals devoted to destroying the nation, STOP FUNDING IT.

    All it takes is for the government of the day to insist the ABC obey the rules it agreed to when it was founded.

    As if it needs pointing out, allowing government bodies to flout their statutory rules is a recipe for social chaos. The problem is government cowardice, not the ABC.

  35. Entropy Avatar

    It will take a long time, but deprofessionalise journalism back to a trade based on cadetships.
    Ditto nursing when it comes to that.

  36. Peter Smith Avatar
    Peter Smith

    “Steve Waterson was magnificent on Covid but he was among Covid bedwetters like Greg Sheridan”. (Me)
    “Funny how we get different impressions. I think Waterson was fabulous for his opposition to government policy regarding vaccine mandates, lockdowns etc. As was Adam Creighton.” (Vicki)

    Vicky, I will have to choose my syntax more carefully. “Steve Waterson was magnificent on Covid. However, he was among (in the midst of) lots of other journalists writing for the Australian newspaper who were themselves Covid bedwetters.” So we actual agree with each other. And about Creighton too.

  37. Bruce Avatar

    Last time I looked, the Ten network was a totally-owned subsidiary of US mega corporation, CBS, which also has fingers in lots of other activities.

    CBS has LONG been the most virulently statist / pinko network. The other two, abc and NBC are rapidly becoming “more of the same”. PBS is an enormous tax sink run by and for “beltway insider” types.

    Lockstep churnalism has poisoned most things and its practitioners (self-styled and openly declared “opinion-shapers”) are basically the mangy tail wagging the rabid dog of politics.

    Any advice to the contrary will be read with interest.

  38. Roger Avatar

    My point. Nothing can be done about the ABC.

    Whilst ever they are reliant on public money they are subject to a scrutiny that doesn’t fall upon the commercial broadcasters.

    Their TV & radio ratings freefall suggests they won’t see 2030 without major cuts.

    The political & budgetary reality will see to it, regardless of who’s in power.

  39. nb2 Avatar

    Switch ’em off, that’s all.

  40. a reader Avatar
    a reader

    My thoughts on the main Sky after dark presenters:
    *Sharri Markson is a quality journalist but isn’t really a conservative nor a libertarian. She’s probably a moderate
    *Peta Credlin is probably the most sound of the line-up but she is too loyal to the Liberal Party although she will at least attack them. On Climate Change, The Voice, Trannies etc. she’s on the right side of history
    *Andrew Bolt is good on Indigines and Climate Change but his Labor roots shine through on things like Trump as Bruce pointed out. That blowhard US General he always has on about Ukraine is really annoying and I fast forward that bit on the podcast
    *Chris Kenny is ok on economics but his obsession with The Voice makes his show unwatchable
    *Paul Murray is not a conservative. His analysis is poor, overly focussed on numbers that don’t prove anything and he can’t predict an election to save himself. (he was adamant that The Chook, Stairman Dan would lose and Trump would win). His show is worth watching for Bronwyn Bishop, Graham Richardson, Megyn Kelly and Nigel Farage.
    *Erin Molan is half way between her late old man and Charlotte Mortlock who is a Liberal member in line with Leeser or Turnbull. Sometimes she’s ok, other times she hasn’t really developed her opinions.
    *Rowan Dean doesn’t develop his ideas before he spouts them. He often needs to be corrected by Panahi and Morrow but he talks over the top of them all the time. He also doesn’t know how to end an interview and it’s really, really annoying. Outsiders is a punish.

  41. Anchor What Avatar
    Anchor What

    America is stuffed and we will be before long. When we have coast to coast Labor plus feds, all supported by coast to coast left leaning media, there’s no way out.

  42. WolfmanOz Avatar

    I’ve given up on the MSM . . . So much woke bulltish.

    I still retain a sub to The Oz – still enough contributors to make it worthwhile.

    To be honest I get my daily news update from the Cat (mostly the latest Open Thread) – so many interesting articles linked and comments made.

  43. H B Bear Avatar
    H B Bear

    Neither political party will get rid of the ALPBC. It would be nice to see one of them at least try.

    The latest ratings (particularly radio) suggests the staff co-op may eventually shrink audiences to the point where funding joins tens of thousands of “Off” knobs.

  44. Megan Avatar

    WolfmanOz at 9.55am

    Word for word what I wanted to write. We are all along for the ride on a roller-coaster without brakes at this point.

    I’m reading the Cat everyday but find it hard to feel involved enough to comment much. I haven’t given up at all but amongst a great many of my friends and aquaintances I feel like I’m constantly repeating myself to absolutely no effect.

    Let them reap the whirlwind when it comes. The ABC won’t come to their rescue. I’m busy making plans to enable me and family get through the worst of what’s to come.

  45. Boambee John Avatar
    Boambee John


    I’m busy making plans to enable me and family get through the worst of what’s to come.

    Start here and work outwards, through friends and acquaintances. Probe gently at first, if you get a bad reaction, cross that one off the list, and move on without regret.

  46. Tintarella di Luna Avatar
    Tintarella di Luna

    Let them reap the whirlwind when it comes. The ABC won’t come to their rescue. I’m busy making plans to enable me and family get through the worst of what’s to come.

    Ditto, Megan

  47. Pogria Avatar

    Megan and Tinta, same here.

  48. Roger Avatar

    Their TV & radio ratings freefall suggests they won’t see 2030 without major cuts.

    The political & budgetary reality will see to it, regardless of who’s in power.

    Hello…the ABC has kicked off its new 5 year plan (yes, really!) with a round of purges…oops, I mean redundancies.

    Andrew Probyn’s services no longer required, among others.

    Further to my prediction above, I also think the ABC’s much touted switch to digital platforms will fail. They simply don’t have quality content providers who can compete in that crowded market.

    That will be The End. 😀

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