There’s little point in debate when the left is always right, by Chris Kenny on Australian political reporting by so-called “objective reporters”.
Different standards often apply across the political divide. … The predisposition of most political journalists holds the Labor line as the reality against which all arguments must be tested. The Coalition case is presumed false until proven correct. Hence Labor escapes much scrutiny. …
You will recall how the media believed Labor in government when it blamed “push” factors for the people-smuggling trade. The gallery also was convinced it would be impossible to turn boats back. Both arguments were demonstrably absurd and some of us said so at the time, but it was like whistling in the wind.
Labor also was taken at its word when Kevin Rudd pledged economic conservatism. This acceptance of shallow or false claims from the left is so strongly reinforced through the media, academe and wider national debate that the Coalition often lacks the political courage or intellectual integrity to contest it.
This is why expensive and inefficient expansions of government such as the Gonski education funding, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the National Broadband Network and the renewable energy target were not opposed or rescinded by the Coalition. Instead they have added more than $100 billion in costs on the nation (though not all on the budget) during a period of economic hardship and fiscal crisis.
In Australia it all comes back to the media, led by the ABC:
These are examples of how divorced our national debate has become from reality. Sadly, the places we look for answers often present the same artifice.
Think of the public broadcaster’s self-interested hypocrisy on fiscal matters. ABC journalists campaign for additional spending on unemployment benefits, foreign aid and environmental projects yet squeal like stuck pigs over a pause in the growth of their own $1bn budget.
This is a taxpayer-funded organisation that pays Media Watch host Paul Barry about $200,000 a year to present a 15-minute television program produced with eight other full-time staff — indulgence almost beyond belief. If they animated the program, shooting 25 modelled still frames for every second of airtime, they still would have a slow working week with time to slip off for a long lunch or May Day march.
Yet in response to this funding pause ABC news director Gaven Morris claimed there is “no more fat to cut at the ABC” as he overstated the cuts by $43 million.
Then, rather than threaten to trim the sort of love handles we see at Media Watch or curtail expansions into niche digital markets, Morris threatened local news outposts at Parramatta, Geelong, Ipswich and Gosford. Former ABC stalwart Quentin Dempster tweeted the broadcaster was “in despair” at the “reprisal” cuts that would now be a “major” election issue.
Instead of trimming costs the ABC compounds its sins by using our money to agitate on our broadcaster for more of our taxes.
Aunty’s pretence at impartiality was destroyed on Thursday night when the Labor and union-dominated crowd at Parliament House for Shorten’s budget reply speech erupted in sustained cheers for more ABC funding. The left made it clear it is their ABC.