Australian ABC: “And the government should do something about it!”

Australian ABC: “And the government should do something about it!”. By Damian Coory.

Here’s an amusing game to play… Listen to any ABC News bulletin — television or radio — and after each story, say the words, ‘And the government should do something about it!’ Unsurprisingly, you’ll find that nine times out of ten it will make perfect sense.

This, more than any survey of how much airtime is given to one political party or the other, is an excellent way to unearth the unconscious bias of our national broadcaster.

ABC News has become The National Whinge, containing story after story of everyone with a problem that has yet to be solved by the State, written by people whose view of government is skewed to the infantile.

The idea that it’s not the role of government to play mummies and daddies with the people seems to be outside the awareness of the typical ABC employee. Given the billion-dollar taxpayer-funded monster’s role in shaping our national psyche and culture, this perception seems to have bled into an entire generation (or three) of Australians.

Seldom do we hear an interviewer or presenter pose the question, ‘Is this the taxpayer’s responsibility?’ or ‘Can the government afford to fix it even if it thought it could?’ or, heaven forbid, ‘What have those affected done to help themselves?’ …

The bias is towards more government, more intervention, more of the time. This view is dressed up as benevolent social justice-seeking, as if the ABC is giving voice to the oppressed in the pursuit of a universal and noble good. It isn’t. It represents only one side of politics’ approach to dealing with problems and ignores the other – far more effective – side.