Australian ABC out of control

Australian ABC out of control. By Janet Albrechtsen and Tom Switzer.

In recent times, and especially since Queen Elizabeth’s death, and as the debate over the Indigenous voice to parliament has intensified, [Stan] Grant has morphed into a celebrity activist.

As the ABC’s coronation coverage demonstrated to thousands of angry viewers, Grant has become an activist campaigning against our nation’s British heritage. At the same time, he is also a high-profile ABC staff presenter of prime-time programs such as Q+A. Why has ABC management allowed him to be both presenter and activist?

The problem lies in understanding that the line between news and opinion has been increasingly hard to discern at the ABC. At the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster — unlike commercial media outlets — full-time staff ABC journalists have a duty under the ABC charter to be fair-minded and balanced journalists who strive for impartiality. …

Reporter or activist, but not both:

Not so long ago, it was mandatory for senior ABC journalists to keep their opinions to themselves. Andrew Olle, Mark Colvin, Maxine McKew, Tony Jones, even Kerry O’Brien – none would undermine their journalistic authority by campaigning for political causes. These ABC doyens may have had left-of-centre views but at least they tried to be objective when they presented leading ABC programs. …

The principle of impartiality still applies abroad. Other prominent public broadcasters, such as the BBC in Britain and PBS and NPR in the US, would never allow one of their high-profile, prime-time presenters to vent their anger on their outlets. …

There are no bad consequences at the ABC for lefty activism, so we are getting ever more of it:

But things, with rare exceptions, are done differently at our Aunty. Staff use Twitter to emote, campaign and criticise (mainly conservative) politicians, without consequence.

Recall Laura Tingle referring to the “ideological bastardry” of the Morrison government, or Louise Milligan’s defamatory tweets about former Liberal MP Andrew Laming. In what universe, outside the taxpayer-funded ABC, would an employer stump up $200,000 to cover defamation settlement and legal fees for an employee’s personal tweet? …

Hostile environment — to the non-left:

The issue, to be clear, is not that his opinions are outside the bounds of acceptable commentary. He reflects a growing mood among academics and schoolteachers that Australia’s British heritage is to be regarded with shame. It’s just that it has become virtually impossible on the ABC to suggest that colonialism had any beneficial effects at all (that, for example, it was central to the creation of a great nation such as Australia). …

ABC management blames social media for the insults as if this is a new phenomenon. Why not get off Twitter and focus instead on producing high-quality journalism rather than tweets, selfies and memes? …

Upper echelons at the ABC have given up entirely on reining in opinionated presenters. …

Double standards:

If racist insults have been hurled at Grant, that is despicable. But where is the ABC’s outrage when other prominent (conservative) Aboriginal figures such as Jacinta Price, Warren Mundine and Anthony Dillon are subjected to racist insults?

What about the sorts of vile comments that Piers Morgan, Jordan Peterson and prominent Australian conservatives attract from left-wing ranters on social media?

The ABC is the mothership of PC politics in Australia:

Our prediction is that Grant will be back on ABC platforms very soon, and ABC management is likely to reject, ignore and feign offence in response to measured criticism, even from ABC insiders who knew Aunty when she was in her prime.

No one can talk about the ABC being in its prime any more. In fact, the ABC activists will likely double down, become more militant as they continue to champion themselves as crusaders of identity politics.

This is an example of where that level of ideological partisanship is leading:

And most ABC watchers would agree with her!

PS: Here’s Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: