ABC refuses to apologise for calling conservative candidate a "c***"

May 03, 2018

The ABC is refusing to apologise for a comedy show repeatedly calling an Australian Conservatives candidate a "c***" and insists it didn’t break any broadcasting rules.

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi says this is just another example of “their ABC” being out of control and demonstrates an urgent need for the national broadcaster's charter to be reformed and the ABC's funding to be cut.

In March, the Tonightly show hosted by Tom Ballard mocked up a poster of Batman by-election candidate Kevin Bailey.

In the segment, comedian Greg Larsen used the vile word to describe the former SAS soldier, who was running in the inner-Melbourne seat which Labor's Ged Kearney easily won.

There is no Batman anywhere on that poster so I've had to improvise and I put, "Kevin Bailey is a c***",' Larsen said to Ballard.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield complained that segment had 'crossed a line' but the ABC's managing director Michelle Guthrie has dismissed his concern.

Internal correspondence between the ABC boss and the Turnbull Government, obtained by News Corp Australia, said an evaluation of complains found 'no breaches' adding the program had not set out to 'cause anyone personal offence through an absurd comedy sketch'.

That skit aired in the same month an ABC Indigenous comedy sketch, mocking commercial breakfast television programs like Sunrise, repeatedly referred to white people as 'c***s'.

In the skit, indigenous actress Nakkiah Lui asked her studio guests on 'Wake Up To Yourself' if an Aboriginal elder deserved to be sanctioned for using rude words to describe white people.

This week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the ABC's political editor Andrew Probyn had breached broadcasting standards of impartiality when he described former prime minister Tony Abbott as the 'most destructive politician of his generation' in an October 2017 story on the flagship 7.30 program.

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi expressed frustration that one of his candidates could be described in crude terms as an ABC Canberra correspondent was reprimanded for bias by the broadcasting regulator.

'Calling Tony Abbott a "destructive politician" breaches the code but calling a Conservative candidate a c**t on national TV is OK,' he tweeted.

'Their ABC is out of control.'

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