Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has repeated his calls for funding of their ABC to be slashed and for root and branch reform of both the ABC and SBS to be implemented after further revelations of systemic political bias in ABC reporting.
An opinion piece by former ABC Chairman Maurice Newman in The Australian reads:
In 2005, then federal treasurer Peter Costello and his media adviser had a private “off the record” dinner with three members of the parliamentary press gallery, including Michael Brissenden of the ABC.
It was agreed the treasurer could speak openly and without attribution. In the lead-up to the November 2007 federal election and in the context of a predicted tight poll, Brissenden contradicted Costello’s understanding in what appeared to be a partisan act.
Brissenden did himself no favours when, to the cameras, he implied that he had notes of the dinner. In fact, according to media reports at the time, what he brandished were collective, wrongly dated notes, initiated by another journalist.
ABC management never properly investigated the matter but, post-election, relocated Brissenden to the Washington bureau, proving once again that, at the ABC, no one gets demoted for pushing leftist political and cultural causes.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority then upheld a complaint ruling the ABC had breached its impartiality rules with an unsubstantiated and opinionated attack on former prime minister Tony Abbott describing him as “the most destructive politician of his generation”. Rather than apologise, the ABC has not accepted the verdict, instead resorting to Orwellian sophistry to justify its position, relying on a Macquarie Dictionary definition of “destructive”.
An apparently unreconstructed Brissenden is back in Australia, recently fronted an ABC Four Corners program, titled Weather Alert, which was entirely devoted to global-warming advocacy masquerading as science. The program’s promo led: “There are no politicians in tonight’s story … Only people who’ve seen, from their own experience, that the change to our climate is under way.”
In the segment on Brown Brothers wine, he made it clear that due to the warming climate “the company has planned to move part of its operations to cooler country”. However, Brown Brothers revealed: “At this stage we don’t intend on selling any vineyards in Victoria. We have always had the philosophy that we grow the right varietals in the most suited climate …” So, the story appeared to be an ABC invention, meant to add weight to the program’s catastrophic global-warming theme.
This was one of many exaggerated examples of so-called climate change. Perhaps none was worse than the blatant perpetuation of a false Bureau of Meteorology announcement that at Penrith on January 7, the Sydney Basin recorded its hottest day. The bureau, with lightning speed, corrected the record to acknowledge Richmond in 1939, but the ABC chose to ignore the correction.
The errors and omissions kept coming. Amateur records were preferred to official archives. Viewers were told that warming in southwest Western Australia had “happened faster than anywhere else on the planet”, without mentioning the region had just recorded one of its coldest summers in two decades.
On climate change, the ABC has long adopted the “science is settled” position. Giving sceptics or sceptical views a platform is likened to promoting the tobacco industry.
But it’s not only climate change. What about Four Corners’ “investigations” into live cattle exports, Nauru, the Don Dale centre and greyhounds, where so much contrary evidence ended up on the cutting-room floor?
Clearly, the ABC’s much-promoted digital transformation can’t solve the fundamental issue of embedded bias and a culture of moral and intellectual superiority. Sadly, the public broadcaster has long surrendered any claim to be a trusted source of news and information. Its arrogance, disregard for facts and shameless advocacy define it as a $1 billion-a-year green propaganda machine, certainly not fit to sit in judgment of complaints made against it. Its conduct is an affront to the taxpayers who fund it.
With Sky News set to become regionally available on free-to-air television, a major justification for public broadcasting (perhaps the last big reason) will cease to apply.
To read Maurice Newman's full piece, click here.
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