Originally #comment-39315">posted on John Quiggin's blog on 10 Dec 2005
Crispin #comment-39305">wrote : "of course there's left-wing bias in the ABC."
I don't think so. It is 'left wing' in a sense compared to the other newsmedia, but in absolute terms it sits far to the right of what was once considered the middle ground.
I happen to agree with David Marr when he said once in a talk on Radio National late last year that good journalists had to be naturally suspicious of established powers the status quo, and therefore, by definition, left wing. He went on to say, "If you aren't left wing, then get another job!"
ABC journalists should not be concerned about accusations of left wing bias, or even right wing bias, for that matter. They should just get on with the job of properly scrutinising all public figures be they of the right, left, centre, extreme centre, or wherever.
ABC Radio journalist Catherine (spelling?) Jobe did this brilliantly prior to the elections of 1996, where she, in turn, savagely tore to shreds both the Labor Government Health Minister and the Shadow Health Minister. She brilliantly exposed, one after the other, their hypocrisy and self contradiction. Even though I had intended to give my preferences to Labor ahead of the Coalition, I did not mind one bit that her questioning of the Labor Health Minister was so devastating. She could not possibly have been accused of unfair bias, although I suspect her style of journalism would have been seen as a far greater threat to this Government than any perceivable timid pro-Labor bias in any of today's crop of ABC journalists.
Given the appalling record of this Government, that would have been previously unimaginable, since the day it came to office, the ABC has been derelict in its duty in not having been a little more 'left wing biased' when dealing with this atrocious Government and its ministers.
Had they done so, more people would have seen right through the Government by the 1998 elections at the very latest, and its reign would have been no more than a bad memory from the distant past by now.
Rather than the ABC's 'left wing' bias being the subject of controversy, it would have been the right wing extremism of most of the commercial newsmedia which would have been put under the public spotlight.
Postscript : Petition to save The GlassHouse
I received this e-mail from someone in the Illawarra region on the NSW coast south of Sydney:
Following the standing down of a senior ABC Illawarra Radio presenter and producer as a result of a complaint from Sen Fierravanti-Wells and the axing of the Glasshouse TV show, 10/10 letters to the editor in today's Illawarra Mercury are about the ABC. Only one supports the demise of the
Glasshouse, the other nine support the Friends of the ABC position on these issues.
In addition, the paper's prime opinion piece features details contained in a media release from the FABC Illawarra Branch about the very local (but with national implications) issue of the suspension from air of an ABC presenter as a direct result of a complaint from the biased Senator.
We need to keep up this pressure Australia wide.
The petition is at: www.ipetitions.com/petition/savetheglasshouse
The signatures are at:
For further information, see The Shallow End and saveourglasshouse.wordpress.com.
Crispin Bennett (not verified)
Fri, 2006-11-24 13:00
Would left-wing bias at the ABC be so bad?