The ABC is on the rack. The public outrage over their coverage of the boat people issue is surprising in its extent and marks a turning point in the public mind on the role of the ABC in public life. Certainly the ABC’s initial claims that Navy personnel had tortured illegal immigrants on boats, claims that turned out to be utter rubbish, has highlighted the partisan nature of the public broadcaster. This claim also goes along with the work the ABC did in promoting Snowden leaks about DSD spying on the Indonesians. It was therefore reassuring that Abbott has picked up on this mood, and basically denounced ABC’s coverage of recent issues. But like clock work Turnbull has rushed to the defence of the ABC.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC’s editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ”instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s”.
Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.
The ABC might be independent of the present government, but it is not independent of the LabGreen big government agenda as highlighted by Cory Bernardi on many occasions. In any case, Turnbull has been a non-performer since coming to power so I don’t think he carries the weight in the party room like he used to.
Wonder if there was any pressure put on Turnbull to announce the review into ABC and SBS operations?
“The study will focus on the costs of inputs – that is the ‘back of house’ day-to-day operational and financial operations, structures and processes applied to delivering ABC and SBS programs, products and services.
“It is not a study of the quality of the national broadcaster’s programs, products and services, or the responsibilities set out in their charters but of the efficiency of the delivery of those services to the Australian public.”
The Department of Communications will conduct the study….