Privatise the ABC

“Our” ABC is nothing of the sort. Sure, we are all forced to fund it through our hard-earned tax dollars, but it is certainly not mine, or that of most Australians. It does not reflect the whole of Australia, but only one very narrow part of it: the secular left, and the Labor party. That is basically all that it exists for.

It is filled with Labor supporters (simply witness how many ABC folks leave the broadcaster and become Labor Party politicians) and those of the secular left. Thus they constantly push every secular left cause, be it abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, or socialist foolishness.

They are pro-Obama, pro-Islam, pro-homosexuality, while being anti-family, anti-Christianity and anti-free market. The list can go on and on. And we see this reflected constantly in what the ABC has to offer, how it presents things and the slant it gives to its programs.

Even their news is awash with leftist bias and anti-Christian animus. What stories they choose to cover or don’t cover; who they give the most air time to; how they portray various current affair items – all this tells us much about how these guys operate.

And perhaps most galling of all is the fact that the Managing Director of the ABC, Mark Scott, claims to be a Christian. Yet for the life of me I fail to see that he has done anything to turn back the anti-Christian bigotry and leftist bias and propaganda. It is just as bad under him now as it was under his predecessors.

So when people say, “well we just need to get some Christians on board” it helps very little – we already have one as the head honcho and nothing has changed. Yes by all means we need more Christians there, and in all of the MSM. But some cultures are so entrenched in their overwhelming bias and slant that it seems that not much can be done.

That is why at the very least, the whole thing should be privatised. Why in the world should I and millions of other Australians be forced to subsidise and keep alive a broadcaster which we find odious, bigoted and unrepresentative? Let them survive on their own if they think they are such great shakes. Sink or swim.

Of course I have already written plenty of articles on just how bad the ABC is. I could put them together and turn out a small book if needed. But what has really got me stirred up was another absolutely appalling episode of Q&A. This program is always appalling for its blatant bias, bigotry and complete one-sidedness.

It usually features at best one, possibly two, folks representing conservative and/or Christian values, while everyone else, including the appalling “moderator” Tony Jones, are all of the secular left. Thus it is always a stacked deck, and always terribly unbalanced and unfair.

And of course the ABC ensures that the audience overwhelmingly shares its secular left bias and anti-Christian bigotry as well. The program held in Sydney last night was the most horrific example of the sheer prejudice, bullying and anti-Christian hate to date.

UK conservative and Christian Peter Hitchens (a former lefty and brother of the late Christopher Hitchens) was the lamb before the slaughter this time. He was the only intelligent, rational, calm and courageous guest on the show. In addition to lefty Jones, we had two feminists and a known bully, homosexual activist and anti-Christian bigot, Dan Savage.

So, one Christian against basically four radical secular lefties – utterly appalling. You have to see it to believe it (see the link below). It was typical ABC rubbish. The four always were ganging up on Peter. Whenever Peter tried to speak, he was incessantly shouted down, especially by Savage, yet Jones did absolutely nothing to stop these constant interruptions and harassment.

Yet whenever Peter tried to get a word in edgewise while the others were ranting away, Jones specifically told him to quiet down and wait his turn. This alone should infuriate any fair minded person, and prove once again what a biased and bigoted host Jones is, and how bad the entire show is.

And of course there were the screaming hordes, roaring with applause for Savage and the others, while reviling Peter. It was actually quite shocking and alarming to behold. Why was I reminded of the Nazi rallies here? Even Peter referred to this toxic audience and all their odium.

The show left me visibly shaken and enraged. It was arguably the worst Q&A show I have ever seen – and there have been plenty of bad ones. Another gal I know of was left in tears after the show. It was that bad and that palpable. It was spiritual warfare in action.

I am just so shocked and outraged at this despicable bunch. The show and all involved are bad enough, but it was so scary to see the deluded masses in the audience bare their fangs and bray for blood. These rather deluded and deceived masses cheered and praised a demonic character like Savage while pouring hatred and contempt on Hitchens.

Peter Hitchens of course did an admirable and superlative job under such horrific and unfair conditions. The ABC should be ashamed of itself as it does these Christians-to-the-lions shows. And why did my mind keep going back to a similar sort of scene in history?

“Give us Barabbas!” the crowd shouted. The same demonic crowds back then also had a choice between good and evil – between Barabbas and Jesus. And they chose Barabbas. Hate was on display 2000 years ago, and hate was on display last night in Sydney. They might as well have shouted out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

You could really feel the demonic vibes. It was utterly horrible. Yet Peter stood rock solid, and finished with a remarkable pitch for Jesus Christ which shocked everyone, including the contemptible Jones. Please pray for Peter. What a hero he was.

That plug for Jesus was in response to the final question, “Which so-called dangerous idea do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it was implemented?” (The show was held there as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas.) In marked contrast this is how Savage savagely replied:

“Population control: there’s too many god-damned people on the planet – I’m prochoice … I think abortion should be mandatory for about thirty years.” Mind boggling! And this is just some of the more bland stuff that comes out of his darkened mind, hardened heart, and foul mouth. In contrast, this is how Peter replied. It was the highlight of the entire evening:

“The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and rose from the dead, and that is the most dangerous idea you will ever encounter.” When Jones asked him to explain, he continued:

“Because it alters the whole of human behaviour and all our responsibilities; it turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope, and therefore we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all; if we reject it, it alters us all as well. It is incredibly dangerous, that is why so many people turn against it.”

Wow! What a tremendous public testimony for Jesus Christ. Well done Peter Hitchens. He was an absolute saint and champion last night. He deserves our praise and our prayers. And I know exactly what he went through as well. I have been on such ‘debate’ shows dozens and dozens of times over the years – TV, radio, etc. They are certainly no fun.

You are always outnumbered 4, 5, or 6 to 1. It is without doubt a real spiritual battle. And in the early days I had nothing like FaceBook or even emails to alert other people to at least pray for my time on these shows. I must say those were terribly lonely and tough times.

As Hitchens said two years ago: “People like me – though still allowed to speak – are allowed on to mainstream national broadcasting only under strict conditions: that we are ‘balanced’ by at least three other people who disagree with us so that our views, actually held by millions, are made to look like an eccentric minority opinion.”

And the ABC and other lefty MSM outlets will never allow a real, fair and proper debate – you know, like one on one, or two on two, or three on three, with a genuinely impartial moderator. That is just too much to ask. These clowns know that they always must have at least four to one to have some “balance”. Appalling.

I often wonder now if they are even worth doing. Often it means flying to another city, staying in a hotel, and coming back the next day – all to maybe get a few minutes’ air time to present your point of view! So I again say, well done good and faithful servant Peter. You were such a hero last night.

And I also say it again: it is time to privatise the ABC. This is such a despicable and contemptuous lot. They have no right to take my money to subsidise their trash.

www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3868791.htm

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62 Replies to “Privatise the ABC”

  1. I am simply unable to watch Q&A any more. It makes me so angry. I will not allow the devil the opportunity to get me upset by watching it. But I will keep complaining to the ABC.
    Rodney Gynther

  2. Peter Hitchens outclassed the lot of them. The light shines brighter in the darkness. He left an indelible imprint on their consciences last night. High drama, exciting, riveting. The gates of Hades shall not prevail against the knowledge of God. Stand firm and draw strength, this was incredible, breath taking television shaking people out of their stupor.
    How many people went to bed pondering his comments?

    Angie Volmensky

  3. It’s very important that people consider that the existence of the ABC (and SBS to some extent) currently skews the commercial marketplace also. The common argument that certain popular (or ‘good’ – a subjective opinion anyway) programs will disappear under a fully privatised marketplace is bogus because if a program concept is good enough, a commercial broadcaster will snap it up.

    Also the reason certain programs are not offered by the private broadcasters now is because you cannot compete in a difficult marketplace when your competitor can effectively offer a similar product for nothing.

    The ABC just simply needs to go fully private. Its current form is like a dinosaur, and that’s not even entering into the lack of political balance.

    BTW, Savage’s idea of forced abortions for 30 years would mean – based upon current birth numbers + current abortion numbers – he is endorsing killing about 5200 million people. You tell me that is not profoundly evil. Never mind any employment that has to do with dealing with children would be irrelevant! Someone like that should not be venerated but shamed for being in actuality worse than any totalitarian in history. That a guy like that even makes it to a panel show as if he had anything good to offer is a blight on the ABC.

    Mark Rabich

  4. Yes absolutely right Mark. it is utterly appalling how the ABC brings on these diabolical characters to spew their poison – and at our expense.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Did you know that Mark Scott is to be a speaker at the upcoming Christian, Katoomba Mens Convention?
    What a joke.
    Annette Williams

  6. Yes, it was dreadful beyond anything else the ABC has dished up in the name of free discussion. But the contrast was so obvious. Dan Savage lived up to his name, and, I think, even shocked Tony Jones at the end. On the other hand, Peter Hitchens never took a step backwards. He looked as cold as ice but he warmed my heart. He was devastating.

    Peter Barnes

  7. Yes I know Annette. And most Churchians will just sit there and smile and applaud politely. Who will stand up and challenge him? Who will confront him about his Christophobic network and its contemptible bias? Will one Christian stand up and be counted there? Or will they all continue to be dormant church mice who never say or do anything for Christ and the Kingdom?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. As much as I don’t like commercial TV or radio because of the ads, but I think, I get it as far as the selection of “good” content is concerned. If advertisers are prepared to sponsor it that must at least mean that most Australians want to watch it and that might be a more accurate representation and maybe a surprising reflection of the “good taste” based on good values that is possibly still out there. Because the ABC is tax payer funded, whoever is in charge can dictate what we have to listen to or watch. I must admit, I can’t stand listening to commercial radio because of the ads, so I probably would turn it off altogether which would be no great loss.
    Ursula Bennett

  9. Oh yes I thoroughly agree. I couldn’t believe the cheer that went up from almost the entire audience when Gay marriage was mentioned. And further to this, I am so absolutely sick of Germane Greer surviving on the fact that she finally burnt her Bra.
    Lets look at a few rarely mentioned facts of the past hundred years.
    Women were not paid the same wage as men! Yes I agree! BUT.
    In the 1950’s I worked for the Post Office in London who also controlled all the telephonic industry similar to what we now call Telecom. In those days there were so many Girls/women working as the then telephonists on the switchboards.
    Their wage was certainly not the same as that of an adult male in a similar occupation. However In those days it must be remembered that (for better or worse) men were regarded as the bread winners and even I as a young man had to give Mom a pound a week towards the housekeeping. Take that out of the figures below and there wasn’t much left.
    However when I joined Telecom (UK version) I had to under go an intensive two year training course to reach my first grade as a Technician. For this I was paid Two Pound ten shillings (about $5 per week then). This was far less than the women at that time but yes I was learning a skill. To supplement this unlivable wage I used to work Friday nights from 6pm to 6am Saturday at a major bakery and for this I was paid 52 shillings. This was two shillings more than I earn’t all week in my Telecom Job.
    Now comes the difference that Ms.Greer never seems to mention. I.e. If I took a young lady out for a drink/dance/restaurant or movie (called pictures then) she never ever had to dip her hands into her pocket to pay for anything (yes there may have been exceptions but they were very rare) even the taxi or bus fare home or help towards fuel (when I finally got a car) was never expected or forthcoming. This was a major bonus in the money for enjoyment stakes for the women yet rarely rates a mention even though I found it difficult on occasions.
    Because of this most unattached women were far better off financially than men in a similar position.
    Then again going back further it was the young men who without any redress or choice were carted off to war generally to be slaughtered in the defense of their country on pain of death from their own side for as little as eight shillings a week. Yes women did lots of the work previously undertaken by men in that period but the scale of loss for men Vs women was incomparable and without any trace of equality.
    Later as a national serviceman called up to do two years in the army I was paid the princely sum of 27 shillings and sixpence per week. A lot less than $3 per week in those days and I had absolutely no choice in the matter. No woman ever compulsorily had to do this. Yes many did volunteer but that was a choice not a mandate. Not being able to manage on such a lowly sum I signed on for a full six year period for which I received six pounds ten shilling per week. Considering that I was fed and watered without cost this amount made life live-able.
    If we took this one step further and went back to WW1 the cost in male human life was in the millions. Yes women had to live with a war but it was generally well away from England’s shores in those days.
    When the whistle sounded and the men/boys clambered out of the trenches and went over the top at walking pace straight into the machine gun fire of the enemy, there was no choice and you knew there was a bullet with your name on it and refusal to comply had the same result. Add all this to the general courtesies frequently expected and generally experienced by the ladies and I don’t think they fared any worse than the men.
    So in my view Germane Greer seriously needs to get her head out of whatever place it has been hiding and check out some real down to earth facts concerning the so called male advantages of the previous century.

    Dennis Newland

  10. I believe Romans 1:24 already applies to Dan Savage and his ilk. His heart is truly hardened against God and so God has given him over to his own lusts. They are exhibiting the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in their lives and so are condemned. We were warned this would happen.

    Lindsay Smail

  11. The only good thing to come out of last night was to motivate me to finally write in and complain, something to my shame I should have done a long time ago.
    The propoganda machine they call the ABC has lurched even further to the dark side than I thought possible.

    Lionel Hart

  12. Yep just watched this, Peter is right. No hope for humanity. What a waste of time. Cant believe the audience, funny how the so called ‘elite’ in our universities are the easiest to manipulate with such nonsense. Here’s an idea – lets have mass murder and commit genocide yeah! clap! clap! Cant believe the comment about spending less time with your kids. I will say that ms Greer was much more restrained on her opinions; but then again it is very hard to have credibility when you take the high ground on feminism yet ignore anything outside of Christianity that is a hundred times worse than anything she ever complained about, and yes even justify genital mutilation. Sorry ms greer my mistake women’s rights are only for Anglo-Saxon women.
    Rusty Boden

  13. Well said, Bill.

    “Praise the Lord.
    Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands…
    Surely he will never be shaken…
    He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
    His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
    He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures for ever; his (dignity) will be lifted high in honour.
    The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.”
    (from Psalm 112)

    It seems like Peter was able to tap into the security promised in this psalm.

    It’s also encouraging to ponder that those fire-breathing bullies will in time ‘waste away’.

    Terry Darmody

  14. I watched Q&A last night for 5 minutes when I had enough and turned it off, but on the strength of what I have just read here I too will send in a complaint.
    Thanks folks for informing me. I however would rather see a drastic reform of the ABC than privatisation or scrapping it as I too can’t stand all those ads of the commercial channels. I suppose I would have to do without TV altogether, which actually won’t be that much of a loss.

    Joost Gemeren

  15. Why don’t you just turn off the TV?
    Let the ABC try and survive without guests defending themselves on Q&A. No guests to vilify equals no cannon fodder for the audience equals no show!!
    Hearing George Pell talk about Neanderthals as a reality and then Tony Jones (of all people) rightly question him about original sin, ended my tenure with the show.
    What a joke.
    Dameon McManus

  16. There is no doubt in my mind that the ABC has become a vocal repository of Godless and wicked ideas for all the reasons mentioned above. Savage in particular was the embodiment of that last Monday night. I’m sure the vile demon “god” Molech must enjoy employing the likes of Savage as its plaything. After all, Savage did express the wish for exceedingly more infant sacrifices than the evil king Manasseh could ever have hoped to offer to Molech in an age we naively once thought was more wicked than ours.

    However in the midst of last Tuesday night, let’s not miss the hand of the Lord in it. Peter Hitchens public declaration for Christ in the dying moments of the show should be seen for what it was; the Lord Himself speaking through His brave and faithful servant. Praise God for a modern John the Baptist in Peter Hitchens. By the Lord’s words spoken through Peter, we can know for sure, that amongst that Q and A lynch mob, there will be those who will fall under the Holy Spirit’s conviction they are sinners and need to respond to the free gift of salvation in Christ. I saw the same thing happen quite unexpectedly in the dying moments of another Q and A last year with Peter Jensen, after a similar denigration of his stand as a Christian. Just a reminder the Lord Jesus Christ is still on the throne, and will not be tricked, or sidelined even by the evil machinations behind Q and A. Jesus did promise in (Luke 21:15) I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

    I acknowledge much more needs to be done, on our part as believers to bring conviction to our world. But let’s not miss seeing the mighty hand of the Lord still at work in this evil age where people may not have much time left to repent.

    Ken Matthews

  17. I agree Bill every gay man woman and dog if they have been converted appears to have been in that audience cheering every word of that gay lobbyist whoever that smug smart Alec was probably paid to be flown in from the US for the show by the ABC. I suggest the whole shebang works be shut down. In fact they are becoming a tiresome mob anyway and have no notion of reality. Just trite left wing propaganda that is an insult to ones intelligence.

    Patrick Brahams

  18. Hi Bill,

    It was a vile display of ABC bias, but I agree with you that Peter Hitchens did a superb job. He always puts himself into these hostile Christ-hating environments, yet he never seems intimidated or ashamed. He always speaks with such boldness and clarity. He is one of my inspirations.

    But as for that foul-mouthed pig, Dan Savage – he reminded me of the Bible verse that says, “Their destiny is destruction…and their glory is in their shame.”

    Nicholas Davies

  19. I was too quick to turn the TV off last night as I did not realize that Peter Hichins was a Christian. I watched on line tonight and Peter certainly was warrior. I think he was groaning in the spirit and wanted out of there.

    This is maybe not practical in the real world but I think government funded media should be funded according to it’s previous year’s record of unbalanced staffing and broadcasting or better still save out money and close it down. Funding for universities and schools can also be assessed by pursuit for truth rather then pedaling ideologies.

    Keith Lewis

  20. I had been composing in my mind for some weeks now a complaint to the ABC. Bill, your article and the comments above compelled me to wait no further: I have made my complaint.

    Des Morris

  21. Hi Bill, I watched QandA on Iview, after reading your post and was appalled by the way Dan Savage’s actions and Tony Jones’ inaction left the guest, Peter Hinchens to fend for himself. Poor form by Tony Jones indeed. Is he not supposed to be a Moderator?

    I have followed the advice here and submitted a complaint to the ABC. This is a first time complaint to Aunty, so not sure of the protocol, but here’s what I wrote, anyway:

    “Surely as the Host of Q and A it was Tony Jones’ duty to moderate the evening. His failure to give a speaker “the floor” (so to speak), was absolutely appalling, as he simply permitted interruption and interjection against key speakers. The speaker, Peter Hitchens, himself was forced on numerous occasions to try and retain “the floor”. Why didn’t Tony Jones curtail the interjections? Why did Tony Jones not curtail heckling as it persisted in the latter half of the episode? Why didn’t Tony Jones moderate? Surely as the Host, one of his key functions is to allow speakers retain “the floor” and curb interjections?

    Whatever happened to Balance and Impartiality?”

    Fall on deaf ears…probably!

    Matt Patchon

  22. When Abraham Lincoln made his Gettysburg address it was only a few minutes long and he believed it would make no impact. But of course it did. I think Peter Hitchens’ few chosen words put into a nutshell everything that Christianity stands for. They are truly awe inspiring and it is a greater shame they are not brought to the wider community. I thank you Bill for your website as I may not have read of Peter Hitchens’ wonderful speech. I never watch Q&A as it so biased and leftist.
    Many thanks
    Elizabeth Hamilton

  23. Slightly off topic again.
    Apparently the director of the new movie ‘Enders Game’ is a strong opponent of gay marriage and as such is receiving a huge amount of flak. He was also on the board for the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA). As expected, gay activists have called for a boycott of his film and started a campaign called ‘Skip Enders Game’.

    I don’t know anything about the movie, but I think I might just have to put it on my must see list…

    The good news is, the movie topped the box office in the US this last weekend.

    skipendersgame.com/

    Annette Williams

  24. Glad to know it wasn’t just me that was horrified.
    The spiritual conflict was palpable, I felt ill every time Dan Savage opened his mouth. That man seriously DOES need prayer. He is a well of such vile hatred.

    The thing that worried me most about the show was the audience’s reactions. Are they really hand-picked? I hope so, because if they really do represent much of society, I was shocked by all of the laughter at inane and crude comments, that drowned out real debate.
    Surely people don’t care more about a being entertained by a crude joke than actual facts and debate.

    Lauren Hughes

  25. Totally relating to your indignation, Bill. Evil and extreme injustice go hand in hand. There is a very well-networked ‘rent-a-crowd’ out there who are called up to be the audience in events like this and to jump en masse on Christians wherever we happen to have a voice. Just try posting Christian comments on Twitter and see how many scathing haters descend upon you within minutes. It’s as though the word goes out lightning fast and the masses are rallied. What they lack in human kindness, sanity and other virtues, they make up for in their tight organization and superb networking. They manage to create a mass hysteria which is completely unaffected by any kind of reasoned logic, frightening when you think of the same kinds of mass hysteria in the past when Christians were thrown to lions, or when the previously ‘normal’ Germans were drawn into Hitler’s ranting. Obviously they don’t believe their own anti-human rhetoric or Savage would have aborted himself long ago. And they hate us all the more for our sanity and humanity. Pray for a paradigm shift in the church. We will need it to face this brave new world.

    Dee Graf

  26. If it is of any comfort increasing numbers of people in the UK, including some MPs are seriously questioning the TV license for the reasons raised here. The BBC has a charter which states it has an obligation to fair, balanced reporting and programing. But more and more people believe it is seriously failing. Also more people are using free delayed transmission viewing and the question of sharing the license receipts with commercial TV companies is being actively raised.

    Alan Williams, UK

  27. Thanks for this and the link to complain. I complained about Gruen last week which was a full half hour promoting same sex marriage and vilifying those who disagree.

    Liz Smalley

  28. You can tell by the number of responses to your article here Bill the enormity of the outrage felt by most fair minded viewers of this bottom of the barrel swill let alone the broader Australian Christians community.
    It was as though Peter was standing upon “The Rock” parring the slings and arrows of the enemy and emerging victorious from the onslaught.
    But whats with the female eunuch? she seemed very droopy, not quite on the trolly me thinks. She said a few non articulate words to highlight her three week farcical marriage. To be fair to her ex husband he should get the right of reply on that matter, but, that i fear would not maintain the incredible bias of the show.

    Michael Mercier

  29. Thanks for the link on Dan Savage. There is no sign of conscience in his behaviour or his opinions. One would need more information about him but that deficiency does seem to be the cue that he might be psychopathic. The good news though is that activists like him bring gay activism into ill-repute which it deserves anyway.

    Daryl Snowden

  30. Greetings Bill.

    Regarding Monday’s Q&A, like you I am repulsed and revolted by Dan Savage, and Hanna Rosin is not far behind. On the other hand, I was surprised that some — though certainly not all — of Germaine Greer’s contributions actually made sense. I will comment on Peter Hitchens presently.

    Primarily I wish to respond to your assertion that “even (the ABC’s) news is awash with leftist bias and anti-Christian animus. What stories they choose to cover or don’t cover; who they give the most airtime to; how they portray various current affairs items — all tells us much about how they operate.”

    In my 28 years with the ABC, I worked in TV news, radio news, and radio current affairs. I worked as a TV reporter, radio reporter, radio news chief of staff, radio news chief sub-editor, radio current affairs presenter, and radio newsreader. In all of these roles, I never once either received or gave an instruction that any story be covered or not covered for any of the kinds of reasons you’ve alluded to. In the daily task of assigning, covering, writing, editing and broadcasting stories, I never once encountered or observed anti-Christian animus. I did receive such animus from listeners/readers in relation to articles I’d written for The Age, but not in my workplace. (Sorry, I tell a lie — I was once criticized for having too much “religious” content in my reports on the funeral of Weary Dunlop! But all of the stories went to air unchanged. They were certainly not censored, nor would anyone have dared to try.)

    Insofar as leftist bias is concerned, ABC policy demanded the most scrupulous impartiality possible during election campaigns, by requiring staff in all newsrooms to keep a line count of all political stories that went to air. This was so that editors could ensure that the two major parties were getting equal coverage, and smaller parties were getting proportionate coverage. In nearly three decades at the ABC, I never experienced, witnessed or heard about any actual or attempted instances of political bias in ABC News or Current Affairs, or for that matter at Radio Australia where I worked for several years.

    Insofar as on-air personalities are concerned, I had the pleasure of working with Derek Guille over many years, presenting a weekly music trivia segment on his program. Whenever I thought I could get away with it, I would include some Christian content in my music and my competitions (such as playing pop songs containing words from the Bible — eg “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”, “Turn Turn Turn” etc. — and asking the listeners to find the Biblical references). I also exploited Christmas and Easter in similar ways.

    Derek was at all times approving and supportive. So you can imagine my surprise some years later (when the atheistic convention was in Melbourne) when I discovered that Derek was an atheist. Yet not once did he ever question the Christian content of some of my segments. He could so easily have said, “Hey Rowan, you’d better cut out that religious stuff if you don’t mind.” But that never happened. I’m well aware that Jon Faine is also an atheist, but on at least one occasion he has commended my Christian faith on air (while talking with Andrew Bolt), and I have found him to be very fair in interviewing Christians such as Margaret Court and Betty Cuthbert. This is not to say he hasn’t been quite open about his atheism — but only when relevant/appropriate. I am convinced he doesn’t allow it to slant his coverage of the issues of the day. As far as political bias is concerned, he is equally probing when interviewing guests from one side as from the other. He gets complaints equally from both sides of an issue, which indicates he’s being equally provocative to both.

    Finally, I turn to Peter Hitchens on Q&A. Firstly, I agree with your correspondent who said “He looked as cold as ice.” I felt his appearance and his manner of speaking — rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly — gave him a persona of almost haughty disdain. Not his fault of course, but not very endearing to an Australian audience in particular.

    Secondly, it wasn’t the case that the whole audience was against him. He was applauded on several occasions, such as when he said Tony Abbott was too close to Rupert Murdoch. Nor were all the questions hostile. In particular, towards the end a woman gave him a real Dorothy Dixer when she asked him about his transformation from Trotskyite to conservative. Was it an epiphany, or a gradual, dawning realisation? Here was a golden opportunity to talk about his Christian conversion, but he didn’t! He didn’t mention his faith at all, or how he came to that faith. I was extremely disappointed at such a golden opportunity lost.

    As you and others have noted, he got another chance right at the end, when asked for a dangerous idea. His reply was that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and had risen from the dead. Great!, I thought. This will be good! But he stopped dead right there. If it hadn’t been for the much maligned Tony Jones asking him to elaborate, we would never have heard that important elaboration — indeed, we would not have heard the best thing he said all night.

    Finally, I am not aware that potential QandA audience members are carefully and thoroughly screened as to their political, social, intellectual, philosophical and religious affiliations and inclinations, and further, that only radical socialists and secular lefties are admitted. Firstly, they couldn’t get away with it, as it would be quickly discovered. Secondly, I’ve heard plenty of audience questions — “even” including some on Monday night — from people who couldn’t possibly have passed such screening.

    I do however readily and strongly support and endorse your very valid point Bill that in most or all cases, a credible Christian presence on the panel is either in minority or not there at all. I would be most interested indeed if, in a future CultureWatch posting, you were to offer a list of Christians you would regard as credible, articulate, persuasive, personable, and dare I say it, audience-friendly. There must be some out there. One name that has just dropped into my mind is Lisa McIn(n)ess-Smith. Another is David Wilson from the Bible Society’s Sofia Think Tank. Plus the brilliant Ash and Anji Barker from UNOH. Then there’s Brendan Nottle from the Salvo’s who is always good value, and Rowland Croucher from John Mark Ministries. Something tells me you might have idealogical issues with the likes of Tim Costello and perhaps John Smith, which would be a great pity. Look forward to seeing your list.

    All the best Bill, Rowan Forster.

  31. Hi Bill,

    Here is my complaint just sent to the ABC:

    “The ABC should be most concerned that Tony Jones, on Monday’s QandA program, was demonstrably biased against Peter Hitchens in favour of that foul-mouthed panellist, Dan Savage. It was bad enough that Jones made no attempt to moderate Savage’s vulgar, lewd and largely irrelevant comments early in the program, but Jones’ role as “moderator” became altogether farcical at the point marked, “Epiphanies”. In particular, Jones made no attempt to quieten Savage as he continuously interrupted Hitchens, but on the other hand, the transcript clearly shows that Jones had no qualms silencing Hitchens so that Savage could freely spout his platitudinous waffle. Why did this happen?

    If the ABC took its broadcasting mandate seriously, panellists on QandA would be largely representative and proportionate of community views. Putting one celebrated and influential conservative voice against three lefties (who were apparently bolstered by a biased moderator) is a ridiculous attempt at balance. Frankly, it is no wonder that that the ABC is always dodging accusations of leftist bias.

    At risk of sounding sanctimonious, the content broadcast by the ABC on programs such as QandA has real capacity to shape culture. If the ABC manipulates its programs so that those left of spectrum get more airtime than is fair, viewers begin to question whether their (common and ordinary) views are in fact eccentric. This is not good enough for a broadcaster that is publically funded by all persons from all parts of the political spectrum.

    Monday’s program, as said by Hitchens, looked like a political rally. As I have said, the ABC should be concerned.

    Nicholas Davies”

  32. The Homosexuals will fail given time and it will be of their own doing. For Truly they will have to live in the world they create where all things evil are either normal, an alleged affliction or made legal.
    They may even get all they want under a created normality but in doing so they pave the way and open the flood gates for the other 99% of the weird, immoral and evil clamoring’s just waiting to be unleashed.
    This beautiful planet will decay under their selfish desires and become their prison where they will have to live with thieves, whore-mongers and murderers as the accepted norm or rather under the norm they have created.
    Theirs is the blind first step of shear stupidity where their hatred of God and his laws will bring all hell down on their heads. Truly they know not what they do nor have they thought out the evil consequences or the disaster of their unleashing.
    Just as we try to tell them what they do is against Gods will so to will they fight and clamor against those that want to push the boundaries so even further.
    Who will they turn to when faced with the greater hell they have created when the guardians of Gods ways have all gone?

    Dennis Newland

  33. I watched for 5 minutes and turned it off, I had better things to read and do.
    Yes, write and complain, thanks for the link.
    Judith Bond

  34. A Courier-Mail journalist told me that the reason why so many journalists are leftists is because of the predominantly leftist indoctrination they received through university “education”.

    Also a university lecturer told me of the bullying she suffered from leftist academics due to her refusal to submit to their demands that she indoctrinate her students with leftist ideology.

    This recalcitrant university lecturer correctly viewed her role as teaching her students “how” to think and not “what” to think.

    But we see that for leftists, it’s clear that they misuse their positions in journalism and education to deceitfully indoctrinate us in “what” we are to think.

    Is it any wonder that we see that leftists clearly dominate the ABC and SBS and they misuse our taxes to fund their leftist propaganda.

    Certainly we should complain to the ABC and SBS about their corrupt record of imposing unwanted and unjustified leftist propaganda upon society, when they really should have offered fair, balanced debate on issues instead.

    But as we tax payers are their employer then perhaps we should also take our complaints to the communications minister (Malcolm Turnbull).

    Harold van de Wiel

  35. I watched Q&A right through and was suprised how quick the last half hour passed. Peter Hinchens was wonderful and I applauded when he made his point.
    These shows are necessary as an example of how low human nature can go and a great expose on the ‘evil tramps’ of the left.
    Turning off the ABC is not noteworthy although we feel we should at times like this. Likewise complaining to ABC management only encourages further attacks on our society because you have told them so and they think they are winning this battle of morals..
    Yes, complain to the ABC management, copy to your political representatives to cut funding and spend the money elsewhere on libraries and hospitals… there is an alternative.
    Work to have their funding cut right out.
    Give your elected representatives your message and if they say they can do nothing then you can vote for somebody else or NOT vote at all!
    The ABC is not in itself evil but the people who have taken control are… have them removed by your own actions.

    Louis Cook

  36. I watched Q&A last night following a link from Peter Hitchens’ blog. I couldn’t believe that he was to be pitted against the Feminist, the Homosexual Activist and the Anti-Mother woman – all under the auspices of such a flacid presenter. I thought the UK’s BBC’s version was bad enough – being a pointless, leftist cluck fest – so I have stopped watching it. I now know what ABC is all about. In a debate it is vital to have a strong, unbiased presenter.

    Peter Hitchens was brave and steadfast in the face of the baying mob. The audience all seemed to be terrified of being different or too serious – with the notable exception of one brave woman who spoke out bravely and steadfastly against the diminishing of mothering skills in nurturing children, lost to woman’s self-centred narcissm, which in turn adversely influences children.

    A differing opinion made by Peter or the woman in the audience was met with electrified silence and you could sense the relief when someone broke the spell with an obscenity of flippant joke, which they were so much happier with. They cheered to the rafters when the other panelists spoke – and you almost thought you could hear “Heil Hitler Heil Hitler”. Not so unlikely as it is about the masses looking for answers and finding them in the strong but wrong words of the strongest bully.

    I was surprised to see Dan Savage occasionally looked worried. He said something about his husband – so he must be the wife. Hmm. I don’t understand. I know two transvestites who dress as women but who walk and talk like burly men which I also don’t understand.

    Peter’s final comment was like a lightening strike – a vital message that hardly anyone wants to hear.

    Rachel Smith, UK

  37. I’m a bit slow commenting, but I think that Peter Hitchens was great. His final remarks made it possible for me to sleep, as someone who likes to be in bed before 11 pm. The infantile behaviour of the audience and the hare-brained commentary viewers had to endure, as well as the poor chairmanship, were appalling.

    I actually hope that the ABC can remain in public hands and become more decent and fair. An impossible dream? I’ll pray for it anyway.

    David Morrison

  38. Its a vile , vile show.

    i made my complaint today also…

    The sooner the tax payer dollar is taken away from the ABC the better off we will all be.

    God Bless
    Andrew Strachan

  39. I watched it tonight on the web and I was so proud to watch Peter Hitchens show such courage and intelligence. Especially seen as he was among such an ungodly crowd. Good on him for challenging the crowd when they wouldn’t let him speak!

    Liz Gee

  40. I think it’s hilarious how the online GayBC cannot bring themselves to report – which is their job – that the NSW same sex ‘marriage’ bill was defeated. It’s 5.52pm as I write and the news broke many hours ago.

    Poor dears must be very upset.

    Antonia Feitz

  41. Bill, the current online GayBC site claims the news that the NSW government’s Legislative Assembly was updated 3 hours 16 minutes ago is a lie – as I reported earlier.

    Antonia Feitz

  42. (This is a very long comment, so I apologize in advance.) Given the recent reminders of the ABC’s obviously skewed reporting and the spotlight back on their continued forced-public funding – all $1.22 billion of it – I felt the need to comment on this old thread since Bill did not write up the recent exhaust-pipe-hand-burning nonsense, as well as the ludicrous failure to fully report the embarrassment of that Antarctica ‘climate-change’ iced-in-boat saga – among other things.

    I also feel the need to address Rowan Forster’s long comment above, but I shall do that in the second half.

    I have sometimes remarked to friends that if I could rule Australia for a day, I would stride through the doors of Parliament House a few seconds after midnight, sign away the ABC’s funding, and go home at 12:05am and sleep very well knowing I had done a service to Australia greater than possibly a decade of governments has. It still amazes me that people honestly think Australia needs a taxpayer-coerced funded broadcaster and that it benefits us. It’s over 9 years since I switched them off cold turkey forever. (I did it for purely technical reasons, not political.) I probably haven’t watched more than a cumulative 4 hours of the ABC in that time – and almost none of that because I wanted to. I don’t miss it one tiny bit now. And moreover, I can’t honestly say I have needed anything that boring behemoth offered in all that time.

    I’m especially glad that I don’t watch Q&A, because the little segments I do see now and then invariably make my blood boil. I don’t know how people can continue to watch it when it is simply a free-for-all tangential shoutfest unmoderated and bully-facilitated by Tony Jones interrupted by audience diversions overlaid with inane graphic twit comments and stacked with lefty panels (including sickos like Dan Savage and Peter Singer) chosen by obviously biased faceless producers. For anyone who loves truth and fair debate – on virtually every level imaginable it’s profoundly unwatchable. It says a great deal about the state of this nation that something as convoluted and disorganized as that trainwreck format passes for intellectually stimulating content for many. It’s painful to watch almost any of it. But that’s just one program – even if Q & A was axed, the fact my tax dollars still go to all of it still enrages me deeply. Honest, it makes me very, very angry.

    And that is the beginning and end of the issue as far as I’m concerned. There are a lot of peripheral arguments that people engage in when it comes to this subject – even the subject of Q & A above is one – but the truth is that only one thing matters. The money. The cold hard cash that comes from all Australians when most Australians don’t need the ABC. My own experience the last 9 years proves that. The fact is that it would not matter if the ABC wasn’t biased. It does not matter even if it was true that commercial TV stations don’t deliver as good a product, and it certainly does not matter if the ABC really was ‘dumbed down’ by becoming commerical. It does not matter even if you think Rupert Murdoch is Satan himself. What any of that has to do with funding the ABC with taxpayers money is beyond me.

    NONE of that matters. What matters is this:
    This is 2014, not 1923. The 21st Century. Most people have access to the internet and discs (CD/DVD/blu-ray) and if they don’t like what commercial TV or radio offers them (including Murdoch’s offerings) – they can choose from any number of hundreds of other equally reliable (or unreliable) sources for news, entertainment and information. So you can search and most likely easily find something very closely attuned to your tastes at a relatively low cost. Yes, you might have to look at some advertising and/or pay a subscription. Get used to it – if you expect to be paid when you work, why should it be any different for internet content creators? Modern equipment might be cheap but still it’s not free, and skills that are in demand certainly aren’t.

    Furthermore, the market – with an absence of this unfairly advantaged player – would quickly cover anything there is an audience for. For example, those people worried about what children might watch without an ABC3 in a marketplace might consider that such a gap creates a marketplace a broadcaster would likely be interested in! Don’t think the new content would be any good? Fine! Then find something else you do like!

    It’s tedious to hear people criticize commercial stations for what they provide without considering that they would be slitting their throat if they tried to directly compete with the ABC. The lack of understanding of the way market forces alter the way businesses act amazes me. Merely the presence of the ABC – a broadcaster that does not have to worry about budgets the way a commercial station does – strongly skews all of the market. Any criticism of the offerings by commercial stations that fails to admit that those stations obviously cannot run a business duplicating what the ABC provides for ‘free’ is null and void.

    When the ABC was created, none of the technology most of us use daily existed, but it does now. If the ABC had never been invented, nobody in their right mind would expect the Australian taxpayer to create it today with the level of technology available, even if it only costs a fraction of its annual operating budget! And that really is the salient point. $1,220,000,000.00 for what? Go buy a computer! Or get yourself an iPhone or an Android! Even with a radio you have several stations you can listen to.

    The bottom line is this: I do not want to pay for someone else’s viewing or listening or online reading habits when I already pay for my own and they have a smorgasbord of alternatives to the ABC at their fingertips. It’s utterly criminal to try to justify such a wasteful drain on the Australian taxpayer and the ABC should be sold as a going concern ASAP. Think of the better things that money could go to.

    I write this as someone who grew up watching the ABC many years ago, even marveled as a 16-year old going in to the studios of Ripponlea one morning thanks to the ABC cameraman who lived down the road. I still have photos somewhere. But it is plain to see that the steady increase of technology available to ordinary people has rendered the ABC a dinosaur in a modern world. I am no longer a child and it is time for us all to face up like adults we are to the simple facts here. It is simply unconscionable to demand that Australians pay for the viewing and listening habits of others. It is unfair and immoral.

    As for the ABC’s bias – even though I do think it is biased, the moral argument for privatization is not dependent on proving that one way or the other. Even if I thought the ABC delivered balanced reporting – even strong conservative content(!) – I would still argue it should be sold off. The content the ABC delivers is simply not the issue here, because if a market exists for the kind of quality product ABC fans think it provides – guess what? Someone will make pretty sure they provide it to such a wonderful and loyal potential audience – it would very probably be the privatized ABC to begin with!

    The economic model of broadcasting the ABC currently relies upon – expecting the taxpayer to continue to fund it – is from another century of technology, from an era when refrigerators were barely owned by anyone, and TVs were still decades away from being in most people’s homes. There might be an argument for some remote regional radio stations in sparsely populated areas to continue to receive government funding, but to suggest major metropolitan regions – or any town with half-decent internet and/or terrestrial broadcasting for that matter – needs a taxpayer funded TV operation, is ludicrous.

    Now, to deal with Rowan’s claim about the ABC not having bias – I can only cite my own run-in with their TV news ‘reporting’ after one pro-life protest in the lead-up to the backward baby-murder ‘reform’ legislation Victoria introduced in 2008. Please read my write-up here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/08/28/vignettes-from-the-abortion-wars/#comment-99513

    Let’s get this straight – my taxes help pay for this media organization, and the law in Victoria is about to be changed to make it legal to kill a child right up to birth. (the ’24 weeks’ often mentioned – and I only discovered myself this morning – only refers to the point where two doctors opinions are needed rather than just one – even Channel 7?s story made the distinction)

    (The ABC’s news story falsely claimed that abortion was only being legalized up to 24 weeks.)

    So I complained to the ABC directly – ringing them three times over the next few days, asking to speak with someone senior, giving my details, getting no response, then complaining officially a few days later via their website, then finally getting an email response taking no responsibility, on the very morning – 10/10/2008 – that this evil bill passed the Upper House from which late-term baby-murders have increased over 600%. Talk about ironic. Here is the full email:

    Thank you for your email of 11 September regarding the ABC News report on the rally in response to the Victorian Government’s proposed Abortion Law Reform bill.

    The ABC has reviewed the piece broadcast on 6 September and believes it was accurate, balanced and impartial and placed appropriately in the bulletin.

    The focus of this story was the march and rally at Parliament House that day. The newsreader stated that hundreds of pro-life demonstrators marched to Parliament House and were faced with a small crowd of
    pro-choice demonstrators. It was noted that police kept the two groups apart. Footage, with audio of pro-choice chants, was included and this was followed by vision and audio of a pro-life demonstrator calling for people to consider the unborn of Victoria. We believe this provided a balance between the pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators.

    The news reader then noted that under the Bill ‘..abortions under 24 weeks gestation would be removed from the Crimes Act and regulated like any other medical procedure.” This is an accurate representation of one aspect of the Bill. It has many other proposals, including, as you say, that abortions over 24 weeks would have to be approved by two medical practitioners after 24 weeks. Given that the story was concerned with the rally, the ABC concludes that it was not necessary, nor possible given the brevity of the piece, to go over all aspects of the Bill.

    The ABC stands by the placement of the story and its length compared to other news stories that day. The Bill was being debated in Parliament the following week and the ABC provided further coverage of the story across its platforms over that time.

    I regret you have formed the impression that the ABC is hostile to the Christian faith and pro-life. No connection was made in this piece between people of faith and those who are pro-life and we conclude that the report was impartial.

    They must think I was born yesterday. I was at the march! I knew what the proposed bill included! I know that putting the order of stories in a news service matters also! The absurdity of that response is underlined by the fact that the 38 second live read would’ve been shorter had the qualification of “24 weeks” been removed! If “brevity” was such a concern – the read could’ve been a couple words less long and been more accurate! Note that even Channel 7’s news that same evening did not get that detail wrong. So much for the ‘reliability

    Why does this matter? Because of the ‘balanced’ perception the ABC trades on. What really astonished – and pained – me was the three conversations I had with different people in the weeks afterwards who relied heavily on the ABC for their news information. All of them refused initially to believe me that the bill legalized baby murder in Victoria for the full nine months of pregnancy. Black and blue they swore – no! It’s only up to 24 weeks! The ABC said so! (One of them mainly listens to radio so I know the lie was also repeated there too) Only when I absolutely refused to relent and challenged them to read the bill which I could find for them, did they see that they had been lied to. They were told lies by ABC news about making it lawful to murder all unborn children in Victoria.

    But do they stop relying on the ABC? Nope. After all – it’s dear ole Aunty! Dear ole hide-the-facts-about-baby-killing Aunty. And I continue to pay for this? Who could be OK with that? Rowan, can you explain why the ABC rejected such a clearly legitimate complaint about what obviously shaped people’s opinions on a controversial subject? Especially when I found out later they upheld a very similar complaint – after the bill had passed – from someone else about the same false information on another news report? Can you explain why I never once got a return phone call?

    Is this example an abberation? How about this: I also happen to know someone very well who was the major subject on an Australian Story episode some years ago and in advance I gave them some tactics – which this person ended up being forced to employ – to protect themselves from having their own story twisted! This person was extremely thankful to me afterwards. They told me how – as a result – the crew (especially the producer) were frustrated they couldn’t get their way to try to tell a fictionalised story about their lives! I honestly marvel at the people who think the ABC has some kind of magic ability to never lie. Do you walk through the doors of the ABC and instantly become as perfect as Jesus? How many episodes of Australian Story have you watched? (I don’t even know if it is still on the air, and I don’t care.)

    Now, the problem with listing the ABCs transgressions is that dealing with each of them takes time, and who wants to consider more than a few at once? Rowan, do you really want to know what I think of your description of the “line count of all political stories that went to air”? Let’s just say it makes no mention of the way a political party is portrayed. The unrepresentative proportional support of the Greens within the ABC (Apparently about 40%? Are you kidding me? Over 4 times the number of supporters than in the general population?) is more than enough evidence that a count of stories will not get at the heart of the issue, only succeed in giving a veneer of impartiality to the gullible and even to some of their other employees.

    This organization is not ‘our’ TV network in the slightest and I for one am livid I have to pay for them when technology has made it redundant but especially it is clear they are an isolated echo chamber politically. There are other stories I could tell – some of them don’t cover political bias, but outdated, slow and inefficient work practices as well. I know of workflows sometimes more than 7 years behind what commercial stations do that are not employed – even when it would save time and money! And I have been shocked by the ‘I don’t do that job’ attitude of some of their staff. Even if these kind of issues didn’t exist, the ABC should still be privatized, but with that kind of mendacity and unaccountability to the Australian public?

    The order of stories on the news of 6/9/2008 and the decision to run just a live voice over with mostly overlay with that false information – and defend it! – was no accident. It is a symptomatic of an organization that has fundamental problems with its political culture. And it seems they just continue to do it in 2014. From what I have already heard about some of the content on this year’s version of Media ‘Watch’, ‘Four Corners’ and ‘Q & A’ – this culture of being above scrutiny and still expecting wheelbarrows full of taxpayer money regardless just rolls on.

    So, I’m happy to go to Canberra, but I wouldn’t need that whole 24 hours at all, just a few minutes. (Who’d want to stay longer, anyway?) But really, I don’t have to do anything if we actually had politicians with backbone and common sense in the capital. So how about it, Tony? Sell! Sell! Sell! Imagine what Australia could do with over a billion extra dollars a year (AND the once-off money from the sale itself). Hospitals, roads – or even allowing the taxpayer to keep the annual operating budget and decide to spend it themselves! Imagine that! Just sell it!

  43. Thanks Mark. Yes it is long, but you were responding to another long comment. I usually try to at least reply to those I have some differences with, but with 43,000 comments on this website, that is not always possible. So I am glad you took up the challenge and offered another point of view here, and as an industry insider as well. I really find it hard to see how Christians can defend such an obviously biased, leftist and anti-Christian outfit like the ABC.

  44. I think I’ll just stick to the knowledgeable commentators such as Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Ray Hadley. At least you know where you are with them.

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