Category Archives: Our Australian Broadcasting Commission

At the ABC, Fact Phobia Strikes Again

Race hatred is soaring in the US and Donald Trump is to blame — that was the gist of a 7.30 report which went to air on March 14, two weeks after the perpetrator of one such attack was arrested. No Trump fan, he was a black, left-wing Muslim journalist. The ABC has not bothered to correct the record

pinocchioOn March 14, 7.30 ran a fake-news piece whose intent was to stitch up President Donald Trump for inciting a wave of  anti-Semitic bomb threats and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries in the US. Compere Leigh Sales intoned: “Some people blame Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for unleashing people’s worst impulses, something Trump backers of course dispute.” You can view the report here.

The show’s US correspondent Conor Duffy then interviewed a conga-line of Democrat activists to ramp up the 7.30 narrative which amounted to ‘the disgusting Trump incites cemetery vandalism, race hate and bomb threats’.

On the ABC news website the same day, under the nakedly-propaganda banner “Trump’s America”, Duffy’s story included pictures of desecrated Jewish headstones and the header, “Shootings, bombings, desecrated cemeteries and racist graffiti — minority groups in the United States say the number of race hate crimes are spiking in President Donald Trump’s America.”

On the evening’s 7.30 report, Sales and Duffy proffered no evidence whatsoever connecting Trump to the anti-Semitic  upsurge. As professional journalists, Sales and Duffy must already have been aware that black, Muslim anti-Trumper  Juan M. Thompson, 31, had been arrested at least 10 days earlier and charged with making multiple bomb threats against synagogues. His motive was not anti-Semitism but to frame a white ex-girlfriend for the calls, as revenge because she’d ditched him. If neither knew by that stage about Thompson’s arrest, they are incompetent. If they did know, they are liars by omission. You can read the FBI charge sheet hre, and do notice the date — March 1, almost two weeks before 7.30‘s beatup.

As time passes, others parties are now named and charged over the wave of anti-Semitism. They include Andrew King, 54, a Jewish man in Schenectady, N.Y. King claimed on  Day 21 of the Trump administration that someone defaced his home with three swastikas. He’s now in the slammer, convicted of having sprayed the swastikas himself and making false reports to police.

And last week US police charged Michael Ron Kadar, 18, an American-Israeli Jewish dual citizen living in Israel, with making 245 threats against Jewish institutions in Florida between January and March.[i] The youth, who may be mentally disturbed, allegedly earned $310,000 in the internet currency bitcoin from his worldwide on-line threats and extortions.

Trump, when condemning the anti-Semitic upsurge, suggested that there could be false-flag elements: “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people – or to make others – look bad,” he said. This comment set off leftist and media hysteria that Trump wasn’t taking anti-Semitism seriously.[ii] For example, The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, an anti-discrimination non-profit with a record of anti-Trumpism[iii], said:

Mr. President, have you no decency? To cast doubt on the authenticity of Anti-Semitic hate crimes in America constitutes Anti-Semitism in itself, and that’s something none of us ever dreamed would disgrace our nation from the White House… you owe the American Jewish community an apology.”

Well, Trump was right and his accusers, including Sales and her 7.30 report, are wrong. The scorecard of those arrested for the anti-Semitic upsurge now reads: Anti-Trump elements, 1; Jews, 2; Trump supporters, zero.

In view of the ABC’s statutory charter for impartiality, I hope Leigh Sales, Conor Duffy and 7.30 are  preparing an update and apology for their March 14 slander of the US President.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[i] Israeli police last week also accused him  of making nearly 600 threats of violence against Australian schools, hospitals, airlines and the Sydney Jewish Museum during the past year. On a single day he allegedly disrupted 64 schools.

[ii] Trump has a daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren who are all Jewish

[iii] “The anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration,” Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, complained in February. He also said Trump’s allegedly weak condemnations were “a Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-semitism that has infected his own Administration.”

COMMENTS [8]

  1. Bran Dee

    Tony Thomas has caught out the ABC doing its obnoxious smears from its Green Left government funded security. Pauline Hanson wants to cut millions from the ABC budget and must therefore force the hand of the government’s principal friend of the ABC, our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

  2. Bill Martin

    “In view of the ABC’s statutory charter for impartiality, I hope Leigh Sales, Conor Duffy and 7.30 are preparing an update and apology for their March 14 slander of the US President.” Dream on Tony.

  3. Warty

    The ABC are not in the habit of apologising: it is simply not part of their mandate: I don’t know where Tony got such an idea. Their statutory charter for impartiality was in full operation with regard to the Don Dale youth detention centre, as you all well know. Their objectivity reemerged when they got their lawyers to prevent a report, besmirching the ABC over their gross lack of impartiality, from being published. Their attempts obviously failed, because their attempts were discussed on the Bolt Report, revealing a failure to report the fact that most of the incidents had been investigated long before the report came out; that significant changes had been made; that sordid details regarding Dylan Voller’s lengthy criminal record, were entirely covered up; and that Malcolm Turnbull revealed his centre left credentials by calling a Royal Commission within 10 hours of the report. This was mischief making on the part of the ABC that would warrant the defunding of our tax payer funded institution, one that ought to be representing the voices of all Australians, not just those living in inner city Sydney and Melbourne.

  4. Jody

    Just don’t watch or listen to the ABC. I gave that up some time ago and certainly feel much better. Instead I read “The Australian”, The IPA Review, “Quadrant”, “Spiked”, “The Spectator” and occasionally “The Conversation” when I want to find out about institutionalized delusion.

    I agree with Sam Crosby who said the other night on “Paul Murray Live”..”if Peta Credlin decided to run for parliament she’d provide a significant threat to the Labor Party”. The ABC would then have plenty to fear from this straight-talking woman. It will happen, sooner rather than later.

  5. gardner.peter.d

    Just out of interest as the ACMA ever been known to up hold a complaint against the ABC for this sort of biased reporting? Anyone know?

  6. Doubting Thomas

    Jody, your reading list matches mine pretty closely, at least for the Australian bits. I also browse the New York Times for comic relief, like the story in today’s or yesterday’s issue that effectively makes Ann Coulter the villain of the Berkeley farce. I like the Christian Science Monitor and, for deeper analysis, Commentary magazine, the New Criterion, and City Journal are excellent. There are a wealth of American blogs worth reading and anyone even slightly interested in the climate debate, Anthony Watts’ “Wattsupwiththat” is a must read as are his links. Our own JoNova is peerless. Just for fun, and for serious comment on foreign affairs, the Diplomad 2 is priceless.

  7. Doubting Thomas

    Further to my last, I disagree about Credlin going into parliament. She’s much too valuable where she is. Sensible, informed, conservative political commentary is very rare in this country, and I’d much rather have her as a loose cannon than bound by party discipline. She’s the conservative equivalent of Mark Latham, Graham Richardson (in his current persona) and the too rarely heard Michael Costa. Can anyone think of an equivalent Liberal ex-politician worth listening to? I can’t.

Aunty’s Spoiled Nephews and Nieces

There is no surprise that Q&A stacked its panel with groupthink luvvies going the big spit on Bill Leak’s grave. It is the pay, retirement packages and perks the national broadcaster lavishes on the wretches responsible that is both shocking and, to the detriment of taxpayers, all too typical

their abcABC boss Michelle Guthrie is a whimsical lady. Last October she was  throwing comfort money at her minions — 2% p.a. compound pay rises for 2016-19, plus extra perks contrary to government guidelines. These included back-dated pay rises to July 1,  seven days “domestic violence leave” (huh?), and an extra fortnight on maternity leave (now 16 weeks) and two-to-four weeks partner leave.

But now she’s throwing between 150 and 200 management types out the door by July 1 to generate $50 million to spend on content-making.

That’s ta-ta to about 20% of ABC managers, with considerably more than 20% departing from “support areas”.

It’s high time the ABC’s make-work  management is culled. The ABC spends only half its budget on programs, compared with 80% plus spent by Sky News, for example.

But I’m a caring soul and my first reaction was human sympathy for those to be culled – their mortgages, their grocery bills, their repayments on the Prius and weekly direct debits to GetUp and the Climate Council.

But then I remembered something about the ABC’s uber-generous redundancy payout regime and my welfare concerns for these guys  evaporated.

The   2016-19 Enterprise Bargaining Agreement  says there’ll be a severance payment of four weeks’ pay for each of the first five years’ service, and then three weeks’ pay per year’s service up to a maximum of 24 years. So a 20-year manager would get a total 65 weeks pay.

In addition, there’s the issue of notice. Guthrie wants everything clinched by July 1, so she may well pay out the stipulated five-to-six weeks notice in cash. That would take our 20-year exec’s cheque to 70 weeks’ pay.

The redundancy calculator is unchanged from the ABC’s 2013-16 enterprise deal. The ABC’s union negotiators stuffed up by campaigning (successfully) for family violence leave in the EBA, instead of trying to improve the redundancy clauses. But maybe ABC staffers are plagued at home by spouse-bashers.

So what sort of screw are ABC management types on? We need that data to assess redundancy payouts. Naturally, the ABC is loathe to disclose. But in the case of the BBC, which might give us some guidance here, it is a simple exercise to discover individual managers’ pay. I’ll go into a little detail just to show how far out of line the ABC is with transparency and open governance. The BBC:

Listed below are staff whose salaries and remuneration are published quarterly by the BBC. In 2009 it was agreed with the BBC Trust that the BBC would publish the salaries, total remuneration, Declaration of Personal Interests, expenses, gifts and hospitality for all senior managers who have a full time equivalent salary £150,000 or more or who sit on a major divisional board.” [That’s about $A245,000 equivalent].

These BBC people are listed by name, about 140 of them. Just click the name and up comes the pay, the job description, the biography and most amazing of all, the expense claims and justifications thereof, along with gifts and hospitality accepted and outside roles accepted.

Here’s the first BBC chap on the list, Gavin Allen, Controller, Daily News Programmes.

Total remuneration: £144,500 ($A234,000) at September 30, 2016.

Mr Allen, despite his high pay and onerous responsibilities,[1]  always finds time to put in a  claim for the equivalent of a tram ticket. On March 3, 2016, for example, he successfully claimed a £3.10 train ride, and on March 24, he had a £4.10 “drink on flight” at the expense of BBC licence payers. His tiniest claim (Feb 25) was £2.8 for a taxi (it must have travelled all of 200 yards). But for half the month, his tummy was operating at subsistence levels – he put in 15 claims that quarter for ‘subsistence’ at about £9 a time, after having worked more than five hours, presumably in a state of meal-less famishment. As for gifts, Mr Allen lists in one quarter a dinner hosted by the Barclays chairman, another freebie dinner at the Garrick Club, and tickets to the soccer at Wembley.

The disclosures even extend to “personal interests” of managers, such as outside company roles, shareholdings and “external business interests or relationships with customers/suppliers/direct competitors of the BBC.”  It’s a wicked thought,  but in the ABC context such a clause might force disclosure of the lavish speaker fees ($5000-10,000 a time) showered on ABC talent like Tony Jones, Emma Alberici, Fran Kelly and Barrie Cassidy.

I then had a thought: surely the BBC isn’t disclosing all the intimate pay and expenses details about their very  Director General, Tony Hall? Yes indeedy, the BBC does just that! Apart from being paid £450,000, he claimed in the first quarter, 2016-17 items including a £7 train ticket, and £85 worth of whatever at the Sheraton,  Edinburgh. He takes very few gifts, but in April, 2015, accepted two tickets to a play, The Vote. He lists  close to 20 outside positions, including the House of Lords  and something called Go ON UK.[2]

So Go ON, Michelle Guthrie! Total disclosure is good enough for the BBC Director-General, let’s see you lead from the front at the ABC on manager pay and perks disclosure.

Perusing the 2016 ABC annual report rewards with only thin gruel. [3]

About 320 ABC types were all on higher than $145,000 pay. The ABC has 2856 “content makers” who are somehow looked after by 632 admin/professional helpers and no fewer than 325 “senior executives”.

We learn the bare names and titles of about 85 executives. Elsewhere the report provides the useless aggregate detail that 16 directors and officers got $4 million.

We once did get an indication of management pay from the ABC’s infamous own goal  when a staffer accidentally leaked a spreadsheet of top ABC pay in 2011-12 to Family First Senator Robert Brokenshire. Rikki Lambert, one of Brokenshire’s staffers, in turn leaked the data to The Australian in late 2013. The media’s focus then was on the ABC talent like Tony Jones ($356,000 in 20011-12) and the commercial types were ignored. So let’s take a look at a sample of them. Actually a high proportion of persons listed with those roles have since quit or retired from the ABC so I’ll delete the names.

Assuming a compound rate of increase of 2.5% p.a. for the following five years, the positions today would be paying 13% more.[4] This  list showed

  • “Director ABC International”,  on $301,000 (adding 13%, $340,000).
  • “Director Business Services”   on $260,000 ($294,000)
  • “Director ABC Resources”   on $234,000 ($264,000)
  • “General Manager Sales & Distribution” on $221,000 ($250,000)
  • “Head Entertainment”   on $219,000 ($247,000)
  • Director People and Learning, $255,000 ($288,000).

The median pay on the top 100 list was about $200,000, so let us use that figure for our redundancy doodling. In addition, we’ll assume the main ABC EBA applies, and that the person’s tenure at the ABC was (a) 10 years or (b) 20 years.

Applying our EBA formula, the redundancy payout is 35 weeks for a ten-year veteran, or $135,000; and for 20 years, $250,000. Plus, possibly, $20,000 in lieu of notice.

To further keep the wolf from the door, there’s the gorgeous super deals that ABC types wallow in. The most generous of the schemes involves an effective 20% annual contribution from our ABC, more than double the private-sector norm of 9.5 %.

The gold-plated schemes, closed off to new entrants in 2005, are the   defined-benefit schemes paying lifetime indexed pensions with reversion to spouse on death for the remainder of his or her lifetime. This generosity to the public service in general led to an abyss of a funding shortfall, hence ex-Treasurer Peter Costello’s Future Fund requiring $140 billion by 2020 to finance future payouts.

The ABC makes its own provision for the liabilities. Last year the ABC’s bill for straight salaries was $366 million. To this was added $34 million for the defined benefit liability and $33 million for the defined contribution liability. A defined-benefit employee would need to have at least a dozen years tenure, so a small number  of staffers seem to be racking up what represent very large liabilities.

From the government’s super ready reckoner, our $200,000 discharged exec, aged say 50 with 15 years service, goes out on a lifetime indexed pension of 18% ie., $36,000. On death the spouse continues the lifetime benefit, at the rate of $24,000 to $31,000 (67-85%).

The sacked guy or gal’s pension figures are supplemented by  a payout  based on his or her own contributions (5-10% of salary), plus an employer top-up of a 3% annual “productivity component” (don’t laugh!) for all CSS  super members, plus earnings.[5] That separate payout can involve combinations of  lump sum and non-indexed pension.

Despite super like that, ABC execs also enjoy the special tax breaks for government, non-profit and charity workers, via the ABC’s  flexible salary packaging arrangements.

The ABC directs its employees to  “Smart Salary”, which handles the ABC packaging. Inputting myself as a hypothetical $200,000 ABC person, I discover eligibility for a juicy array of tax-reduced goodies, including novated car leases, child care and airport lounge membership. Inputting $10,000 for child care and $510 for Qantas lounge, I find myself $4974 better off.  It’s a mystery why an ABCer deserves special tax benefits denied to private sector toilers.

As with all the public service, ABC enterprise bargains have lots of minor perks too, though even the ABC has nothing to equal the “DECA Day” leave provision at the Defence Department, “to enable an employee to be absent for a non-specified reason”.

I must say you’ve read a lot by now but aren’t much the wiser about payouts to axed ABC types. That  of course is how the ABC wants it.

Tony Thomas’s book of Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[1] Gavin oversees all of the daily radio and television news programmes, including Radio 4′s Today programme, World at OneVictoria Derbyshire, as well as the News at Six and Ten.

[2] The BBC is also committed to disclosing the pay of its on-air stars from this year.  Theresa May’s government is amending the BBC’s charter to force the BBC to reveal the pay of all on-air talent getting more than £150,000 ($A240,000). There are about 110 of these high-fliers whose pay will  have to be disclosed in £50,000 bands; after that the bands will narrow.

[3] I was momentarily distracted by the half page glamour pic (page 116) of staffer Marieke Hardy. Ms Hardy earlier wrote in a hate-speech exercise on the ABC’s The Drum that Liberal Minister Chris Pyne was Australia’s most-loathed person globally. She opined that his appearance on Q&A  had caused the nation to “silently pray for him to get attacked by a large and libidinous dog”. After an indecent delay, the ABC (Charter: Impartial) pulled the article off The Drum and apologized to Pyne. Marieke is now not merely forgiven but lauded in the annual report.

[4] The 2013 EBA provided for pay rises of 2.5-2.6% compound p.a.

[5]  In terms of that ABC employer “Productivity Component” of 3% per annum, try this ABC slice of life from Louise Evans about the cadre of ‘lifers’ there in 2013:

“a pocket of predominantly middle-aged, Anglo-Saxon staff … who were impervious to change, unaccountable, untouchable and who harboured a deep sense of entitlement.

They didn’t have a 9-5 mentality. They had a 10-3 mentality. They planned their work day around their afternoon yoga class. They wore thongs and shorts to work, occasionally had a snooze on the couch after lunch and popped out to Paddy’s Market to buy fresh produce for dinner before going home.

They were like free-range chickens, wandering around at will, pecking at this and that, content that laying one egg constituted a hard day’s work…

 Taxi dockets were left in unlocked drawers for the taking and elephantine leave balances had been allowed to accumulate. When programs shut down for Christmas, staff would get approval from their executive producers to hang around for a week or two “to tidy things up”. One editor asked for his leave to be cut back by a week because he’d need to pop into work during the holidays to “check emails”.That constituted work.”

An interesting practice in 2016-17 is the ABC Media Watch team of nine departing for their holidays on November 21 last and the program not returning until February 6. The team comprises Presenter, Executive Producer, Director, Story Editor, Supervising  Producer, three researchers, and a coordinator.

Facts? They’d Ruin the Best ABC Stories

Work for our unsupervised national broadcaster and it seems you can peddle any politically twisted falsehood that strikes your fancy. Case in point: 7.30’s shock! horror! reporting on the wave of hate crimes Donald Trump is said to have unleashed. It’s all rubbish, total and unmitigated nonsense

lies r usThe ABC’s daily campaign to discredit the Trump presidency is swinging along, but could I suggest that you ABC people be a bit more subtle about it?

The ABC’s statutory charter of impartiality is of course a dead letter. But I just think that your Trump-hate would be more effective were it  based on even a skerrick of fact  and logic.

Take, for example, the item on last Tuesday night’s ABC TV 7.30, presented by Leigh Sales and compiled by US-based Conor Duffy (the ABC’s former environment correspondent). Unidentified persons in Pennsylvania damaged 100 tombstones at Mt Carmel Jewish cemetery last month. There have also been a spate of bomb hoaxes to Jewish institutions. These were the salient facts in the 7.30 item.

But as Leigh Sales unctuously introduced the segment: “Some people blame Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for unleashing people’s worst impulses, something Trump backers of course dispute.”

Some  people also blame Leigh Sales for  bayonetting new-born kittens, something Leigh Sales backers of course dispute.

The same Trump-trashing material was published on the ABC website the same day, under the banner “Trump’s America”. A lead para states that “race hate crimes are spiking in President Donald Trump’s America.” (Obama’s America, by contrast, involved unicorns grazing on coast-to-coast flower-beds).

Somehow the inflammatory rhetoric spewing from the Democrat camp is not on the ABC’s radar. On March 4, Obama’s former Attorney General, African-American Loretta Lynch, made an impassioned video plea for more marching, blood and death on the streets – a video that was later posted on the Facebook page of Senate Democrats as “words of inspiration.” Maybe I need to repeat this – Obama’s former Attorney-General wants anti-Trump rioting, blood and death on the streets.[1]

In her video Lynch says people are experiencing “great fear and uncertainty” over Trump.

“I know it’s a time of concern for people, who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back. I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy.   It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.”

But Leigh Sales and Conor Duffy know that Trump, not Obama’s henchpeople, is responsible for any and all hate crimes in the US, because he’s used inflammatory rhetoric.  The TV presenters don’t want to say so themselves, because they’re such professionally-objective journalists. But they seek out third-party talking heads to deliver their message. Here’s their line-up:

  • Allen Hornblum,  whose dead relatives suffered tombstone damage. Hornblum blames Trump hot and strong. A quick check reveals that Hornblum is a “political organiser” who thinks George W. Bush escaped jail for invading Iraq because of his money and power. Hornblum is  ex-executive director of Americans for Democratic Action, a Democrat-oriented think-tank.

Omitting to mention Hornblum’s affiliations, the ABC’s Duffy lets him say, “I think some of this (desecration)  can probably be tied to the national political scene and some of the statements by Donald Trump.”

  • Pennsylvania Attorney-General Josh Shapiro, who according to Duffy is  touted as a potential leader of the Democrat Party. Well, Shapiro would relish a free kick at Trump, wouldn’t he.
  • Tarek El-Messidi, a nice Muslim cooperating with Jews to get the damage repaired. He sounds off about “the rhetoric of the campaign” and “an eco-system of hate”.

The item did show Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer condemning the incidents.

The stuff about Trump being responsible for all race hate is Left-liberal media derangement. For example, the FBI has caught one of the alleged anti-Semitic bomb hoaxers in St Louis, Missouri. He’s Juan Thompson, 31, an African-American journalist and anti-white racist alleged to have made at least eight of the threats. Was he inflamed by the toxic campaign rhetoric of evil Donald Trump? Er, no. Thompson had been allegedly stalking a  former white girlfriend. From January he was making bomb threats in her name and concocting other threats to make it look as though she was trying to frame him.  He went to some lengths to defame her as anti-Semitic (and a VD-infected user of child porn etc) but so far there is no evidence that he is personally anti-Semitic. The SMH to its credit reported on his arrest on March 4.

Sales and Duffy knew about Thompson’s arrest and background but didn’t mention it on 7.30. It would have spoilt their Trump race-hate  narrative.[2]

Next, let’s look at Trump’s “inflammatory rhetoric”. The 7.30 report re-played two Trumpisms. The first, from last June, was that Mexican illegal immigrants include criminals and rapists. Typically,  7.30 played that but snipped off his (non-inflammatory) words, “And some, I assume, are good people.”  In the second clip, from December, he called for blocking all Muslims from US entry pending full assessment of the security threat they pose.[3] Almost immediately, he began walking back from that position. He now seeks a temporary ban on immigrants from seven terror-infested countries while US authorities work out better security measures.

I don’t know why the ABC thinks that such comments should set off a wave of anti-Semitic threats. The fake-news brigade wants to stitch up Trump as an anti-Semite, notwithstanding that, for example,  his daughter, Ivanka, converted to Orthodox Judaism on marrying Jared Kushner, currently a key Trump adviser. The feeble evidence proffered of the anti-Semite Trump is that he was a day or two slow off the mark in condemning the cemetery attacks – but he has remedied that in full measure.

These fake-news narratives depend on withholding from the public relevant material, e.g. about Loretta Lynch’s call for riots and death and Obama’s manifest anti-Semitism. Here’s  items putting the Trump-as-anti-Semite narrative into a more balanced context.

  • One of President Obama’s last and most spiteful betrayals was to ensure the passing in the Security Council last December of   Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” This means prima facie that the Jewish state  has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, all of which the UN now says belong to Palestine. Israeli officials described Obama’s action as a ‘tailwind for terror and boycotts’.
  • On January 9, 2015, two days after the Charlie  Hebdo massacre, Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly shot and killed four Jews in a kosher grocery. Obama insisted that this was  just a “random” attack on a bunch of “folks” in a “deli”. White House spokesman Josh Earnest maintained Obama’s charade at a press conference soon after, saying the Jews just had the bad luck to be in a Jewish deli when the terrorist began randomly killing people.  Obama dropped this inexplicable farce soon after.

Now it’s true that 7.30 does good work from time to time. But Tuesday’s segment illustrates, yet again, how the ABC’s Left-liberal line-up and groupthink dictate the handling of important political news.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[1] I could find no reference to this on the ABC.

[2] Incidentally, The Intercept, from which Thompson was fired for inventing literally fake news stories, happens to specialize in anti-Trump material, e.g. today’s headline, “Women and children in Yemeni village recall horror of Trump’s ‘highly successful’ SEAL raid.”

[3] While the ABC carries on about Trump race-hate, a 2015 poll of 600 US Muslims by the Center for Security Policy showed “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” For similar results from polling of Muslims in the UK and Europe, see here.

COMMENTS [18]

  1. Doubting Thomas

    We can prattle on as much as we like seeking to hold their ABC and other left-colonised instrumentalities to account for their outrageously biassed behaviour, but it’s unlikrly to change anything. People like Leigh Sales, Jon Faine, and other ABC talking heads, Gillian Triggs and her henchpeople, university academics and the entire fly-blown steaming pile of intellectual ordure are immune to criticism. Why? Simply because they never see or hear it inside their hermetically sealed bubble. There they relax, even wallow, secure in the fulsome praise of their like-minded mates. Anyone outside that bubble is a non-person far beneath their notice.

    The only thing that might change them is for their dung-heaps to be comprehensively destroyed. Trump is setting out to do that in the US. It will need politicians of similar determination to privatise or defund the ABC and to defund the universities forcing them to compete in the marketplace for students who will soon demand something other than the PC pap they are currently being fed. Pigs might fly.

  2. Patrick McCauley

    Direct action – Take Ultimo first – send in the homeless to lie about and prevent activity – send in the unemployed and under-employed to demand jobs and housing – send in the misogynists and racists and homophobes to send out socially engineered statements to the people … ” we cannot change gender any more than we can change the climate’ … “The stolen generation were saved” etc. Once we have Sydney and Melbourne secured … move on the the HRC headquarters to build the ash foundations for the proposed Bill Leak sculpture. After that – the Universities must fall.

    • LBLoveday

      I was looking for an hour+ reading matter from a limited selection in a small newsagency and saw Time magazine’s cover “Beyond ‘He’ or ‘She’. The changing meaning of Gender and Sexuality”, and was reminded of why I stopped buying Time years ago. Bought Reader’s Digest thinking that should be safe enough – jokes, short stories, diet/medical fads – but no, even there I suffered an article on changing the climate, written as if there is no question change is due to man and man alone. One suggestion was to cut down all the trees in Siberia so the exposed snow would reflect more of the sun’s rays and cool the earth.

    • Warty

      I don’t see anything changing in Australia any time soon. The Coalition is as ideologically divided as ever it has been, and no amount of platitudes about it being a ‘broad church’ will hide the fact that they are white anting themselves even more rapidly than little Billy Shorten can outwit them on penalty rates; a Royal Commission into banking; the energy crisis; and a parliamentary vote on SSM.
      Shorten’s policies have nothing going for them, but he has energised union support combined with the CFMEU foot soldiers: GetUp and a few bikie gangs. So the ABC and the equally awful SBS can continue doing what they are doing (or not doing) with impunity, because they know the senate won’t lift a finger to help the Coalition, but even better, there are enough of the PC brigade within the Coalition itself to blow any hostile moves towards our beloved Aunty, before such thoughts even filter up towards the mythical light of day. There is no longer any light of day registering in the darkened recesses of their party room though processes.
      The non functioning Coalition somehow brings to mind the Monty Python skit about Polly, the deceased Norwegian parrot.

      • Jody

        I don’t know whether you’ve noticed the increasing numbers of gay MPs now in the Coalition. Quite a lot of them have more recently acquired seats, some of them very safe seats like Berowra and North Sydney. My own family tells me 50% of those in parliament house are gay now. That, or anything like it, is a staggering statistic and the opportunity to ‘progress’ their own agenda is now a living reality.

        • Warty

          Hmm, yes, living in Berowra as I do, I’m lumbered with one of them. Leeser is also opposed to changing s.18C. No matter, I abandoned ship way before the July election.

  3. gary@erko

    It’s such a relief for leftist progressives to finally have some good ole fashioned desecration of Synagoges and Jewish graves to hide behind, masking their own blatant antisemitism and racist identity politics.

  4. en passant

    Drain the Oz Swamp, but do not attempt it with pumps requiring wind or uphill hydro.

  5. Don A. Veitch

    Why does the ABC need to lie? Why make up facts? President Trump is, in fact, doing enough to discredit himself:
    backsliding on election pledges to Israel on Jerusalem;
    backsliding on détente with Russia;
    warmongering, expanding the war in Yemen, boots on the ground in Syria;
    sucking up to the dark ages government in Saudi Arabia;
    retreating on infrastructure promises;
    insults Germany (and Australia);
    bringing down a horror budget that betrays his core constituency;
    failing to drain the swamp;
    cowardly on Flynn versus ‘deep state’.

    President Trump aka ‘The Snowman’, he melts away when the heat is turned up.

    • Jody

      Have to agree with this and it was all totally predictable. Didn’t need the lefty media to tell us any of this.

    • Warty

      I suppose it’d be a bit much asking for evidence of his backsliding on opening up communications with Russia; going back on his promise to be a friend to Israel, or backing down on his promise to drain the swamp. Memory serves me he was inaugurated in January, just a couple of months ago, not four years ago. I’m impressed you feel he ought to have moved mountains in that short short time, but truth is he is only superhuman, not Christ. But you will of course support your accusations, won’t you, Don?
      Now, I may be wrong, but I don’t recall his ever promising to suck up Saudi Arabia (I certainly wouldn’t want them in my digestive system), nor do I remembering him promising ‘boots on the ground’ in Syria.
      I must say I was disappointed he went ahead with the dismissal of Flynn on a point of honour, because he was outmanoeuvred on that one.

  6. Keith Kennelly

    All this negative about Trump was reported in the unbiased leftie elite media of course.

    I heard one report on 4bc that showed Trump’s popularity is still very strong among those who voted for him and they think he was wired tapped and he’s doing what they want.

    Jody if you say he’s undermining himself then that’s most likely wrong. You’re always wrong about Trump.

    Recall your over excited ranting that he’d be ‘gone in days folks’.

    And you still haven’t given those odds for that bet.

  7. padraic

    One good thing arising from the ABC’s obsession on Trump and spouting the US “swamp’s” view of him on their radio and tv news outlets is that it reduces the amount of time they can devote to promoting their favourite activist themes and bashing the present federal government. However, they still manage to fit in those two local obsessions – for example – the daily TV program that appears in newspapers recently showed the following: “8.30 – Newton’s Law – Josephine defends a woman accused of smuggling an asylum seeker out of a local hospital” I think that says it all. The other morning on News Radio a political “commentator” had a crack at Bill Leak, condemning him with faint praise. When they are on an activist-themed roll they often accompany the story with music that suits the victim mentality. These offerings are usually accompanied by a commentary expressed in unctuous, patronising tones.

  8. Keith Kennelly

    There you go again name calling.

    Wrong again.

    I run three business. Two are marginal at present. The other is my retirement and my family’s legacy.

    I have a very balanced life and have sufficient power in my own not to have to put others down.

    You could learn from me.

  9. Keith Kennelly

    What? Don’t you like your ‘facts’ challenged?

    You are behaving like the educated elites … again.

    Name call and abuse the messenger when you are challenged on the things you say?

    You could really learn from me.

    First lesson.

    Be self critical.

  10. Keith Kennelly

    Second lesson: something I read in a quadrant article about truth, right and rationality.

    ‘Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for action: and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right.’

    Robert Menzies.

    This is the very best explanation of why it so necessary to challenge opinions of those who express and think ‘fake news’ is fact.

Life is Good at Their ABC

What can taxpayers expect for the billion dollars a year that underwrites the ABC? Not much over the Christmas season, which begins when shows go on hiatus at some point in November and very often doesn’t end until March, when rested leftists return to preach the goat-cheese gospel

paul barryWhy is Media Watch presenter Paul Barry so sad?  He’s sad because he and his ABC mates get a huge paid break over Christmas — but he’d rather be working, of course. Barry signed off on his November  21 episode, “But for now until next year, we’re sad to say that’s all from us. Goodbye.” 

He didn’t say when next year his show would deign to reappear. Such disclosure might be embarrassing.  On recent years’ precedents, we’re talking February 6.[1]

The obvious way to make Paul Barry and his mates happy again is for the ABC to schedule a couple more Media Watch episodes this month or cut short the January furlough. It wouldn’t cost much since salaries are being paid anyway and facilities are lying around unused.

But the ABC prefers to wave an early bye-bye to most of its ABC current affairs gurus and their milling teams of helpers. It then fills the vacated slots with overseas rubbish like the aptly-named UK quiz show Pointless (currently at Series 10, Episode 70. On December 19 Pointless will screen twice – both times as repeats).

ABC people should be doubly happy to forego some of their excessive Christmas break because they’ve just negotiated that wonderful new enterprise agreement. It includes a one-off $500 payment[2] in addition to three annual 2% pay rises (the first back-paid to July 1), seven days paid “domestic violence leave” and an increase in maternity and spousal leave.[3]

There are plenty of other ABC perks too, like 15.4% employer-paid super  or well over 20% for those on the old super scheme.  The norm in the private sector is the obligatory 9.5%. The ABC also has a flexible salary-packaging arrangements   “allowing you to effectively salary sacrifice to suit your individual financial requirements. Options available include superannuation, cars, childcare and laptops.” As with all the public service, ABC enterprise bargains have lots of minor perks too, though even the ABC has nothing to equal the “DECA Day” leave provision at the Defence Department, “to enable an employee to be absent for a non-specified reason”.

A little ABC perk I did notice in the current EBA is that you can get a $20 tax-free meal allowanceafter working eight hours (on 6am or 11am starts. I suspect that 2.01 and 7.01 pm are popular knock-off times at Ultimo and Southbank). In ABC parlance, disappearing for a sixth of a year is called “taking a break”. It used to be self-described as “taking a well-earned break” but this phrase, abbreviated to WEB, attracted undue satire.

On the same November 21 evening, Q&A’s Tony Jones signed off, “Now, this is the final Q&A of 2016.”[4] And on  the website, he says, “Thank you for watching Q&A. We will return in February 2017 and hope you will also come back to ask the questions and join the conversation…” When in February, exactly, Tony? On last year’s precedent, QandA might reappear as early as February 6, but who knows?.

I can’t pretend to be an admirer of Q&A but it’s odd that Jones hasn’t told his fans why he’s deserting them for so long. After all, he’s not underpaid. When ABC stars’ salaries were accidentally leaked by an ABC staffer in 2012, Tony Jones topped the list on $355,789. Guessing that he’s improved his pay by 3% a year, that would put his current taxpayer-funded paypacket at a $412,456.[5]

Jones is also billed as co-host of Lateline. His last appearance there was November 23,  interviewing King Abdullah of Jordan. His contribution to Lateline since November 23 consists of his mugshot at the top of the Lateline web page.

Some ABC TV programs disappear but their presenter soldiers on in a different role. An example is Geraldine Doogue’s Compass. It began its Christmas break on November 6, with Doogue signing off, “Well, I hope you enjoyed that program, and especially so, because it’s the last program for the year. Have a wonderful holiday season when you get to it and we look forward to offering you a brand-new season of Compass in 2017. But goodbye for now.”

She doesn’t tell us when Compass will resume, and its historical track record is erratic, to put it mildly. In 2015, she finished on November 29 and Compass belatedly returned on February 28, 2016. But actually, that program and the next on March 6 were about Pope Francis, syndicated from overseas and already more than a year old. (Compass’s motto could well echo Nellie Melba’s – “Sing ‘em muck; it’s all they can understand”). Doogue herself didn’t run  an interview program  until March 13, 2016.

However, Doogue has her substantial slot on ABC Radio with Saturday Extra at 7.30am. She kept that going through November and also last weekend. I don’t know if it’s on again next Saturday (10/12/16).

It’s not her “breaks” I’m cranky about but how she’s turned Compass into yet another ABC loudspeaker for Leftist elitism and moral superiority. She called her September 4 Compass program, “The Moral Compass – Capitalism Under Pressure”. The website summary opens with  this crushing non-sequitur:

“Are the Brexit vote, the Trump phenomenon and the resurgence of One Nation all signs that democracy and capitalism are under pressure and failing to deliver? If so, what can we do to build a fairer more equitable system?”  

She quizzed her panel,

“Tonight, are our democratic values falling short of our current needs? And if so, how can we redeem our system? … Now, I’d like to ask you all, is the democracy and the capitalism that we have known failing us, really?” (By “we” and “us”, I assume Doogue means “my kind”.)

To paraphrase, she’s saying that if Leftists don’t win a democratic vote, it’s a failure of democracy and democracy should be replaced by a “fairer” political system where only Leftists can win.[6] She hasn’t twigged that the hoi polloi are now  in successful revolt  against her kind.

Doogue also had harsh words to say about the top 1% wealthy Americans, suggesting they should share their money around more.[7] Doogue was on a $182,013 paypacket in 2011-12 (current guestimate, $211,002) and  is well and truly in among Australia’s top 1% wealthiest. If you’d like Doogue to share her money with you, drop her  a line.

Getting back to ABC holidays, I marveled at the final November 20 episode of Foreign Correspondentfor 2016, where “impartial” presenter Emma Alberici ran a mickey-mouse poll proving that Donald Trump was only half as popular as lice, and about as popular as cockroaches and haemorrhoids. Last year Foreign Correspondent closed on December 21 – a good effort – but didn’t resume until March 15 , 2016. Wow, quite a break! The ABC archives page shows that  in 2014, Foreign Correspondentclosed on October 14 and didn’t reappear until April 14, 2015!  The Foreign Correspondent team must have been captured and eventually released by aliens.

Alberici, like Tony Jones, is notionally co-host of Lateline. Since November 20 she’s appeared there three times, on November 28, 29, and 30, interviewing Labor’s Penny Wong and Brendan O’Connor and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Will she appear again in December? Time will tell, as TV journos put it with gravitas.

Four Corners had its final episode on December 2. Unlike the other programs, it has announced it will resume on February 6, 2017.

ABC Insiders with Barry Cassidy finished up on December 4. On last year’s precedent, it will probably return on February 5, 2017.

Science and climate-alarm show Catalyst finished up on November 15. Presenter Dr Graham Phillips, “sad” like Paul Barry, signed off, “Well, that’s the last Catalyst for this year, so from all the Catalyst team, thank you for watching…Thank you for coming with us on this incredible journey”. Well, Catalyst’s climate doom-mongering was certainly incredible.

Phillips might have added that the brutes like Michelle Guthrie running the ABC have axed Catalystaltogether, along with up to nine staff who will queue at the cashier’s counter for the ABC’s particularly generous redundancy payouts.[8]

In 2015, Catalyst finished on December 9 and re-started on February 2 this year. That was better than its peer programs at the ABC.

It is perfectly possible for resource-intensive ABC current affairs programs to run through the Christmas period almost without a break. ABC-TV 7.30 last year had its final program on December 30, and was back on deck on January 4, 2016. Two years earlier, it did considerably better, finishing on December 30, 2013 and amazingly, re-starting on January 1, 2014.

You may be wondering how the hordes of ABC lower-level people involved with Q&AFour CornersCompassForeign Correspondent etc will occupy themselves during the long hot summer.[9]ABC journos get six weeks paid leave a year, to make up for their working on various public holidays. But the non-journos involved with programs get (theoretically) only four weeks paid holidays.

Those involved in the November 20 episode of Foreign Correspondent included Producer (1 person); Camera (2); Editors (5); Research (2); Archives (2); Titles (1); Graphics (1); Production Managers (2); Associate Producer (1);  and Executive Producer (1). Four Corners has a senior crew of close to 20. Heavens know how many supernumeraries inhabit QandA.

I suppose if these people have got no programs to work on from late November to February, they  just  bustle around, public service-fashion. Happy holiday, one and all!

This Quadrant Online survey has been an “incredible journey”, as ABC people would say, into journalism and holidays as practised by a statutory authority. I’d witter on about it some more, but it’s time to collect my meal allowance from my spouse and then go on a well-earned break (from housework).

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

 


[1] The last time Media Watch started earlier than February was in 2012

[2] The ABC’s EBA 2013-16 also involved a $500 one-off payment.

[3] All the gory details are not yet public.

[4] Jones’ final show ended with a musical skit by three Left “comedians” satirizing Pauline Hanson (“Youse have changed the color of the seats”) the Liberals’ George Brandis, and climate sceptic Malcolm Roberts (“This bloke is perversely ignorant, a climate change denying, unrepresentative flake”). QandA of course saw no reason to satirise any  Green or Labor senator.

[5] Maybe the ABC could give a conservative a turn as QandA presenter. The Australian’s columnist Janet Albrechtsen would be great.

[6]  I have no idea why a non-Left voting result says anything about a “failure of capitalism”.

[7] Doogue: “If we could get that money moving around so that there was more of a sense that it was shared.”

[8] An ABC staffer is entitled under the current enterprise bargaining agreement to four weeks salary for each year’s service up to five years, and three weeks salary for each year thereafter, to a maximum of 24 years service.

[9] Tim Flannery’s Climate Council would describe it as an “angry” summer, the scientific term for above-average heat.

Alberici and Their ABC, At It Again

The latest episode of Foreign Correspondent says so much about the spigot of bias that is our national broadcaster it is difficult to know where to begin. Let us start, though, with the show’s inherent dishonesty — and then wonder why an allegedly conservative government funds a billion-dollar disgrace

alberici subway IIABC TV’s Emma Alberici wants us to believe that lice are twice as popular as US president-elect Donald Trump. In her 34-minute Foreign Correspondent special on Sunday night (20/11) she splices in (at 29mins) polling data showing 54% of respondent voters favored lice over Trump, while only 28% favored Trump over lice.

This doubtless had Alberici’s luvvie pals squirming with pleasure. It did nothing for the credibility of herself, Foreign Correspondent or the ABC. Nor did she see any  inconsistency worth explaining between the lice “finding” and Trump getting 61 million votes in the election.

She provided no context for the lice poll, merely lifting the factoid in from a youtube clip. In fact, the poll involved 1222 respondents nationally last May, and generated a raft of other crazy memes like Trump being slightly more popular than haemorrhoids and cockroaches.

Needless to say, the pollsters never sought views  on whether Hillary Clinton was more popular than lice, cockroaches or haemorrhoids, or whether Trump supporters hung up the phone  rather than take any more anti-Trump insults. But it was good enough for Alberici as part of Foreign Correspondent’s juvenile stitch-up of Trump and his supporters.

Other gems from the episode:

  • Alberici verbals Trump as boasting about “sexually assaulting” women. She edited the covert 2005 recording to delete his comment that the women consented to his advances
  • She takes seriously supposition from  New York Times Trump-hater Tim O’Brien, author of Trump biography TrumpNation, that if and when Trump family members work with him in the White House, they will plunder government money to corruptly enrich themselves. She even relays the hypothetical criminality to Republican congressman and  budget executive Tom Cole for comment, asking, “How will you make sure he puts the American people first and not his businesses?”
  • She lards her Trump “analysis” with further abuse from O’Brien:“His entire life has been short-term money-grubbing. That is the single biggest animating force, other than his need for attention” and “You mean you’re surprised that Donald Trump lies? He’s a serial fabulist to the point of almost being pathological. He will not hesitate to lie if he sees it in his short-term interest.”
  • Another Alberici talking head, a comedian apparently, likens Trump to a tame chimpanzee “who seems fun but someday Coco is going to tear your f—g limbs off.”
  • With cavalier imprecision, Alberici inserts grabs of Trump taking extreme positions, such as banning Muslim immigrants, without mentioning that Trump has already toned-down his policy to “extreme vetting” of those from terror-prone countries.
  • Alberici mocks Breitbart News  for a headline “Political Correctness Protects Muslim Rape Culture”. Alberici, bless her, has never heard of the recent rape epidemic by Muslim immigrants in Western Europe or  the 2012 conviction of nine Pakistani Muslims for gang rapes of scores of women over many year in Greater Manchester, while authorities looked the other way rather than ruffle the multicultural harmony thery prefer to believe is the normal state of affairs.
  • Her Main Street interviews with Trump supporters all happen to be white, fat. ageing, and working class.
  • She produces a New York Times reporter, Tim Rutenberg, as sage and oracle about Trump, as if the NYT had covered itself in glory with prescient coverage of the Trump/Clinton contest. In fact, the NYT publisher  issued a post-election apology and pledged to ‘re-dedicate  ourselves” to good  journalism.
  • Alberici, post-election, gets on a New York subway carriage where, surprise, other passengers are staring out the window or accessing their cell-phones. “I feel like a ghost at a funeral,” Alberici says, as if people on the subway there normally engage in merry japes and  folk dancing.
  • She ends the program with a protester waving a sign, “Not Mein Fuhrer”, and a factory churning out hideous face-mask caricatures of Trump.

At least twice in the 34 minutes, Alberici asks her interview subjects how they feel about Trump “boasting about sexual assaults” in the Access Hollywood tape.

To  black female Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault: “How did you feel when you saw that Access Hollywood tape with Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women?” (She plays her interview with Manigault with a straight bat, given that Manigualt seems to have triple Alberici’s IQ).

To two Trump-supporting women in a hair salon:  “What about what Trump said about women when he was caught on the tape  boasting about sexual assault?”

Alberici knew that Trump’s relevant words were:

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” (My emphasis. I’m not saying Trump’s words were tasteful).

So the context is that Trump, when he was an insanely rich media star, boasted that he had women groupies around him who would trade sex favors for access and relationship. To demonstrate her false point, Alberici aired the “pussy” bit of the tape while snipping off the key sentence, “When you’re a star they let you do it.” I’ve put in a complaint about this to the ABC, we’ll see how they (eventually) respond.[i]

In yet another tired “gotcha”, Alberici recycles Hillary’s debate claim about Trump calling women “pigs, slobs and dogs.”  Trump in fact acknowledged calling TV host Rosie O’Donnell fat and a loser. In 2013, O’Donnell shed 50lbs after surgery. The pair had been insulting each other for a decade, with O’Donnell falsely calling him a bankrupt. O’Donnell followed up “snake oil salesman” with “[He] left the first wife — had an affair. [He] had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend.” The link, however, also shows Trump treating his foe O’Donnell with surprising courtesy and compassion during one of her illnesses.

Alberici is particularly respectful when interviewing some of the “tens of thousands” of post-election protesters on the streets, panning to snuggly signs like “Take Care of Each Other”. She apparently failed to notice that pre-election, the Clinton team had a field day predicting that Trump supporters would not accept his imminent electoral defeat.

To sum up, the ABC is and will remain clueless about how and why Trump won the election. It will continue to serve its public with mindless sneers about Trump in lieu of analysis, as seen in Foreign Correspondent.

As a public educator, Alberici is a disgrace. As a source of information, Foreign Correspondent is a disgrace. For tolerating and promoting both of them, the ABC is a disgrace. But we knew all that, of course. What we don’t know is why the purportedly conservative government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disgraces itself by doing to nothing to clean out the national broadcaster’s billion-dollar stable.

Tony Thomas’ book of Quadrant essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here


[i] Alberici also verballed Tony Abbott when Prime Minister, causing the ABC to publish a correction.

COMMENTS [5]

  1. ianl

    > “… why the purportedly conservative government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disgraces itself by doing to nothing to clean out the national broadcaster’s billion-dollar stable”

    Thank you for the amusement, Tony, but the answer to your hypothetical question is that if Waffle dares to point an analytical question towards the ABC, why, then the banana will get it (or perhaps the pyjamas) – right between the eyes.

    And just you see what that does to your poll ratings, Waffle.

    • Tony Thomas

      I got a reply to my ABC complaint, with surprising alacrity:

      Thank you for your note about our story “President Trump” and in particular how it dealt with Mr Trump’s recorded statements about groping women.

      Given that sexual assault includes the sexual touching of another person without prior consent, I have no issue with the framing of Emma Alberici’s questions. I also note that Mr Trump’s staffer and the women Trump supporters in the hairdressing salon did not dispute the phrasing when the questions you mentioned were put to them.

      Kind regards

      ABC
      Michael Doyle
      Associate Producer, Foreign Correspondent

  2. Bran Dee

    Presently we have in Communications Minister Mitch Fifield one of the least effective in that office, apart from the former incumbent who was the preoccupied appointee of Tony Abbott, and was referred to in The Australian 21/11 as the Homer Simpson of the Turnbull government.

    Is Alberici not the spouse of another at the ABC, one who was given a make work position in the ‘Fact check’department?

  3. Patrick McCauley

    Alberici is particularly annoying because she holds herself in such high esteem. She seems to imagine herself not only a global citizen but also a member of the European (Italian) royalty which created the enlightened new political correctness. So Trump, for her, is a special insult. Her cultured fragilities have been doubly offended … more so than your ordinary couch feminist . She works and thinks ( and looks) more like a seductress than a journalist. More movie star than interviewer. She is the haircut the ABC wants for itself. However she may struggle to keep that under thirty ragamuffin look for much longer … as age settles her precocious bigotry into its rightful place.

  4. Keith Kennelly

    Drain the ABC swamp!

A BBC Program the ABC Won’t Like

Britain’s national broadcaster, much against its will, must soon reveal the gold-plated salaries of top stars and lesser lights. Given the ultra-comfy pay deal our ABC collectivists have just awarded themselves, PM Turnbull will want something similar here. Yeah, right

their abcThe BBC is now committed to disclosing the pay of its on-air stars from next year. So can our ABC continue to claim that the pay of Tony Jones, Phillip Adams et al is a state secret? It sure can, until we have conservative politicians with the will and the Senate numbers to bring ABC pay levels into the daylight.

In the UK, Theresa May’s government is amending the BBC’s charter to force the BBC to reveal the pay of all on-air talent getting more than £150,000 ($A240,000). There are about 110 of these high-fliers whose pay will  have to be disclosed in £50,000 bands; after that the bands will narrow. The BBC is funded to the tune oif £3.7 billion a year by licence fees of £145.50 ($A235) per household. The ABC is funded directly by taxes.

The BBC previously won a disclosure battle with the limp-wristed David Cameron government, which wanted a £150,000 trigger for disclosure, but the BBC managed to increase it to  £450,000 ($A722,000). This caught only seven  BBC presenters, the most familiar to Australian viewers being the winsome Fiona Bruce of Antiques Roadshow , whose modest remuneration runs to around £500,000 ($A811,000).

Theresa May’s culture secretary, Karen Bradley, says broader disclosure will make the BBC “more open and transparent about its operations”, explaining that  “licence fee payers have a right to know where their money goes. By making the BBC more transparent it will help deliver savings that can then be invested in even more great programs.”

The pay of senior BBC executives is already disclosed. The UK government says the secrecy around talents’ pay is an anomaly. Some BBC talent will continue to evade pay disclosure because they are packaged in production companies that sell shows to the BBC.  A local equivalent is The Chaser on the ABC, which is made by production company Giant Dwarf.[i]

BBC Director General Tony Hall bleats that the forced disclosure will lower the BBC‘s  competitiveness  “and this will not make it easier for the BBC to retain the talent the public love.”

In Australia, the ABC staff are a well-heeled bunch, even before their controversial new enterprise bargaining agreement, with its 2% annual pay rises, one-off $500 gift, and various leave increases. According to the ABC’s 2016 annual report[ii], three in ten staffers (29%) are pulling salaries of more than $100,000, and that is before all the add-ons (such as super). Last year, 176 executives also received performance bonuses, which averaged close to $9200. It is hardly surprising that the ABC is rated Australia’s fifth most attractive employer by the Randstad survey.

In Australia the only facts about ABC staff salaries relates to 2011-12 pay levels for  some 100 Individuals in on-air roles and in the bureaucracy, all earning more than $170,000. The big names included Tony Jones, Q&A, $355,789; Juanita Phillips, newsreader, $316,454; Richard Glover, 702 Drive host, $290,000; Jon Faine, 774 Mornings host, $285,249; Leigh Sales, 7.30 host, $280,400; Chris Uhlmann, 7.30 political editor, $255,400; Fran Kelly, Radio National Breakfast host, $255,000; Barrie Cassidy, Insiders and Offsiders host, $243,478; and Virginia Trioli, ABC News Breakfast host, $235,664. Note that they have all stuck to the ABC like fleas to a dog, notwithstanding that the pay disclosures allegedly made them prime targets for poachers from commercial TV.

The pay disclosure was anything but deliberate: the ABC for years had fought off freedom-of-information requests about pay. But an Adelaide ABC  pay office staffer in October, 2012, sent SA Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire some harmless data on regional staff numbers, overlooking that sensitive payroll data was embedded in the same spreadsheet. This data found its way to The Australian.

ABC  stars like Tony Jones, Emma Alberici, Fran Kelly and Barrie Cassidy top up their pay with speaking gigs for external parties at $5000-$15,000 a time. Google shows Tony Jones listed with Celebrity Speakers and with Saxton, Platinum, ICMI and Ovations bureaus. Alberici is with Platinum, Claxton and Celebrity. Cassidy is with Saxton, Claxton,  CMIC and Celebrity. Holmes is shown with Saxton, ICMI, and Catalyst. Leigh Sales is with Claxton, Salesforce and Platinum. Amounts paid are not public but FOI has elicited that presenter Dr Karl Kruszelnicki got $10,800 for a single speech in mid-2014. Alberici got $14,300 for hosting an awards night for Austrade in 2013, and $15,000 for a two-day Wesfarmers conference in 2012.

Apart from their comfy salaries, long-standing ABC staff are also aboard the gold-plated public-service super scheme for federal public servants. This gives them an indexed life pension. For someone retiring at 61 and with 33 years service, the indexed pension is 47% of salary, say $70,000 for someone finishing with a $150,000 paypacket.  When you die, your spouse/partner picks up the lifetime indexed pension at a reduced rate of 67% – 85% of the original pension. The spouse continues getting the lifetime pension whether or not he/she remarries. The cost of this largesse to the ABC, and hence to taxpayers, is about 20% of a staffer’s salary.

Although the two gold-plated defined-benefit schemes closed to new entrants in 1995-05, they are still costing the ABC more than the  successor “accumulation” scheme paying earnings pro-rata with contributions. The numbers are $34m liability in 2015-16 for defined benefit schemes, vs $33m for accumulation schemes.

A special lurk involves an anomaly in the system enabling ABC staffers to retire at 54 years and 11 months and still get a better lifetime payout than if they kept working to 60 or 65. If you notice that  a retiree at the tennis club seems strangely youthful, you can bet he/she has pulled this age-55 trick, which can propagate an extra benefit of up to $200,000 from the taxpayers.

It is well-nigh impossible to terminate an ABC staffer for non-performance or bad behavior. Under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act (1983), there is not only tenure for staff but a “Tenure Appeal Board” (s57) consisting of a paid chairperson and one rep each from the commission and the staff. Thus sacking a tenured ABC worker would precipitate a bureaucratic battle. For a successful sacking, the ABC would need grounds such as a jail sentence for child pornography, as was handed in 2012 to a leading ABC personality in Tasmania. Some observers claim the protections against dismissal for ABC workers are even better than in the federal public service.

Staff made redundant have the consolation of uber-generous payouts. An ABC staffer is entitled under the previous (and presumably the new) enterprise bargaining agreement to four weeks salary for each year’s service up to five years, and three weeks salary for each year thereafter, to a maximum of 24 years service. Thus a 15-year staffer would get 20 + 30 + 5 weeks notice = 55 weeks pay. Nice!

Another perk is the talents’ extensive  “well earned break” for one sixth of the year, when high-profile programs    take long holidays. Media Watch folded its tent last November 23 and didn’t return till  February 1 – a handsome nine-week furlough. Q&A went to the beach on November 25 last year and didn’t reappear till February 1. Lateline went on hols last December 4 and re-appeared February 1. Compass did the same from November 29 to February 28.

So come on, Malcolm Turnbull, start the ball rolling and let’s all see what our taxes are paying for at the ABC.

Footnote: The chore of reading ABC annual reports did elicit that it’s well-paid work writing post-mortems for the ABC board on ABC stuff-ups. For example, TV ex-star Ray Martin and SBS ex-managing director Shaun Brown trousered $98,400 for their 108-page report into Q&A impartiality last year, according to some fine print. For some reason the pay was split $30,000 to Martin and $68,400 to Brown. The inquiry followed the notorious invitation to ex-gaol bird Zaky Mallah to join the live audience and ambush federal minister Steve Ciobo with a question. Martin summed up the notoriously left-leaning Q&A as “mostly excellent… balanced, entertaining and informative”.

The pair looked at 23 episodes and reported that all was well on the impartiality front. But they were able to pad this nothingburger with recommendations for more women and more ethnic and geographic perspectives.

Pay for other consulting reports included

  • Ex-Age and ex-Herald editor Steve Harris: $30,000 for a review of the ABC’s coverage of the Higher Education Research Bill (2014).
  • Journalist Kerry Blackburn (assisted by former ANZ CEO Mike Smith), $60,470  for a review of impartiality of ABC business coverage, with more work in progress this fiscal year.
  • Freelance writer Mark Skulley, $21,600 for a review of ABC coverage of the proposed Shenhau coal mine during 2015-16, with more work in progress this fiscal year.
  • Ex-journalist Peter Cavanagh: $25,000 for a review of the ABC’s coverage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreeement

However, the 2014-15 report did not disclose the amount paid to ex-AFR editor Colleen Ryan for her review of the ABC’s 2015 federal budget coverage.

Tony Thomas’ new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here


 [i]  About 15% of the ABC’s commissioned broadcast hours go to independent productions.  Shows include We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, 
Enough Rope,
 Year Of The Dogs,
 Kath & Kim, The Slap, 
Sea Change, Hungry Beast,
 Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable,
 Two Men In a Tinnie,
 On Trial,
 Gruen Nation,
 Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure, Two In The Top End,
 and Three Boys Dreaming. 

[ii] It is jaw-dropping to also read in that report that

The ABC’s commitment to impartiality and diversity of perspectives reflects the need for a democratic society to deliver diverse sources of reliable information and contending opinions. Aiming to equip audiences to make up their own minds is consistent with the public service character of the ABC.”

 

COMMENTS [5]

  1. en passant

    Tony,
    You mention that the ABC is resisting the transparency they insist / inflict upon others although you: “Note that they have all stuck to the ABC like fleas to a dog, notwithstanding that the pay disclosures allegedly made them prime targets for poachers from commercial TV.”
    This is the key and we should not be holding them back from being paid their true worth.
    Get rid of the ABC as just another cankerous government dysfunctional make-work sore that has long outlived its role.

    • nfw

      Absolutely. Let them make us an offer for it we can’t refuse. Then we’ll see how long Their ALPBC lasts without taxpayers forking out the dosh. Alternatively, to save bucks, move the Sydney studios to say Macquarie Fields and the Melbourne studios to Craigieburn. Then “the talent” and all the staff, who need to have domestic violence leave (can’t wait for HR to start reporting that), can work and play amongst those they claim to rule, er, represent and care so much about.

      • whitelaughter

        It has potential. Or even better, have every presenter who has bleated about Islam being a religion of peace transferred to Saudi Arabia, so they can experience that peace first hand. Given the demographics of the ABC, this will be to die for – literally.

    • ianl

      > … the ABC is resisting the transparency they insist / inflict upon others …

      Yes. Their rank hypocrisy stems from the envy within them that they fear so in others. But it isn’t the envy of the hoi-polloi they fear (after all, the hoi-polloi lurrvve meeja stars); rather, they fear the envy of each other, since ratings are supposed to be beneath their dignity and there is no other way of determining “virtue” beyond scratchy cat fighting. They much prefer not doing that in public …

  2. Bran Dee

    The chairman of the ABC board Jim Spigelman is an historic Labor figure who 44 years after after purging conservatives from the ABC is there to reject the government’s workplace bargaining limits. From 1972 to 1975 Spigelman served as Senior Adviser and Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. In 1975 he was appointed the Secretary of the Department of the Media.
    In 1976 Malcolm Fraser tried but was unable to undo the Labor purge. Now Whitlam and Fraser are gone but Spigelman is allowed to lead and uphold the Whitlam ABC legacy.

Pauline Hanson’s Mixed Bag

TONY THOMAS

Her economic policies reek of ratbaggery, so let us hope she doesn’t use her Senate clout to revive protectionism and tariffs. On multiculturalism and de-funding Big Climate’s fools and charlatans, however, she is with the angels. No wonder the ABC is already spitting insults

pauline smallPauline Hanson is now a powerful force in a divided Senate. She may head a team there of two, three (with a NSW seat) or even four senators, on a  platform including a Royal Commission into the corruption of global warming science. “This whole climate change is not based on empirical evidence and we are being hoodwinked,” she says. “Climate change is not due to humans.”

The Hanson policies will now, unavoidably, be brought into the mainstream political conversation. Hitherto, the media has chosen to treat her and her policies as “racism and bigotry” (they aren’t), “divisive” (code for “intolerable for us Leftists”) and as a butt for sex  gibes.

The ABC has just  now displayed a caricature of her as “Pauline Pantsdown”. The ABC’s only pretext for this crudity is “Simon Hunt’s Pauline Pantsdown character (right) was popular in the 1990s.”

Somehow I can’t imagine our ABC running an equivalent caricature of Labor’s Penny Wong as “Penny Pantsdown”, ditto Julia Gillard.

Expect new ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie, to crack down hard on her myrmidons responsible for this sexist crudity against Hanson. Expect feminist Anne Summers to fly to Hanson’s defence any minute now. Expect ex-General David Morrison, Australian of the Year, to issue a new missive deploring ABC sexism – as he says, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Oh, and expect pigs to fly. The ABC illustration, published apropos of nothing at all, is below.

pauline

Actually, worse things have been done to Hanson by way of misogynist abuse. On March 15, 2009, while she was in her final week’s campaign as an independent for the Queensland State election, News Corp’s Sunday Telegraph and four other Murdoch tabloids published nude photographs purporting to be of Pauline Hanson in 1975. The papers paid a paparazzo $15,000 for them. Hanson’s election bid was defeated amid taunts and mockery, but the pictures of “Hanson” were manifestly fakes. In May Sunday Telegraph editor Neil Breen published a signed three-paragraph apology to her saying, “We have learnt a valuable lesson”. She obtained an out of court settlement.

Hanson is no longer easy prey. She is very likely to have as her running mate in the Senate the prominent climate sceptic Malcolm Roberts. He has been project leader for a sceptic think-tank, the Galileo Movement, founded by Case Smit and John Smeed.[i]

Roberts  is an engineering honors graduate and MBA from Chicago Graduate School of Business.  He is a one-time underground-coal miner and project executive, and his primary motive for joining Hanson is the fight against global warmists. The Galileo website says Roberts had been “statutorily responsible for thousands of people’s lives based on his knowledge and real-world experience of atmospheric gases, including carbon dioxide.”

Roberts explains his move to the Hanson party: “She is not as the media and political opponents have portrayed. Pauline is intelligent, quick, honest, courageous and persistent. We are passionate about bringing back our country.”

Anything is possible among Senate minor candidates and Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats includes up-front warming sceptics[ii] and a sceptical/agnostic view of the warming panic.  This includes a halt to warmist propaganda in school.

What a conundrum for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his side-kick, Greg Hunt, who  brought their faux carbon tax into operation last week, under the emissions trading label. Turnbull  said last month that Hanson “is not a welcome presence on the Australian political scene.” She responded reasonably that this was the electors’ call, not Turnbull’s.

What a conundrum for Tony Abbott, who organized the funding for the legal persecution of Hanson, claiming she had committed electoral irregularities. Hanson  in 2003 was sentenced to three years gaol for fraud and served eleven weeks in maximum security, including some time in solitary confinement. In November, 2003, the Court of Appeal quashed her conviction but she was still left $500,000 out of pocket.

What a conundrum for The Greens, with their agenda to suicidally switch Australian energy to those expensive unreliables, wind and solar.  Hanson outpolled the Greens in the Senate on Queensland first preferences, 9.15 per cent to 7.57 per cent.

And unfortunately, what a conundrum for economically-literate climate sceptics. That’s because Hanson’s party platform includes not only an anti-fracking agenda but the most primitive of protectionist policies. Those policies are designed to re-erect tariff  walls, prop up hopeless manufacturers, cancel free-trade agreements and reject the globalization which has brought unprecedented living standards to developed and Third World countries alike.

Whatever, Hanson’s main climate policy is brilliant. Here it is (I’ve re-ordered the points somewhat):

  • Hold a Royal Commission (or similar) into the corruption of climate science and identify whether any individual or organisation has misled government to effect climate and energy policy.
  • Remove all subsidies and financial advantages offered to the renewable energy industry and make them compete on an even playing field with other energy sources.
  • Support reliable, low-cost power generation. This has previously been Australia’s strongest competitive advantage.
  • Establish an independent Australian science body replacing the UN IPCC to report on climate science. It will be the beyond politicisation and be the basis of Australian policy on insurance and response to weather events.
  • One Nation will oppose all taxes levied on carbon dioxide, be it a flat carbon tax or a floating emissions trading scheme…
  • Abolish the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and support practical cost-effective research into energy efficiency, reliability and dependability.
  • Cancel all agreements obliging Australia to pay for foreign Climate Action and payment to the United Nations and foreign institutions…
  • Remove from the education system the teaching of a one-sided view of climate science. Teaching of climate science will begin in secondary school and will be based on the scientific method of scepticism until proven.
  • Environmental impacts to be assessed on the use of empirical scientific evidence, not activists or non-government organisations pushing ideology and political agendas.
  • Review the Bureau of Meteorology to ensure independence and accountability for weather and climate records, including public justification of persistent upward adjustments to historical climate records.
  • Review the CSIRO to ensure independence and accountability and determine whether funding has influenced the direction and results of CSIRO’s positions on the climate claims. Funding from the UN in particular will be probed for an agenda not consistent for what is best for Australians.
  • Ensure that all climate, energy and environmental policy decisions, requiring a scientific component, are based on the scientific method and empirical evidence. All decisions will be based on an economic, social and environmental assessment with environmental issues not automatically put ahead of humanity or economic realities.
  • Support renewable energy that does not impact on the environment and encourage research in the ability to store energy at affordable cost to households and businesses.
  • The wind industry must compensate all residents who have been proven to suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome and any residents where the presence of wind turbines have negatively effected the price of their home.

The platform says,

Climate change has and will continue to be used as a political agenda by politicians and self interest groups or individuals for their own gain. We cannot allow scare mongering by people such as Tim Flannery, who make outlandish statements and are not held accountable. Climate change should not be about making money for a lot of people and giving scientists money.  

[Emissions Trading Systems are] not going to wave a magic wand and stop nature changing the climate. It will only make it harder for Australian families and businesses to make ends meet…

…Instead of so-called ‘alternative energies’ that are really ‘alternatives to energy’, we will work to reduce energy prices, and bring back dependability and reliability through environmentally responsible  energies. Low cost energy enables efficiency and productivity that generate wealth to protect the environment.

Hanson’s policies also include signing out of duplicitous UN treaties and agendas, zero net immigration (i.e. immigration equivalent to annual departures), and tough German and Japanese-style language tests for citizenship and welfare, which would be obtained only after five years’ residence. Muslim immigration and mosque-building projects would be halted. [iii]“We don’t want or need migrants bringing their problems, laws, culture and opposing religious beliefs on us,” her website says.  “If we do not make the necessary changes now to stop the advancement of Islam in Australia, there will be no hope in the future.”

Hanson’s huge polling in House seats she contested suggests many Australian voters are doing the “Brexit” thing, giving the finger to their politically-correct overlords. (Unlike the major parties, she campaigns for, not against, freedom of speech.) She ran candidates in 12 out of 30 Queensland seats, gaining 5.34% statewide. Her best results included the Lockyer Valley (21 per cent), Hinkler, based on Bundaberg (19.6 per cent), Flynn, south and west of Gladstone, (nearly 17 per cent), and Wide Bay, covering Maryborough and Gympie, (nearly 15 per cent). In Townsville’s seat of Herbert, she got 13%, compared with the Greens’ 6.1%.

All that is left to say is congratulations to Malcolm Turnbull for his transforming of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party into a national force and a megaphone for climate sanity.

Tony Thomas’s new book That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here


[i] “They are incensed by activists and academics misrepresenting science to falsely claim global warming is harmful and caused by humans. They are concerned by academics and activists hiding behind the appeal to authority, yet mostly unwilling to debate the facts in public.”

[ii] As their WA lead candidate, Mark Imisides, put it:  “I am a career scientist, teacher, and WA resident since 1996. I am keen to address the misinformation about climate change on

[iii] She wants a Royal Commission into whether Islam is a religion deserving of tax deductible status or a dangerous anti-democratic theocracy. She also wants an end to oft-alleged profiteering via halal certification fees.

 

 

COMMENTS [25]

  1. mags of Queensland

    As she did in the past, Pauline Hanson has her finger on the pulse of the people. Pity her critics are not so astute. They mightn’t make so many stupid decisions.

  2. Mr Johnson

    Pauline Hanson is good news for the Libs – but not for the reason many people think. She won at the expense of the far superior Australian Liberty Alliance. Just like in the past, Pauline not only wears out her welcome quickly, but manages to damage the minor party conservative brand pretty quickly as well. She does this by being extremely inarticulate, and having a low grasp on her policies. In just about every interview held she got a hiding… and even from lightweights. She showed she had an idea and a slogan to go with it, but no depth. Much as I like some of her policies, I’m afraid she is not the one to sell them. By 2019, hopefully Turnbull will be gone and a sensible Conservative leader can draw back in a lot of the lost support.

    • Jack Brown

      I concur. I wonder how many people in Queensland who might have voted for the ALA ended up voting for One Nation. On the other hand others who stuck with the major parties but might have paused to consider what the ALA had to say on migration and Islamisation will tend to discard what she does have to say on these topics simply because of her style and being lumped in with other crackpot economics. In other words her lack of credibility in this sphere sucks undermines her migration and Islam policies. :(

  3. Davidovich

    I am with Hanson on her climate change issues and a great many other people are too. Hopefully, she moderates her protectionist ideas.

    • Dallas Beaufort

      If One Nation senate candidate Malcolm Roberts gains a seat, he will articulate and tear a large hole in the left’s global warming agenda, no wonder the left bellyache here with dodgy models.

  4. Don A. Veitch

    Up from the abysmal sea the Kraken wakes. Populism? Karma for our delusional elites?
    Presumptive Senator Hanson knows things about things, for example, that (so-called) free trade benefits some, but ‘free-trade’ could never, build for the needy, a municipal country dunny in Queensland.
    The Kraken sleepeth . . . In roaring (s)he shall rise . . .

  5. Rob Ellison

    The properties of greenhouse gases were investigated 150 years ago in detailed empirical experimentation. There seems little doubt that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse has and – all things being equal – more in the atmosphere will result in a warmer planet. The absorption bands can be measured from space using narrow aperture equipment. What it actually measures is proton scattering on interaction – and transfer of heat – with greenhouse gas molecules. So what constitutes proof? You need to get past the basics.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Tyndall/

    All things are never equal.

    There is – according to Graham Lloyd at The Australian newspaper – a study in Nature confirming a ‘slow down’ in global warming. But apparently they don’t have a clue as to why. The reason is in fact obvious in retrospect – since at least early in the 1960’s. Climate is an ergodic, complex, dynamical system. Ergodic means that it operates within limits over a very long time. Complex means that there are many interacting parts. Dynamical means that the parts change and interact continuously. Dynamical complexity is the third great idea of 20th century physics – along with relativity and quantum mechanics. But that’s enough theory…

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/02/29/climate-science-and-the-third-great-idea-in-20th-century-physics/

  6. Dallas Beaufort

    Malcolm Roberts will join Pauline Hanson to run for the Senate, representing Queensland.

    Malcolm is a family man and has a background in engineering, mining, business leadership and has a keen interest in economics; he is also passionate about climate change data and facts.
    Spending the early years of his life in India, Malcolm then moved to the bush in Central QLD and also lived in the Hunter Valley (NSW) and Brisbane before graduating from the University of Queensland with honours as an engineer. He then decided to get practical experience working as a coalface miner—mainly underground—for three years around Australia. “I love working with people in the field to feel and understand their concerns first-hand, to connect with people’s needs, and to listen to ideas on-the-job,” he says.

    Malcolm also worked and travelled widely across America and Canada, before returning to Australia where he rose quickly through management ranks to lead and turnaround underground coal mines, a coal processing plant and managed an ocean shiploader. He has also led the operational development of Australia’s largest and most complex underground coal project, setting many new industry firsts.

    Malcolm also holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, one of the world’s most respected universities for finance and economics and after the birth of his first child, Malcolm and his wife Christine, established a small company providing specialised leadership and management services around Australia and overseas.

    Malcolm Roberts has earned the respect of informed people around the world for his investigation of claimed global warming and climate change where he analysed the measured data and then exposed the corruption. His disappointment with Liberal-Labor-Nationals-Greens politicians, unable to listen, refusing to face the facts and lacking care for our country led to his decision to join Pauline Hanson in standing for the Senate.

    Malcolm’s climate investigations led to deep understanding of the foreign control wrecking our country and to clarity on the tax system now choking Australians and destroying initiative and responsibility, while sabotaging our children’s future.

    “I’m completely devoted to representing all Queenslanders in the Senate as a house of review, protecting states’ rights. I am totally committed to bringing back this wonderful country that welcomed me and that has since blessed my family with so much.”

    “We appreciate, value and are proud of the special qualities of being Australian and we love our country. History shows that with the right leadership and support we can achieve anything. We’ve got the resources and creative, innovative, talented people who believe in honest effort for fair reward, while looking after those less fortunate. And our strongest trait —mate-ship — is unique in the world.”

    Malcolm’s integrity and strength-of-character have helped him turn around businesses in his role as a leader and have guided him in his role supporting leaders as an adviser, guide and mentor. He has been chairman of a closely-held public company and led its successful turnaround in a very emotional business. His practical and analytical approach combines with deep respect for people and his understanding of history’s bigger picture to make him an ideal candidate for working with all people to bring back Australia.

    “Instead of people feeling voiceless, powerless and squashed, we can listen and take action together to restore democracy, ensure security and build hope for all Australians.”
    “The Lib-Lab-Greens mess is not our fault, yet as Australians it is our responsibility. We must choose wisely whom we will elect to Parliament in the future. We must think about our children, grandchildren and their future.”

    • Rob Ellison

      Cut and paste much? I had a quick look at Malcolm Roberts climate paper. I understand why people refused to reply. Life is just too short.

      There are a couple of relevant ideas. There is no doubt that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The science there is more than 150 years old. We should pretty much accept it as fact. This causes warming. The question is how much of recent warming was natural?

      There are about 720 billion tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere and we are adding about 10 billion a year. This is carbon that was sequestered as fossil fuels. There are some 1200 billion tonnes in the surface ocean and 720 in soils and vegetation. While warmth changes the balance of carbon in soils, vegetation, oceans and atmosphere – there is extra carbon in the stores as a result of human activity.

      Cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems. Cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems.

      The concentration of CO2 in the surface ocean is dependent on partial pressure (the concentration) of CO2 in the atmosphere and the solubility is partially dependant on temperature. The dominant driver for ocean CO2 concentration remains partial pressure – caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2 – and oceans are always a net sink for carbon dioxide in processes that ultimately return carbon to geological stores. For God’s sake if you are going to claim something do the calculation and don’t just pull it out of your arse.

      The annual wriggle in the CO2 curve is caused by a disparity in land area between southern and northern hemispheres. Plants in summer in the northern hemisphere consume CO2. Of course there are no really simple processes in the Earth system.

      The IPCC readers digest version of climate science I stopped reading long ago. Models we know are useless – not because they mirror reality but because they can’t.

      “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.” IPCC TAR s14.2.2.2

      We are certainly not there yet and there is nothing to be gained in more computing power without some fundamental theoretical breakthroughs. But Robert’s is undoubtedly wrong. Try this for something a little different.

      https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/05/29/internal-climate-variability-trumps-global-warming/

      • Rob Ellison

        … not because they (don’t) mirror reality but because they can’t.

        • Alice Thermopolis

          As Victor Frankenstein said while climbing the Montanvert glacier in 1818: “We are but clouds that veil the midnight moon, nought may endure but Mutability”.

          Frankie got it in one. But a deep anthropocentric yearning for climate ‘stability’ still persists today, a reluctance to acknowledge its changing and unpredictable character.

          We live on a dynamic planet. Terra firma is actually a wobbling and spinning sphere with a liquid outer core moving through space at a combined speed of 113, 277 kilometres an hour (for a person sitting in a chair on the equator); and travelling 940 million kilometres in its annual orbit of the Sun.

          Changes in the Earth’s orbit contributed to the accumulation of two-plus kilometres of ice over much of North America and Siberia 12,000 years ago, mammoths in Mexico and so on.

          Our political/bureaucratic (UN) classes, alas, have put their/our $$$ on the Goldilocks principle – one of the great cons of pseudo-science – the notion that a climate future just right for everyone everywhere is somehow achievable and they can control the planet’s thermostat.

          As for model ensembles, their ability to “predict” the “probability distribution of the system’s future possible states” is about as good as a Roman haruspex with animal entrails, they do keep a lot of mathematical types in gainful employment.

          Some climate scientists – like Zurich-based Reno Knutti below – publicly admit model flaws and uncertainties (aka ‘challenges’), but it makes no difference to disciples of the alarmist paradigm.

          “It is common that more research uncovers a picture that is more complicated; thus, uncertainty can grow with time…..Judging the potential success of such a project is speculative, and it may simply take a long time to succeed. However, if the past is a guide to the future then uncertainties in climate change are unlikely to decrease quickly, and may even grow temporarily….It is likely that impact-relevant predictions, for example of extreme weather events, may be even harder to improve.” (Knutti, 2012, page 5)

          • Rob Ellison

            I like a nice literary conceit. Science is self correcting and Knutti is one of the many better ones.

            Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin”.

            Failing theoretical breakthroughs – what say we replace the whole mess with a work experience kid tossing coins?

            The problem with complex, dynamical systems is that abrupt changes can be extreme. 16C locally and a factor of 2 in rainfall in months to a decade. Tails. Damn.

          • Rob Ellison

            “Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic.” Julia Slingo – head of the British Met Office – and Tim Palmer – head of the European Centre for Mid-Range Forecasting.

            Here’s what it looks like schematically. There are many divergent solutions starting from slightly different starting points (within plausible limits of data accuracy) for any model. Chaotic – as Lorenz showed in the 1960′s. It’s just maths.

            http://d29qn7q9z0j1p6.cloudfront.net/content/roypta/369/1956/4751/F2.large.jpg

            What they do is choose one solution arbitrarily and send it to the IPCC where it is graphed against single arbitrarily chosen solutions from many models. It is called an opportunistic ensemble. This is an accurate description of the scientifically absurd procedure they indulge in. Understood as such in the modelling world.

            ” Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.” James McWilliams.

            Models cannot predict climate because of sensitive dependence on initial conditions and structural instability due to the depth and extent of coupled processes. Change the input data slightly – add or change a process in the model – and change in the result the result is unpredictable. This was the problem that Lorenz encountered. He truncated some data from 6 to 3 decimal places and the result was puzzlingly anomalous. The change in results was not small. Thus the third great idea in 20th century physics – chaos theory – was discovered. The solutions of the Lorenz equations came to be known as the Lorenz attractor – or more colloquially as the butterfly effect.

            Criticise climate models but understand why. It is the difference between opportunistic ensembles from the IPCC that have no plausible scientific rationale – and probabilistic ensembles that have as yet limited practical utility. You can be sure that climate alarmists don’t understand.

          • Rob Ellison

            There is another way of looking at it. Models can generate thousands of plausible solutions. Sensitive dependence and structural instability. One of them might be right but there is no way of telling which.

  7. Tony Thomas

    I lodged this complaint with the ABC tonight. Maybe I will get a substantive reply, that’s be interesting.

    Baseless sexual innuendo about a woman politician by ABC news staff
    see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-03/pauline-hanson-pauline-pantsdown-composite/7565914

    This photo montage falsely implies that Ms Pauline Hanson is promiscuous or in other ways operates with “pants down”. There is no basis whatsoever for such a smear and for such disrespect to a female. Could you please let me know what are the ABC guidelines on respectful treatment of females, especially avoidance of gratuitous references to sexual behaviour (in this case, also false). Can you also tell me whether the pic montage above complies with such ABC guidelines, and if not, what remedy you intend, and whether the ABC will make a public apology to this female politician.

    • Mr Johnson

      I love it – but let’s not hold our breath. The ABC is blind and deaf to conservative complaints.

    • Jody

      Don’t be fooled; the ABC has its significant share of misogynists and they’re mostly homosexual men!! Why do you think they dress us as nuns and portray themselves as female tarts if they are NOT misogynists?

    • Michael Fry

      Tony,

      In my experience complaints to the ABC get nowhere unless you explicitly invoke breaches of the ABC Code of Practice. In this case the ABC clearly breached Section 7 Harm and Offence, under Standards 7.1, 7.6 and 7.7.

      But even then you are likely to get a brush off – the ABC doesn’t actually understand accountability and due process.

      If Sky had run a piece about (to quote a great ALP leader) Winging the Wong number to Penny, or Tanty Tanya, they would surely have been hit with howls of outrage and complaint.

      That would surely have got a run on ABC Media Watch (not the original TM Nancy Media Watch version, I hasten to add).

  8. Bushranger71

    It is not just the ABC indulging in this vile character assassination,rtually the whole of the politically correct inclined media realm. Just galling.

    What was equally disgusting was the John Howard led assault by the 2 major parties to destroy her when the issues she raised were resonating with real Australians, just as they are now.

    At 79, I can remember when Australia was much sounder under protectionist policies strongly defended by the likes of Sir John McEwen.

    Now; we no longer have an Industry Commission but a Productivity Commission more oriented toward social and financial engineering. There are some functions that a wholesome nation needs to retain, even though there may be lower cost offshore alternatives.

    I disagree with your perception Tony of Pauline’s economic policies as ‘ratbaggery’. After all, it is rampant out of control capitalism that is getting Australia into a worsening mess.

  9. Colin S

    As a Defcon (Defiant Conservative), I watched a couple of her election interviews and slightly cringed. She’s is not great in the face to face interview, but a lot of conservatives suffer the same problem. I,100% support her stand on climate policy. I believe so called Free Trade Agreements do need careful re-consideration, but not thrown away. The trouble is that they are a misnomer, in fact they are a Trade Agreement with nothing free about them. Someone always loses and someone wins.

    Some of her other policies are truly frightening to me, nonetheless she was in my mix of senate preferences but not my first. She is a hard working courageous individual who has been most unfairly treated. A true Conviction politician. As a conservative, I feel we could have a lot worse in the senate and I am hopeful her presence will be positive for the cause and herself. As an Abbott supporter, his involvement in her wrongful jailing is a blot. As a Howard supporter, his blatant theft of some of her policies and phrases without acknowledgement, is also a blot.

    One thing I have yet to understand, what happened to the ALA vote? Or rather, why did it not materialise?

    • Mr Johnson

      Simple – Pauline reentered the political arena. The journos and commentators went bananas, and she ended up getting over $1m worth of free media exposure. At a time, when political brand awareness is gold, her ‘I hate Islam’ message was enough to eat the ALA vote alive.

  10. Alistair

    How dare Pauline Hanson parody transvestites by dressing up as a woman.

  11. Geoffrey Luck

    The major political parties are responsible for the Hanson phenomenon. In their supine repetition of “Islam is peace” they vacated the field, and the moral ground, to her.

  12. mags of Queensland

    I think some here are underestimating Pauline Hanson. She is older and wiser since her last stint in Parliament and has made it her business to go to the heart of the problems faced by most Australians.Should Malcolm Roberts also get in she will have an adviser who can help her articulate her ideas more clearly and perhaps temper them somewhat.

    I get so sick and tired of those who rubbish anyone who doesn’t boast a university degree but makes a stand to protect the rights of Australians first before anything else. Most of those with academic qualifications haven’t any practical experience of anything apart from their specialty. Doesn’t qualify them to denigrate others. many of the problems we face in Australia are the direct result of academics working on the Peter Principle.