Category Archives: Our Australian Broadcasting Commission

Ms Guthrie and her Effing ABC

TONY SWEARING MAN” THOMAS

Ms Guthrie and her Effing ABC

The national broadcaster’s boss this week fronted Melbourne’s Press Club, where she meekly endured a hectoring by underling Jon Faine that can only confirm how far the ABC has moved beyond both shame and supervision. Then came our Tony Thomas with his ABC-approved filthy mouth…

giggles IIIn what organisation other than the ABC can an employee insult the managing director to the wide world and emerge from it covered in managerial bouquets? This is a wonder arising from Michelle Guthrie’s ballyhooed address (before and after) to the Melbourne Press Club yesterday (June 19).

Last Thursday, Melbourne’s ABC 774 morning shock jock Jon Faine broadcast the following in the course of a rantabout the ABC being “done over” by the Coalition government (if only that were true!):

“I’ve been here since 1989 busting my guts for a vision and a set of values and, quite frankly, I’m sick of getting it ripped apart because of the failure of our managers.

“[Guthrie’s] been remarkably quiet and reluctant to engage in what she herself has previously ­described as ‘megaphone campaigning’. She says, ‘No, the best way to protect the ABC is to work quietly behind the scenes’. And that’s ­obviously delivered a terrible outcome in the last budget.”

So, Faine indicates that Guthrie is a leadership failure in general, someone who has stood mute while ABC “values” are trashed  and is now running a mistaken, top-level strategy that has severely damaged the institution.

I was going to ask Guthrie at the Press Club why she hadn’t already sacked this unruly employee[i] but Richard Ferguson of The Australian beat me to it. He asked, “Have you spoken to Jon Faine about his criticism of upper management? If not, do you have a message for him today?”

Jon Faine’s greatest snits, featuring James Delingpole,
Tony Abbott and Gillard/Wilson investigator Mark Baker

To my bewilderment, and perhaps Faine’s,  Guthrie responded with affectionate laughter for the 774 morning host before Flanagan had even finished. She replied with a simper: “Jon is a great broadcaster! What is fantastic about Jon and our other amazing broadcasters is that they are leading the conversations that matter to people. The great thing about the ABC is that we matter. When you see all the attention placed on us it is fantastic to be relevant…”

Thus emboldened, Faine dissed and badgered her some more: “No-one could be more pleased than me to see you do it [make speeches]. We don’t understand why you are so reluctant to do it more. We need a champion, a public champion, not a managing director who hides from the media or public engagement. We have to engage with [the public]. Are you prepared to do more?”

Guthrie began by saying she didn’t agree that she hid from the media. Faine then talked over her and did so loudly, a habit many of his on-air guests have endured. “I can’t get you on my show, nor can my colleagues or rivals.” Faine then allowed Guthrie to resume and she ran a line that “the more you speak, the less you are heard” and that speaking with impact mattered most.

The Guthrie/Faine or Faine/Guthrie power relationship typifies all you need to know about ABC management’s control of staff.

On another ABC note, readers may wonder why I am by-lined atop this report as “Swearing Man”. The soubriquet was bestowed – and not in a friendly way –  by the meeting’s compere and ABC presenter Michael Rowland.

Ms Guthrie’s Press Club performance can be viewed in full here

I wanted to ask Guthrie about the filthy language to be heard on the ABC, especially in its purported “comedy” programs. Loathe as I am to use foul words in public, especially when addressing a woman, I nevertheless forced the ABC-endorsed obscenities to cross my lips. If such language is good enough for the national broadcaster to beam into millions in prime time, the person in overall charge couldn’t complain at hearing them at the press club. My question went as follows:

“Your would-be comedian Greg Larsen  on Tonightly last March called Australian Conservative candidate Kevin Bailey a c**t. In that four-minute segment I’ve counted two ‘f***s’ and eight ‘c***s’. Although the ABC apologised [to Bailey personally], management had checked the segment before it went to air and it complied with ABC editorial  and classification standards. How can you defend such standards?”

Compere  Michael Rowland chipped in nervously, “We’re not going out live to air are we?” His fear was odd, as Tonightly’s “f***s” and “c***s” had certainly gone out, live-to-air, to a vastly larger audience than the Press Club lunchers. (editor’s note: while those vulgarities appear quite acceptable at the ABC, perhaps even in the executive suite, they are not appreciated at Quadrant Online, hence the coy asterisking. Those who missed the broadcast, can tolerate a painfully unfunny alleged comedian and endure the aren’t-we-just-so-cute-and-shocking schtick of compere and guest can see what their taxes pay for in the clip below.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1in5gIQFDiw&feature=youtu.be

Guthrie, no giggles this time but appearing somewhat flummoxed, replied that the Tonightly episode was being independently investigated and had been referred to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for review and determination.

“It is important to make sure we reflect community standards and also important to understand the context in which it is done,” she began.

“What is appropriate for 7pm News or Play School is very different from appropriateness in a comedy program at 9 or 9.30pm on our comedy channel. It is not one size fits all, it very much depends on the context.”

So in the ABC/Guthrieworld, the words “f***” and “c***” are OK in context. Maybe her colleagues uses the latter, although misogynist, in the  context of ABC board meetings, in a humorous way of course. (‘Pass me the effing salary list, old c***’?’ Surely not!)

I was hurt that compere Rowland dubbed me “Swearing Man”, merely for quoting what his own organisation delivers to the public, when I managed to get in the forum’s last question:

“The BBC’s last annual report discloses the pay of its 20 top news and current affairs presenters. The BBC since 2009 has published the salaries of all its 106 executives on 150,000 pounds plus, and their expense claims and gifts as well. So what’s the problem with disclosing ABC managers and presenters salaries likewise?”

Guthrie replied: “The issue is currently the subject of a proposed Parliamentary bill. I don’t think you are correct to say it is the top 20 presenters. It is actually [equivalent to disclosing] my salary, my friend [chief financial and strategy  officer]  Louise Higgins’ salary, as well as directors and heads of our content teams.

“That disclosure is more than provided by private media organisations or public listed ones.

“On top of that it is more than required by the public service. We have been very clear in saying our highest paid presenter is paid a fraction of the highest paid BBC presenter. We have no gender pay gap at any level.

“Anything more than that [in disclosure] is really going to impact our ability to retain staff and also invades their privacy in ways completely unacceptable.”

Was I wrong? The BBC does not disclose its top 20 presenters’ pay? Where do I start?  The BBC gives them in bands of £50,000 so I’ll take the mid-points. A run  of the mill BBC news and current affairs presenter called  James Naughtie (love that name!) gets 175,000 pounds.  A Martha Kearney, presenter, is on£225,000. An Eddie Mair is top dog presenter on £325,000

On radio, mid-level gal presenter Moira Stuart is on £175,000, whereas top guy Steve Wright is on a handsome £525,000. a Lot of BBC presenters are called “multi-genre” like Mark Chapman on £225,000. And top man is a Chris Evans on a stunning £2,225,000. If Ms Guthrie would like more detail she can contact my secretary.

Little more is to be said. I made my hasty exit, feeling somehow I had made myself unpopular among the 98% ABC fans at the lunch. As I went past the TV cameras, one of the cameramen snarled, “You’re a c***!”

He refused to say who he worked for.

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


[i] Faine suggested last Thursday that he might be in jeopardy: “If it gets me into trouble, then so be it.”

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Emma Alberici, you’ve done it again!

Even casual stock-watchers know shares of vaccine-maker CSL go for around $180. But not the ABC’s go-to market guru, stumblebum chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici. She didn’t bat an eye while presenting the closing price as $7.31

emma IIAmong the members of our retired guys’ tennis club there is a boffin who used to work at Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL). When it floated at $2.30 in 1994, he used an idle $10,000 to take up the staff offer. He never sold the parcel. You probably know that CSL has been a sensational long-term investment. When this guy returned my serve, I’d think, “Nice slice, James Packer!”

CSL is one of my rare good picks. I bought  160 shares at about $31 donkey’s years ago, a $5000 investment, and I’ve watched my parcel rocket to around $28,000. So whenever CSL’s share price flashes up on the finance segment of the ABC’s 7pm news, I salivate like Pavlov’s dog. On Friday (May 18) it was ABC chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici handling the finance section. She did an excellent intro comparing Australian and NZ budget and economic parameters. Well done, Emma!

See also:  The ABC’s Alan Sunderland rallies the troops

The great thing about Emma’s stuff is that you can be sure every element has been fact-checked with fantastic thoroughness. That’s because she got the ABC into a wagon-load of trouble with her news story and commentary in February on businesses’ alleged tax  scamming.[1]

Her nine errors in the news piece and general ignorance of the subject saw a cringing ABC beaten up by an outraged Prime Minister, the Treasurer, plus the Communications Minister and business leaders.[2] It turned out that even a prior two-hour briefing from Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn had failed to enlighten her to the basics of company tax. For example, tax is paid on profit, not on revenue. Concepts such as carry-forward of losses (think Qantas) were way beyond her reach.

A Treasurer’s adviser  on February 14 sent the ABC a 1600 word email concluding,  “Ms Alberici’s story reveals an inherent bias and is ­activism disguised as journalism, and we would expect more from the ABC’s chief economics correspondent.”

See also: ABC to Complainant: Drop Dead

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie blamed “inadequate editorial resources” — $1.2 billion a year only goes so far, you know –  for the publication of the articles. The national broadcaster has since increased editorial oversight, she said.

So last night, after New Zealand, Emma moved on to the boilerplate finance stuff — the day’s exchange rates, global indexes and, finally, local stocks.

“Shares in CSL put in a stellar performance today on the back of a fairly harsh northern hemisphere flu season,” Emma said as I drooled at the thought of my expanding wealth. She didn’t mention the price but my eyes flicked to her graphic alongside. The prices listed at the closing bell for Woodside and Santos were spot-on, but was this about CSL?

OMG! According to the ABC, my favourite stock was wallowing at $7.31. Last time I checked it had been over $170. Some utter catastrophe had occurred. Should I hang on – a strategy that served me badly throughout the Great Financial Crisis, or sell and garner $1170 (less brokerage) towards my half-yearly electricity bill?

error albericiNothing to see here, folks, especially subject knowledge and editorial rigour.

Surely, given Emma’s history and  Michelle Guthrie’s “increased editorial oversight”, this $7.31 couldn’t have been just another ABC cock-up? Surely, as the ABC’s go-to guru on matters financial, she would checked the facts and details of her report before going to air?

I checked the price: Oh happy day! My CSL babies were actually at $183!

There’s quite a difference between Emma’s $7.31 and the actual $183. It’s not like she mistook $183 for $138 or $173. If Emma knew just a tiny bit about the company sector, she would have known before going to air and, presumably, eyeballing her script, that $7.31 didn’t compute.

But why $7.31? At first I thought it was confusion with builder Downer EDL which had a $7.31 high on Friday. But the explanation is much simpler: $7.31 was CSL’s increase yesterday, which Emma presented as the actual price.

The ABC– all muscle, no fat –  gets its share prices garbled not just occasionally but often. To the green/lefties there, sharemarket prices must be gobbledegook.[3] Their retirement lifestyle is assured by that 15.4% super contribution from the ABC – all muscle, no fat.[4]

So no-one there has noticed the CSL howler – I’ll demand a correction, just for entertainment. Oh, and Ms Guthrie, ramp up that editorial oversight a notch.

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

 

[1] One piece was headed “Tax-free billions: Australia’s largest companies haven’t paid corporate tax in three years”.

[2] It became a double-header embarrassment last month when ABC political editor Andrew Probyn got busted by ACMA for his anti-Abbott rant last October

[3] More than 40 per cent of ABC journalists who answered a survey question about their political attitudes are Greens supporters, four times the support the minor party enjoys in the wider population.

[4] ABC veterans on the old defined benefit super schemes enjoy 20% plus as equivalent super contribution

Footnote: The ABC has issued a correction as a result of my complaint.

At the ABC, Hypocrisy on Stilts

Suppose Quadrant Online were to suggest a certain TV presenter secured her prime-time slot by sleeping with the editor-in-chief. Scandal! Outrage! Misogyny! But when a sleazebag author levels the same groundless smear at a female US diplomat and Donald Trump … silence

sales IIOn January 23 the ABC 7.30’s star Leigh Sales conducted  a reverential interview of American sleaze artist Michael Wolff. He is author of Fire and Fury (see Geoffrey Luck’s Quadrant Online review), a salacious insider account of alleged goings-on at the White House under Donald Trump. Not once did Sales ask any question pertaining to Wolff’s admitted disregard for truth and authorial integrity. Her only interest was in allowing Wolff to vent his anti-Trump bile on her taxpayer-funded platform, for which she is paid some $400,000 a year.

On Friday, January 26, three days after the Sales interview, Wolff was publicly accusing Trump and his UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, of having an extramarital affair. Wolff, who didn’t name Haley outright, dropped such blatant hints about the identity of Trump’s alleged lover that her identity could not be in doubt. The “facts” that he cited in the book in an allusion to Trump and Haley’s meetings were wrong. In a word, Wolff is disgusting. So is the ABC and 7.30, for giving this Wolff creature prime-time and unchallenged exposure. Then again, given the ABC’s relentless anti-Trump narrative, what more could viewers expect?

The  sisterhood’s commentariat at the ABC has shown  no interest in Wolff sliming the UN ambassador as a woman who supposedly owes her job to Trump’s casting couch. My search of the ABC today turned up no reference to Wolff’s Trump/Haley sexual fantasy. It is another example of the ABC’s most effective propaganda device of all: news that doesn’t fit the narrative is ignored.

Here’s how the Wolff smear evolved. He was interviewed by HBO’s Bill Maher, a leftist with a gleeful leftist audience :

Maher: I want you to tell me something that people have not noticed in this book. Is there something (there), ‘Why don’t they ask me something about this that I put in there, that they are not talking about?’

Wolff: There is.  But I can’t tell you what it is. (Audience laughter)

Maher: F—k you Mike, teasing us like that (laughter)

Wolff: There is something in the book I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn’t have the ultimate proof that…

Maher: Considering what he (Trump) has done, was it a woman thing?

Wolff: Well yeah, I didn’t have the blue dress.  [Wolff was referring to Bill Clinton’s ejaculate stain on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress]. (Laughter).

Maher: Was it about a woman?

Wolff: Yes it is, it is someone he is f—king now. (Laughter). You just have to read between the lines.

Maher: What lines? Tell us the lines. You say it is in the book.

Wolff: It is at the end of the book. You just have to…you will know it,  now that I have told you, when you hit that paragraph you are going to say, ‘Bingo!’[i]

The paragraph referred to is necessarily this one:

“By October, however, many on the president’s staff took particular notice of one of the few remaining Trump opportunists: Nikki Haley, the UN ambassador.  Haley – ‘as ambitious as Lucifer’ in the characterization of one member of the senior staff – had concluded that Trump’s tenure  would last, at best , a single term, and that she, with requisite submission, could be his heir apparent. Haley had courted and befriended Ivanka (Trump’s daughter), and Ivanka had brought her into the family circle, where she had become a particular focus of Trump’s attention, and he of hers.”

Wolff adds that Trump “had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley (below) on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a political future.”

trump haley

Here’s some background on Nimrata (Nikki) Haley. She’s the daughter of an Indian Sikh woman  Raj Randhawa who was one of India’s first female judges, but who was unable to sit on a court because of anti-female hostility.  The family migrated first to Canada and then to  the small town of Bamberg in South Carolina, where they stood out as the only Indians. Nikki’s father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, became a professor  at the  historically black Voorhees College.

Haley’s career began as an accountant and entrepreneur in the family’s clothing business and after activism in community, pro-lifer  and women-in-business lobby groups,  in 2004 she was elected for the first of her three terms in the state lower house. In 2010 she defeated a Democrat to become the state’s  first Indian-American governor, and was re-elected in 2014. Despite her sometimes critical comments about Trump[ii], he nominated her UN Ambassador in January 2017 and she has played an outstanding and outspoken role in advancing American interests. Since her marriage to US Army officer Michael Haley in 1996, she identifies both as Sikh and Christian. They have two children.

I’ve transcribed Haley’s response to Wolff on Politico, which gives a nice character-contrast to Wolff and his fan, Leigh Sales. It also makes a nice contrast to PM Julia Gillard’s 2012 fake anti-misogyny speech against Tony Abbott. That much-lauded speech was, inconveniently, in defence of her Speaker Peter Slipper who had likened women’s genitals to “mussels in a bottle”.

Haley: It (the sex smear) is absolutely not true. It is highly offensive and it is disgusting. It amazes me what people will do and the lies they say for money and power and in politics it is rampant.

Here is a man saying I’ve been spending a lot of time on Air Force One. I have literally been on Air Force One  once and there were several people in the room when I was there.[iii]

He is saying I am talking a lot with the President  in the Oval Office about my political future. I have never talked once to the President about my future and I am never alone with him … If you speak your mind and are strong about it and say what you believe, a small percentage of people resent that and throw rumors and lies to diminish you, not just in politics but in corporate life  and elsewhere …With a small percentage of men, if you just do your job well and are outspoken about it, they resent it and they think the only option is to bring you down.

Interviewer Eliana Johnson:  How do you, as probably the most powerful and outspoken woman in the President’s cabinet, handle those types of rumors? It is a real challenge that strong women face in the workplace.

Haley: I hope other women and men stand up and say this is wrong. I hope the media doesn’t just let this blow up because it is not something that has just happened. As a cabinet member I see it, as a legislator I saw it, as governor I saw it, I see it now. When women work they prioritise, they focus and they believe if you are going to do something, do it right. Others see this as too ambitious or stepping out of line.

The truth is we need to continue to do our job. People see lies for what they are.  Do I like this (smearing)? No.  Is it right? No. Is it going to slow me down? Not at all. It only makes me fight and work harder.

I do it for the sake of other women that are behind me because they should never have to put their heads down and cower out of fear that someone is going to do something to them.

If you are doing the right thing you always win at the end of the day.

We all love America.  You help those in need who are struggling, you lift them up so they can do something for themselves … I am proud of the US and of my parents for how they raised me. It has all come together to make me who I am. I go back to what my Mom said, ‘The best way to appreciate your blessings is to give back’, so I am always giving back. It is what I do, what I enjoy and it has been the honor of a lifetime.”

In terms of identity politics, favored style of the Left, here is a minority-group woman being trashed by Wolff, an old white male,  with evidence-free claims that she has risen to a high executive position by use of extra-marital sex, rather than talent.

Clementine Ford, Anne Summers and the cabals of ABC feminists led by Leigh Sales will surely be calling out this misogyny any moment now.

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

 


[i] The US print accounts omit the crude language.

 

[ii] For example, she told CBS that the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard. She said Trump had not complained.

 

 

[iii] She was referring to a flight from Washington to Long Island in late July.

 

Who Earns What at Their ABC?

July 24th 2017 print

TONY THOMAS

Unlike its British counterpart, Australia’s national broadcaster insists that a right to privacy shields salary disclosure for the likes of Tony Jones, Barrie Cassidy, Jon Faine and all the well-heeled rest, not to mention their ABC partners, spouses and lovemates living well on the taxpayer dollar. Still, there are clues…

their abcThe country has Pauline Hanson to thank for winkling out some further particulars about how much the ABC’s top-20 on-air stars gets paid. ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has now provided written replies to Hanson’s written questions from the Senate Estimates hearings of last May.

In a nutshell, she says her five top stars are paid $375,001 to $450,000;  six pocket $300,001 to $375,000, and nine get $225,001 to $300,000.

“The remuneration information of ABC staff amounts to personal information under the Privacy Act,” Guthrie or her spokesperson says. “Responses to requests for information regarding ABC staff remuneration are presented [as pay bands only] to ensure that the Corporation complies with the provisions of the Privacy Act and that any individual’s personal information is not disclosed.”

Happily, we already have a ranking of the ABC’s top-paid as at 2011-12. This  came about thanks to a dim-witted ABC staffer mistakenly providing a salary spreadsheet to SA Family First Senator Robert Brokenshire. One of the senator’s staffers leaked the list to The Australian in late 2013.

Sure, a spot or three on the rankings may have changed. But it’s virtually automatic that those top people now inhabit the current bands disclosed by Guthrie.

Take Tony Jones, uneven-handed host of the ABC’s execrably Left-biased freak show Q&A. In the original list, he was top at $356,000. Surely ex-ABC boss Mark Scott, now running NSW’s school system,  or his successor, Guthrie, haven’t dragged him from the top spot? So he must now be skating close to $450,000. It’s only reasonable to conclude that if he were on only, say, $420k, Guthrie’s upper pay band definition would have been $375-425k .

The No 2 in the  current list has to be 7.30’s  Leigh Sales, in  2011-12 ranked only sixth on $280,000. Given Sales’ far greater exposure, workload and professionalism than Jones’, it would be odd if the ABC weren’t paying her $400,000-plus. Indeed, Sales’ predecessor Kerry O’Brien was paid  more than Jones in 2009-10, namely $365k. But Sales’ experience  doesn’t compare with O’Brien’s history and faux-gravitas, so I don’t think  Sales by now would have displaced Jones as their ABC’s numero uno.

That leaves three people to fill the rest of the $375,000-$450,000 band. If there’s any ABC rationality in relativity, one slot would go to Sarah Henderson, star of Four Corners and, coincidentally, spouse of Tony Jones. It’s one helluva household pay-packet that taxpayers provide this power couple. Ferguson’s Four Corners on the Lindt siege was great viewing, even if she couldn’t bear to mention how the top coppers were fixated about hypothetical backlash against hypothetical Muslims, even while one real Muslim was wielding his real shotgun within the real café.

The last two slots would have to be the ABC’s Sydney and Melbourne radio stars Richard Glover and Jon Faine respectively,  both on near-$300,000 five years ago. Glover does the afternoon Driveand Faine does Mornings and Conversation Hour.

This list requires a de-ranking of 2011-12’s No 2, NSW TV newsreader Juanita Phillips, who was then on an anomalous-looking $316,000. Let the heavens quake, but I’m sure she’s been nudged to the middle band $300,000-375,000.

This middle band of six can be rapidly populated with workaday stars (2011-12 pay in brackets), viz long-time Radio National Breakfast host Fran Kelly ($255k), political editor Chris Uhlmann ($255k) with his new specialty of anti-Trump rants, Insiders Sunday host Barrie Cassidy ($243k) and high-profile Annabel Crabb ($217k), especially with her Kitchen Cabinet.

Numerate readers will note there’s one $300k-plus slot unfilled, and I admit there’s difficulty here. It is probably a toss-up between News Breakfast co-host and Trump clanger-dropper Virginia Trioli ($236k) and Juanita’s Victorian newsreading counterpart Ian Henderson ($188k). Sorry, Ian, but Virginia’s my pick for the taxpayers’ $300k-plus gravy-boat, if only because of her advantages in gender and overt groupthink.

Hendo would thus go down to the ABC  stars’ paupers Band 3 of $225k-300k. The other eight there are the tough ones to sort out. If the ABC pays for hard work rather than show-pony looks, first in would be US bureau chief Zoe Daniel and London-based Europe chief Lisa Millar. From the past list, sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley  ($223k) would have to be in there too.   TV finance presenter Alan Kohler doesn’t come cheap.  On profile, add in Lateline co-host Emma Alberici ($186k). The last three places would have to be drawn from the likes of all-rounder Mike Brissenden, AM and federal politics’ Sabra Lane, Melbourne Drive radio’s Rafael Epstein, Sydney Afternoons radio’s James Valentine, Radio National’s Pat Karvelas, the lovable Waleed Aly ($187k) and Julia Baird, who did last week’s 7.30 about “Christian Women Told to Endure Domestic Abuse”.

To sum up, here’s Michelle Guthrie’s pay-bands, properly populated:

$375,001-450,000

Tony Jones, Leigh Sales, Sarah Ferguson, Jon Faine, and Richard Glover.

$300,001-375,000

Juanita Philips, Fran Kelly, Chris Uhlmann, Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, and Virginia Trioli

$225,001-300,000

Ian Henderson, Zoe Daniel, Lisa Millar, Gerard Whately, Alan Kohler, and  Emma Alberici, Plus any three of Mike Brissenden, Sabra Lane, Rafael Epstein, James Valentine, Pat Karvelas, Waleed Aly, and Julia Baird.

Of course, in Britain all such stars’ pay levels at the BBC are fully disclosed. If BBC director general Tony Hall so much as claims for a £7 train ticket, it gets disclosed too. But in Australia that would never do!

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

 

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.