July 22, 2003


Sydney Morning Herald readers think that the ABC’s war coverage was “never biased”. VOTE!

Posted by Tim Blair at July 22, 2003 11:57 AM

ABC news is bad enough, I have been getting particularly nauseated by SBS coverage lately. They must ask themselves before each story goes live - is this anti American enough and what can we do to make it more so?

The "good news" I find about this is that when you have such consistently biased coverage you can simply assume the opposite of what they are saying and you are closer to the truth :)

Posted by: Rob at July 22, 2003 at 12:05 PM

I dunno if the ABC or SBS themselves are biased... but some reporters certainly are.
I've come to the conclusion in the past couple of months that the networks will pretty much put anything on the air, just to fill up space. And if the show/report/rant that they put up on the air happens to be prejudiced and biased, so what? It fills up space, it takes up time - it's a way of doing the job without doing the job, if you know what I mean.
Whenever I see or hear a bias report in the media, I usually think of something Henry Fielding says in his novel Tom Jones - "The papers... are full of the same amount of news every day, regardless of whether any news has happened or not."

Posted by: TimT at July 22, 2003 at 12:20 PM

Certainly not biased in the eyes of SMH readers- given the declining circulation of the SMH and the crappy ratings of the ABC, the two audiences are probably the same. (And they are also the only two organisations who are daft enough to pay the Herald Harpy for her gibberish). Margo is the coal-mine canary of leftist bias- wherever you hear her chirping, avoid at all costs.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 12:22 PM

There's an interesting poll result right at the bottom of the page linked above:

Which annual migrant intake is better?

Ruddock: 110,000 - 38%
Carr: 80,000 - 62%
Total Votes: 2546 Poll date: 31/03/03

That Ruddock, he's such a xenophobe!

Posted by: Indole Ring at July 22, 2003 at 01:46 PM

Biased towards against the left!
Everyone knows the right controls the media.
/lefty activist

Posted by: Vince at July 22, 2003 at 01:54 PM

The problem with you right wing types is you fail to realise that the majority of the media is, as Vince quite rightly points out, controlled by conservatives. It is ordinarily biased toward the right so whenever a news service such as the ABC tries to be impartial you lot instantly cry foul that they are biased to the left. Look at things in perspective for a change.

-Another lefty activist

Posted by: Pete L at July 22, 2003 at 03:57 PM

You lefty activists are sooo deluded.

- a reasonable person.

Posted by: Indole Ring at July 22, 2003 at 04:04 PM

Pete L - in my observation, commercial media are biased towards whatever makes them more money.

That generally means pandering to, rather than attempting to influence, the views of their consumers.

Posted by: Mork at July 22, 2003 at 04:04 PM

Commercial networks are populated with that most loathesome of pundits, the well paid bleeding heart. Toads like Ray Martin bleat about every lefty cause that enters their empty heads, while recieving an income that would make an amphetemine dealer blush. The left carry on like pork chops about the Parrot, Lawsie and Howard Sattler, but nary a peep about the bias of these wallies. (And Laws et al have a lot of lefty leanings, especially about welfare, tariffs and government intervention, which shows the linkage between the Green/Democrat left and the Hansonite right; they're all luddites).

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 22, 2003 at 04:32 PM

You're right Mork, for the most part, but don't forget about papers like the New York Post which runs at a loss but Murdoch perseveres with because it plugs what he believes.

Posted by: Pete L at July 22, 2003 at 04:32 PM

Just further to my last note...
I try to be careful when I talk about bias in the media, because I reckon the left got it wrong when they talked about the 'pro-war' bias in the Murdoch papers.
It's true that the Murdoch press, by and large, supported the war. The left - or at least the 'anti-war' left - had a problem with this. Robert Manne likened the editorial material in the Murdoch papers to 'propaganda'. And lefties loved to talk about 'the jingoistic Fox network.' Well, one afternoon at the library, I took the trouble to look at some of the Murdoch papers... and I didn't find 'propaganda' or 'jingoism'. I found a good deal of war coverage, some supportive of America, some critical - but, by and large, a 'balanced' coverage. I think what lefties found so hard to swallow was the fact that the Murdoch papers didn't instantly follow the party line and condemn America; and they didn't ignore the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party (in itself, a great reason for the war.) For chrissakes, the Australian employs Phillip Adams - and there was no way you'd find him speaking up in support of the war, was there?!?!
But the worst thing was, while the left were quick to jump on any small mistakes made in the Murdoch press and the pro-war press, they virtually ignored the huge lies being wheeled out, day after day, hour after hour, by Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath party. They even made a hero out of Mohammed Saeed Sahaf, a shitty liar, and an asshole to boot (you don't get a position of power in the Ba'ath party by being a nice guy.)

Posted by: TimT at July 22, 2003 at 04:49 PM

Would you use the Sydney to Tasmania ferry service?
Yes - 80%
No - 11%

We're gonna need a bigger boat!

Posted by: Yobbo at July 22, 2003 at 08:17 PM

As someone who is neither left or right and who has no love for *one* particular party or ideology, I'd say the majority of media in the 'Anglosphere' seems left of center to me.

Since I like neither left or right, I try and read important news stories from all sides and form my opinion on where the truth lies. Until recently, especially before blogs, it was not that easy obtaining a non-left point of view.

I think if you are the sort of person who has pretty much the same ideology as the left, you don't see it. Same is true for the right.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at July 22, 2003 at 08:33 PM

The SBS has a wide range of documentaries. Sure, some left-leaning ones, but also ones such as "Who shot Mohammed Al-Dura" (or whoever) and "Saddam's Friends" (who were mainly European).

Posted by: Andjam at July 22, 2003 at 11:38 PM