February 19, 2004


Piers Akerman in today’s Daily Telegraph kindly reviews the ABC study compiled by me and James Morrow.

And a note arrives from a Canberra-based journalist regarding Andrew Wilkie, whom the writer interviewed shortly after Wilkie announced his reasons for quitting the ONA: “At no stage did he challenge the claim of WMDs. Suddenly, he is a champion of the they-were-never-there cause, a retrospective expert on the absence of arms. The man postures shamelessly.”

Posted by Tim Blair at February 19, 2004 11:20 AM

This is exactly what I have been saying: the man was warning us that Hussein would USE his WMDs if we attacked; now he claims he didn't think there were any.

He is a charlatan and a liar. What is worse, he is a member of the Greens.

Posted by: ABC Al at February 19, 2004 at 11:34 AM

'respected journalist' Tim Blair? Were you filling Piers with drinks as he was interviewing you for comment Tim? You will lose your credibility if this description gets out...

Posted by: Paul Dub at February 19, 2004 at 11:58 AM

Re the ABC, you've got to love Lindsay Tanner's objections to the putative Telstra bid for Fairfax.

"That would be terrible for Telstra shareholders and, most particularly of all, it would be disastrous for Australian democracy if the Howard Government directly owns one of the major commercial media organisations that is central to public scrutiny and commentary about its performance as a government."

I presume that he believes that the same argumnent doesn't apply to the ABC because it is so obviously biased against the Howard Government. So why would a Telstra owned Fairfax be any different?

Posted by: Alex Hidell at February 19, 2004 at 12:09 PM

Paul -- I've already instructed my lawyer to deal with Akerman's reckless defamation.

Posted by: tim at February 19, 2004 at 12:17 PM

Telstra's Fairfax? You could pay for your Age or Sydney Morning Herald subscription on your phone bill.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 19, 2004 at 12:17 PM

And don't forget, it would be the contrary if it were a Latham Govt. After all, it was keating who attempted to coerce commercial station into yileding time for party political propaganda.

Posted by: d at February 19, 2004 at 12:26 PM

Now that you are doing work for the IPA, could you politely suggest that they fix up their website? A right leaning think tank is always going to face accusations of being a loony zionist conspiracy outfit, so it would help if their website doesnt resemble something that a dog threw up. I realise that content should always overcome presentation, but a sense of professionalism certainly helps with credibility.

Posted by: Paul Dub at February 19, 2004 at 01:15 PM

They could swap it with the RESPECT alliance site.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 19, 2004 at 02:00 PM

Tim, do yopu know anything about the ABC's "INVESTIGATIVE UNIT"? Who leads it, which programs draw from it? Also I'd love to know what Kerry O'Briens employment package contains, considering he only fronts his Labor lickin' show for 26 weeks of the year.

Posted by: Kate at February 19, 2004 at 09:22 PM

How cute, one News Ltd employee piddling in the pocket of a former Tele Chief of Staff and like minded News Ltd columnist. Do you seriously expect your ABC rants to be taken seriously? Do you seriously expect anyone to believe you were being objective?
Of course the Institute of Public Affairs would never commission a review of News Ltd's coverage. Oh no, 175 News Ltd papers singing the same tune world wide is mere coincidence. No bias there, especially when it's the view of Institute pushes. Incorrect headlines such as the Tele's infamous "We've Found Them" re wmds which obviously weren't, yes, the IPA & yourself look the other way. But hey, does News Ltd have a charter to be balanced? Probably not, it reports what Rupert wants.Does Fox? Now there's a fine example biased reporting, Fox News. But oh no, as a former Fox flunky you deliberately stay mute. So don't try and present your review of the ABC as factual or impartial.

Posted by: max at February 19, 2004 at 09:24 PM

So don't try and present your review of the ABC as factual or impartial.

I eagerly await for you to challenge the facts. Surely you've got something in that big sack of yours besides "but you're biased! Why don't you pick on something irrelevant to this issue?"

Posted by: Sortelli at February 19, 2004 at 09:59 PM

max, mate, you seem to miss the point. The ABC is publically funded and has a charter saying that it isn't ALLOWED to be biased. News Ltd papers are privately owned and hence can push any line they want, just like the Guardian, Independent or Socialist Worker.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 20, 2004 at 06:32 AM

Of course the ABC is not allowed to be biased, I wouldn't suggest otherwise and at times they can be their own worst enemy. The point is having a long time automatic ABC critic being "commissioned" (lovely turn of phrase that isn't it? $$$) to find bias and have your mates in News Ltd present it as if it were a papal encyclical takes deceit to a new level.
There was never any intention of objectivity.
Whether it be the sanctimonious Marr and Media Watch or News limited columnists like Bolt & Akerman who seem to be paid to listen to the ABC all day and then cherry pick out what they don't like, media judging media competitors on a matter as subjective as bias lacks credibility.What often is an allegation of bias is the expression of a view with which you disagree. Nothing more tedious than TV programmes and newspaper columns dedicated to get squares against other commentators. It is an epidemic within the Australian media which they ALL indulge in and have the nerve to pass off as informed debate. Sorry Tim, your ties are way too close and convenient for your "commissioned" exercise to be credible. You, not have an agenda with this?????

Posted by: max at February 21, 2004 at 12:26 AM

Read the report, Max.

Posted by: tim at February 21, 2004 at 04:44 AM

Aaaaaah Ackerman. The thinking man's Alan Jones.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 21, 2004 at 11:37 AM

It's Akerman.

Miranda Divide. The thinking man's illiterate fuckwit.

Posted by: ilibcc at February 23, 2004 at 11:13 AM