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article imageOp-Ed: Public broadcasters beware — ABC Australia budget cuts sickening

By Paul Wallis     Nov 28, 2014 in Entertainment
Sydney - The Murdoch hymn of hate against any form of public broadcasting has been put into practice by the conservative government in Australia. In a budget of cuts that coincidentally didn’t fund the redundancies. ABC Australia has been scarred severely.
Ironically, just as Murdoch himself is facing a version of the axe in the boardroom, his long-held demand that public broadcasters be burned at the stake has seriously singed Australia’s equivalent of PBS and the BBC. The cuts at the ABC have resulted in a total of 400 jobs lost, shows axed, and no doubt a rare moment of joy at Australia’s miserably underperforming, mindlessly American commercial networks.
One of the first to lose his job was highly respected ABC senior journalist Quentin Dempster, a 30-year overachiever with a record in journalism few of his Murdoch-linked colleagues could begin to equal. There’s been a long animosity between the Liberal Party and the ABC, and Dempster isn’t famous for his reticence as this Sydney Morning Herald quote illustrates:
On why he was being "sacked", Dempster says he "only ever sought to uphold the integrity of Her Majesty's institutions, the Parliament and the police, in Queensland and NSW."
"That's not left-wing," he said. "There could be nothing more conservative.
"Why isn't Rupert Murdoch being sacked for phone hacking, invasion of privacy, intimidating the politicians, his tax havens and all those tits on page three? Just asking."
It’s a fair question. It’s also a question that will never be asked by Australia’s terminally gutless mainstream media. Cowardice is king in the timid toilet paper towers of Australian media. When the wind blows, you blow with it. If someone said exterminating all humans on Earth was a good idea, these two dimensional Australian journalists would agree with it. They’re just basically disgusting people.
Evidence of exactly how disgusting isn’t hard to find. The perception of “bias” at the ABC has been almost the sole topic of editorials and opinions from the Murdoch press since the Liberals won power in the last election. Rarely does the right wing press miss a chance to demand that the taxpayer-funded ABC conform to the mindless standards of the prairie league Australian conservatism. Australia’s answer to America’s lunatic right wing radio stars are equally rabid on the subject. They’ve never had any idea what they’re talking about on any subject, and nor have they ever done a damn thing of the slightest value for this country, but they agree on this one issue.
ABC has never claimed perfection or infallibility. Nor could it, but it’s never been as “smug” as its private sector counterparts. Its political “masters” of both sides have accused it of bias against them. It’s ironic that in a time of stringency caused by the political part of the public sector, that one of the few things taxpayers actually see for their money should be cut.
The budget spending blowout which caused the stringent 2014 budget was heavily criticized by ABC’s in house and guest experts. The Liberals seem to have forgotten that. ABC’s financial experts questioned whether there was an actual crisis and whether a budget surplus justified Labor’s bizarre fiscal Kama Sutra.
Perhaps that was too technical for the vacuous conservative think tanks. The subhuman culture of Ayn Rand mutual grovelling isn’t usually too strong on actual fact analysis. That the ABC wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about Labor’s various failures in its last two terms obviously didn’t register, anyway.
The result of the ABC cuts is that a recipe for maiming a public asset has now been created. When Murdoch took over Fleet Street, he rewrote the rules of news publishing, much for the worse. Now his ideological ghost and the hideous Thatcherite stench that goes with it is redefining the right of the public to news.
An Australian generation of FOXwits may yet come to be. For public broadcasters and their supporters, a quote from the only useful conservative advice ever given in the whole of history - “Keep your bowels open and your powder dry”. It works.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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