Saturday, February 8, 2014
The ‘leftist, greenie’ ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
I think it would be amusing, if it wasn’t dangerous, for critics of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to accuse the staff of the ABC of all being leftist leaning greenies.
For those who are not aware of it, the ABC is a tax payer funded media organization, with fingers in the television, radio and other electronic media pies. I emphasise that it is not a government funded agency, but a tax payer funded agency. It is not there to serve as the propaganda arm of the government. We are told that it has a ‘special responsibility’ to be objective and balanced in its reporting. These words are usually resurrected when the ABC is critical of the government of the day. Bias is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.
I have no way of knowing how individual employees of the ABC vote. Unless there’s something they’re not telling us, neither do those who accuse the ABC of a left wing bias. Just as an aside, it amuses (and saddens) me, that ‘greenie’ has become a pejorative term. We should all be greenies, if we care at all about this planet on which we live. There is no excuse for not being a greenie given the challenges we face. And it has never been clear to me why being green should always be seen to be aligned with the left of politics. Can't someone believe in the power of market forces, in small government and in individual liberty (things which seem to be regarded as values of the right wing) but at the same time believe in caring for the environment? If a right wing person cannot do that, there is clearly something wrong with their ideological position.
While the individual employees of the ABC may vote any which way, it is still possible that there is a leftwing bias within the culture of the organization. But I would say this: Given that almost every other media outlet in the country has demonstrated a consistent right wing bias; given that even the left wing of politics in this country shifted to the right some decades ago… Given those things, a person or organization does not have to stray far to the left to exhibit an apparent counter bias. It is possible to be accused of being ‘left wing’ today merely because one is not quite as far to the right as the mainstream appears to be. Furthermore, given the blatant right wing bias of most other media, any left wing bias in the ABC has to be seen as a good thing, as a counterbalance against an entrenched bias.
Finally the ABC has no ‘special responsibility’ to ‘show support for the home team’. It has no responsibility to cut the government or any of its arms any slack. I will be as ‘unpatriotic’ as I want to be, and so, I hope, will the ABC, if I see this government (or this country, insofar as countries can act) behaving immorally, unethically, unjustly, irresponsibly or undemocratically.