The ABC – Now With Extra Treason


ABC. Three little letters, but for those of us who remember a time when being a citizen meant a bit more than making obscene finger gestures at the governor-general, they mean so much.

Do you know what ABC actually stands for? You’d be forgiven for not knowing, but it actually stands for Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Take a moment to really think about that. It’s the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It’s not the Indonesian Broadcasting Corporation. It’s not the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. It’s not the Letting Bikie Gangs Rape Our Sisters and Make Meth in Our Toilets Broadcasting Corporation.

It is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and just like other organisations to carry that proud appellation, like the Australian Defence Force or Manpower Australia, the use of the nation’s name carries with it both great privileges and great responsibilities.

Let me show you what I mean, by quoting here from Article 14 of the ABC Charter:

“It is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to at all times uphold the values and beliefs that form the foundation of our free and democratic society. These values and beliefs include the principle that Australia is pretty great, and possibly some other ones.”

It’s not just a coincidence that this is to be found in the charter: our founding fathers, when they invented the ABC in 1897, knew that Australia was great, and they knew the ABC would be the best vehicle to spread that message.

And yet, what do we see now? Do we see a media organisation dedicated to the idea of Australia’s greatness and the dissemination thereof? No, we do not. We see an organisation so bitter and twisted, so warped by self-loathing and unquestioning adherence to one-world-government dogma that it might as well be Al-Jazeera or Channel Ten.

The amazing thing is that when our prime minister (yes, ABC, he’s OUR prime minister. The prime minister of AUSTRALIA. Remember Australia? IT’S IN YOUR NAME) makes a mild observation of clear objective fact, such as that the ABC quite clearly puts an anti-Australian spin on everything and hardly ever shoots him from flattering angles, the ABC and its hardline Maoist fellow travellers fly into a great frenzy and deny all charges. Yet the evidence is utterly compelling.

Look at Phillip Adams, for example. Is there a more rabidly left-wing human being in Australia, or indeed the world? This is a man who has no qualms about slapping on a pair of headphones and declaring – in public – that the Liberal Party is “bad”. Imagine if that sort of intemperate language were used about a leftie darling like Julia Gillard or John Butler – the Google Plus-o-sphere would go ballistic.

But in Adams’s case, the media elite not only accepts his vile slurs, but gives him a huge megaphone with which to shout them at the country, granting him the prime 10pm slot on Radio National, where he can shape and mould the minds of millions of impressionable youngsters, with not so much as a five-minute theatre review segment with Gerard Henderson to redress the balance.

If you want to see how craven political correctness has taken hold of our once-great public broadcaster, just look at the name that now dominate their on-air “talent”. Carvalho. Trioli. Epstein. Alberici. Red. Are these Australian names? Are these names that arrived with the First Fleet? They are, I put to you, not.

And what about the muffling of the government’s message? Every week on the ABC’s so-called Q&A “programme”, a laundry list of professional do-gooders, terrorist apologists and reverse racists line up to spit abuse at our prime minister (OURS) and his government, who work every day of their lives to make this great country even greater which is probably not even possible so you can see how hard a job they’ve got but they do it anyway.

Yet does the network allow Abbott to come on Q&A himself to give a right of reply? Of course not. Oh, they ask him to come on, but you can just tell it’s in a really sarcastic tone of voice: “Oh yes, Tony,” they sneer (they call him Tony because they are disrespectful), “we would love you to come on Q&A. Please come on our TV show, we just can’t wait to see you.” What a revolting display of cynicism and snark from a supposedly professional television programme.

And so yes, it is time for reform. Not for privatisation, of course – selling the ABC would always run the risk that it might fall into the hands of wealthy Arab oil barons, or the Bandidos. But we need the ABC to clean up its act, so it reflects the views and values of ALL Australians – ie that Australia is pretty great – instead of a nasty, negative, unpatriotic, heroin-addicted, pretending to be Aboriginal minority.

The first move will be to sack all staff. They may then, if they wish, re-apply for their old jobs by writing a 3000-word essay on the subject, “Why living in another country would suck”. Acceptable essays, with proper punctuation and spelling, will result in the applicant being given another chance to work for the ABC, but with a two-year probationary period, during which if they say anything bad about Australia Day or ask a government minister the same question twice they will be summarily dismissed.

There also need to be some fresh ideas. Australia has had enough of tired old hacks like the Chaser “boys” (all of them are well over 60 years old, and yet for some reason they still insist that everybody calls them “boys” – is this not strange?) and Chris Lilley vomiting down the front of our western heritage. The ABC must start to encourage and nurture new talent and bring to air fresh, exciting shows based on innovative ideas, like my in-development “The Henderson Hour”, “Paul Sheehan’s World Of Fillies”, “Gymnastics With Gina”, “Giggle and Hoot’s Coal Seam Gas Hootenanny”, The Bolt Report, The Bolt Report Morning Edition, The Bolt Report Adults Only, and The Bolt Report: Singalong.

A very important element of the ABC’s function is to air quality Australian programming. Is there anything more un-Australian than Midsomer Murders? And yet is there anything more typical of the modern ABC than putting to air a show which is not only produced overseas, but which glamorises the anti-social act of murder? Hopefully Abbott will amend the charter to ban all pro-murder programming, but really Midsomer needs to be taken off air altogether, along with all the subversive

“British” and so-called American garbage infesting our screens. Instead, a daily three-hour block of Mother and Son will keep the schedule strongly Aussie.

And what to do with Q&A itself? Is there any hope for it? Many would say no, but I’m more optimistic. I think Q&A can continue as an ABC flagship, but it will need major retooling. First of all, let’s get rid of Tony Jones and his constant dribbling tributes to Islamic extremism, and install a tough, no-nonsense, unbiased host like Janet Albrechtsen, or if she’s unavailable, Sophie Mirabella.

Secondly, Q&A will need to adopt a different format. It’s supposed to be “questions and answers”, after all, not “questions and answers and yelling and whining and interrupting and clapping and cheering and booing and musical guests and idiots on webcams”. So get rid of the audience, get rid of the banter, have the host simply ask a series of straightforward questions to the panel, and force them to answer each one with a simple “yes” or “no”. It should make the show shorter too, which could only help.

All of these things should help return the ABC to its rightful place at the centre of Australian life, and return Australia to its rightful place in all of our hearts. The only other issue to tackle is the news. This should be abandoned altogether. I think we’ll all be a lot happier not hearing about it. 

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.