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ABC is not a state broadcaster, it’s “independent” says new boss Ms Guthrie. O’Really?

ABC, Public Broadcaster, news, media, alternate logo, AustraliaFor the incoming ABC boss, the first priority is to keep up the pretense that the public broadcaster is “independent”.

Independent of what, you may ask? It’s independent of public accountability. We can’t vote for programs or presenters; we can’t choose not to pay for it. We can’t choose to sell it, or even to send our tax funds to a different broadcaster.

The organization that depends on big-government for funds wants you to believe it’s in-dependent of big-gov.

When BP sponsors art, it’s an outrageous reputational risk (stage a sit in!). In that case the offensive BP donations to Tate were a mere one fortieth of the membership income. When Big-Gov provides almost all the income for the national broadcaster we’re supposed to laud it’s independence?

SMH: ABC boss defends independence of public broadcaster

Ms Guthrie was officially announced on Monday morning as the replacement for outgoing managing director Mr Scott. She will begin the role in May after a month-long handover period with Mr Scott.

In an interview with ABC 24 she said the essence of the ABC as an institution was its independence.

Watch Guthrie turn truth upside down:

“The important thing for me around the ABC is that sense of being an independent public broadcaster rather than a state broadcaster and I think that’s an important distinction.”

More than any other priority Guthrie and the ABC need the public to believe it is not an advertising agency for big-government and all the co-dependent bureaucrats, businesses, and lobby groups that also feed off the public teat. The ABC loses much of its goodwill and “advertising” value if viewers recognize it for the one billion dollar partisan political lobby group that it seems to have become. It’s not that the reporters are biased, they just call it as they see it. (But reporters who see it another way are not employed by the ABC.)

Dear Ms Guthrie, we’ll believe the ABC is independent when they say “No thanks” to government funding, and rely on voluntary direct payments from Australian citizens.

If the ABC is so popular, so trusted, and so wanted, then there’ll be no problem raising that billion bucks, right? Let’s make paying for the ABC optional on our tax returns: tick-a-box, or cross it off.

As I wrote five years ago:

The real problem won’t be solved until the funding issue is.

How could we expect the ABC to do anything other than softly pander to government tastes when the government is the gatekeeper for public money and both institutions live off public largess?

In the end could anyone imagine a publicly funded broadcaster, which is paid by the government, being biased in favour of a small government?

ADDENDUM: Over at Quadrant yesterday, Tony Thomas sums up the current state of ABC-ness. He describes how ABC celebrity Kerry O’Brien keeps busy reading 200 words of autocue each week for an “undisclosed” sum. O’Brien’s gems of wisdom pretty much amount to guessing what Paul Keating would have done if he was still PM… (Remember the fuss when the lavish salaries of ABC “Stars” was exposed. It was so ghastly, the ABC burned through taxpayer money to hide how it uses taxpayer money.

I’ve written a lot about their ABC:

Back in 2012 the ABC flew a crew across the country to interview us, and then edited out 99.7% of everything I said, and edited David Evans so heavily that he “said” a sentence he never spoke.

Here are some of the others:

Three times as many Australians think the ABC has a pro-Labor bias

More Australians switched off ABC politically correct propaganda in 2014

Big-government propaganda: ABC, BBC are “Aggressive political participants”. Sell or Split?

ABC – Agitprop for the Bureaucratic Class

ABC admits it’s a propaganda arm of the government

There is no saving the ABC — We want 60% of our billion back

The ABC — protecting big government from awkward questions

ABC got it wrong, BOM not concerned with Australian public being misinformed

Robyn Williams shreds the tenets of science

Catalyst – raising public awareness of science, or promoting big-government science instead?

Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

97 percent of Australian renewables investment dries up without subsidies (so the ABC gives free adverts to the industry)

Fact Checking the ABC — the Big-Myth about the “World’s Scientists”

This is not journalism, Wendy Carlisle

Maurice Newman fights back: No slur is too vicious for Robyn Williams and the ABC

Sabra Lane, ABC 7:30 Report, was that an interview or an advert?


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