Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, April 04, 2003
I am dead keen to get a petition and/or action happening after the dust has settled to get a fair dinkum review of the ABC's performance over Iraq. I am an old ABC fan but have become seriously nauseated by the almost treasonous (and certainly anti-Australian) behavior of our once great national broadcaster in recent weeks. I can't do it alone but if there are others of like mind, I'd be very willing to help , writes reader Dan, who has also noted the acid tone of Robert Fisk's fellow Saddam songbird, Paul McGeough on tonight's PM.

I know where you're coming from, Dan. It's these moments of when the communards are in full cry that fill us reasonable people with disgust and drive us to our keyboard.

As to where you want to go, can I offer this piece of advice.

Don't get bogged down in an energy-absorbing dispute about just how the ABC has run the ALP left line on Iraq. Leave that to the ALP right, who will be extremely irritated that it helped mislead their hapless leader into losing the next election for them.

Look ahead. We don't need to prove that Auntie's communards are biased. They do that for us.

Every one of their serial commentators is either left ALP or further left. Every one. Even Henny Herald knows it must do some window-dressing. Auntie thinks she can get away with it.

Take Auntie at face value. Now, let's do something about it. And that means some fundamental change to the public broadcasting system in this country, since it clearly won't reform itself.

Biffer Balding, who will never reform anything, wants the government to give him more of our money.

Send your emails to Minister Alston, the Minister for Finance and the Treasurer. Point out that it is a disgrace to spend your money on political campaigners with no professional standards. And on managements that are unwilling or unable to manage for a professional public broadcaster.

Tell them, I humbly suggest, that if the managers they pay can't manage, then it's time to start afresh.

How about letting Radio National join News Radio and fish for their own funds from the ALP left. Then they could make honest employees of the communards whose hearts and minds are already in mortage to them.

Tax-payers money could be made available for fixed-term contracts for one or more operators of high-quality public service broadcasting, by public tender. They could take advertising or not; let the listeners sort them out.

You can't say that advertising has trivialised SBS. It's programming is still of a higher order of seriousness than the ABC's.

Unlce's prepared to put some of his pension behind good, informative and professional broadcasting.

We are entering the age of digital broadcasting, and monopolies like the ABC sit like incubuses on the possibilites of future services.

Get Auntie off our back. Especially, get her off my back. She's sold her professional soul into political whoring, and she no longer cares.

Uncle will soon climb down off his stump, but reform of the public broadcasting system is one of the biggest of the reform tasks left in the too-hard basket by both parties.

Let's keep reminding them. Before the next generation of mindless anti-Yank pacifists starts marching.