Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, March 08, 2004

Auntie is floating a rumour that Radio National is for the axe.

The axing of ABC Radio National has been considered by management to save money, according to a senior ABC executive.

The manager told The Sunday Age the idea was first floated last year and is "almost certain" to be revisited by management in budget talks in the next two months.

More likely, this story is just a stray tracer round from the internal warfare at Ultimo in the run-up to this year's budget carve-up. We hope the Age's Peter Wilmoth gets the free drink/shag he's been promised.

The usual suspects have reacted with their customary stupidity.

Lord Bob Brown of the Barricades has, of course, taken it hook, line and sinker:

he will introduce a notice of motion in the Senate tomorrow aimed at protecting the network

That is, he wants the Government to direct the ABC.

What happened to Auntie's independence?

Lindsay Tanner of the Labor left is threaded on the same string:

Opposition communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner said the demise of Radio National "would be a dark day for public broadcasting" and a capitulation to pressure from the Howard Government.

I bet he's not game to promise anything. Like money.