Extreme right-wing commentator Andrew Bolt, together with many of his fellow Murdoch-employed propagandists and the Abbott government, have spent the last few weeks trying to convince themselves and the Australian people that Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, is ‘biased toward the Left’.
The problem is that it’s only the right-wing of Australia that thinks the ABC is biased. According to a ReachTEL poll taken on Thursday, 30 January 2014, 67.8% of those polled did not think the ABC was biased toward the Left. 59.6% of them thought the ABC was unbiased while 8.2% thought the ABC was biased toward the Right.
The Right-wing of both politics and the commentariat traditionally are contemptuous of negative news relating to Right-wing policies – especially news that exposes the government’s shortcomings.
The ABC is charged with providing information to Australians that is honest and unbiased – even if it contradicts the policies and statements of the government and its propagandists in the Right-wing media.
Of late, the ABC has been charged by the government and Right-wing commentators as being ‘unpatriotic and unsupportive of the Australian side’.
The reality is that the ABC is not biased toward the Left but that, as far as the Right-wing is concerned, the ABC is not biased toward the Right-wing. Since the ABC is financed by taxpayers, the extreme Right-wing like Quadrant magazine and the neoconservative Australian think tank Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) have for some time been demanding that the ABC be privatised in order to ‘stop the bias’.
Not all conservatives, however, are so keen to privatise the ABC as the Right-wing extremists. The Coalition’s Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, came out in defence of the ABC after Abbott’s attack on it.
Any serious move to privatise the ABC is likely to be met with strong resistance from the Left, ordinary Australians and many conservatives who, even if they think the ABC is biased toward the Left, would likely strongly oppose privatisation.
The bottom line is this: to the extreme Right, even the ABC’s neutral reporting seems ‘Left-wing’. However, the extreme Right has influence. All Australians must be prepared to resist any interference with the ABC, let alone privatisation.