ABC – Australian for Bullshit?

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NEWSFLASH – ABC trumpets un-provable claim made by representative of a government proven to (repeatedly) lie over matters of national interest – fails to put forward alternative viewpoint as professional standards require.

The ABC has once again shown itself a willing collaborator in all things related to sending our country to war. At least, since we’re already AT war, to another war on top of that.

In the report linked to above (click the image), the ABC editorial team announce ‘Deadly Australian air strikes dent IS morale in Iraq’, before quoting the article’s single source, who confirms that deaths have occurred during the 43 missions Australians have been involved in.

This number could be as little as zero, and there are no claims that Australian forces were responsible, let alone that we have put a dent in IS’s morale. But the ABC has chosen to back the government on this one, and put the headline on its front page nonetheless.

It’s an amazing turnaround for a public organisation which only recently was attacked by right-wing, conservative PM Tony Abbott, known around the world for his strict adherence to the truth, for ‘backing everyone but Australia’, by airing claims made by asylum seekers that Australian Navy personnel mistreated them as they were towed out to sea, away from safety, back towards the oppressive regimes from which they risked their lives to escape.

The ABC has, however, proven itself a true ozzie of late by going along with the government’s rhetoric, particularly in its use of one sided articles like this one.

Earlier, just days after the MH17 disaster, which has now been allowed to slip from the nation’s memory, another article published by the ABC quoted another sole source – the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.

Bishop, who made her way to New York after the crash of MH17 faster than UN investigators made it to the crash site, made it clear to reporters that Australia would back any effort to make a stand, if in fact one was needed – this, again, before investigators had reached the site of the downed airplane.

It’s an amazing development in the delivery of news to the country, from a publicly funded body, no less – quote one source, that being the mouth-piece of the organisation (the government) which would benefit most from having you hear nothing but its point of view. Do not get into details. Do not put forward a second point of view. And don’t shy away from using child-like illustrations in place of photographs, lest viewers are reminded of the realities of war, let alone the complexities of attacking a foreign nation from the air due to an undying allegiance¬†to the world’s leading terrorist organisation, the US. But more on that later…

The ABC is failing in it’s mission – to bring Australians balanced, unbiased information with which they can base their opinions. It is supporting a government so bent on control that it can’t see beyond the next election date, and will lie unflinchingly if there’s a good enough reason, no matter what the consequences.

As such, the ABC, in my opinion, is equally responsible for the outcomes of the lies our government would have us believe. Other news organisations are no less culpable, but the ABC is different – it is publicly funded, should be impervious to being swayed, and also leads the pack in terms of investigative research, if only because it does not, and rightly so, actually need to be affected by ratings, unlike its commercial ‘competitors’. It is meant to be an independent agency which fearlessly, and ruthlessly, persues the truth; not one which politely goes along with a government’s wishes after a few wraps on the knuckles.

If the ABC were to stand up to the government, the commercial organisations would likely follow suit, as they do with any other successful venture they observe. But in failing to do so, by following the commercial interests and bowing to the pressure of a few unscrupulous politicians who have no fear of telling outright lies to the public, the ABC has done the very opposite – it has given the green light to the commercials like News to take the rhetoric, or its love (addiction?) thereof to dizzying new heights.

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Politician Mike Baird Jnr is caught by surprise when three racists accost him; wonders what this place is. (It’s a train.)

Take for example the appearance of the NSW State Premier Mike Baird Jnr on an ad for News in the past week, smiling inanely like some lucky contestant on The Price is Right.

Tell me if I’m wrong, but is it not slightly disconcerting that the leader of the state’s controlling party appears on an ad for a company, News, whose job it is meant to be to criticise said party? It’s like being a school principal, while you’re being paid by the parents of your best students. (Oh, wait…)

Either way, it’s clear something is up. Something has changed, not for the better, and things are going wrong.

To sum up – the ABC is trumpetting the government’s bullshit justification for going to war (again) with a faceless enemy who most people on the street would not be able to identify beyond being ‘arab’, thanks largely to years of shamefully shallow, and toothless, reporting. In other words, the very same lack of fearless reportage, or fearless editorial decisions, are exactly what has paved the way for the state of corruption we find ourselves in these days, and the ABC can count itself if not largely responsible, then a very sturdy cog in the workings of what’s going on.

I would hope that the ABC will one day re-grow some balls. I’m sure there are still many journalists and staff who would like to uphold the goals of a once-dangerous organisation – one which seems now to be as dangerous as its master will allow it. But for now, those balls are dormant, and the master, for now Abbott and his cronies, are well and truly in charge.

Poor ABC…good ABC. Be a good kitty.

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