Well there’s ABC independence and then there’s cabinet solidarity. From The Age:
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC’s editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ‘instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s’.
Mr Turnbull defended the Prime Minister’s right to critique the ABC but, in comments that could be interpreted as resistance to Mr Abbott, he said the ABC was rightly accountable to its board of directors, not politicians.
Do I get this right? The Government sets up a media organisation that has been captured by its ultra-left staff and staffing policies and that’s the end of it. This is not Fairfax or News Media whose life and death is dependent on earning an income in the market. This is a government-paid-for media organisation over which the government apparently has no control. Is that the point? Is that what he means? Doesn’t work for me. This works for me, from The Australian:
THE ABC’s $223 million Australia Network Asian broadcasting service is likely to be scrapped in the May budget to save money and end the pursuit of “soft diplomacy” in the region through television.
Federal cabinet has already discussed the option of dropping the ABC’s contract to broadcast Australian news and entertainment in the region, with the Government Solicitor providing advice on the ramifications of stripping the ABC of its 10-year contract.
Cabinet ministers believe the ABC’s coverage of Australia in the region is overly negative and fails to promote the nation as originally intended in the Australia Network’s charter by using the “soft diplomacy” of Australian news and cultural programs.
The ABC is unresponsive to what its market wants, more than half of whom voted for this government which the ABC is viscerally opposed to. No one says that the ABC has to be a government news service but it is also not supposed to outrage more than half the country with its approach to political issues.
You know, if I were over at the ABC, I would be hearing the drumbeat getting louder. This is from an article in today’s Australian with the ominous title – ominous if you think you are an untouchable media organisation even though funded by a government you do everything you can to undermine – Tony Abbott says ABC ‘takes everyone’s side but our own’.
TONY Abbott says he is concerned the ABC takes an anti-Australian stance in its reporting and wants the broadcaster to stick to straight news-gathering.
The Prime Minister said the broadcaster was, like all media organisations, entitled to report “credible evidence”.
But “you shouldn’t leap to be critical of your own country”, he said, referring to reports of alleged mistreatment of asylum-seekers by naval personnel.
“It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but our own and I think it is a problem,” Mr Abbott told radio station 2GB
“You would like the national broadcaster to have a rigorous commitment to truth and at least some basic affection for the home team, so to speak.”
He said the broadcaster should have given the navy and its personnel “the benefit of the doubt” in its reporting of the matter,
“I want the ABC to be a straight news-gathering and news-reporting organisation, and a lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everybody’s side but Australia’s,” Mr Abbott said.
He said he was also concerned at the ABC’s reporting of leaks by the “traitor” Edward Snowden, saying it “seemed to delight” in broadcasting his allegations.
“And of course, the ABC didn’t just report what he said, they took the lead in advertising what he said. That was a deep concern.”
ABC spokesman Michael Millett said the public broadcaster would not be commenting on Mr Abbott’s statements.
This no longer feels like our ABC.
I own only two instruments, one is a banjo and the other a concertina. The reason I own them is because when I was very young, in the mid-1950s, I was sent to a summer camp for the children of comrades in the movement. And because of the blacklist, there were limited opportunities for people with a communist history, so two musicians came up to this southern Ontario campsite to entertain the children, one who played the concertina whose name I no longer remember; the other was Pete Seeger. Not many definitive moments in a child’s life that are remembered more than half a century later, but that concert was one. And so, very badly, I play the banjo, and it was from Pete Seeger’s instructional manual I learned.
I had one other Pete Seeger moment. I was staying with my aunt in Fishkill, NY, sometime during the 1960s, and she mentioned that Pete Seeger was in their local phone book, living in a place called Dutch’s Junction. So I phoned over to invite him to tea and goodness gracious, he answered the phone himself and it was Pete Seeger who has the most distinctive voice in all of folk music on the other end. He thanked me for the offer but didn’t come round but an indelible memory.
Growing up, every single one of my parents’ friends was in the movement. All were Stalinists, my parents included, which is hard to reconcile about people I loved as much as I did. And they taught me a lot, gave me my interest in politics but, as I see it, fortunately taught me enough to break with every political tradition they held dear.
Life is complex. Pete Seeger has died at 94 and I mourn his passing into the great beyond.
This was picked up from Tim Blair but what gets to me is that since this looks like a joke, and no one even at the ABC would ever put up such a request so it must be a joke, I still think, even then, who knows?
But it is a clever parody since the butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth tone is so perfectly done, and the disclaimer, that of course it isn’t true and my boss doesn’t think it’s true, but come and talk to us anyway and we can sort this out.
Because if this ad were not a joke and were the real thing, it would mean there’s a cancer at the ABC that needs urgent and immediate treatment before it spreads.
It’s not going to be stopped. It’s only going to spread. The President is a well known former user and so are more than half the elites of American assuming they are not current users. But s the article says, grass is not good for your health:
Today’s marijuana has many times the potency (as the dealers and retailers tout regularly) of the weed that Obama and his contemporaries smoked in the 1970s. This contributes to the danger of addiction, but also increases other serious risks reported by researchers over the last 10 to 15 years. These include worsening or even triggering serious mental illness (including depression and psychosis) and permanent loss of up to eight IQ points. In addition, there are the well-known risks of short-term memory loss, inhibited concentration, and impaired motor function. These are the known dangers facing the low estimate of 18.9 million users. And the best available figures show that marijuana users have jumped almost 24 percent under President Obama—from 15.3 million in 2008 to 18.9 million in 2012.
So here is the first of the arguments made by Obama:
Obama makes two moral arguments that get to the heart of the distortion in today’s attitudes about illegal drugs. First, Remnick says,
What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”
The charge is ludicrous. No one gets “locked up for smoking pot”—federal mandatory minimums don’t even kick in below 220 pounds, and only 9 percent of federal marijuana convictions involve African Americans. No part of law enforcement in America targets pot-smoking kids or simple users of any age. No one is being frisked on the streets for the purpose of finding marijuana users.
Just keep your head low and remain amongst the elites at the top of the tree. The scummed down neighbourhoods will be for lives that are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
Just in case you missed it, from Tim Blair.
The self-inflicted death of America is not a pretty sight. Given how admirable the US was until not all that long ago, the descent into the dust is astonishing. Whatever principles of a free republic that were there then, they are being buried in front of our eyes. What you are looking at is a set of data that, according to the article Entitlement America shows this:
“A one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.”
About which is added this comment:
It is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper – it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world’s most generous entitlement system.