Tony Abbott questions ABC patriotism

abc hqPrime Minister Tony Abbott has accused the ABC of being unpatriotic in its coverage of recent news stories relating to Indonesian spying leaks and asylum seeker abuse claims.

His comments followed a recent ABC report containing video footage of asylum seekers claiming they had suffered burns due to mistreatment by the Australian Navy. The Navy has denied the claims.

“A lot of people feel at the moment that the ABC instinctively takes everyone’s side but Australia’s,” he said in an interview with Ray Hadley on Sydney radio station 2GB.

“I think it dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everyone’s side but its own and I think it is a problem.”

“You can’t leap to be critical of your own country and you certainly ought to be prepared to give the Australian Navy and its hard-working personnel the benefit of the doubt.”

Last year the ABC and Guardian Australia broke a story, based on leaks from the US National Security Agency, about Australia tapping Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s phone.

At the time, the Prime Minister criticised ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott for ”very, very poor judgment”. Liberal senator Cory Bernardi also called for ABC funding to be cut.

In November, Mark Scott defended the ABC’s decision to publish the phone tapping story, arguing it was in the public interest.

Tony Abbott also questioned the ABC’s newly established Fact Check unit, saying he wanted the corporation to focus on straight news gathering and reporting.

Source: SMH, ABC

34 Comments:

  1. cynical old codger

    @victor
    Perhaps he will only be 2/3rd term PM, thus giving Malcolm time to clean up the mess Mr Abbott and Co create, and hide the two trees that the green army were given to plant under the leadership of Field Marshall Hunt who could not just decide where to plant them, and giving some time for the memory of 5 years of the same one liners, to at least slightly fade away.

    But in fairness to Mr Abbott, and I will say the one thing that he does do well, that no other PM has actually done before, and that he is our only PM who ” literally” does “Strut the World Stage”

  2. Aussie_Austridge

    Someone on Facebook has posted that Tony Abbott was sacked as an editorial writer at The Australian in 1989 for submitting an editorial saying that AIDS could be cured by praying the Rosary. Is this true? Sounds fairly credible to me.

  3. When Margaret Thatcher was PM the one institution she didn’t attack was the BBC. She knew it had the public’s respect. Polling by credible companies confirms the ABC is by far the most trusted media outlet in the country. If Tony had any brains and political nouse he would just shut up. But he can’t help himself. He thinks he has something to say but it has become steadily apparent that he is an empty vessel. If he continues like this he may well be a one term PM.

  4. The Guardian “breaking the story” of the phone tapping consisted of sitting on the information for 6 months while the Left wing government with authorised the tapping was still in power and then handing it to the ABC to use the first time there was conflict between the new Conservative government and Indonesia to cause as much damage as possible to conservative government.

    In this case the ABC used allegations they believed to be false to attack the Abbott Government for political reasons because they are opposed to the Government migration and press-conference policies.

    The ABC is skeptical of the Government, fair enough. But they extend that to being equally unskeptical of any spin or outright lies that attacks the Government, which is not being objective.

  5. The funniest thing about this interview was Hadley insisting how he “leans a bit to the right” (nearly falling over) and whinging how he and Jones get “belted over the head” on a regular basis.

    If you are being investigated on a “regular basis” Hadley, then that is because you regularly are seen to be doing the wrong thing. Also, how much does it hurt to get belted over the head with a leaf of week-old limp lettuce? 😉

  6. I am glad the ABC actually reports the news. The criticism is rather disgusting. Didn’t someone once mention patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels?

    Also I’m very happy they have a fact checker unit. Excellent idea.

    @ cynical old codger

    I was reading your comment rather quickly and the typo involving The Bolt Report I thought you’d typed The Dolt Report. Which would of made it more amusing from the context. Sorry I like silly stuff and spoofs.

    @ HarcorePrawn

    Hehehe. I never thought of it that way… And I don’t even mind he comes from the UK.

  7. Abbott’s comments should cause every fair-minded Australian to shudder. Patriotic news reporting? What a ridiculous, dangerous, stupid notion and worse – a direct threat to free and fair journalism. The conservatives have the ABC in their sights and will use devious arguments like this to decimate it. Prepare to stand up and fight Australia!

  8. Saying the ABC is unpatriotic is like saying tides and wind can confuse a RAN captain’s navigation. Both thoughts are little more than frogpoop.

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