“The ABC is trying to destroy Tony Abbott,” reads the first line of Andrew Bolt's whistle-blowing expose, entitled “Bias against Tony Abbott is truly sickening”, that was published in several Murdoch tabloids on February 19.
And I suppose that's what these overpaid ABC bludgers living off our hard-earned tax dollars have the gall to call a “job”! Destroying Tony Abbott? I've had more taxing naps.
To the casual observer, it would seem the task of “destroying Tony Abbott” involves little more than pointing a microphone in his general direction and switching it on. If there's one thing Tony Abbott is doing well — and it's hard to imagine him doing more than one thing well — it is destroying Tony Abbott.
But maybe that's wrong. Maybe Abbott's woes are not down to the PM's never-ending gaffes revealing how out-of-touch and incompetent he is, as he tries pushing policies to destroy universal health care, public education, the welfare system and workers' rights as the jobless rate rises to its highest level since 2002.
Maybe it's the ABC asking government ministers a few questions they don't like. Maybe that's why Abbott is polling worse than an Indonesian supreme court judge working a sideline training Australian greyhounds.
Maybe Abbott would have got away with it, if it weren't for all those meddling ABC journos.
I am glad that Bolt took the time to write his expose. Because when it comes to bias in the media, there are few in the league of Andrew Bolt, so he really knows what he is talking about.
It was probably no great shock to Bolt's readers to learn that the “sickening” anti-Abbott bias was coming from the ABC. After all, the Murdoch-owned News Corp papers he scribbles for have been accused of many things, but bias against Abbott is not one of them.
In fact, News Corp is so lacking in bias against Abbott that the Sunday Telegraph ran front page before the last federal election with a screaming headline that simply read: “AUSTRALIA NEEDS TONY”. Presumably this was because “TO BECOME A GLOBAL LAUGHING STOCK” was too many words.
But, of course, as Bolt would no doubt point out, the difference is the ABC is a public, taxpayer-funded broadcaster, whereas News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is a private citizen.
Admittedly, not of Australia, but the point is, he is not asking the taxpayer to subsidise his chain of papers pushing his right-wing agenda seeking to influence the nation's direction in a manner beneficial to his corporate interests. Except for the $882 million in taxpayer funds the Abbott government gave News Corp in December 2013.
But aside from that one small payout, described by the Australian Financial Review as the “single largest factor in the underlying deterioration of the federal budget”, News Corp is just a private institution exercising its democratic rights.
Which is why, if you want intervene into this country's political life, you too can use your democratic right to establish a large chain of newspapers monopolising the nation's media and crushing opponents, forcing politicians to seek your favour to receive positive media treatment.
That's how you act in the “healthy democracy” that Bolt's op-ed claimed was threatened by the ABC.
Bolt is not the only one throwing accusations of bias around. The Abbott government responded to the Human Rights Commission's report on the abuse of children in detention by calling it a “transparent stitch-up”.
In fact, Coalition MP George Christensen said: “I have more confidence in getting impartial advice from Green Left Weekly than from [HRC head] Gillian Triggs.”
Now come on, that's a bit unfair on Triggs. I mean sure, she might release a report that is so biased in favour of human rights it calls for a Royal Commission over hundreds of documented incidents of child abuse in Australian detention centres.
But here at Green Left, we'd impartially advise dragging to the Hague and charging with crimes against humanity, all politicians from both big parties who are responsible for the horrific abuse of children guilty of no crime but belonging to families using their right under international law to seek persecution in camps widely condemned by mental health experts and the United Nations as “hellholes”.
That, as Christensen is asking, is our impartial advice.