Oh goody, it’s bash-the-ABC week at The Australian again.
On Saturday, we had Christopher Pearson complaining that Radio National doesn’t apply the blowtorch enough to scientists who accept the notion of the greenhouse effect; a concept the vast majority of non-Republican-Party-funded scientists the world over also seem fairly comfortable with. The real charlatans are those scientists with their snouts in the fossil fuel lobby trough claiming straight-faced to merely be applying scientific scepticism. Ker-ching!
There’s nothing more two-faced, except perhaps a conservative complaining about a lack of balance on the ABC. Does Paul Gray honestly think the *cough* values of “ordinary conservative Australians” are somehow underrepresented in the Aussie media at large? Or as John Doyle put it in his Andrew Olle Media Lecture on Sunday:
And as it should be, [the ABC] still strives to put forward an alternative view. So that when the commercial media is dictated to by myopic intrusive ownership and ill-informed populism, is forced through thoughtless need to make irresponsible programs that lack both style and substance, caresses inflammatory and cheap, nasty demagoguery that seeks to marginalize the already marginalized, that seeks to describe the world in simple terms, provide simple solutions to complex problems and is purely a servant to fiscal outcomes, then the ABC will always seem to aggravate, annoy and frustrate and it’s precisely when the ABC is doing this that it is serving its charter. It’s preserving its skeptical asymmetrical smirk.
It becomes patently obvious when conservatives claim to want a diversity of opinion it’s the exact opposite they’re seeking: a bland uniformity of grey-suited drones mutedly applauding the Great Leader and his corporate masters.
It would be nice to have a few more extraordinary, iconoclastic, intelligent conservatives rather than the current regiment of cheerleaders for Team John and Dubya. Someone like Christopher Hitchens, for instance, who only ever seems to appear on Australian TV sets courtesy of, you guessed it, the ABC. The problem with ordinary conservative Australians and their values is not their conservatism as much as their ordinariness.