Who’s Running The ABC, The Board Or Left Wing Journalists?
COMMENT: Who’s running the ABC, the unions or a bunch of left-wing journalists, who are now baying for the sacking of Chairman Justin Milne for simply recommending in an email the sacking of journalist Emma Alberici who screwed up trying to manipulate a story.
Her wrote “Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC — not Emma,” Mr Milne wrote to the now sacked Managing Director of the ABC Michelle Guthrie.
I have known Milne for a long time and is a person who I have criticised in the past when he worked for Telstra and was the architect behind Telstra’s early broadband initatives.
He is an excellent operator and a straight shooter so it’s not surprising that he cut to the chase when complaints started pouring in about the Alberici story and the overall tenure of ABC news coverage under Guthrie’s leadership.
Mr Milne’s email was sent in May following a complaint by then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull about Alberici’s coverage of the government’s innovation policies.
Both Fairfax and the ABC have become bosom buddies in trying to bring down the Federal Coalition Government and the actions of some journalists from the ABC and Fairfax have to be questioned for their open bias and a lack of balance and objectivity.
Now journalists from these two organisations are screaming for blood.
The revelations of the Milne email come days after Milne sacked the ABC’s Managing Director Michelle Guthrie with insiders tipping it was Guthrie who not only failed to sack Alberici but allowed ABC journalists to run amok in their criticism of the current Federal Government.
Only last week both Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes shot down a story that the broadcaster’s political editor Andrew Probyn wrote.
Probyn claimed that Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes conspired in the Liberal leadership spill. Both have denied the claim along with claims that Murdoch instructed his editorial staff to take down Turnbull.
On the ABC Media Watch show Paul Barry said that the credibility of the story ultimately rested on a “second-hand at best” account of a purported private conversation between Mr Murdoch and Mr Stokes.
On whether there was concrete evidence of such a plan, Barry said: “Well, it does all rest on that private conversation between Murdoch and Stokes. So, who is telling us what was said?
Well, it’s certainly not Murdoch. And Stokes says it’s not him. So, who could it be? Without actually naming his source, Probyn all but outed our former PM Malcolm Turnbull
What is getting up the noses of the left leaning rabble in the ABC newsrooms is the fact that Milne took decisive action to try and end some of the shocking editorial issues that have plagued the ABC since Guthrie a former Google Singapore executive was appointed.
Shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland called Mr Milne earlier today demanding an explanation for the “extraordinary situation”, saying the ABC’s integrity had been compromised.
It has, but not by Milne, it’s been compromised by the likes of Alberici and Probyn and a bunch of left leaning journalists who have politicised the newsrooms of the ABC in a desperate effort to bring down the current Federal Government who have called for cost controls and improved management at the ABC.
The impending meeting of the ABC board — which The Australian understands will be their sixth in the last eight days — follows several complaints to the ABC by both Government Ministers and business leaders about their editorial coverage.
Currently ABC journalists are trying to get together a draft motion calling for Mr Milne to “publicly acknowledge whether the political interference suggested in the emails is true and if so, immediately resign from his position.”
The top of the agenda for the ABC board’s upcoming meeting: what other damaging information in Guthrie’s dossier could leak?
The email – sent on May 8 – followed intense political pressure on the ABC over a contentious article by Ms Alberici on February 14 which identified 400 Australian companies which had not paid tax for three years.
Speculation over who leaked the email, and to what end, had senior ABC insiders this morning pointing the finger at Ms Guthrie’s camp. “She’s leaked the email to bring him (Milne) down,” said one ABC executive. “It’s the total revenge.”
In a statement released this morning Mr Milne said his actions were part of the role of chairman. “The job of the ABC Board is to independently govern the Corporation, protect its best interests, ensure that it is well funded, well managed and that our content is of the highest standards,’’ Mr Milne said. “That is precisely what the Board has done and will continue to do. I do not propose to provide a running commentary on day to day issues which arise in pursuit of our duties.”
However, Australia’s media union, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, said the report Mr Milne sought to interfere in editorial and staffing decisions at the ABC was “deeply disturbing.”
Journalist Mike Carlton said Mr Milne had “no place in making editorial decisions, nor to hire or fire staff’’.
“An ABC chairman has NO place in making editorial decisions, nor to hire or fire staff. Milne has behaved disgracefully in attempting to axe Alberici to appease Turnbull and Fifield. ABC staff should pass a motion of no-confidence in him. Pronto,’’ he tweeted.
Like a lot of comments from Carlton this is sheer garbage.
Milne has every right to ensure balance and integrity in what content is distributed by the ABC so did Michelle Guthrie. Milne was attempting to do something about the editorial issues that the ABC was facing, Guthrie simply ignored the issues.
ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy, the host of Insiders, said today’s revelations went to the heart of the broadcaster’s independence.
“Justin Milne’s exposed rationale behind his stance on a govt complaint goes to the heart of the ABCs independence. And he’s the chairman!” Yes, he is the Chairman and his job is to stop the independence of the ABC being eroded and the organisation becoming a mouthpiece for Labor and the Greens.
ABC journalist Quentin Dempster said Mr Milne’s email to Ms Guthrie “indicates Mr Milne does not understand that his primary function is to protect ABC independence. The fact that he is a friend of Malcolm Turnbull makes this Alberici intervention inappropriate’’.
This is the same journalist who has become an outspoken critic of the Federal Government’s cuts to the ABC, describing planned job cuts as “industrial executions” and calling then the former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull a “bullshit artist”.