GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG
ISSUE – NO. 600
12 August 2022
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SARAH FERGUSON THROWS THE SWITCH TO MARX’S HISTORICAL MATERIALISM TO DESCRIBE PETER DUTTON
On ABC 7.30 last night, presenter Sarah Ferguson interviewed Peter Dutton. In a relaxed mood, the Opposition Leader more than held his own. Even during the exchange on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Let’s go to the transcript:
Sarah Ferguson: …what would prevent you now from taking the next step and that is backing the referendum on the Voice?
Peter Dutton: Well, the point I was going to make, is that Noel Pearson obviously has put forward a thoughtful piece to consider in relation to the Voice and he and other Indigenous leaders have done a lot of work on this and from my perspective –
Sarah Ferguson: [interjecting] But what about you, Peter Dutton?
Peter Dutton: – from my perspective, I want to respectfully listen to the arguments because I think reconciliation is important. I also think the practical assistance to kids in those communities –
Sarah Ferguson: [interjecting] We’ve talked about the practical before, I want you to stay with this – this particular issue. It sounds like you’re trying to get on the right side of history, so is there anything preventing you from, um, endorsing that idea of a Voice – an advisory Voice to Parliament?
How about that? Comrade Ferguson ran the old leftist line that Peter Dutton was on the wrong side of history. This is a take from Karl Marx’s teaching on historical materialism. Namely, that there was something inevitable about the course of history which would lead to socialism. The English historian, Robert Conquest, who wrote about the Soviet Union among other matters, referred to the concept of being on the wrong side of history as having a “Marxist twang”.
It would seem that to Comrade Ferguson life is a simple place. There are those, like her, who are on the “right side of history”. And there are those like Peter Dutton who are on the wrong side of history. Simple, eh?
In a final condescending gesture, the 7.30 presenter wound up the interview as follows:
Sarah Ferguson: Transformation from hitman to hitman of opposition, to every man in government. Thank you very much indeed for sharing your thoughts this evening.
So there you have it. Comrade Ferguson did not allow viewers to come to their own conclusion about the Opposition leader – without providing her interpretation about Peter Dutton’s (alleged) transformation from one kind of hitman to another.
SMH EDITOR BEVAN SHIELDS RECKONS THAT HE HAS THE “INDEPENDENCE” TO JUDGE A DISPUTE BETWEEN AN SMH COLUMNIST AND A COALITION SENATOR
Nine Entertainment’s newspapers in Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald) and Melbourne (The Age) proudly announce under their banner on Page One that they are “Independent. Always.” – except, er, when they’re not.
Take the current controversy involving Peter (“I wore a red bandanna on my head for a decade before it was lost at the dry-cleaners”) FitzSimons and Northern Territory Country Liberal Party Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price. As MWD readers will be aware, Senator Price objected to the interview she did with The Red Bandannaed One for his “5 Minutes with Fitz” column in the Sun-Herald on 7 August.
In fact, a shorter version of the interview was published in the Sun-Herald’s print edition while a longer version was published in the Sydney Morning Herald Online, also on 7 August. The longer version reveals that Fitz was in his familiar domineering mood when he interviewed Price. For example, he submitted to Price that she was “driving a wedge” between “all” Australians due to her criticism of the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. And Fitz, in his typical bombastic manner, suggested that the Indigenous senator was “misusing her platform” and “actually hurting” Indigenous causes. It was that kind of interview with the interviewer attempting to impose his will on the interviewee.
It came as no surprise that Senator Price, after the event, objected to the tone of the interview. Needless to say, your man FitzSimons defended his position. Then Price asked for Fitz to release the tape – which he declined to do. Enough said.
Enter Sydney Morning Herald Bevan Shields who tweeted this on 10 August:
I’ve listened to audio of the full interview between Peter FitzSimons and Senator Price. There was no yelling and no shouting from either participant. This was an interesting interview in which the senator's positions and views were tested. The Australian really needs to move on
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) August 10, 2022
Comrade Shields’ final comment was a reference to the fact that The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth had suggested that the tape should be released.
How about that? The SMH proclaims that it is “Independent. Always.” Yet the SMH editor has decided that he is the appropriate person to be judge and jury in a dispute between one of the SMH’s leftist columnists and a conservative Federal politician. What’s independent about this proposed process? More importantly – Can You Bear It?
COMRADES CARLTON & BONGIORNO JOIN IN THE JACINTA PRICE PILE-ON
It comes as no surprise that the leftist feminists in our midst failed to support the Indigenous woman Price against the wealthy middle-aged bloke FitzSimons. Meanwhile Mike Carlton, the Sage of Avalon Beach, has attacked Senator Price for being publicity hungry and more besides. Really. And Paul Bongiorno effectively accused Senator Price of not telling the truth about Indigenous Australians. All this in tweets. Just imagine what the Sandalistas in our midst would have said if a couple of middle-aged conservative men bagged, say, Linda Burney.
So there you have it. The wealthy semi-retired Mike (“I’ll pour the Gin”) Carlton and the wealthy semi-retired Bonge are busy attacking Senator Price despite the fact that they have not exhibited any considered knowledge about Indigenous Australians. Can You Bear It?
COMRADE GREEN IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT LAMINGTON
Meanwhile MWD is oh-so-looking forward to Jonathan Green’s Blueprint program on ABC Radio National on 14 August. It will contain the second part of “Annie Smithers’ Kitchen Rudimental” on, wait for it, Lamingtons.
Here’s how Jonathan (“Proudly the ABC’s Sneerer-in-Chief”) Green introduced part one:
Jonathan Green: Sometimes, you – you just have to grasp the nettle. There are big things to be discussed; difficult subjects that cast long and forbidding shadows. There’s no getting around it, no – no point gilding the lily. We – we just have to step in boldly and get this thing done. Today, Annie Smithers and I begin a two-part investigation, a warts and all interrogation of just what it takes to make the perfect lamington.
A valuable project, to be sure. And well worth funding by the Australian taxpayer. If, Part 2 proves as revealing as Part 1 – then perhaps the whole program could be re-titled “Blueprint for Lamingtons”. Can You Bear It?
NORMAN SWAN INTENDS TO BE AUSTRALIA’S MOST TRUSTED DOCTOR FOR ANOTHER THREE DECADES
Lotsa thanks to the Adelaide avid reader who saw this poster in his local Norwood book shop. Here it is:
As MWD has pointed out, Norman (“Call me doctor”) Swan has not practised medicine for around four decades. It’s a crying shame that the good people of Australia cannot get a consultation with Australia’s most trusted doctor – and have to settle with a less trusted doctor instead. But there you go.
As to whether Dr Swan has produced “the ultimate guide to longevity” – well, MWD doubts this. Life following the medical teachings of Doctor Swan may, or may not, be longer. But it sure will seem longer.
For example, Australia’s self-proclaimed most trusted doctor told the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sarah Berry on 5 August that the way to (near) eternal life is to consume a “diet centred around extra virgin oil, mostly plants and legumes, herbs and spices”. Groan.
By the way, Norman Swan also told Ms Berry that he’s “scared of dying” and hopes to “see 100 or beyond”. However, he recognised that the fact people like himself are living significantly longer lives causes problems since there is a “limited supply of jobs” – and added:
I see it at the ABC, there are a lot of young producers who’d love to push me in front of a bus, you know: “when am I going to get my chance?”.
MWD has no idea who would want to throw the 69 year old in front of a bus. For starters it would not be fair to the bus driver. Which suggests that ABC Radio National listeners are destined to hear advice from Australia’s most trusted (non-practising) doctor for another three decades. Can You Bear It?
In last week’s “Correspondence” section an email sent to Gerard Henderson at 6.59 pm on 29 July 2022 was wrongly attributed to Professor Sean Scalmer. MWD apologises for the error which has been removed. The full correspondence can be found here.
THE ABC’s 90TH ANNIVERSARY GALA DINNER IS (ANOTHER) CONSERVATIVE-FREE-ZONE
Alas, Media Watch Dog was not invited to what was termed the ABC’s 90th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the ABC headquarters in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Ultimo last Friday. But Gerard Henderson has read the addresses of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and ABC chair Ita Buttrose AC, OBE.
Ms Buttrose AC, OBE is somewhat of a MWD fave. Jackie’s (male) co-owner looks back in happiness to 11 May 2011 when the person many Australians simply call “Ita” addressed The Sydney Institute on the topic “Australians Behaving Badly”. It was the occasion of the publication of her book A Guide to Australian Etiquette.
MWD just loved it when Ms Buttrose nailed Mike Munro (formerly of Network Nine’s Sixty Minutes) for his sexism. And particularly when she expressed the wish that Phillip Adams had been taught good manners in his youth, stating: “As someone once said, good manners means putting up with someone else’s bad manners, I guess Phillip is a cross I shall have to bear.” MWD’s avid readers no doubt will share Ms Buttrose’s pain in this instance.
But MWD digresses. The public broadcaster is funded by the taxpayers. So it would be expected that the author of a book on etiquette would have seen fit to ensure that the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton – or his representative – might have been invited to say a few words at the taxpayer funded knees-up. Sarah Henderson, the shadow minister for communications, was in the room and, according to MWD’s contacts, sat in courteous silence as the Prime Minister had a few shots at the opposition – as most politicians tend to do.
Now, MWD stands to be corrected. But the Buttrose speech had the whiff of being drafted by the ABC Communications department – headed by your man Nick Leys with the assistance of Sally (“No comment”) Jackson. The ABC chair’s speech ran the familiar line that the critics of the ABC are “calling for the ABC to be privatised or subscribed, our operations curtailed or wound up”. Well, a few individuals hold these views – but not many. The overwhelming majority of the ABC’s critics simply want pluralism in the ABC’s news and current affairs programs. That’s all – a request for political balance in what is currently a Conservative-Free-Zone.
Ms Buttrose ran the “Save Bluey” line – the self-serving straw man assertion that all the ABC critics want to shut down popular shows like Bluey. [Bluey is Australia’s leading Fake Blue Heeler – whereas Jackie is Australia’s best known Real Blue Heeler. – MWD Editor.] This is how Ms Buttrose put the ABC’s case in one (unnecessary) plea to Mr Albanese:
When they [ABC critics] can’t make those arguments fly, they will no doubt come calling upon you, Prime Minister, to make cuts to the ABC budget. But what they are really saying, however, amounts to proposing there should be no children’s entertainment or education programs, hardly any Australian drama, the death of Australian music, news deserts in regional Australia, piecemeal emergency communications, partisan political and election coverage, and no international broadcasting dedicated to Australia’s national interest.
This is absolute tosh – which probably explains why Ms Buttrose did not attribute any of these views to anyone.
As avid readers know, MWD is against the use of the exclamation mark – believing that if a point is made an exclamation mark is not necessary, but if a speech writer fails to register a point then no number of exclamation marks will do the job!!!! So MWD was not impressed by Ms Buttrose’s “What nonsense!” comment in this part of her speech:
We will never please everybody. We know that. Complaints about the ABC are business as usual. During the term of the previous government, some said ABC journalists went too hard against the government. Others claimed that ABC journalists were somehow cowed and humiliated into compliance.
What nonsense! Just look at the work of reporters like Mark Willacy, Louise Milligan, Laura Tingle, Patricia Karvelas and Anne Connolly, fearless and tireless. Resolutely independent.
How about that? According to Ita Buttrose the likes of Louise Milligan and Laura Tingle were not at all partisan in their criticism of the government led by Scott Morrison. This despite the fact that the ABC bailed out Louise Milligan with $200,000 of taxpayer funds when she refused to apologise for defaming a Liberal Party MP and Laura Tingle was counselled by ABC management for her late-night tweet accusing the Morrison government of “ideological bastardry”. How resolutely independent is that? – especially since neither resolutely criticise the Green Left. [Interesting. Could Comrade Milligan and Comrade Tingle have besties in the ABC’s Communications Department? I wonder. – MWD Editor.]
Towards the end of her address, Ita Buttrose gave the following assurance to the Prime Minister:
Prime Minister, I have no doubt our brilliant journalists will occasionally irritate your government, that sometimes their stories will be uncomfortable and the analysis they provide will be possibly inconvenient. But let us all be glad for it, because this process strengthens the democratic Australia we all love.
No doubt the ABC’s “brilliant journalists” will come to attack the Labor government – but from the left. ABC news and current affairs invariably attack both Labor and the Coalition from the left – as such Labor prime ministers as Bob Hawke and Paul Keating experienced – and never from a conservative position.
And so the event concluded without Ita Buttrose AC OBE even mentioning Her Majesty’s Opposition or the fact that the ABC commenced 90 years ago when the political conservative Joseph Lyons was prime minister of Australia.
ANOTHER GUARDIAN WAGE-SLAVE IDENTIFIED – STEP FORWARD MATILDA BOSELEY
Alas it is truism that no cause is completely lost until Jackie’s (male) co-owner supports it. This seems to be the case with Media Watch Dog’s (so far unsuccessful) attempt to get Amy Remeikis – the Canberra-based reporter for The Guardian Australia – a pay rise.
As avid readers will recall, Comrade Remeikis recently told ABC TV Insiders viewers that she had no hope of attaining a 5 per cent wage increase from her boss – who happens to be The Guardian Australia’s editor Lenore Taylor. Soon after, Remeikis tweeted about her concern at having to find money to pay for a $40 week increase in her rent.
The Guardian in London and The Guardian Australia in Sydney are always banging on about the need for workers to be properly remunerated. But it would seem that – in Marxist terminology so beloved by the Guardianistas – some of its Australian employees can only be regarded as wage-slaves.
Industry sources tell MWD that The Guardian Australia’s success has been built off the back of paying its reporters peanuts (of the unsalted kind, since they are cheaper). This apparently does not apply to the likes of editor Lenore Taylor or political editor Katharine (“Malcolm calls me Murpharoo”) Murphy. But many Guardian full-time and part-time journalists seem to fit into the category of the wage-slave toiling masses.
Matilda Boseley, a Melbourne-based social media reporter and presenter for The Guardian Australia, sent out this twitter thread on 11 August:
I had a 3-minute telehealth call to refill a prescription last week, which has ALWAYS been bulk billed in the past. Got a call from the front desk after with a $98 bill. The worst part was trying to read my credit card number out while hysterically crying. Not my finest hour. https://t.co/WjxL4kcSsg
— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) August 11, 2022
I believe I did receive a $48ish dollar rebate in the week following but for many many people not having access to your money NOW can be extremely problematic – especially when you haven't planned for it.
— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) August 11, 2022
Ms Boseley presents as a considered person – as does Ms Remeikis. Yet The Guardian’s Melbourne reporter burst into tears at the thought of having to pay $98 that is normally bulk billed to Medicare. Which suggests that her pay is quite low for a hard-working journalist – even in what are difficult times in the media industry.
MWD understands that working for The Guardian Australia is a bit like belonging to a political cult. Guardian journalists seem to believe that they are not only saving the planet in view of their newspaper’s commitment re carbon dioxide emissions – but that they are also involved in establishing some kind of socialist utopia in this wide brown land. Hence their commitment to The Guardian and the willingness to work for modest pay.
That’s all very well and good. But there is an unpleasant double-standard involved in The Guardian Australia campaigning, say, for the rights of Uber workers – while being stingy with respect to its more junior reporters and casuals.
MWD urges all avid readers to join in this chorus in support for The Guardian Australia’s wage-slaves. Here’s hoping the following chants might be helpful in any demonstration:
What do we want?
Justice for (Guardian) wage-slaves.
When do we want it?
One side right
One side wrong
The wage-slave throng
Due to overwhelming popular demand, this segment has made a return to Media Watch Dog after what journalists like to call a Well Earned Break – or WEB. “Jackie’s Old Bones” reflects the obsessive interest of Gerard Henderson – Jackie’s (male) co-owner – about what certain individuals said or wrote or did in the not too distant past. And, on occasions, in the distant past. It all depends on the nature of the old bones. Now read on.
IN WHICH EX RUGBY UNION GREAT LOOKED BACK IN ANGER AT A PETER FITZSIMONS INITIATED FIGHT AT A 1990 RUGBY TEST IN SYDNEY
As readers of today’s “Can You Bear It?” segment will be aware, the Nine columnist Peter FitzSimons (aka the Red Bandannaed One) likes dishing out criticism but is wont to threaten expensive defamation action if he feels he has been unfairly slighted. Then there is the fact that, these days, Fitz presents himself as a “Let’s Give Peace a Chance” kind of guy who is opposed to violence – including in sport (which includes a particular detestation of boxing) where blokes punch other blokes in the head.
Yet Fitz, in his day as a Rugby Union player (he played some seven matches for the Wallabies), was more in the give-war-a-chance mode. Former Australian Rugby Union great David Campese wrote about his one-time team-mate in his autobiography On A Wing & A Prayer (McDonald & Co, 1991).
At Page 139, Campese referred to the first test between Australia and France held in Sydney in June 1990. Campese was not playing for Australia on that day – and watched the game from the stands. He referred to a brawl which he wrote was commenced by FitzSimons:
He [FitzSimons] wanted to prove that he was an important player, big on the Australian rugby scene. But for those watching this shocking fight, like myself, it was not a pretty sight. I’m sure 39,000 people watching it with me would agree.
Later, at Page 200, Campese returned to the scene of the (Rugby) crime – so to speak. He had this to say:
Too many families [in Australia] have told their youngsters they are not to play Rugby Union any more in the light of some of these unfortunate accidents. They say it is too violent. Mothers watch the news and see films of violence on the rugby field and it turns them off the sport. That is why it was totally unacceptable for a guy like the Wallaby international lock Peter FitzSimons to get involved in that massive fight at the start of the first Test against France in the Sydney Football Stadium in June 1990. While Fitzie was having his own private war he was doing the game and its reputation enormous damage.
By the way, the material in Jackie’s Old Bones is not provided to avid readers on a “need-to-know” basis. But, rather, on a “want-to-know” one.
FROM MARXIST ALLAN ASHBOLT’S ABC KINDERGARTEN IN THE 1960s AND EARLY 1970s TO TODAY’S ABC AS A CONSERVATIVE-FREE-ZONE
There was considerable interest in the coverage of Chris Kenny’s Sky News The ABC Exposed program (which aired on Tuesday 26 July) in Media Watch Dog on 29 July – where the following comment was made:
“The ABC Exposed” was a success. Even Karl Quinn, Nine’s culture writer, conceded that Kenny landed some punches. MWD’s only criticism was that the program lacked an historical context. It did not mention the role of avowed Marxist Allan Ashbolt (1921-2005) in consciously appointing left-wing journalists in the ABC in the 1960s. In short, the fact that, over the years, the ABC became a Conservative Free Zone was no accident (to use a Marxist term)….
No one at the ABC has challenged MWD’s claim, made over many years, that the ABC is a Conservative Free Zone – without a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or online outlets. Moreover, no one has been able to name one such conservative. The question is – how did the taxpayer funded public broadcaster become a Conservative-Free-Zone sometime after the Second World War?
In 1983, Melbourne University Press published This is the ABC: The Australian Broadcasting Commission 1932-1983 – written by K.S. (Kenneth Stanley) Inglis. In 1984, the ABC was re-named the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ken Inglis’ second volume, published by MUP in 2006, was titled Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation: 1983-2006.
Ken Inglis was a fine scholar specialising in history. He was also a man of the left and a firm friend of the public broadcaster. As MWD recalls, your man Inglis was a member of the Canberra branch of the Friends of the ABC. Also, Inglis’ two volume history was proposed by the ABC and he was given unrestricted access to ABC staff and records. His two-volume history became, in effect, the ABC’s unofficial biography up to 2006.
In This is the ABC, Inglis relates that Allan Ashbolt (1921-2005) joined the ABC in 1954, obtaining permanent employment under the Commonwealth public service conditions at that time – he retired on health grounds in 1977 at 55 years of age. During his over two decades at the ABC, Ashbolt sought to – and succeeded in – moving the ABC to the left. He was particularly influential with respect to such programs as Four Corners and the Lateline radio program – both of which, in turn, had an influence on This Day Tonight (the predecessor of today’s 7.30). Inglis put it this way:
When Humphrey McQueen, Marxist, Maoist, historian and gadfly, characterized Lateline as not radical but merely embodying “the outlook of bourgeois liberalism”, Ashbolt replied that it “reflected the intellectual concerns of its producers, whose briefs and passions spanned a fairly wide spectrum of thinking from the centre to the left of politics”. As Ashbolt acknowledged, the centre was as far right as Lateliners went. Some of their numbers were far more radical in outlook than the TDT [This Day Tonight] reporters who had been getting into trouble for editorializing and exhibiting bias.
Ashbolt’s own analysis of society could be glimpsed in his pieces for the New Statesman and set out more fully in An Australian Experience: Words from the Vietnam Years (1974). Marx and Marcuse and McLuhan helped him to believe that all television entertainment, even at its most apparently value-free, “must be basically plotted either to sell goods or, more subtly, to make the world safe for selling goods”…. The remarkable thing about this analysis is that it was made by someone who was not only an employee of the ABC but the head of one of its programme departments.
In short, Inglis concedes that the Marxist Ashbolt consciously used the ABC to promote leftist propaganda. He made an immediate impact on the ABC and in May 1958 was appointed the ABC’s resident correspondent based in New York where he reported on the United States from a left-wing point of view. In July 1961 Ashbolt, who Inglis wrote was treated “with wary respect” by ABC management, returned to Australia where he took up a position in the ABC Talks department – and, for a while, he presided over the new Four Corners program. And, almost immediately, in August 1962, a controversy was ignited when Ashbolt was responsible for a Four Corners hatchet job on the conservative leadership of the Returned Sailors’, Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia (RSL).
When ABC management decided to remove Ashbolt from this position, he threatened legal action and ABC management backed down. This was an early example of the fact that ABC staff – not ABC management – ran the public broadcaster.
There was a similar case in 1969. The ABC had a rule that employees could not engage in outside remuneration without permission. Ashbolt, without permission, had taken up the casual position as the Australian correspondent for the left-wing New Statesman magazine in Britain. When Ashbolt asked for permission to write for the New Statesman, it was refused. Meanwhile, the New Statesman refused to state whether its Australian correspondent was paid. As Inglis put it – the ABC management “gave up” and Ashbolt prevailed again.
In 1969 Allan Ashbolt, who was by then head of the ABC’s Special Projects Unit, applied for the position of head of Spoken Word Programmes. He got the job initially. However, ABC managing director at the time, Sir Talbot Duckmanton, sensed a problem. The ABC-friendly Inglis put it this way:
Duckmanton advised the Commission in August 1969 that there was a problem. Ashbolt was well known for his political activities, and indeed had told him that he would give no undertaking not to take part – as a private citizen – in the coming federal election campaign. It was difficult for the public, Duckmanton suggested, to disassociate Ashbolt the private citizen from Ashbolt the ABC senior officer.
The problem was this. Ashbolt was a leftist activist who, in 1969, was intent on publicly campaigning for the defeat of John Gorton’s Coalition government and for a victory by the Labor Party led by Gough Whitlam in the October 1969 election. He insisted on being both a taxpayer funded journalist and a left-wing political activist.
In the event, Ashbolt did not get the job – but was appointed instead as head of a new department titled Special Projects Radio in late 1969. Among his new responsibilities was an influential program titled Fact and Opinion. Duckmanton decided to remove this from Ashbolt’s responsibilities – but did not get around to doing so. So once again, Ashbolt out-manoeuvred ABC management. From this base, Ashbolt continued to mount his leftist campaign throughout the institution of the ABC. A successful example of what the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called “the march through the institutions”. As Inglis puts it:
Though quarantined in radio, Ashbolt had lost none of his fight. Fact and Opinion was a harbinger. From a group of young people to whom Ashbolt was mentor and protector, among them Jon Cassidy, Peter Fry, Malcolm Long, Gillian Waite and Marius Webb, would soon come some very adventurous work.
By “adventurous”, Inglis meant the adventurous advocacy of various left-wing causes. The group of Jon Cassidy and others was nicknamed “Ashbolt’s Kindergarten” and they soon found key roles in ABC television and radio. David Bowman, an admirer of Ashbolt, wrote his obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald on 15 June 2005. Bowman added the names Liz Fell, Mark Aarons and Paul Brennan to Ashbolt’s Kindergarten. Not one conservative gained entry to his particular kindergarten.
Bowman described Ashbolt as a “radical activist” whom the left-wing or socialist left faction of the NSW Labor Party tried, unsuccessfully, to install as a Labor candidate in the 1970 Senate or House of Representatives election. While an ABC manager in late 1972, Ashbolt contributed to a speech by Tom Uren, the leader of Labor’s left-wing, attacking US President Richard Nixon. Mr Uren was the Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam government at the time.
Bowman, who agreed with Inglis that Ashbolt as one of two leading intellectuals in the ABC at the time also had this to say:
The index of Inglis’ history conveys some idea of Ashbolt’s effect upon the ABC: his entry is more extensive than all others over the half-century but for one chairman and three top managers. A powerful critic of the ABC, he saw it eventually as “an ideological arm of the capitalist state machinery, fulfilling the task of disseminating bourgeois tastes, opinions and attitudes”. Yet he never felt he should be anywhere else. Some saw him as an apostle of Marxism. He endorsed historical materialism, and considered Marxism “a legitimate tool of social analysis, and a legitimate mode of political action”. The idea that he encouraged a Marxist ethos throughout the ABC he [Ashbolt] dismissed as one of the curious myths and legends.
It wasn’t a myth or a legend. The Marxist Ashbolt was one of the most important figures in Australian political, social and cultural history in the 20th Century – in that he consciously appointed left-wing recruits who, in turn, recruited and promoted others of like mind. Over time, Ashbolt’s Kindergarten became Ashbolt’s Campus. And so the ABC became – and remains – a Conservative-Free-Zone.
The character of Allan Ashbolt – an ABC hero of the past whose influence lives on – can be assessed by two instances in his life.
- Allan Ashbolt was a guest of the Vietnamese communist government at the celebrations held in Hanoi in 1990 on the centenary of the birth of communist totalitarian dictator Ho Chi Minh. According to Bowman, Ashbolt “spoke passionately” at the occasion. Ashbolt was not at all moved by the experience of Vietnamese refugees – who fled Ho’s totalitarian dictatorship – and settled in Australia and elsewhere. In other words, Ashbolt was the admirer of communist totalitarian dictators – even after details of Ho’s murderous regime, including the persecution of intellectuals, was a matter of documented history. Ashbolt was an intellectual who demanded democratic rights in Australia – but chose to ignore the persecution of anti-communist intellectuals by their communist rulers.
- David Bowman had this to say about Ashbolt’s “adventurous” (aka leftist) programming at the ABC which was “radical by design”.
One local Lateline [radio] program [on what is now called Radio National] in 1975 proved perilous when [presenter] Richard Neville brought together three pederasts to discuss the issues involved. The Sydney Morning Herald described it as “a farrago of filth”. The churches were disgusted. The ABC chairman, Professor Richard Downing, regretted the repeated four-letter words, but saw pederasty as a legitimate topic.
This program is one that the ABC’s contemporary management wants to forget. It has been documented in MWD in recent years – as well as by Gerard Henderson in his Weekend Australian column on 14 March 2014 (see here) and 12 September 2016 (see here).
Neville invited three pederasts into the ABC Sydney studio for a live interview – in which they boasted about sexually assaulting young boys. ABC management did not report the self-declared active pederasts to NSW Police at the time or later – and ABC chairman at the time Richard Downing made light of the matter declaring that, “in general, men will sleep with young boys”. Even to this day, ABC management refuses to adopt a duty-of-care with respect to the victims of the pederasts interviewed by Neville and has gone into denial about the occasion. Despite the fact that any surviving victims of Neville’s panel of male pedophiles would be around 60 years of age.
It is a matter of record that the leftist Richard Neville (1941-2016) was appointed by Allan Ashbolt as the presenter of ABC Lateline – despite the fact that Neville had boasted of having had sex with an underage girl in his 1970 book Playpower.
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The Marxist Allan Ashbolt, a supporter of communist dictators who favoured open one-sided discussions about pederasty, happens to be the prime person responsible for the contemporary ABC becoming a Conservative-Free-Zone staff collective.
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Until next time.
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