GERARD HENDERSON’S MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE – NO. 644

21 July 2023

* * * *

* * * *

  • THE CONVERSATION’S PETER MARTIN THROWS THE SWITCH TO HYPERBOLE AND RECKONS THAT VICTORIA HAS JUST SLASHED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PUBLIC SERVICE JOBS

Did anyone listen to the “Media Forum” on ABC Radio Sydney’s Drive with Richard Glover yesterday evening?  If so, they would have been surprised to hear that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sacked “hundreds of thousands” of public servants. The economics editor for The Conversation made this assertion when supporting the Andrews government’s decision to junk the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria for reasons of cost. Let’s go to the transcript:

Peter Martin: … I can’t believe that he [Premier Andrews] would have been so Machiavellian as to accept the Commonwealth Games. … knowing that he was going to withdraw. But my, my general view is, it’s better if you’re right. You know, even if it’s a second time, it’s better to get it right. The Games are absolutely – well, I mean, you know, I suppose they’re nice for the people watching them. But in a situation where he’s had a budget where he’s put up taxes, a temporary levy, slashed spending on roads, slashed hundreds of thousands of public servants because he can’t afford it. It would have been a bad look [for Victoria to host the games].

Talk about a scoop.  The Conversation’s  economics editor reckons that Premier Andrews has slashed “hundreds of thousands of public servants” and still has enough left to administer the State of Victoria. Turn it up.

[Fancy that. Perhaps you should have placed this in your hugely popular “Can You Bear It?” segment.  Just a thought.  By the way, according to the Victorian Public Sector Commission, in 2022 there were 53,000 full-time equivalent positions in the Victorian public service. – MWD Editor]


  • NIKI SAVVA HOPELESSLY WRONG RE FADDEN BY-ELECTION

Wasn’t it great to see Niki Savva’s column back in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on 20 July?  She is now described as a regular columnist – but there is really little regular about her occasional appearances in Nine newspapers. Except for the fact that she writes regularly about the Coalition in general and the Liberal Party in particular.  Indeed, according to Media Watch Dog’s analysis, since moving from The Australian to Nine newspapers in 2021, some 90 per cent of the Savva output has been devoted to bagging the Liberal Party and its leaders.

Savva’s most recent piece, titled “Dutton still lost in the heartland”, was illustrated with a cartoon by John Shakespeare which depicted Opposition leader Dutton as the “Prime Minister of Queensland” with half a pineapple on his head and dressed in a Queensland Rugby League guernsey and long underpants.  How funny is that?

It’s understandable why the Labor Party runs this line – just as it depicted former Coalition prime minister Scott Morrison as the “prime minister for NSW”.  That’s politics.  It’s just not expected that a Nine cartoonist would embrace the same line of attack.  But there you go.

Now for a MWD flash-back.  On the ABC TV Insiders program on 2 July 2023, the following exchange took place:

David Speers: All right, just before we go to “Talking Pictures”. The Fadden by-election on the Gold Coast is about two weeks away now. Niki, what’s at stake? And what’s expected?

Niki Savva: Well, I don’t think people really expect any great movement. Dutton actually needs to get a swing against the government.

David Speers: Swing to him; yeah.

Niki Savva: But I don’t think that that’s going to happen. And Labor is not expecting anything other than maybe a small swing against it. So really, I think it’s going to be a status quo election. But even if there was to be a huge swing against the LNP [Liberal & National Party] in that seat, in the overall scheme of things, I don’t think it would mean very much for Dutton. It’s not going to change his behaviour.

Earlier, in her Age/SMH column on 29 June, Niki Savva criticised Cameron Caldwell, the endorsed LNP candidate in Fadden, whom she said had been accused of questionable behaviour some years ago and was not well regarded by “female Liberals”.

Well, what happened? The Liberal National Party received a two-party preferred swing of close to 3 per cent – a satisfactory outcome for an Opposition leader in an Opposition held seat just over a year into the first term of a new government. Moreover, Cameron Caldwell gained a primary vote swing of close to 5 per cent – a reasonable outcome in a by-election in which there were 13 candidates on the ballot paper.  In short, Comrade Savva was hopelessly wrong about the outcome of the Fadden by-election and needs to polish up her crystal ball to achieve greater clarity in the future.

Needless to say, Nine’s regular columnist had no comment to make about this false Fadden prediction in her latest Age/SMH column. However, she made this claim:

In the heartland seats lost in 2022, independent MPs stepping up their campaigns for the referendum have found – apart from unsurprisingly strong support for the Voice – a hardening of sentiment against the Liberals. Not just over the referendum but also the pervasive negativity, the difficulty connecting with women and the failure to comprehend that robo-debt was tied to integrity – one of the three issues central to the success of the teals.

It turned out that the Savva analysis in the Age/SMH was based on reports by three Independents – the Teals Kate Chaney (Curtin in Perth) and Monique Ryan (Kooyong in Melbourne) plus Helen Haines in Indi (northern Victoria).  All three hold previously safe Liberal Party seats. So, it’s hardly a surprise to learn that they believe that the Liberals are performing poorly. But Savva believes that the Independent MPs’ assessment is considered sufficiently credible to appear in her column.

What is of greater surprise is that Savva reported that a door knock poll on 2500 “doors” by Ryan’s supporters in Kooyong revealed that support for the Voice in the forthcoming referendum in Kooyong is at 58.5 per cent with 30.6 per cent neutral or unsure and 11.3 opposed.

As avid readers know, MWD’s position is that it’s unwise to make predictions – especially about the future.  However, MWD wonders why a Nine columnist would ever bother to report a likely “No” vote in a referendum of a mere 11 per cent.  Apparently, Comrade Savva has yet to learn that you cannot always believe what people tell you when uninvited guests knock on their door. How naïve can a Nine columnist get?  Which raises the question: Can You Bear It?

[Interesting.  I note that John Black, the former Labor senator for Queensland who is executive chairman of Australian Development Strategies, has a different assessment of the Fadden result from Niki Savva. Writing in the Australian Financial Review on 18 July, he noted that Labor in Fadden had been deserted by three traditionally strong Labor supporters – namely (i) transitional voters, (ii) traditional swinging voters and (iii) the aspirational left.  John Black did not predict a Dutton victory in 2025.  But his analysis carries much more intellectual strength than the tosh Niki Savva accepted from the Teals’ cheers squad. – MWD Editor.]

  • ABC STAR REPORTER STEPHEN LONG TWEETS FAKE NEWS

While on the topic of the Fadden by-election, did anyone see this tweet which was posted at Hangover Time on the Sunday after the (Fadden) night before?

This led to a prompt response from the Tasmanian based election analyst Kevin Bonham who tweeted:

The point made by Dr Bonham was that the Peter Dutton-led LNP attained a swing towards the LNP on both the primary and two-party preferred votes.  And that incumbent governments (like the Albanese government) do not essentially get “caned” in by-elections when the previous incumbent was a member of an Opposition party.

It’s extraordinary that your man Long could have made such a howler in the face of the available evidence. Who is your man Long? – MWD hears avid readers cry.  Well, Stephen Long is the ABC’s economics correspondent and ABC Four Corners presenter.  Can You Bear It?

  • MICHAEL ROWLAND COVERS FOR DAN ANDREWS’ COMMONWEALTH GAMES CANCELLATION

The decision of the Victorian Labor government – led by premier Daniel Andrews – to abandon Victoria’s commitment to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games upset many individuals. Including young athletes and their families along with residents of the cities in regional Victoria where the events were scheduled to be held.  Such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton.

Premier Andrews’ announcement was made on the morning of Tuesday 18 July. It soon brought out a bevy of (temporarily) retired media members of the “I stand with Dan” Fan Club – who supported the socialist left leader when he presided over the most severe lockdowns in the Western world during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Early out of the block was Warwick Hadfield who reports on sport for the ABC Radio National Breakfast program. At around 6.30 am on 19 July he spoke to Breakfast presenter Patricia Karvelas on the topic.  Let’s go to the transcript:

Patricia Karvelas: Let’s start on this, huge news, Commonwealth Games. The uproar continues after the Victorian Government abandoned hosting the event in 2026.

Warwick Hadfield: Yeah, and Patricia some of that uproar is quite genuine. Look, I think some of the Commonwealth Games officials in Australia, especially those in Victoria, have been working hard the last little while and have been given such short notice [of the cancellation]. They’re quite genuine in their uproar. But too much of it comes from those whose only interest in sport is in the blood sport of politics. So, genuine sports people dismiss that with a wave of the hand. And look, even the people, the genuine sports people, must acknowledge that the event known then as the Empire Games – it peaked in Vancouver in 1954 when, in the infancy of colour television, all of the Americas tuned in to watch Roger Bannister run against John Landy in the mile of the century. And since then, the games very much like the Empire had been fading, fading slowly or fast depending on your view.

In fact, some seven decades separate the Vancouver and (now cancelled) Victoria games. Which raises the question: Why did the Andrews government sign on to deliver the 2026 Commonwealth Games in 2022, only to junk the idea in mid-2023?  Karvelas raised this issue but Hadfield did not proffer an answer.

In short, a member of the “I stand with Dan” Fan Club got Daniel Andrews off the hook by not raising the question as to whether the premier committed to the Games not long before the November 2022 Victorian State election in order to attain or retain Labor votes in regional Victoria.  Convenient, eh?  Can You Bear It?


NEW FEATURE: NEWS FROM THE TWITTERVERSE AND THE THREADSVERSE

  • PATRICIA KARVELAS RETURNS TO TWITTER WITHOUT DUMPING THREADS

As Media Watch Dog previously reported, on 7 July 2023, ABC RN Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas announced she was exiting Twitter for Threads – the Twitter alternative recently launched by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Yet on 11 July, PK returned – apparently due to popular demand – and resumed posting daily videos on Twitter.

Over on “the other place” as she calls it, Comrade Karvelas explained she wants to avoid the homophobic and sexist abuse she experiences on Twitter. Fair enough – this is understandable. She also clarified that she is not pro any particular social media billionaire.

As it is linked to other social media profiles, Threads lacks the anonymity of Twitter which, so far, has made it less hostile than Twitter. But being a new platform, Threads users are generally getting less views and likes than they do on Twitter – which is perhaps why many are sticking with Twitter for now.

For its part, Media Watch Dog is pleased to know that PK remains on Twitter – and is delighted to share (as the cliché goes) this news with avid readers.


NEW FEATURE: MONITORING ABUSE FROM AUSTRALIA’S BEST AND BRIGHTEST

Media Watch Dog sympathises with Patricia Karvelas concerning the abuse she receives on Twitter – primarily, it seems, from anonymous trolls.

However, MWD has decided to report on a regular basis about abuse delivered by some of Australia’s best and brightest media types – who do not present as trolls and who are happy to put their names to their abuse.  Here are some recent examples:

  • PAUL BARRY LABELS CALEB BOND AS A “MAN CHILD”

On his somewhat juvenile Media Watch’s Media Bites – which goes up on the ABC website on Thursdays – Paul Barry referred to Sky News presenter Caleb Bond as a “man child”.  The date was 20 July.  Mr Bond is 24 years of age.  He is in no sense a child – of either sex.  Barry’s comment was mere abuse.

By the way, your man Barry was born in 1952. He is clearly no child.  However, for some reason or other, Barry chose to wear a shirt adorned with birds when he delivered his put-down of Caleb Bond.  Was there nothing more suitable on offer from the ABC costume department?

It’s Lotsa Teeth on Show Above All those (Fake) Birds as Paul Barry calls a 24-year-old conservative a “Man Child”

  • MARCIA LANGTON ON PROTO-FASCISTS, RACISTS, THIRD REICHISTS & BONGA BONGA ACADEMICS WHO CRITICISE BRUCE PASCOE

On Tuesday 18 July the much awaited – and long-delayed – The Dark Emu Story documentary aired on ABC TV.  It is directed by Allan Clarke and written by Clarke and Jacob Hickey. The documentary is somewhat boring – running, as it does, for 95 minutes.  But it contains some interesting material – which MWD will refer to, from time to time, in future issues.

Early on in the program, Bruce Pascoe – author of the 2014 book Dark Emu – declared that he is a “Yuin, Bunurong Tasmanian man”. This despite the fact that Mr Pascoe has never explained his Aboriginal heritage or identified a single Indigenous relative.  Later on, he stated that “the amount of Aboriginal blood in our family is tiny”.

Nevertheless, Professor Marcia Langton threw the switch to abuse on The Dark Emu Story when defending Pascoe and his claim that, as of European Settlement in 1788, Aboriginals were much more than hunter-gatherers and, in fact, farmers.  This theory has been dismissed by anthropologists Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe – neither of whom is a conservative – in their book Farmers or Hunter Gatherers? The Dark Emu Debate (MUP, 2021).

Sutton’s most critical comment in the documentary was that Pascoe is an “untutored scholar” in this area.  But Marcia Langton threw the switch to abuse. She said that Sutton’s argument was “gobbledegook” and that he belonged to the “bonga bonga school of anthropology”. Langton went on to describe Andrew Bolt, who has queried Pascoe’s Aboriginality, as a “proto-fascist”.

The professor accused critics of Pascoe of being “racists” and “proto-fascists”. She also asserted that those who queried Pascoe’s claim to be of Indigenous background of wanting to set up “a register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people…a bit like under the Third Reich the Nazis set up a genealogical office for documenting the family history of all Jews”. Really.

So there you have it.  The Dark Emu Story carried defamation and abuse about Pascoe’s critics who were given no right of reply. It is a Blackfella Films Production for the ABC and funded by such taxpayer entities as the ABC, the Commonwealth government’s Screen Australia, the Victoria government’s VicScreen and the NSW government’s Create NSW.

Bruce Pascoe as He Appears in One Frame of The Dark Emu Story


Nine’s Shane Wright has risen without trace (as the late Kitty Muggeridge once said about the late David Frost) to become the senior economics correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald – not having published anything of note apart from newspaper articles and columns plus the occasional essay. Even so, you would expect a person in such an elevated position to know about the international energy market.

It’s only been a few years since your man Wright ridiculed anyone who said that coal had any future as a part of energy supply – even in such markets as India, China and Indonesia.  He declared on ABC TV Insiders on 11 June 2017 that “coal is like candlesticks” and compared those who said that there is still a demand for Australian coal exports with members of the Candle Makers Union circa 1870 who (allegedly) argued the case for candles over electricity. Now read on.

  • AN UPDATE ON COAL USAGE AT HOME AND ABROAD

On 14 July The Daily Telegraph reported that government and industry sources believe that, due to delays in the rollout of renewable energy, the Eraring Power Station (located near Lake Macquarie) will have to remain open beyond its scheduled closing date in 2025.

Early on 21 July the ABC News website ran an article quoting Professor Bruce Mountain, director of Victoria University’s Energy Policy Centre, who agreed that the coal-fired Eraring Power Station was “very unlikely” to close on time. In the same article another academic, Professor Ty Christopher from the University of Wollongong, concurred that if renewable energy sources are still struggling by 2025 “the only sensible choice” would be to delay its closure.

It was also reported on 14 July that the owners of the nearby Vales Point Power Station had informed the Australian Energy Market Operator that the coal-fired plant could remain open for an additional four years beyond its scheduled closure in 2029.

In recent months, Australian coal exports to China have increased due to the lifting of China’s informal ban on Australian coal. On 20 July, The New York Times ran a report on China’s coal usage. Apparently in June 2023 China created 14 per cent more energy from coal than in June 2022. China, which already accounts for the majority of global coal usage, has around 300 coal-fired power plants in various stages of development.

It would seem Shane Wright’s report of coal’s demise remains greatly exaggerated. Media Watch Dog will keep you posted.


HISTORY CORNER

  • REMEMBERING ALLAN ASHBOLT (1921-2005): THE ABC’S IN-HOUSE MARXIST AND CREATOR OF ASHBOLT’S LEFTIST KINDERGARTEN

There was enormous interest in Gerard Henderson’s speech to The Sydney Institute titled “The ABC In Crisis?”, which was delivered on 14 June 2023.  It is published in The Sydney Papers Online Issue 59 and can be found on The Sydney Institute website. Quite a number of avid Media Watch Dog readers focused on the reference to Allan Ashbolt (1921-2005), whom Henderson described as one of the most influential figures in 20th Century Australian history.

Allan who? – is a common reaction these days, and was also the case in Ashbolt’s lifetime.  Which stands to support the theory that many people have an influence over society without being well known.  In his Sydney Institute address, Henderson had this to say:

The late K.S. (Ken) Inglis was a left-wing historian but a considered one.  He is the author of the semi-official two volume history of the public broadcaster This is the ABC (MUP, 1983) and Whose ABC? (Black Inc, 2006) – covering the period from the public broadcaster’s beginning in 1932 during the first term of Joseph Lyons’ government until the final years of the Howard Coalition government.

In This is the ABC, Inglis wrote about Allan Ashbolt and what was called “Ashbolt’s Kindergarten”. Ashbolt joined the ABC in 1954 and was appointed to New York in 1958 at the conclusion of which he wrote the polemical An American Experience. It was the work of what Inglis describes as “a democratic socialist”.  Well, it was certainly socialist. Marxist in fact.  On his return to Australia, Ashbolt moved into what was then termed the ABC Talks department and later into other areas.  Sandra Hall was to call Ashbolt the ABC’s “conscience in residence”.  To others, he was a middle class radical of Marxist conviction intent on imposing his political will on the public broadcaster.

Ashbolt appointed young men of his political ilk – including Jon Cassidy and Marius Webb – who were early enrollers into Ashbolt’s Kindergarten.  From the time Ashbolt returned to Australia in the early 1960s, ABC news and current affairs became increasingly dominated by a leftist staff collective who had graduated from his kindergarten.

As Ken Inglis pointed out, Comrade Ashbolt went to Caulfield Grammar School in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield.  Inglis also mentioned that Marius Webb went to Xavier College in the Melbourne suburb of Kew where he threw dye in the swimming pool on his last day. Another middle class radical. I remember, when growing up in Melbourne in the 1950s and into the 1960s, it was said that half the members of the Communist Party had been educated at Geelong Grammar and the other half had been Catholic altar boys.

Left-of-centre David Bowman Looks Back on Ashbolt’s Kindergarten in Happiness

The most substantial coverage of Allan Ashbolt’s life was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 15 June 2005.  It was written by the left-of-centre David Bowman, a former SMH editor-in-chief, who relied significantly on the “Recollections” segment of the book Australians from 1939 (edited by Ann Curthoys, A.W. Martin and Tim Rouse, Fairfax, 1987).  In his obituary of Ashbolt, Bowman made this comment:

The index of Inglis’s history [This is the ABC] 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 dismissed as one of the curious myths and legends.

Well, he would, wouldn’t he? – as Mandy Rice-Davies said when Lord Astor denied having an affair with her during the time of the Profumo Affair of the 1960s. But the facts indicate that Ashbolt did encourage a Marxist ethos throughout the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. This does not mean that all members of Ashbolt’s Kindergarten were Marxists – but a few were.  Some, like Mark Aarons, were even paid-up members of the Communist Party of Australia. While others were leftists or left-of-centre types while others chose not to challenge the prevailing leftist fashionable orthodoxy which pervaded what would now be called ABC news and current affairs.

Comrade Ashbolt’s Four Corners Days

Ashbolt joined the ABC in mid-1954 and retired in 1977 at the age of 55 – on medical grounds. He lived for almost another three decades. During his 23 years at the taxpayer funded public broadcaster, Ashbolt was an adult education producer, the ABC’s first reporter in New York and, on return to Australia, worked on talks along with such programs as Four Corners and, later, Lateline (then a radio program on what today would be called Radio National). From 1966 to 1970, Ashbolt was president of the ABC’s Senior Officers’ Association.  As reporter and executive producer of Four Corners in August 1963, he presented a program highly critical of the RSL (Returned & Services League) which was regarded as biased. Ashbolt was removed from the program for about a year and finally exiled from Four Corners in late 1964.

After Four Corners, Ashbolt was given the title of head of projects at ABC TV with responsibility primarily for the arts. He regarded the period between 1966 and 1969 as one of “quarantine” – but used the time to become engaged in what he later termed political protest and agitation.  Ashbolt became an active campaigner against the Australian military commitment in Vietnam which supported non-communist South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam.  In 1974, Ashbolt wrote An Australian Experience:  Words From the Vietnam Years which was essentially a leftist rant.

Despite Sackable Activity, Ashbolt was Untouchable Due to his Permanent Appointment

In time, as Inglis and Bowman report, Ashbolt clashed with such senior ABC figures as Charles Moses and Talbot Duckmanton. But Ashbolt – a resolute ideologue – survived.  Partly because he held a permanent ABC appointment – and, as such, was virtually non-sackable. But partly because he was intellectually active and a brave advocate of his Marxist causes. Ashbolt defied ABC management by writing for the left-wing British magazine New Statesman. No one stopped him – despite the fact that ABC staff were required to seek permission before accepting payment for non-ABC work.

While Ashbolt was employed at the ABC, the Labor Left in NSW attempted to get Ashbolt pre-selected as the ALP candidate in the 1970 Senate and 1972 House of Representative elections. But the ALP’s NSW branch was controlled by the Labor Right and he was unsuccessful.  In his somewhat narcissistic “Recollections” essay, Ashbolt commented that in the early years of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government, he wrote speeches for Tom Uren, Labor’s deputy leader who, with Jim Cairns, led Labor’s parliamentary left wing at the time.

The Creation of Ashbolt’s Long March Through the Institutions

In 1970, the unsackable Ashbolt was moved to head the Special Project Radio Department at the ABC to quieten him. But it didn’t. Bowman takes up the story:

By now Ashbolt was heading an ABC department, Special Projects Radio, especially designed to emasculate him. There he gathered bright young producers to change, he said, the solemn sound of ABC radio and make it a source of intellectual discovery. Ken Inglis names among them Jon Cassidy, Peter Fry, Malcolm Long, Gillian Waite and Marius Webb, to whom might be added Liz Fell, Mark Aarons, Paul Brennan and no doubt more. So was born the famously daring band known as Ashbolt’s Kindergarten. He gave his producers freedom and took responsibility for the outcome.

There was not a political conservative among the comrades at Ashbolt’s Kindergarten.  By this time, the ABC had become a Conservative Free Zone without a conservative presenter, producer or editor for any of its prominent television, radio or other outlets. It remains so today.

In This is the ABC, Ken Inglis reflected on why Ashbolt stayed for so long at the ABC – an institution which he despised for being, allegedly, far too conservative.  This is Inglis’ conclusion:

Why had Ashbolt stayed so long with an organisation for which he had expressed publicly such an increasing contempt, believing as he did in his last years that “the ABC is an ideological arm of the capitalist state machinery, fulfilling the task of disseminating bourgeois tastes, opinions and attitudes”?  When Sandra Hall asked him that in 1975, he replied that she might as well ask him why he remained a member of the human race.  On other occasions he would quote the Marxist Antonio Gramsci saying that he believed in pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will.  “I see some worth”, he wrote just before retiring, “in trying to change modes of consciousness among the people at large even while the means of production remain in capitalist hands”.

He had turned his barony, after all, into a powerful source of new radio, arming and training his young troops to capture ground and to hold it, leading them to fresh sallies after tactical retreats, protecting his and their interests by knowing when to hit back, when to leak, when to appeal, when to draw on the bank of respect for him among his peers and seniors….  One of Ashbolt’s lieutenants, Malcolm Long, would become head of the Department, which had a change of name in 1979, to Radio Talks and Documentaries.

The term “the long march through the institutions” was attributed to the Italian Marxist activist Antonio Gramsci – and was popularised by the German leftist activist Rudi Dutschke in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Dutschke’s position was that the extreme left could not attain office by means of winning democratic elections – but it could gain power by infiltrating the institutions of society – including the education and media professions.

In short, Ashbolt was a Marxist activist intent on inspiring his own long march through the ABC.

Over time, Ashbolt’s Kindergarten lived on, as its graduates appointed their replacements and so on and as ABC news and current affairs became a staff collective – or, rather, a soviet.

Allan Ashbolt is little remembered today – even by ABC management and staff. But his influence lingers on.

Comrade Ashbolt’s Admiration for Communist Dictator Ho Chi Minh

Comrade Ashbolt remained a committed member of the pro-communist left until his death.  David Bowman reported, without criticism, that Ashbolt “was a guest at celebrations in Hanoi in 1990 of the centenary of Ho Chi Minh’s birth and spoke passionately”.

No surprise there.  But it is notable that, as late as 1990, Allan Ashbolt was still celebrating communist totalitarian dictators like Ho Chi Minh – who presided over the deaths of a million or so of his citizens by means of land reform (aka forced famine) here and a purge of anti-communist “enemies” there.

By 1990, there were literally tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees in Australia who could have told Comrade Ashbolt of the evils of communist totalitarianism.  But Ashbolt would not have listened – nor would most of the long-term products of his kindergarten, many of whom remain in influential positions in the ABC today.

* * * *

EPILOGUE

Allan Ashbolt’s “Big Idea” for the ABC: A Program on Pederasty featuring Pedophiles – plus a Self-Confessed Pedophile in Richard Neville as presenter

In his obituary, 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 columns on 14 March 2014 and 12 September 2016.

Richard 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 in their sixties today.

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, in his 1970 book Playpower, of having had sex with an underage girl.

* * * * *

 

* * * * *

Until next time.

* * * * *