“Our ABC is independent”, they claim.
“A national treasure”, “independent”, “unbiased”, “worth every cent”, on and on, blah blah, they squeal.
Pull the other one. The(ir) ABC is totally left-leaning.
Indeed, while the ABC has been rampaging after the Commonwealth Attorney-General with flaming brands shouting about morality, it has been the subject of questions in the Top End over its own ethics and conduct, questions drowned out in the Porter hullabaloo.
Look no further than the NT Independent exclusive report on March 1 for proof of its political games.
“ABC interview segment with cocaine sex scandal woman altered at Labor MLA’s requests: texts,” reads the headline.
The piece outlines that a segment of an ABC Radio interview, regarding an extramarital affair, did not air because a Labor member of the NT Assembly “ordered it be cut”.
Because it would be politically damaging to Labor.
“Rubbish”, the ABC fan club scream.
Unfortunately for them, it’s all revealed in text messages.
Last weekend, other text messages raised “serious questions about the extent of Gunner Government operatives working behind the scenes to attempt to cover-up the scandal as it slowly leaked out publicly, at the same time the Chief Minister refused to publicly acknowledge it,” the NT Independent reports.
The text messages reveal at best incredibly awkward communications between the member, Mark Turner, and advisers going back and forth to agree what would be cut out.
Yes, Turner was sent a snippet of the segment before it aired and asked for specific edits.
Further Facebook Messenger messages via SMS show correspondence finally confirming, “Done, it’s out” and “She cut it”.
Turner then asked for the original audio of the segment he’d requested to be cut be deleted “before anyone in his office became aware”.
“Can you delete that audio from the facebooks [sic] before the staff wake up and grab it?” he asked.
The icing on the awkward cake is that Turner’s wife is actually employed in his electorate office.
The plot continues.
It’s a mess.
“Others have taken to social media, accusing the ABC Darwin newsroom of blatantly attempting to downplay the political significance of the cocaine sex scandal,” the NT Independent report continues.
The $1.1 billion question here is, of course, do ABC journalists work for a publicly funded media organisation, or do they work for the Labor party? Do they serve the public’s interest, or the ALP’s?
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