Following the Four Corners program on the plight of refugees on Nauru Island, the usual dismal chorus about ABC bias has begun again.
Ex-cabinet minister Eric Abetz, new Senator Jane Hume and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
- The Nauruan government has slammed the program as “an embarrassment to journalism” and Coalition senators accused the ABC of acting as a mouthpiece for activist organisations at heated Senate estimates hearings on Tuesday.
- Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said reporters at the ABC and other outlets were “advocates dressed up as journalists” who were determined to undo the tough policies that had prevented hundreds of deaths at sea.
- At Senate estimates hearings on Tuesday, Liberal Senator Jane Hume called for ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie to launch an inquiry into the program. Senator Hume asked whether “all we heard on this program were the representatives of Save the Children and Amnesty (International) and the stories they wanted to tell, and selected stories from the young people on Nauru?”
- Former cabinet minister Eric Abetz said it appeared the ABC had participated in an “orchestrated” campaign by airing the program at the same time Amnesty released a major report on conditions on the island.
Sometimes media coverage needs to be partisan, particularly when one side of the argument is able to dominate the media and, in the case of the Nauruan and Australian governments, exercise undue influence over access to information.
And something that Peter Dutton, Jane Hume, Eric Abetz and their fellow ABC-bashing fellow travellers need to realise is that just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are necessarily biased.