Mitch Fifield, the minister with portfolio responsibility for the ABC, simply doesn’t understand how the ABC should work.

Mitch Fifield wants answers about Four Corners’ ‘troubling’ asylum seeker episode


Senator Fifield told Sky News on Sunday that the ABC needs to “continually examine” whether it is meeting its editorial standards. “I was certainly troubled by the fact that Minister Dutton, who offered himself for a live interview at the conclusion of the program, that that offer wasn’t accepted,” he said.

“There’s no reason why that shouldn’t have be accepted.

“I did think it was odd Mr Dutton’s offer to give a live interview wasn’t taken up.”

What Fifield wants is for the government to have the right of reply after every ABC program that is critical of the government.

This would amount to totally unacceptable political interference.

In effect, it would be a form of censorship and will also provide the government with an outlet for government propaganda in response to any negative criticism. And that’s not a role that the ABC should be taking.

There is no suggestion from Fifield that this  “right-of-reply” should apply to the commercial channels but then they’re not so much of a problem for the government.

There is another good reason why we don’t need Peter Dutton being given the right of reply to this particular ABC program.

We’ve heard it all before, ad nauseam.

What hasn’t been so well articulated is the other side of the argument, the side that Peter Dutton doesn’t ever give, in fact, denies and actively denigrates.

“I haven’t yet raised the issue with Michelle Guthrie but I certainly will be,” said Senator Fifield


ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie.

 There is no doubt that Michelle Guthrie will have no trouble setting the good Senator right on what the ABC can and should do.

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