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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Saving us from defeat

Paul Gray is a columnist with Melbourne's Herald Sun, a Murdoch publication. He appears irregularly in the Australian railing against "bias" at the ABC. Today he has another go. Read the whole piece but cherish this part especially:

"At Christmas, they [my family] all sat down to watch the Spicks and Specks yuletide special, A Very Specky Christmas. Despite my often caustic anti-ABC comments, I was impressed that the ABC could create a show attracting a genuine family audience.

"Then when Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills worked in a gag involving a gay kiss - he walked across the set and gave Brokeback Mountain style mouth-to-mouth to fellow program regular Hamish Blake - I looked around the living room at the embarrassed looks on my children's faces and said: 'You bloody idiot.'

"I wasn't referring to the kids, of course, or to Hills. I was angry with myself for believing, even for a few minutes, that the ABC could broadcast a straightforward lifestyle program without inserting some form of ideological offensiveness into it."

Let me get this straight. It's "ideological offensiveness" to show two men kissing. The problem is compounded on Christmas Day, because, as Gray argues, he really doesn't want to see anything other than good, old hetero fun. But wait there's more:

"In the 21st century, Marxism is dead, but there is still that spiritual void to be filled. I contend that traditional Christianity and its legacy are as much reviled by the Australian Left as ever, with the new value systems of environmentalism and minority rights, rather than Marxism, being seized upon to fill their place.

"Frequent viewing of the ABC reinforces this contention. Whether in news and current affairs or in lifestyle shows, signs of propagandistic opposition to the influence of the Christian West abound."

Anything related to the "Australian Left" is sure to raise the blood pressure of the Murdoch cultural warriors. Gray fails to understand, however, that the ABC - despite its many faults, of which I've written extensively - is enjoyed and supported by the vast majority of Australians. If he doesn't like seeing gay people, maybe it's because he's a homophobe. And if he thinks the "Left" is missing Marxism and is now obsessed with simply bashing Christians - actually "environmentalism and minority rights" - he really needs to leave his little Murdoch-protected cocoon.

Never forget, the "Left" is always to blame for, er, pretty much everything. The inability of certain commentators to argue without using this word shows a paucity of imagination. But then, it must be terribly jolly playing the straight-man to a room full of corporate hacks.

13 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

When of course it's not the left htat's to blame for everything, but rather John Howard, George W. Bush, "the secretive neoconservative cabal", Karl Rove, "greedy" voters, and of course the Jews...er, Zionists.

Monday, January 16, 2006 1:40:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, January 16, 2006 4:57:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Yes, Shab, or the antisemites and greens. Take your pick. Whose blame game is bigger..?

Monday, January 16, 2006 4:58:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Don't even get me started on the Greens...just today at lunch I asked for some whale nigiri down at the Sushi Train, and one of the bastards rammed right into me!

Monday, January 16, 2006 5:03:00 pm  
Blogger orang said...

who the fuck would eat whale - its disgusting

Monday, January 16, 2006 8:00:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Oh, Shab. I didn't see that coming! Pure hilarity.

Monday, January 16, 2006 8:44:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

I wouldn't mind trying whale.

Also, I suspect that most Australians are not regular consumers of ABC output.

Monday, January 16, 2006 8:51:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I can't find the figures right now, but the vast majority of Aussies consume ABC radio, TV or its website.

Monday, January 16, 2006 8:53:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Yep - frequency is the point, Ant. I strongly doubt that regular (daily) ABC consumers constitute anywhere near a majority, let alone a vast majority.

Monday, January 16, 2006 10:44:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Furthermore, plenty of Aussies consume ABC that is non-news/political...I keep the ABC Classical station on in my office most of the day, but except for the hourly news updates, it's not consumer affairs oriented - the same, for example, for everyone who plonks their kids down in front of Playschool.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:45:00 am  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

Homophobe! Racist! Sexist! Islamophobe! Yada, yada. Haven't you Big Girl's Blouses got any SUBSTANCE? All these lame 1970s name-calling is just so anti-intellectual, it's tragic!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:54:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes Neo,

You've set the bar at dizzying heights. We are not worthy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 1:52:00 am  
Blogger pandaobscura said...

Gay kissing on television? My God! Soon these "homosexuals" will be selling our children drugs and raping our women.

I for one will not stand for these pinko bastards to overrun the airwaves with programs funded by MY tax dollars.

A disgrace, a disgrace!!

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:36:00 am  

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