Thursday, November 03, 2005

Through a Bulb, Dimly

... During a Senate estimates committee examination of ABC funding, [Senator] Santoro slammed the public broadcaster not only for bias in its news and current affairs coverage but also for persistent hostility towards Australians who practise the traditional faith of the West, Christianity.

"Broadcasters continually make derogatory comments about Jesus, the Pope and Christianity in general in a way [that] I believe breaches the ABC's own editorial policies and shows demonstrable bias," he said.


Egregious examples of the anti-Christian bias of the ABC derive not only from the broadcaster's news and current affairs department but with greater impact from lifestyle programs such as comedy show The Glass House. The Glass House has given repeated offence to Christians with humour directed at the Pope and Mother Teresa.

It is today an open question as to which is more harmful to Australian intellectual culture: bias in the ABC's news and current affairs coverage or bias in its lifestyle programming. My view is that the latter matters more. As far as imbalance in current affairs is concerned, as exemplified by last week's Lateline coverage, it at least can be argued that few Australians will bother watching. Lateline is essentially of interest to those engaged full time in the business of politics: a small, if strategically important, segment of the population.

By contrast, non-news and current affairs programs, such as comedy and television drama, have the potential to reach and influence a far greater number of adult Australians. If bias exists here - in the form of agendas openly hostile to the values of significant sections of the population - then Australia has a real problem with its national broadcaster. This, I believe, is the existing situation.

Paul Gray, a Hun columnist, taking a shot at the big-time in The Oz (soon to be declared a great Australian cultural icon).

No comments: