Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Mon 22nd May, 2006

Watch Mr Costello Kill The ABC!

Ooooh, $55 million over three years across the entire ABC! How magnaminous of you, Peter. I mean, that's just over 5.5% of their total budget, so that's going to make a huge difference to their extreme money shortage. After inflation it's more like 2%, so it's maybe paying for an extra programme, somewhere. That's very generous.

And we really understand why you're giving over 2000 times that amount to Indonesia, a country with ten times the population in just under a quarter of the area of Australia. Apparently, they can't raise taxes on their own, or can't pay for their massive rebuilding of their shores after the tsunami. Boy, I bet they're glad they didn't pay for a tsunami early warning system, as had been suggested in the region for the last three or four years, otherwise they'd be begging for even more money from us. I mean, you have to feel sorry for a country with a third higher GDP than us, too. Very generous on Australia's part.

Er, yeah, very generous.

Really, honestly, I feel like I could cry. My Dad worked in the ABC for more than 20 years as a sound mixer and outside broadcast recorder. The tales he tells of the vicious, cut-throat fighting for every dollar in the ABC could sell as a new hair-whitener. I fear that people won't appreciate the sheer quality of programming until it's gone. And then what? Who's going to start another non-commercial broadcaster?

Who else has the public interest foremost in their charter? Where's the law that says that the commercial channels must have the outcome that "Audiences throughout Australian - and oversesas - are informed, educated and entertained" (ABC Budget 2006-07). More like "entertained, manipulated and misinformed", if the bias of the commercial stations is anything to go by. I'm not much of a TV watcher or radio listener, but where's the commercial equivalent of The Chaser, Triple J, Catalyst, the Unearthed programme, Classic FM. Heck, most of them don't have a second digital TV channel!

I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more. The only question I'm left with is what the hell do I do now?

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