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Pablo Garuda
Give Me The Facts
They call it "balance" 
1st-Apr-2011 11:35 pm
ketep, merapi
Email conversation after the recent election in NSW, Australia. Context: The Greens increased their vote by 2% to about 12%, but this was dwarfed by the massive swing against the Labor party, to the Liberals [for non-Australians, the "Liberals" are actually our conservative party]. We could analyze why they didn't do a lot better, but the simple fact is that the Greens vote is slowly climbing each election.

A former advisor to a conservative PM, appearing on the discussion program Q&A (on the national broadcaster, the ABC). I was so disgusted, I sent this email to a friend:

Me: Graeme Morris was on TV talking about how the Greens got nearly wiped out. Political spin (an indirect term for "lies"). When they choose these panels, I wonder if they think "We've got a very sharp commentator, and a non-partisan, sometimes insightful writer... now for balance, let's get on a lying party hack, like Ackerman, Bolt or Morris."

My friend responded: The Rules for conduct of the ABC now state* that any panel discussion must contain a left or moderate person, a random Joe/overseas person and a foaming at the mouth right-winger who would be incapable of surviving outside of their myopic bubble of hate and venom, like Andrew Ackerman or Piers Blot (sic). This is because it’s now been Proven that the ABC is in the thrall of the left (although, funnily, even eleven long years of John Howard didn’t manage to shift that, despite his best efforts – so I’d guess the condition is terminal), so bringing in an unhinged righty brings the average just about back to the centre... and this is the main reason why I cannot watch Q&A. It’s called balance, you know.

<sigh> Well, at least it wasn’t – say – Scott Morrison...

*well, they don’t, but they might as well
Tthere are intelligent conservative commentators. Gerald Henderson, deeply partisan as he is, would be a big improvement. There are others who I think are better on economic matters, and there must be better commentators on politics as well. Why not get one of them on?
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