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Tag Archives: Bias

That’s the thing about bias …

One of these is incapable of movement, one of them is incapable of thinking and one of them is a statue.

Quotes From Tony Abbott on SPC-Ardmona

“This government has a responsibility to stand up and fight for our domestic industries and the urgent processing of anti-dumping and safeguard action investigations should be the first step.”

“This is a government in chaos which is completely disregarding you at a time when they should be standing side by side with you and doing whatever they can to support you.”

Unfortunately, the quotes are from May last year, so he wasn’t actually talking about HIS government, but why should I let a little thing like that bother me?
And his tweet seems even more accurate now than when he made it:
“…at the end of the day, people are entitled to conclude that this government wants to bully its critics.”

It could be alleged that I’m biased against Tony Abbott, when I suggest that he is a two-faced liar, intent on returning us to the 1950’s – and I mean that in terms of wages and rights rather than social attitudes. However, I would argue that I have reached my conclusions after carefully considering all the evidence and that, for anyone to still support Abbott, they must clearly have a different agenda to the Liberal’s stated policies at the recent election.

But that’s the thing about bias. The biased person just doesn’t see it. I read a recent diatribe in the comments section where the person complained about aborigines – how they were handed so much which they just wasted and how fearful he was if he saw a “mob” of them in the street and how terrible it was that we weren’t allowed to have a WHITE channel (like NiTV) and, well, you couldn’t say things like this without people calling you a “racist”!

And so when Tony Abbott criticises the ABC, I find it hard to resist the temptation to argue that they only appear to be left wing, because of the MSM’s been so right wing.

However, I know that would be a mistake. To attempt to argue about bias is as futile as trying to pretend that Collingwood doesn’t get poorly treated by the umpires. (In the games I saw, there was not one free kick that the opposition deserved! But don’t take my word for it, ask any other Magpie member.)

The issue is not one of whether the ABC is biased or not. The issue is whether or not the government of the day is in a position to judge that bias. And whether there should be implicit threats to the ABC in the form of an inquiry into its “efficiency”. If anyone is seriously arguing that it’s just a coincidence that such a thing should be announced in the same week as Abbott’s attack, then the can join me at a Collingwood game and see people with a better grip on reality.

Assuming Abbott knew that an inquiry was to be announced and that it hadn’t just slipped his mind, did he not think that his comments might be construed in much the same way as you’d view someone saying: “I know where you live. And I have access to petrol!”

If the ABC starts announcing that we have to “Get Rid Of This Mob” and “We Need Shorten”, then it would be more reasonable to argue that it was overstepping the mark. But even then, the Coalition and various sections of the media cheer squad made strong arguments for the freedom of the press without government interference in recent years.

Is the reason that these principles now seem to be less important because we’re talking about the ABC? Or because we’re talking about a different government?

 

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The ABC of Bias, Perspective and Reality

After telling me the way that it was, he concluded with, “Don’t think I’m racist or anything!”

I replied, “Gee, I expect that I am. I’ve grown up in a country that endorses predominantly white Anglo-Saxon attitudes. I don’t see how I can avoid some of that rubbing off on me.”

He looked at me.

“I know that I shouldn’t be, and I try to notice if I’m being racist, but I’ll bet that some the views and values that were around as I growing up affect the way I view things.. Still, the points you were making about the apology to the stolen generation strike me as quite reasonable. LIke the bit about people thinking that they were doing the right thing. So long as a person thinks they’re doing the right thing, there’s no need for an apology. It’s only when people knowingly do the wrong thing that you should apologise. Sort of like speeding because you’re in a hurry and having an accident, no need for an apology because you believed that you were doing the right thing by trying to get home as quickly as possible…”

“What the f*ck are you talking about?” he interrupted.

  • * *

From time to time, some Tony Abbott supporter will post a comment along the lines of me being a Labor-supporting looney, as though being a member of the Labor Party automatically disqualifies you from an opinion.

Pointing out the fact that I’m not a member of the Labor Party and have criticised them in the past doesn’t seem to matter. The next assumption is that I’m a supporter of The Greens.

You see, unless you support the Liberals and Tony Abbott, their logic goes, you must be biased.

Normally, I just laugh such things off or put truly outrageous arguments back. Or just thank them for their intelligent contribution and say how nice it is to hear that people are reading what I write and actually thinking about it – it’s gratifying to know that I’ve changed someone’s mind. Their abuse when they tell me that I haven’t changed their mind and that latte-sipping lefties like me should be taken out and shot enables me to tell them that I’m about to have another Chardonnay – which in case they haven’t heard is making a comeback. Probably thanks to Tony Abbott.

But lately the debate on the ABC has made me truly worry about the state of some people’s mental health.

Let me see if I can give you my perspective. Of course, it will be biased. Everyone is, because everyone has a different perspective. By sharing perspectives, we can work out whether one’s perspective is similar to everyone else’s or radically different. If the latter, why? What experiences have lead one to question the orthodox view? And through this process, we gain greater understanding and greater perspectives.

  • * *

All right, stop the bleeding heart stuff, next you’ll have us all singing “Kumba Ya”.

Why are you complaing about alleged ABC bias, didn’t the Murdoch Press attack the Labor Government ceaselessly?

The Murdoch Press is allowed to criticise the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Government because it was truly incompetent – the “worst ever”.

How do we know this?

Well, the Murdoch Press told us.

Isn’t this showing bias?

No, it’s just stating the facts!

Isn’t “worst” an opinion?

Well, the Murdoch Press is privately owned, why shouldn’t it be allowed to express an opinion – are you trying to stifle free speech?

No, but on the ABC last week…

The ABC! It’s left wing bias has to be stopped.

Didn’t you just say that the media should be allowed to express an opinion?

The privately owned media, the ABC is taxpayer funded – it shouldn’t be biased

Yeah, but what’s the evidence of bias?

Their presenters often disagree with the Murdoch view. They never have a right wing perspective, as Josh Frydenberg said on ABC radio last week, backing up the point Piers Akerman made on “The Insiders” a few weeks ago.

Aren’t they a right wing perspective on the ABC?

Yeah, but they’re the exception.

Well, there’s a weekly show on ABC radio where a member of the IPA debates a more left-wing person on the events of the week.

Why couldn’t the IPA person debate without another leftie being there?? And where’s the right wing equivalent of Philip Adams on the ABC?

Philip Adams, the millionaire who writes for The Australian? Is he the most extreme example of the left on the ABC?

That just shows that the Murdoch Press give a variety of views! The ABC needs to sold.

  • * *

Of course, perhaps Howard’s appointments to the ABC were an attempt to ensure that it had no bias. Let’s see, there was his close friend, Donald McDonald, as well as Janet Albrechtsen and the “anti-blackarm- band” campaigner, Keith Windschuttle. Balanced appointments there! And Michael Kroger, ex-president of the Liberal Party.

Now, that should have helped provide some balance, I would have thought. Or was the culture so entrenched that they somehow thought that these people might be showing a bias of their own, rather than realising that – like Murdoch – they had an implicit understanding of the Truth, and any disagreement displayed an entrenched bias and a refusal to recognise the Truth.

 

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