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Cut the ABC's Funding
Let's get this straight. I'm not a fan of Julia Gillard. On the other hand, I am a strong fan of free speech. Nevertheless, I believe that the TV show "At Home With Julia" is an abomination, and am ashamed that my taxes paid for it.
In general, I'm happy to pay for the ABC. Many of its shows are a significant benefit to the community. And, particularly in the Arts, one needs to test the boundaries. However, this program is a critical error of judgment, the type of blunder that, in one moment, destroys years of positive contribution.
This single show does a lot of harm in several distinct ways:
The ABC has Damaged Australia's international Reputation:
Western nations will feel sorry for the PM. Those that are most important to Australia, China and our neighbours, will treat us with ridicule and contempt. The effect is subconscious, will attach it self not only to the Prime Minister, but the country, and will last a long time.
It does nothing for promoting the freedom of the media. The states which control the media have been delivered a very telling example of what an irresponsible press is capable of.
The ABC is Promoting Bullying
To make fun of and ridicule a person's physical characteristics is unacceptable behaviour, when it happens in the playground, we call it bullying.
She is the Prime Minister; she should be able to suck up at take it. What rubbish. She has not enrolled in a boot camp, where psychological degradation is used to demolish a person's sense of self so that it can be remolded into a lobotomised machine capable of murderous or suicidal acts when ordered to. I certainly don't want such a person as a Prime Minister. And I certainly don't think any really capable person would seek a job where they had to put up with this type of bullying.
Bullying is all about the abuse of power. In any event, the PM is virtually powerless to respond to this type of attack. But the bully has chosen a time when the individual appears the weakest, and already struggling under a number of heavy blows.
C'mon Jay, don't you have a sense of humour? A lot of what is called humour is one up-man-ship. The person laughs because they gain a sense of superiority from another person's failure. The 'Best Home Video' shows where the audience laughs when children hurt themselves is actually quite nasty.
The ABC has just okayed bullying. Big time!
The ABC is Invading Privacy
I'm all for the media reporting on a politician's private life when it gives the lie to their public views. That is not the case here. In fact, a person being greatly harmed is the PM's partner, very much a private person. Their type of relationship, while increasingly common, is still looked at by the mainstream with some derision. For the ABC to lampoon it simply increases the pressure on a relationship that already has enough pressure to deal with.
The ABC is Showing Political Bias
The ABC has taken public funds, and made the best political ad the Liberals could ever have dreamed about. We have a party clinging to government by the skin of its teeth, and the ABC runs this program. Criticise the government on an open, factual basis: bring it on! But this below the belt.
And manifestly one sided. The second half of the series may attempt to redress the balance, at least in this regard, but it will still be too little too late.
So, What's to be Done?
There's a very real chance that the government will respond in a Machiavellian fashion. That is how the game of politics is played. And that is how I believe the two previous governments would have responded if they had been attacked in this manner. There is, after all, a very convenient media inquiry currently underway. But is the PM able to do so? Does she still have sufficient power to pull the strings while still staying distant enough for plausible deniability?
Does Tony Abbot Have What it Takes to be PM?
What should have happened is that Tony Abbot should have stood up and denounced the show. After all, that is what being the Leader of a Nation is about. Alas, that is not Tony. I did have hopes for Malcolm Turnbull. But he too has failed.
Does Australia have no leaders? Perhaps we should elect Thérèse Rein?