There was a meme going and it still pops up from time to time that reads to the effect that:
“..when you’re dead you don’t know your dead. It’s those you leave behind who suffer the pain and difficulty. It’s the same when you’re ignorant and stupid..”
I was thinking about this recently in the context of the appointment of Justin Milne as the Chairman of the ABC Board and his totally ill-informed and outrageous observation about there being no bias at the ABC.
That single observation should have knocked him out of contention from the get go if he’d been asked before being appointed.
Below I have posted, not for the first time, an essay from Quadrant from several years back highlighting the bias at the ABC, how it works and who was responsible.
The name is Alan Ashbolt and his influence extends as far back as the early 1960’s after his time as an ABC correspondent in New York.
Justin Milne would be wise to bone up and do some homework before giving us the benefit of his wisdom
“….For some fifteen years there has been a gradual expansion of the influence of Marxists and Marxist ideas in the ABC. The source and focus of this influence has been the ABC’s Department of Special Projects (Radio) which is now known as the Department of Radio Talks and Documentaries.
Incredibly, the main department in the ABC which concerns itself primarily with the role of ideas in our society, particularly the role of political ideas, has been, since its inception, a vehicle for Marxist and neo-Marxist propaganda clearly hostile to the values and institutions of liberal democracy. Over the years, the Marxist presence has spread throughout the ABC and is now a major force in many of the key areas of the ABC, including its union and management structures.
This left ideological influence has been reinforced by the manipulation of the bureaucratic and employment structures of the ABC which has had the net effect of precluding even the possibility, in many program areas of the ABC, of a regime of genuine intellectual pluralism and open debate. The clear antipathy to open debate in ABC programming (be it radio or TV, and TV is certainly the worst in that regard) is, I believe, directly explicable in terms of the successive failures of management and the Commission to provide intellectual leadership of any kind. This failure is especially reflected in the apparent lack of any genuine quality control in the recruitment and promotion of program makers.
I propose here to tell the story as it developed and was reported in the press. The story begins with the career of Allan Ashbolt and proceeds apace as we follow his activities in the Special Projects Department, the consolidation of his power and influence and the spread of ideas which I argue can be properly designated “Marxist ideas” into a whole range of programs and departments throughout the ABC, all accompanied by the promotion and migration of his recruits, appropriately referred to in the National Times as “Ashbolt’s Kindergarten”, into positions of power and influence within the ABC’s program, union and management structures.
To make this complex story manageable, and to set out the context which allowed it to happen, I take the following issues in order:
1. The importance of Allan Ashbolt, his ideological commitment and his influence;
2. The importance of situating the home of this Marxist diaspora within Ashbolt’s Department of Special Projects and pinpointing the central role of the present Department of Radio Talks and Documentaries;
3. The development by Ashbolt and his allies of techniques amounting to those of “worker control” within the ABC.
4. Finally, what can be done to redress the damage. The ABC’s Marxists — READ ON