bolt's response to media watch

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    Almost too grand to do the ironing


    IT'S no surprise that the ABC devotes yet another Media Watch program to shout nyah nyah at me.

    Not that I mind the publicity. Much more of it and I'll be too grand to do the ironing.
    But what does offend me is that taxpayers must give $1.4 million a year of their taxes to presenter David Marr and a team of some 24 full-time and part-time employees to make just 15 minutes a week of television, much of it a get-square with Marr's personal and ideological enemies.

    Nice work, using the term loosely, if you can get it. But no wonder the ABC finds it hard to get by on nearly $1 billion a year. No wonder it's now battling a Government that's asking why it must finance a private love-in of the Left.

    The ABC does have fine shows, among them Australian Story and Lateline on TV, and Awaye! on radio. But it still can't stop itself from being hijacked by activists with a talent for using public cash to fight political wars.

    Few programs betray this failing as nakedly as does Media Watch, which was meant to pick up on media sins and trends. Under Marr, it has become something quite different. It rushes through a few trivial criticisms of spelling mistakes in some country paper, or a silly caption on some music show. And then it gets stuck into its real agenda -- attacking the Right.

    And so Marr's show has attacked conservative or Right-wing media figures some 72 times, but tut-tutted at Marr's far more numerous fellow-travellers on the Left just 17 times, in what amounts to state-sponsored harassment of dissenters from Marr's elite orthodoxy.

    I've now been audited four times for thought crimes by Marr, who recently called me a liar on air for having criticised a shame-Australia-shame book by an acquaintance of his, who'd written that Australia "invited the region's contempt" and so shouldn't be surprised by the Bali bombing. I guess Marr was also still cross with me over my review of his own racist-Australia book on asylum-seekers.

    On Monday he was at it again, criticising me for analysing the hit film Finding Nemo. As I wrote (but which Marr failed to mention), the film's makers had said they'd slipped social messages into it, and so it was fair enough to discuss what they were.

    Not to Marr, it wasn't. To him this was evidence that I thought a lesbian was a "deviate", and the Bananas in Pyjamas were degenerates. But then again, Marr, like a true '70s radical, is a man so insensitive to the messages in films that he has attacked the censoring of movies that boast depraved sexual violence.

    His style of personal abuse and misrepresentation are standard among the Left, of course. Listen to Paul Keating or Robert Manne. But why must taxpayers subsidise it, when it's a game the ABC allows only the Left to play?
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