Click here for ‘ABC TV News and Current Affairs Bias on Growth’ by Dick Smith


4 September 2017
By Dick Smith for Dick Smith Fair Go

(Part 1) – ABC TV News and Current Affairs is letting us down when it comes to important and open discussion on the fact that perpetual growth is impossible. Is this caused by ‘institutional culture’ or ‘well-placed bigots’ within the organisation?

 

I’m a fan of the ABC and I watch it more than any other network.

I particularly like Landline, Australian Story, The Gruen Transfer, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, and Hard Chat, Adam Hills: The Last Leg, Catalyst, and of course Four Corners.  These landmark shows have covered so many important issues, especially the working poor in America who have to live on about $7 an hour.  The minimum wage in the USA hasn’t increased in real terms in 30 years.

Checkout is another one of my favourite shows, and also Utopia – it reminds me of the days of running the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Yes, the ABC can be considered a bit “left” but I don’t object to that.  I consider most of the commercial media, especially the newspapers, a bit “right” to say the least.

Generally I find the ABC covers both sides of the issue in a reasonably fair way.  I say “generally” because there is one major anomaly.  I didn’t realise it until over 8 years ago, when I read Mark O’Connor’s excellent book Overloading Australia.

In this book there is a chapter headed “Media bias and ABC blues” which explained that in Mark’s experience, the ABC – primarily television news and current affairs –is totally biased in relation to the population issue.

Mark O’Connor has given me permission to reprint the chapter which covers this issue.  It is available here: Overloading Australia Chapter 19

This is a most serious issue for the future of Australia, as with our present forms of endless growth there is little doubt we will completely destroy Australia as we know it today.

What could be the reason for this ABC bias?  Could it be (as covered by Mark O’Connor) “institutional culture” or are there some “well placed bigots” within the organisation influencing the good work of others?

In the last decade or so I have experienced this more and more.  First of all, my recent Fair Go campaign, including a $1 million advertising campaign on commercial TV and SBS, received no mention whatsoever on ABC television news and current affairs.  “Very strange,” people may say.

Then again, I look back at when I launched the Wilberforce Award, which is $1 million to go to a young person under the age of 30 who can communicate that we can’t have a continuing growth economy.  At the launch I had $1 million in cash, a security dog and five beautiful “blonde bombshells.”

The ABC sent along their news camera team and a reporter who asked me three questions about – wait for it – racism, which the Wilberforce Award is not linked to.  When the reporter could not get an answer linking the Wilberforce Award to racism, yes, you guessed it, there was no coverage whatsoever about the Wilberforce Award on ABC TV or current affairs.

By the way, I got the “blonde bombshells” along because my friend Sir Richard Branson always received coverage on the ABC with every idea he ever spruiked in Australia.  I assisted Richard with a number of these, and he always got extraordinary coverage on the ABC News.  I thought it was the “bombshells”.

Below is the actual award ceremony – have a laugh at the security dog.

“So what is going on?” you may ask.  You would think an organisation that was considered “left” would cover my important Fair Go campaign – especially when you consider I am calling for higher taxes on the 1% of wealthiest Australians, full openness and publicity on the tax they actually pay (if any), and a ban on political donations.

However it appears that the “institutional culture” or a “handful of well placed bigots” (or could it be something else?) stopped any coverage on ABC News and Current Affairs of this major campaign.

I should point out that a number of politicians have said to me that even though they agree that we need to have a population plan, they said “Dick, if I ever mentioned it I would be crucified by the ABC. They would immediately link my comment to being opposed to immigration – or worse still being a racist”.  This is an absolute shocker and it must be fixed as our very democracy depends on our politicians being able to talk freely about such issues.

Please put your comments below on how we should go about getting balance back into the ABC TV news, current affairs and Q&A (see this email I sent to Tony Jones and producer Peter McEvoy about seven weeks ago – still no reply…) so we can have an Australia that is worth living in for our children and grandchildren.


ABC TV NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS BIAS ON GROWTH ISSUES (Part 2)

Quotes from Chapter 19 of Mark O’Connor & William J. Lines book “Overloading Australia” published 2008.  To read the full chapter, click here.

 “Relative to its fixation with economics, the reluctance of some ABC TV programs to cover population issues is extreme”.

“Air-time was repeatedly given to propagandists claiming that our ‘shamefully low immigration quotas’ were proof of racism.”

“One would therefore expect population to be covered repeatedly, and from all possible angles, much as ‘the economy’ is.  Instead, the subject is taboo…you could watch a whole year of the ABC’s TV News and 7.30 Report and learn only that our high immigration policy is good and inevitable, and that anyone who questions it is probably a secret member of the Hitler Youth League.”

 “ABC News misrepresents the majority of Australians who oppose high immigration as a small and suspect minority while presenting the small minority who endorse it as a responsible mainstream opinion.”

 “Over the past 10 years each major ABC news program has ignored about 100 timely and well-informed releases from Sustainable Population Australia.”

“During years when Australia’s per capita migrant intake was the highest of the word’s 200-plus countries, no one succeeded in mentioning this fact on any of ABC TVs several news or current affairs programs, though many tried.”


A betrayal of colleagues

 “At a time when the ABC needs all the friends it can get, and needs to be able to trade on a reputation for unquestioned objectivity, the partiality of its news programs is a betrayal of colleagues in so many other sections of the ABC.”

 “Among its many acts of censorship, ABC TV News long suppressed the fact that the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Democrats had policies calling for zero net migration.  Yet as soon as the One Nation party announced a zero net migration policy, the ABC cited it as evidence of ‘racism.’”

What could the reason be – “institutional culture” or “well-placed bigots”?

“The failure of ABC news and current affairs programs through nearly three decades to deal with population issues – the most important matter facing Australia today – may have less to do with individuals than with a pervasive institutional culture.”

“… there is also a possibility that it may … be the work of a handful of well-placed bigots.”

 

LEAVE A COMMENT LETTING ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK COULD BE THE REASON FOR THIS ABC BIAS. COULD IT BE ‘INSTITUTIONAL CULTURE’ OR SOME WELL-PLACED BIGOTS’ WITHIN THE ORGANISATION INFLUENCING THE GOOD WORK OF OTHERS? AND TELL ME YOUR SUGGESTIONS ON HOW WE CAN GET THE ABC TO REFLECT THE POPULATION GROWTH ISSUE IN A PROPER, PROFESSIONAL, BALANCED WAY.  ~ Dick

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46 Comments

  • I believe the ABC wrongly sees itself as the moral conscience of our society, and has gone down a very narrow path of orchestrated social engineering and manipulation, while at the same time being more than prepared to exhibit disdain and arrogance towards the many people who account for 95 percent of other viewpoints about our values, beliefs and ethics.

    The stark proof of ABC bias and manipulation is their lethargy in engaging what we all know to be the elephant in the room, the issue of rampant and unsustainable migration and growth, as well as the associated abuse and mismanagement of the Nation’s prime land and resources.

    At some point in the past 40 years, the ABC appears to have been infiltrated and taken control of by those who we remember best as being on the edge of anarchy as they filled the streets in the seventies, spruiking and protesting anything that their newly attained taxpayer funded university education had flagged as being in a flux of change.

    Of course, there’s nothing wrong with change so long as it’s for the better, we make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, but I believe there are forces at work within the ABC which are very much aligned with certain left leaning factions of politics. Ironically, the unbalanced way in which the ABC reports on the issue of growth and migration, also suits the right of politics for a vastly different reason. From seeing their actions by and large during the past couple of decades or so, they display a want to vigorously invest in all manner of minority interests, and are quite prepared to bully the silent majority who have the audacity to disagree. In my opinion, they have become the platform for unattainable off the planet social idealism, hand clasping political correctness, raving left wing extremism and wasters of public funding in general.

    No doubt, that many of these educated, intelligent, articulate, confident and persuasive people also filtered out into other branches of society and had genuine concerns and desires to make a difference. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen over the decades, the balance between what is thought to be right, and what is actually practical, has gone terribly askew at times due to a significant amount of failed thinking among a minority of these clever and calculating people.

    They are the non-conformist loonies and civil libertarians who bleat any time a security camera is erected, as well as those naive enough to advocate a totally free and self-regulating society, as if that was ever realistically possible. It’s they who over time have exerted their often failed ideals upon positions of influence held across vast sections of the inner workings that drive the social structure of our nation, and who eventually by their actions whether as the general overall media, educators, regulators, legislators or members of the judiciary, have determined and are responsible for things like acceptable social standards. It’s absolutely no different to any irresponsible action committed by those of sporting notoriety or indeed ordinary citizens which may be seen as condoning unacceptable behaviour.

    In my opinion, it’s the actions of these misguided few that has negatively affected the impartiality and efficiency of all Governments, public organisations and instrumentalities, including the ABC. There was a time when I would never miss the ABC news, current affairs or social interest programs. Unfortunately, from my point of view, they have become unbalanced in their delivery to the extent where I feel they display obvious and blatant bias. As a consequence of their apparent fixation on minority and political correctness issues, I ‘m a less frequent ABC watcher these days.

    Political correctness is out of control the world over, it’s driven by an idealism that sets out to provide a fairer world for all (good), but the irony is that on far too many occasions the outcome ends up disadvantaging the majority by allowing free reign to those who don’t respect majority values and current laws that sprout from these values. You only need to look at what’s been happening to our youth over the past couple of decades, young people regularly bashed and killed around pubs, clubs and in the streets, to understand that we as a society have never before had so much freedom, but the checks and balances required to prevent such abuses on society have systematically been removed over a period of years by a minority of failed thinkers.

    Quite often, this failed thinking results in attempts to impinge on freedom of speech by seeking to deny citizens a rightful knowing of their right to voice an opinion, either by a manipulating and irresponsibly social engineering and brow beating media, or deals done in Parliament by the usual suspects of minority viewpoint, particularly on whatever holier than thou subjects that happen to be the flavour of the decade.

    The ABC is not our social conscience, does not represent the majority, and must not be allowed to perpetuate this self-indulged and fanciful notion that Auntie knows best. They must not be allowed to continue to divide and conquer the majority view by throwing disproportionate amounts of public funding at five percent of minority issues. As a taxpayer funded organisation, the ABC should be focussing on issues that affect the majority of Australians in a positive way, instead of the this orchestrated and divisive minority nonsense we see all too often.

  • I believe the ABC wrongly sees itself as the moral conscience of our society, and has gone down a very narrow path of orchestrated social engineering and manipulation, while at the same time being more than prepared to exhibit disdain and arrogance towards the many people of my generation, as well as our values, beliefs and ethics.

    The stark proof of ABC bias and manipulation is their lethargy in engaging what we all know to be the elephant in the room, the issue of rampant and unsustainable migration, as well as the associated abuse and mismanagement of the Nation’s prime land and resources.

    At some point in the past 40 years, the ABC appears to have been infiltrated and taken control of by those who we remember best as being on the edge of anarchy as they filled the streets in the seventies, spruiking and protesting anything that their newly attained taxpayer funded university education had flagged as being in a flux of change.

    Of course, there’s nothing wrong with change so long as it’s for the better, we make mistakes and learn from those mistakes, but I believe there are forces at work within the ABC which are very much aligned with certain left leaning factions of politics. From their actions by and large during the past couple of decades or so, they display a want to vigorously invest in all manner of minority interest, and are quite prepared to bully the silent majority who have the audacity to disagree. In my opinion, they have become the platform for social idealism, political correctness, raving left wing extremism and wasters of public funding in general.

    No doubt, that many of these educated, intelligent, articulate, confident and persuasive people also filtered out into other branches of society and had genuine concerns and desires to make a difference. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen over the decades, the balance between what is thought to be right, and what is actually practical, has gone terribly askew at times due to a significant amount of their failed thinking.

    They are the non-conformist loonies and civil libertarians who bleat any time a security camera is erected, as well as those naive enough to advocate a totally free and self-regulating society, as if that was ever realistically possible. It’s they who over time have exerted their often failed ideals upon positions of influence held across vast sections of the inner workings that drive the social structure of our nation, and who eventually by their actions whether as educators, regulators, legislators or members of the judiciary, have determined and are responsible for things like acceptable social standards. It’s absolutely no different to any irresponsible action committed by those of sporting notoriety or indeed ordinary citizens which may be seen as condoning unacceptable behaviour.

    In my opinion, it’s they, who are at the helm of all Governments, public organisations and instrumentalities, including the ABC. There was a time when I would never miss any of their news, current affairs or social interest programs, unfortunately, from my point of view, they have become unbalanced in their delivery to the extent where I feel they display obvious and blatant bias. As a consequence of their apparent fixation on minority and political correctness issues, I ‘m a less frequent ABC watcher these days.

    Political correctness is out of control the world over, it’s driven by an idealism that sets out to provide a fairer world for all (good), but the irony is that on far too many occasions the outcome ends up disadvantaging the majority by allowing free reign to those who don’t respect majority values and current laws that sprout from these values.

    Quite often, this failed thinking results in attempts to impinge on freedom of speech by seeking to deny citizens a rightful knowing of their right to voice an opinion, either by a manipulating and irresponsibly social engineering and brow beating media, or deals done in Parliament by the usual suspects of minority viewpoint, particularly on whatever holier than thou subjects that happen to be the flavour of the decade.

    The ABC is not our social conscience, does not represent the majority, and must not be allowed to perpetuate any self indulged and fanciful notion that Auntie knows best. As a taxpayer funded organisation, the ABC should be focussing on issues that affect the majority of Australians in a positive way, instead of the usual orchestrated and divisive minority nonsense we see all too often.

  • Perhaps the ABC is afraid of being called racist, but I doubt that. It’s an issue under the radar almost everywhere, even in countries where population is much higher. Other issues just keep distracting us, like North Korea. Seldom is the important urgent, seldom is the urgent important.

    Perhaps focus on the views of indig. Australians about European impact on their world, after all, Europeans crowded them out in their own lands. Or just label ABC as too afraid to tackle it (maybe they’ll take up the challenge and give more attention to it).

    It also seems an ‘old school’ leftist taboo, only recently have the Greens acknowledged population as an issue. Prior to your Population Puzzle doco (shown on ABC), the Greens called population irrelevant! Funny how things change when their vote is in decline (& One Nation’s on the rise). If the ABC were ratings driven, it might rate more!

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  • G’Day Dick,
    Well done on highlighting the issue of unrestricted population growth. Anyone who has seen bacteria grow and die in a petri dish knows that there are limits to our use of resources on this earth. Many years ago when I was aged about 20 years, I decided that I would not father any children as there were already too many people inhabiting the planet already (that was about 45 years ago, and my decision never changed).
    However, I cannot agree with your attack on the ABC. Yes, on occasions they lean towards the left, and this provides a small correction to the heavy right-wing bias present in most of Australia’s mainstream media. I watch and listen to the ABC every day, and also read the Daily Murdoch (in Adelaide it’s The Advertiser) so I’m getting opinions from both sides regularly. If I could only watch 15 minutes of TV every day, the choice would be Media Watch which provides regular corrections and counter opinions to all media, including the ABC’s own programmes. As you have indicated, we need the ABC, and your attack provides more ammunition to those who would love to have it castrated or shut down completely. They may not have given the issue as much attention as you thought it deserved, but it wasn’t complete silence, and there was plenty of coverage elsewhere. Part of the ABC’s charter is to provide coverage where others would not, and their investigative programmes do this well (again, as you have stated). If your campaign had received no publicity elsewhere, then I believe it is likely that the ABC would have stepped in and filled the gap.
    The ABC aren’t perfect, but lesve them alone, or we may lose them entirely!
    Cheers

    • It would take more than Dick Smith’s opinion to lose the ABC. If it did only take his opinion then ask yourself was it as “secure” in the first place.

      Shaun Micallef is the only unbiased reporting you get these days anyway, and his primary role is actor/comedian.

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  • I love the a.b.c I often say, thank god for four corners. the only true investigative program in Australia while other current affairs shows spend much time, telling us what’s on special at Harvey Norman or what ever, four corners shines a light into some very nasty places. e.g. johs Queensland. bringing down governments, police bosses, councils and the like on a regular basis. exposing multinational tax rip-offs. to name a few. like I said, thank god for the a.b.c . but this does not make them perfect, perhaps the fact that most of there big guns live in Sydney, or other city’s clouds their views on over population, lets hope they stick their heads out the window and take a look around, sooner rather then later. it could be time for some marches down pit street, with placards and banners calling for a population limit for Australia, just watch out for how the media rolls out the racist tags.

  • Oh, Dick, what on EARTH made you go on The Drum??? Of all the complaints I’ve put in to the ABC, 80% have to be about the extraordinarily privileged bigots on The Drum!!
    Ever thought about the Well-placed Bigots instituting and promoting the Institutional Culture?

    • Did I miss this episode of the Drum? More than likely for the same reasons as you state there Clover. If this is in response to my reply below re The Drum, Dick wasn’t on the one I saw it was the sophisto bigots tut-tutting about Dick having a “tanty” over the ABC not giving coverage.

      • Sorry, I thought Dick mentioned going on The Drum in the above article – my brain has been on the fritz for some time, I may have misread it.

        I think the ABC moved Eggheads from following The Drum just so I’d stop sending in complaints about them…

  • I’m fully on board with your message vis-a-vis growth, Dick, but I don’t believe for a second there’s a politician in the country losing sleep over the ABC calling them names. One only needs to watch them smile and lie into the face of interviewers day after day to realise that.

    I’d humbly propose the politicians telling you this are either a) trying to shift the blame for their own actions (or lack of actions), b) actually pushing a racist barrow and worried about being called on it *because it’s true* or c) jumping on any chance to undermine and discredit the ABC in general.

    The ABC did not enact the legislation that has increased immigration rates, policy which has seen near unanimous support from both Labor and the Coalition for the better part of twenty years. This whole “questioning high immigration is racism” meme has only popped up recently. Where were these politicians worried about high immigration a decade or more ago (in particular, immediately after the GFC, the most obvious time to step forward) ?

  • Dick I like the fact you’re having a go. Broadly, I support the manifesto with a few exceptions. As far as the ABC is concerned, I like watching the ABC but they sometimes make me cringe with their blind bias towards the Left.

    A smaller/larger Australia is not about racism, it’s about a sustainability for its people and natural resources. Migration has been and should be a continuing plus to this country but because of the way it is being managed (or mismanaged) it is now fast becoming a burden. I fear we in Australia think we can copy what has been done in North America.This continent unlike North America cannot sustain such large populations. In any event, I’m not sure the USA today would defend their growth policies of yesteryear. Unfortunately, I have no idea how Government calculate the numbers taken, it really seems like a made up number. Suffice it to say, I have never heard a credible argument as to how the number of migrants is selected. In any event, we don’t support them adequately when they get here.

    Houses would be more affordable if we created a greater distribution of the population. The weird thing about us in Australia, is we all live in the big cities and this is particularly so, in 3 only! Why? Maybe if we distributed employment opportunities over a wider geographical space, we might develop some other rural cities and towns rather than watching them shrink. Why couldn’t more corporations and businesses be encouraged to set up in rural towns thereby creating those employment opportunities. people might move and the inner confines of these cities may not be so attractive that people will spend a fortune to get there.

    • Agree with what you have said John, except that decentralisation has been tried before and the whining from Companies with vested interests, as well as their employees, could be heard from the moon ( via satellite these days lol )

      The investment in prime CBD real estate must be huge, and so too the influence of lobbyists whenever suggestions of decentralisation surface, it’s all about seeing growth in values. The silly LNP opposition here in Queensland are now talking about duplicating the MI. Why would they think that’s a good idea when all roads lead to Brisbane, it’s like trying to push a towel through a straw when the traffic flow stagnates as it gets closer to the CBD.

      As you have intimated, better to move businesses and government departments elsewhere and away from a central point, then upgrade roads and infrastructure. With communication technology the way it is these days, It’s not as if it’s necessary for departments to all be in the one place. Sadly it won’t happen!!

  • There is some discussion on the web – see the following on population growth and the environment globally, and Ian Varrender (ABC) on immigration and its impact on the Oz economy recently. I wonder what the aborigines think about the locusts of Europe over-running their country. Dick should contact some indigenous leaders and start a discussion on what whites have done to the land and to what extent they support more of the same. Infrastructure in the large cities is a major expense and environmental depletion is inevitable for city dwellers, and I agree that the infrastructure firms support this for their bottom line. In today’s world the left brain dominates the right – we have buried the concept of the ‘big picture’.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/08/scientists-more-worried-than-public-about-worlds-growing-population/
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/immigrations-effect-on-evironment/
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-24/verrender-immigration-and-the-economic-illusion/8465428

    For those so inclined to find out more about the way we think in the west, and why, perhaps Dick is hitting a brick wall:

    John Ralston Saul (updated 2013) – Voltaire’s Bastards – the dictatorship of reason in the west
    Iain McGilchrist (2009) – The Master and his Emissary – the divided brain and the making of the western world.

    A migrant myself at the age of 2 after the war, I support Dick’s efforts to at least discuss this issue.

    Mika

  • The debate gets shut down by the Left and the Right for different reasons. We know these reasons are largely bogus, but the fact remains – we are on the outside of the fortress wall. Simply stating our case louder and louder won’t make them open the gate. We need to figure out a new, positive way to engage people in this discussion.

    One suggestion is to stop talking about business as usual being “perpetual growth”. It is a meaningless concept but it paints a false picture of an impossible future in peoples’ minds that is always getting bigger-and-better-and-more-exciting. Against this fantasy, our “steady state economy” / “non-growing population” proposal looks bleak and dreary. If we instead describe business as usual as the “growth-collapse” model that every past civilisation has followed and we are also following, then we can make our steady state proposal look like a much better alternative. It may seem a silly argument, but I believe the subtle distinction between perceiving a gain versus a loss will ultimately make the difference between people getting on side or not.

  • As quoted by The Australian directly from ABC’s Managing Director Michelle Guthrie:-

    “Our reach on television and radio is declining and digital is struggling to bridge the divide. We have significant audience gaps: socially, culturally and geographically. This means we’re falling short of properly and effectively representing, in our employees, content and audience impact, the modern Australia in which we live,”

    The impact of this mandate has now moved Aunty away from fearless, unbiased and thorough journalism to a ratings based feed which the Libs are always looking at to justify further cutbacks. I recall it wasn’t all that long ago when we looked at losing Aunty altogether.

    The ABC has fallen victim to a ‘sensation sells’ approach to journalism that is adding to the extinction of quality journalism. The ABC championed the political correctness issues under the 18C amendment like a new religion and from it came ratings-driven catch-calls like “racist” and “racism”. Of course they cannot connect racism with the Fair Go push without the spin that is required for the ratings that Guthrie is demanding of her staff.

    The ABC is now not alone in exploiting the fact that the populace have stopped questioning their content and are happy to have their culture spoon fed to them by the media and politicians. Ms Patricia Brosnan’s rant below is exactly the target audience that the ABC now panders to.

    Dick, a possible solution to the ABC issue is to apply to ACMA for a temporary community broadcasting licence or even see what Broadcast Australia have to offer. Channel Ten might have a heap of equipment and vacant repeaters coming up for sale/lease soon. With todays mobile phone technology, everyone has the potential to be a roving reporter.

    I’d definitely tune into a home that regularly showed your doco’s. 😉

    • In saying that, Dick, congratulations on getting five minutes of discussion on The Drum last night 08/09/17.

      As they acknowledged, if you didn’t call the ABC out on this they wouldn’t have talked about it.

      A certain word that ends in “holes” and begins with “A” comes to mind…….

  • Cartoons can be more striking and memorable than a library of essays.
    I shall canvas all around for worthy contributors who may come to the aid of the (not a political) party.

  • After reading that chapter from ” Overloading Australia” and past observations, I get the impression that the ABC puts a lot of faith in experts. Whether it be economists, climate scientists or social scientists, they take their word as gospel. The academics and professors are the new voice of authority, whereas in the past the then “conservative” ABC was more attuned to the clergy and traditional British values.

    Unlike politicians, experts seem to get a free run on the ABC. I sort of get the impression the public are the great unwashed, mind-numbed by commercial TV that need to be shown the correct way by this new clergy. If the economic experts say we need more growth, well why would the ABC disagree?

    One other thing comes to mind is that the “ABC” or progressive world view seems to be based on ideas of equality and guilt for past wrong doing. We see this in current government policies on multiculturalism, aboriginals and women’s rights to name a few areas. It wouldn’t surprise me there is a certain feeling of guilt that as we live in a wealthy country, which is mostly uninhabited, we should be sharing it with more of the world’s population. The Australian Greens, (what I would consider an idealist Party) does not come out and say it wants Australian immigration rates reduced. It would seem that to the Greens and perhaps the ABC, social justice is more important than maintaining a good standard of living for the average Australian.

    • Not really Dave, the ABC picks and chooses what “experts” it wants to follow.
      For example, they have “debates” about voluntary euthanasia – with experts like doctors who see a patient for about 5 minutes a day and they talk down the dying-in-agony patients, overriding their comments – who is more of an expert, the one in REAL pain and indignity, or the doctor perpetuating it? Often on these programs is a politician who is pushing for war, for more soldiers to be sent to inherently peaceful Afghanistan (no war has ever been launched FROM Afghanistan, only AT them!) If it’s so wrong to take life, WHY are we sending people to war to kill innocent civilian women, children and old men who WANT to live, when someone who wants to die cannot??? (If we’re overpopulated, this is a sustainability issue, why keep alive those who don’t want to live??)
      I heard an ABC journalist ask where TC Debbie came from? I asked, What part of your climate science experts’ warnings did you not understand? Still waiting for an answer!
      The ABC had to pull its head in/start toeing the line, the Feds were threatening to pull their funding. Pity they couldn’t fight back but they probably would have lost their license – and Do it or I’ll take your Job is often a good way of getting what you want.

  • I was with your campaign against huge population growth until you started your silly blame game on the ABC.
    If you’ve got a case then put it – be prepared to argue your reasons against any journalistic questions. Besides see Crikey’s report on your silly blaming.
    Look just put your case and stop whinging and maybe we will support it.

    • Patricia. Dick Smith is 100% correct. I have raised the population issue several times in interviews with The ABC and each time they have left it on the cutting room floor. Accordingly, I have been forced to raise the issue with the conservative press, which have been far more amenable.
      We also know two experts that appeared on the recent Four Corners housing bubble expose. They told us that they raised the deleterious impacts of mass immigration on the housing market, but their comments also ended up on the cutting room floor.
      This is not paranoia by Dick, but a real issue of concern. The ABC (and SBS) are biased on this issue.

      • Patricia, how do you feel when someone misrepresents what you say (to misdirect people against the valid issue!!)? You’ve fallen right into the trap.

    • Patricia, this is a serious problem that requires urgent attention. If it is not dealt with now there will be serious ramifications for future generations. Already Australia’s citizens are suffering because of the effects of massive population growth, much to the indifference of the major political parties and the pro growth media.
      Wouldn’t you be a slight bit suspicious as to why such a significant issue is being brushed aside by the major political parties as well as being ignored by the media?
      Is this indifference to massive population growth influenced by money or ideology? Think about it because something is going on.

  • I wonder if anyone has ever touched on the idea that this ‘silence on population’ issue, could be part of a much bigger issue, other than one which is fueled by extreme right winged capitalism. I have often wondered if Australian governments have been given a directive by an entity such as the UN, that the number of immigrants Australia must accept, is set by that entity – not by our governments.

    Additionally, I often wonder what will happen in the Middle East when the oil finally runs out and the already desolate regions become far worse due to climate change? Could this have something to do with the conflict forcing millions to flee their countries and settle in other regions of the world. Is this all about the global distribution of population? Could it be, that in Australia there are a select few who are privy to such information, like a number of politicians on both sides, and those high up in media circles? – including the ABC.

    If there’s any semblance of truth to the above, and Dick continues his commendable campaign, then I imagine it won’t be too long before he’s summoned to a discreet boardroom, where he becomes initiated into the world of the ‘select few’. Of course that would sadly be the end of the campaign. However, on the other hand, if the campaign gathers momentum leading up until the next federal election, then everything’s likely precisely as most of us here believe it is. Greed driven insanity!

    BTW, I’ve donated – have you?

    • I’ve always thought of the UN as a paper tiger – all mouth and no trousers. Certainly, as I understand it, all wars since the UN’s inception have been illegal by UN rules, so how effective are they? A hidden global council is more likely, money pulls the strings, but they’re getting too greedy, they too will lose power when they’ve taken too much from too many and we must be extremely close to that point by now – pitchforks are being dug up and sharpened. I would hope Dick would be strong enough to withstand that ‘boardroom’ pressure – although that might result in a “car crash” which would have the same result.
      Problem with the Money Talks society is that, with a very few exceptions like Dick Smith, those who can see the wood for the trees are kept without the money to donate when they would like to. If I donated $10 a week to all the causes I believe are valid, I’d run through Trumpbull’s millions in a couple of years…

  • Some years ago, I wrote a depressing commentary on the earth’s likely fate: In that commentary, I believed that humans were committing suicide by ignoring some of the issues arising from unconstrained growth. I am now approaching my 87th birthday and have come to the conclusion that all is not lost. When I was born in 1930 there were around 2 billion people alive. Now there are seven and a half billion. All this growth in my lifetime! I feel a bit like an historical remnant. I have been encouraged by thoughtful people like Dick Smith, and although i don’t hold with all of his beliefs, I am happy to support him. and his ‘fair go’

  • Dick, my politics is fairly central and even I can see The ABC is biased to the Left, not so much the economic Left about jobs and wages, but the progressive, cultural Left and all that entails. I don’t think it is acceptable to say that they should be a bit to the left because Murdoch takes a right-wing view. They should be fair and just with all their reporting and not seen to favour any particular view, or fashionable theory, regardless of how righteous it may seem. Their job should be to find holes in arguments, keep authority to account and not uphold accepted views.

    The idea of gatekeepers in the organisation sounds logical to me, rather than any official view from upper management. I get the feeling regards Science – Robyn Williams is the gate keeper while for Health it is Dr Norman Swan. No doubt for more social – political programming there would be other gate keepers.

    It is patently obvious what the ABCs views are on multiculturalism, climate change, SSM and many other contested issues. They should get out of advocacy and get back to expanding our minds, not narrowing them down to an accepted view in their eyes..

    • Yes Dave, that was once part of the journalism school – unbiased reporting, holding authority to account and questioning the accepted doctrines – along with decent English – ever LISTEN to the ABC journalists these days??? They can barely string together a coherent sentence, much less a grammatically correct one!
      I agree with you, but I’m used to being in the minority and am doubtful your comments would get the time of day in the ABC hierarchy.
      Again, Old Fashioned, and Proud of It!

  • In my opinion, the way to counter ‘the racist card’, is to correctly define what racism is. I’ve been a long time believer that racism exists in everyone. It’s a natural instinct to protect your ‘group’, family and territory from invasion. It would seem there are others who also share my belief. Probably the most significant information on the subject of racism, was an article featured in the Haaretz [a Jewish news journal], whereby the results of a study by Prof. Gil Diesendruck of Bar-Ilan University’s Psychology Department and Gonda Brain Research Center, indicate that racism is present in all of us at birth.

    To read the article, search – ‘Are We Born Racist? A New Israeli Study Has Some Surprising Answers.’ you will also find other articles on the subject. People with agendas will use whatever they can to strengthen their cause and racism is a very powerful, albeit cowardly tool. However, if there’s proof that racism is part of every person’s DNA – [it’s there, but people must learn to control it], then that powerful tool used by ‘agenda pushers’ is suddenly rendered far less powerful.

    At the end of the day, the people must understand that its the Westminster style political system that is the cause of our dilemma, and we simply have to begin discussing ways of changing or replacing it. This is the greatest ‘elephant in the room’ that ever was – and it’s even less covered by the media than population policy.

    • Thanks David, I’ve believed for a long time that racism is inherent but it’s one of the many subjects on which I feel alone. It’s just how it rears its ugly head that is important – do you go out and kill all those not of your tribe? Or do you just say – You keep to your territory, I’ll keep to mine? I prefer the latter but that goes out the window when some megalomaniac wants everyone’s territory and forces many to run.

  • I am an avid ABC watcher and listener and have not heard a single word from them about your new campaign (unless they snuck it in at 2am one morning). So how did I hear about it…on Twitter of course (@dicksmithfairgo @perthtwit). So, in the absence of ABC support, social media is clearly the way forward for your younger demographic target.
    The ABC, bless their cotton socks, is so obsessed with the plights of minority groups which is highly commendable but still we need balance in every debate and I don’t hear that balance from them in proportion to the issue.

    May i say that possibly the ABC considered the blonde bombshell stunt a little below their station (pun intended) even though, as you say, it worked for Branson with his Virgins. (No pun intended, this is a proper noun).

    I remember Richard Attenborough saying that in his lifetime alone, world population has soared from around 2.5bn to almost 7bn…that’s just in a SINGLE lifetime so what does this mean for my 1y.o granddaughter’s future?
    Agreed, yours is not a debate about world population necessarily but our beautiful planet is groaning under this weight and with continuous growth it’s back will break both economically and environmentally, and that really would be the last straw.

    • Oh yes, regardless of racism the blonde bombshells would have gone over like a lead balloon for the ABCs progressive, feminist gatekeepers. Branson may get away with it as he seems a bit more hip, but they probably thought Dick was being oh so Benny Hill.

    • NOTHING is below the modern ABC, Steve, they’re at least as bad as the commercial stations. And while this is an Australian focus, if you cut the population of the whole planet, you’d have fewer screaming for their rights to come here for our open spaces (why aren’t they screaming to go live in the middle of the Sahara desert? Or do they think the Sahara is the only desert on Earth?) I’m disgusted that China has lifted its One-Child policy before it has had the desired effect – their population is still rising after 30 years.

  • I think the hard right wing are going to love Dick Smith for calling the ABC biased.
    You do say in this article how much you love a lot about the ABC but unfortunately, your comments will be twisted by the right for their own ends.
    However, I will send an email to the ABC to request a Q & A program that covers growth and population issues.
    But please Dick, don’t bash the ABC, it’s the only news organisation that still does proper investigative journalism that hold those who perpetrate injustice and lies to account.

    • Doesn’t matter what you say, Gerry, some creep will ALWAYS twist it for his own ends. Can’t say I agree with you about proper journalism at the ABC, it’s gone the way of the newspaper – barely hanging on by a thread.

  • Thanks Dick for your courage.

    I believe you need to directly confront the groups that benefit most from immigration. The infrastructure cost alone is huge from mass immigration, so the companies and groups that benefit most from immigration should be required to actually pay for the infrastructure cost by way of taxes directed directly at those groups. I think if we were singling them out and saying you need to pay more in taxes because of immigration and to fund the infrastructure they may be less noisy about pushing the agenda.

  • How do you win an argument in Australia ? You call your opponent a Racist ! ( You have now claimed the high moral ground ,and your opponent is of a lesser moral and not worthy of consideration ) . If Australians can call themselves a race of people , Then they have to be the dumbest race in the world ! The smartest race on this planet are from china . A country that recognised that it had a population problem some 40 years ago ! quantity of life but not quality of life .( so introduced a one child policy ) Now their standard of living is increasing , ours is going backwards along with our quality of life !!!

    • Finishes the argument, surely, doesn’t win it. I’m glad someone else feels Australians are dumb – I’ve been saying for decades, if someone else does something dumb, Australia follows it, if they start doing something smart, Australia jumps ship and follows someone else dumb!
      ABC did a program called Dumb, Drunk and Racist. I didn’t watch, I already know the answer – Mother was incensed, SHE’S not Dumb, Drunk or Racist and SHE’s Australian!!!! Obviously she’s forgotten what she always told me about ‘the exception that proves the rule’.

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