Sunday, June 23, 2024

ABC’s Laura Tingle under fire after ‘racist country’ comments

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“The question has to be asked, why do we fund something that only wants to talk to half of Australia? Not even half, maybe 10 per cent of those really well-held views, and they get all so frustrated as [if] they’re reading Dostoevsky, and they get all turned up inside out, and then they go on a panel and say, ‘What’s the lefty issue du jour today?’ ” Joyce said.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek – who was speaking with Joyce on Seven’s Sunrise on Monday morningbegan her answer by saying that Australia was a great multicultural country and did not say if she thought Tingle was wrong.

Tingle also described Dutton’s move to slash migration as “so much dog whistling … it doesn’t make rational sense”, before attacking shadow treasurer Angus Taylor after he gave a National Press Club address last Wednesday – which she moderated.

“I said to him [Taylor], ‘So you are saying we’re relying on migration for growth … what does that imply about growth if you are going to cut migration?’ ” she told the writers’ festival audience.

Opposition communications spokesman David Coleman said Tingle’s reported comments about Dutton were “extraordinary and completely indefensible”.

“In addition to her comments about Mr Dutton, Ms Tingle has made further statements about her views on the Albanese Government and the Coalition,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter. While every Australian has a right to their political views, not every Australian is chief political correspondent for ABC’s 7.30 program. In March ABC chair Kim Williams said ‘if you don’t want to reflect a view that aspires to impartiality don’t work at the ABC’. The ABC needs to explain how Ms Tingle’s statements are compatible with her role at the taxpayer-funded broadcaster.”

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Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, speaking on radio 2GB said: “Laura has demonstrated her bias and I think Kim Williams needs to explain why having someone so blatantly partisan sitting in the top political commentator position is acceptable.”

Earlier this month, in her speech for the John Button Oration at the Melbourne Writers Festival, Tingle said the level and quality of the national conversation in Australian politics and media took a turn for the worse under John Howard’s prime ministership.

Tingle was appointed to the ABC board as the staff-elected director in 2023.

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