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Mr Mark Scott
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Harris St.Ultimo NSW
22 June 2007
We met recently to discuss the ABC leadership moves to make the national broadcaster more open and transparent, especially in dealing with complaints.
I feel compelled to write this letter to you because I believe that MediaWatch, the centrepiece of what should be the ABC's weathervane of engagement with the media, including critics of the ABC is now spearheaded by an individual who has a record of aggressive belligerence to criticism.
In my view TimPalmer, the newly appointed Executive Producer of Media Watch, has previously shown by his work that he is not open to criticism or discussion.
Tim Palmer may be an award winning investigative journalist but an easy going, open minded welcomer of criticism he is not.
Most recently Media Watch, which is heavily moderated at its website, published a most inappropriate comment and only edited the offensive comment, quote "ABC is starting to show a disproportionate number of Jews in the places of power in the ABC" when they discovered that readers were onto them. The fact that the moderator didn't immediately realise how appalling the comment was does not indicate a high degree of sensitivity. Mr. Palmer, as Executive Producer of Media Watch is responsible for the content of the Media Watch web site.
Another ugly contribution by Palmer appeared on bunyip.blogspot.com. He criticized that blog:
"It's more like watching someone die of prostate cancer. It's tedious, the viewer may die of something else in the meantime and in the long run you just don't want to know about it anyway"
Similarly in a recent public letter to the Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Devine gloated that he had forced Daily telegraph Deputy editor Tim Blair to publish a craven apology.
This sort of excessive belligerence could be expected from an inexperienced person, with little background in the national media landscape. In my view such ferocious argumentativeness is inappropriate and unacceptable from a person with Mr. Palmer's seniority in your organisation.
Unfortunately this incident appears to characterise Palmer's attitude to critics.
Tim Palmer crossed my radar following the murder of Malki Roth, the daughter of a constituent of mine. Mr Palmer ultimately refused to interview the father of a murdered girl because Mr Roth, the girl's father, refused to be bracketed on a ABC program with the father of Malki's killer, who gloried in his murderous son's deed.
I think the ABC is making sincere efforts to engage it's critics and in my opinion programs like Lateline, Insiders and the 7:30 Report do make an effort to be fair over time. My fear is that Mr Palmer's appointment, his persona and the effect he will have on Media watch will go against this trend.
One would hardly "think" that the ABC would be ignorant of Tim Palmer's world view. Having Tim in this position further exposes the ABC for what it is, a "stacked" leftist organisation, that our taxes pay for. We can look forward to an upgrading of leftist ideology and anti-semitism.
Posted by Philip Hammond. on 2007-07-07 23:17:40 GMT
Tim Palmer was a non-Jew admitted to a Jewish chat room while he was in Israel. Before he was due to go to Indonesia he showed his bias and hostility by way of thanks. He is arrogant and given to advocacy journalism. Danby is wrong if he thinks that the ABC is trying to reform. It is persenting a more sensitive image, but until it gerts rid of or re-educates died in the wool Jew/Israel bashers like Palmer, Crittenden, Cave and Adams by instituting a policy that reflects Australian values rather that initernationalist socialist ones, we need to keep up the pressure and not be so gentle about it either.
Posted by paul2 on 2007-07-07 13:19:49 GMT
Tim Palmer shows himself to be a bigoted, insensitive and agenda-driven example of the Left that so typifies the bad old ABC. When is this supposedly representative media body going to ditch journalists of such appalling bias and small-minded, predictably leftist ideology and replace them with a few thinkers and intellectuals? Have some respect for those who pay your wages through our taxes and give us something which actually represents the thinking of the majority...Please! Otherwise you need to have your public status stripped and make a go of it on your own funding.
by Kaygee on 2007-07-07 08:43:03 GMT