Guess who’s having a leadership fight now?

Caption: Chaos erupted when staff learned that the ABC canteen was selling skinny soy pumpkin spice lattes.

Another leadership scandal is embracing Australian politics. There’s the familiar round of knifings, sackings, leaks, surreptitious handies, incompetent hacks jealously defending their personal empires, and mewling hipster socialists protesting. And, of course, long-suffering Australian taxpayers are again footing the bill.

But this time I’m not talking about Canberra. The latest circus of kindergarten antics in the halls of power is happening in the leafy Sydney suburb of Ultimo.

Ultimo is, of course, the epicentre of the vast, taxpayer-funded left-wing ABC media empire. Quote:

Yet another explosive leak — this time a text from the freshly appointed ABC acting chair Kirstin Ferguson — is threatening to derail the ABC’s relationship with Canberra again after a week of unprecedented chaos at the public broadcaster. End of quote.

The ABC, which has spent the last few weeks sneering at the government for its leadership woes, suddenly found the sandal on the other foot, when its own leadership drama exploded like a dropped can of craft IPA. First, managing director Michelle Guthrie was sacked. ABC staffed wagged their bushranger beards and smirked. The men were happy, too.

But then it turned out that chairman Justin Milne had sacked Guthrie because she refused to sack a couple of incompetent journos whose biased stories had jacked off the government. Instant OUTRAGE! ABC staff, every genderqueer nonbinary one of them, took to the portico at Ultimo, shaking their skinny arms and trying gamely to hold up their banners. Quote:

In the text, leaked to the The Weekend Australian, Dr Ferguson warmly congratulated ABC chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici for a story she had published online naming 400 Australian companies that allegedly hadn’t paid tax in the past four years. The piece was a damning critique on the government’s highly controversial corporate tax cuts proposal, but Dr Ferguson included a smiling emoji and signed off with a kiss…“Great work on the tax story,” Dr Ferguson texted to Alberici. End of quote.

Alberscreechie is one of that tiresome breed of journalists who think that pronouncing any foreign name with an accent makes them sound totes sophisticated and all. In her case, though, that accent is invariably just Italian. Hearing her mangle “Gorbachev” as “Gorrrre-a-bor-chov-a” remains one of my funniest memories of listening to the ABC.

But, the story in question here is the same story that was heavily criticised as “riddled with inaccuracies’, “bias” and a “lack of understanding of corporate taxation, and basic economic … principles”. The prime minister himself (last month’s one, not this month’s) described it in parliament as “one of the most confused and poorly researched articles I’ve seen on this topic on the ABC’s website”. A story so bad that the ABC itself boned it. Quote:

The story was removed from the ABC website on the grounds it was too much of an opinion piece and didn’t conform to editorial standards.

Insiders say Alberici received Dr Ferguson’s text at 8.50am on February 14 this year but later decided to share it with her chiefs at the network, including head of news Gaven Morris and head of editorial Alan Sunderland. End of quote.

Aw, she got a koala stamp and all. I bet she also printed it out and stuck it on the fridge. Quote:

It was the first in a series of ­contentious stories between February and May by Alberici and fellow ABC journalist Andrew Probyn that triggered increasingly ferocious attacks against the broadcaster by Mr Turnbull and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

Yet it was only this week — with the sacking of the ABC’s managing director and then its chairman — that the public learned of the turmoil at the top levels of the ABC over the ­furore surrounding Alberici and Probyn’s reporting. End of quote.

Well, they’d have looked like right hypocrites, all the time they were standing around Dutton and Turnbull, chanting, “fight, fight, fight!”, if it turned out that they were having a biffo of their own behind the bike sheds.

But hypocrisy is in no short supply when we’re talking about the ABC. For all the pious blatherskiting about “political interference”, Labor is quite happy to interfere when it suits them. When journalist Glenn Milne dug up the explosive story of Julia Gillard’s shenanigans in the early 90s, a few furious phone calls from the red ferret saw Milne summarily dumped from his ABC gig. Now, Labor is happily interfering again. Quote:

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese flagged the prospect that more heads could roll over the ABC crisis…Mr Albanese said there was also now a “cloud” over all ABC board members.

“This draws a real question over the entire membership of the ABC board as it stands,” he said. End of quote.

Do as they say, not as they do.


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Who is Lushington D. Brady?

Well, a pseudonym. Obviously.

But the name Lushington Dalrymple Brady has been chosen carefully. Not only for the sum of its overall mien of seedy gentility, reminiscent perhaps of a slightly disreputable gentlemen of letters, but also for its parts, each of which borrows from the name of a Vandemonian of more-or-less fame (or notoriety) who represents some admirable quality which will hopefully animate the persona of Lushington D. Brady.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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