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 The ScoMo/ABC’s Madame Bumfluff honeymoon is over

29.06.20. Although PM Morrison is said to be riding high in the NSW Riverina where the Eden-Monaro by-elections are set for Saturday, it raises the old political question—is Scott Morrison all that wonderful or are the other candidates all that bad? At the last federal elections, which surprised many with a Coalition victory, it certainly shocked the Labor Party at their monumental loss—Bill Shorten made Morrison the only choice. And now, Ita Buttrose, Australia’s darling, has brought attention to a lousy leader making a rotten captain’s pick! On the other hand, perhaps Morrison now realises he was fooled by the wily Madame Bumfluff and is thus tackling the greatly biased ABC behemoth?
The days of chummy selfies and mutual public backslapping are finally over for PMScott Morrison and ABC chair Ita Buttrose. As recently as February, a proud ScoMo tweeted out a photo with a beaming close-up of himself and Ita, and the caption: “So glad Ita took on this job.” A year earlier, in first announcing her appointment, Morrison stated: “Australians trust Ita. I trust Ita and that’s why I have asked her to take on this role.”

Source: Nick Tabakoff, News Corp

ABC’s Ita Buttrose rounds on her old mate Scott Morrisson

But as of last week, the feeling definitely isn’t mutual. Late on Friday, Buttrose, ScoMo’s own “captain’s pick” as ABC chair, viciously turned on her backer. She used a crowd-pleasing 600-word diatribe to simultaneously rally her ABC internal stakeholders and smash the government.
Ita’s statement piece, which turned up on the ABC’s own website later, was titled: “What would Australia look like without the ABC?”.
Reading between the lines, the outburst was motivated by comments from ScoMo on Thursday that there had been “no cuts” to the ABC’s budget, despite the broadcaster’s 250 redundancies.
“The ABC’s funding is increasing every year,” the PM said. “The ABC would be the only media company or organisation in Australia today whose revenue, their funding, is increasing. It would be the only one in the country.”
But his “no cuts” assertion prompted an icy Ita put-down. “Let me clarify the cuts because there seems to be some confusion in government circles about them,” she said.
No prizes for guessing who that was aimed at!
Ita went on to claim that government savings measures for the ABC “reduce funding” by $84m over three years. “These funding cuts are unsustainable if we are to provide the media services that Australians expect of us. Indexation must be renewed.”
By now, Ita was on a roll. She even invoked the prospect of a dystopian future where “a Balkanised and parochial bunch of broadcasters … compromised by profit” roamed wild, with the ABC no longer around to keep them in check.
Pointedly, Ita’s statement was bookended at both ends of the statement by a specific pointed rebuke, directly aimed at the government: that a lack of funding for the ABC was an assault on Australia’s “democratic culture”.
Your move, ScoMo.
‘Not nervous at all’
Last week’s ABC cuts would have stung Ita Buttrose because, only a year ago, she was very confident of avoiding them.
The ABC chair was asked by one of her own employees, Rafael Epstein, on ABC Radio Melbourne in May last year if Aunty’s staff should be “nervous” about losing their jobs. Ita’s reassurance in reply back then appeared absolute. “No, I wouldn’t be nervous at all … There are many ways of achieving savings, you know. It’s not just people.”

**********************************************

Here is what Buttrose fed to her followers:

What would Australia look like without the ABC?
Posted 26th June 2020

The ABC has not only helped shape Australia, we are the national voice that unites us.
It’s about democracy. Without the ABC we would have a balkanised and parochial bunch of broadcasters that are in danger of being compromised by profit and more intent on dividing than unifying.
Imagine what it would be like during the bushfire season if we had to rely only on state-based or even regionally based media outlets. When we are in the middle of bushfires, don’t we want to know that they are being covered by a knowledgeable and experienced network of journalists with all the supporting infrastructure of a large national network?
The ABC,  funded by all of us, regardless of our creed – race, age, political beliefs – is us. It’s the way we build cross-cultural understanding, the way we help each other in times of need. It’s who we are collectively. Why would anyone want to diminish that and make us less than who we are?
This has been a devastating week for the ABC.  With unemployment at an all-time high to have to inform up to 250 people they no longer had a job has been an incredibly difficult task.
Cuts to services caused by the ongoing reduction in our budget forced this action upon us and although we knew what had to be done, our hearts were with our employees.
Let me clarify the cuts because there seems to be some confusion in Government circles about them. The 2018 Budget papers clearly state that the Government’s savings measures reduce funding to the ABC by $14.623 million in 2019-20, $27.842 million in 2020-21, and $41.284 million in 2021-22. This reduction totals $83.75 million on our operational base.
It is true that over the three years the ABC budget does still increase but by a reduced amount, due to indexation on the fixed cost of transmission and distribution services.  Previously, it was rising by a further $83.75 million over the same three years for indexation on our operational base. This is the funding that has been cut and considered a saving by the government.
These funding cuts are unsustainable if we are to provide the  media services that Australians expect of us. Indexation must be renewed.
The strength of the ABC and its relationship with the nation comes from the very people who work for us. They are passionate about public broadcasting and are prepared to work for less than they would be paid by commercial media to deliver it. The creativity in the programs they produce, the dogged and independent journalism they pursue and the connection with communities everywhere they provide through conversations is at the very heart of what the ABC delivers to our audiences.
The ABC has a statutory requirement to operate as efficiently as possible. We have a strong track record in identifying savings and reinvesting them in services. This is how we created ABC News 24, ABC iview and a range of packages to boost services in rural and regional Australia.
There is no other authority better placed to manage the ABC than the ABC itself.  We know our business and we are determined to honour our commitment to independence. All Australians expect this of us just as they expect the Government to provide the appropriate funds to allow us to do so.
The ABC is essential in generating and preserving Australia’s democratic culture. An independent, well-funded national broadcaster allows Australians, wherever they live, to connect. It is how we share our identity, how we tell our stories, how we listen to each other, how we ask for help and how we give it.
Ita Buttrose AC OBE
ABC Chair

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Thunder 29/06/2020, 6:23 am

    The ABC of today is held to ransom by the Lunatic Lefties.

    The sooner it is shut down the better, NOT sold, BUT junked !!

    • Cliff 29/06/2020, 6:45 am

      Concur.

    • Pensioner Pete 29/06/2020, 7:56 am

      Agreed.

    • Big Al 29/06/2020, 10:10 am

      Junk still has value to Sum Won; better to destroy outright so that the there are no remnants upon which to allow another life for those morons at ‘their’ All Bullsh!t Copmpany.

  • Disgruntled 29/06/2020, 7:17 am

    Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that Madame Bum-Flower would turn out like this; surely there has to be some device working in the ABC headquarters that alters the mind.
    The whole bloody lot seems to be afflicted!!

    Ita is just plainly delusional big time!!

    After that statement; how can anyone ever take the ABC seriously ever again!!

  • PW 29/06/2020, 7:19 am

    Run by a bunch of agenda driven activists and advocates that seek out perceived victims.
    Its simply Innner Western Sydney. No further a field.
    Every comedy(?) is politically motivated for the unwashed mob to laugh but sneer at.
    Kill it off.

  • Bushkid 29/06/2020, 7:55 am

    What would Australia look like without the ABC?

    Well, there’d be $1.2billion we could shave off the deficit annually for a start! Or build a dam to maintain water supplies or mitigate floods; or a HELE coal-fired power station – you know, those things that are needed to charge up the big batteries in EVs that we’re all supposed to be wanting.

    Also, we taxpayers wouldn’t have to keep lining the pockets of sneering, elitist, leftist dilettantes who would happily seek our destruction because they perceive us as lesser beings, not fit to wipe their expensively-shod feet on.

    I really don’t see a down side to demolishing their ABC.

  • Penguinite 29/06/2020, 8:35 am

    What would Australia look like? Well, I imagine the Centre Link queue would be longer!

  • Lorraine 29/06/2020, 9:22 am

    I never watch the ABC so if it was gone and the money used for retired peoples we would be far better off…..Then that same money could house all the street people and feed the very poor. A Sheltered workshop for the Bias workers at the ABC no different to a school for all the “nuffies” that would indeed help the NDIS

    • JG 29/06/2020, 3:17 pm

      If ABC wants to save money how about scrapping useless shows like Media Watch, Q&A and over paid drones being paid just for political lefty comments. Ditto all those so called news presenters on over inflated pay packets for very little work.
      While they at it cut half of the radio stations and digital sites.
      That should reduce expenditure by at least half.
      Iva soon converted or told by ABC staff ,who run the show, not Iva, what her job was, get us more money.
      NOT MY ABC and if it cease to exist only lefties, greenies and ALP would miss it.

  • Aktosplatz 29/06/2020, 9:28 am

    There’s no doubt about it and thank you Ita for confirming what we have known for ages.

    The ABC exist in a taxpayer funded delusional bubble, and really, many of us would like to see it simply wound up.

    Their productions (news, current affairs, local movies and plays) are just awful.

    You cannot pretend to be a National Broadcaster for Australia, if you hate the country, despise it’s history, and slant news and current affairs accordingly.

    The ABC is nothing at all what it claims to be, fair, impartial, unbiased, nothing like it.

    I wish it could be shut down.

  • Honeybadger 29/06/2020, 9:39 am

    You summed it up so well as usual, MM Ed. “Here is what Buttrose fed to her followers”. Says it all.

  • ibbit 29/06/2020, 9:42 am

    It’s not a bunch of media hacks who run around wildly broadcasting rubbish, but the ABC who cannot be trusted to put to air anything that is objective and and based on facts.
    I understand the cuts Ita screams about were, as with other government departments, efficiency dividends.
    In my opinion, the ABC does not serve us well, excepting a very few programmes such as Landline, and it has a love of empire building and overpaying senior staff who are not editorially supervised.
    The establishment should be closed down because it is constantly in breach of its charter.

  • Ex ADF 29/06/2020, 10:38 am

    I disagree with most contributors. The ABC must remain, minus all the focus on leftist causes. It must return to being a non-partisan broadcaster. Country areas have been well served by the ABC for most of it’s existence. All Australians want unbiased news and current affairs programs. They can do this well, however the hierachy at the ABC have lost the plot. I believe that most of us do not want a running commentary on the latest trendy issue involving homosexual, gender, Aboriginal, illegal boat people etc or the hatred and anti-Trump rhetoric.

    • wal1957 29/06/2020, 11:01 am

      I agree with your goal re what ‘their ABC’ should be, and I would prefer that it were so. However it is clear that they do not want to go down that path.
      Give them a choice. Continue on the current path and suffer the inevitable, or choose the path that you have stated above.

      As for Itas’ claims….absolute BS!

      • Disgruntled 29/06/2020, 1:18 pm

        Ex ADF and wal1957,
        I do somewhat agree with your sentiments; if only it could be made work.
        Sixty years ago I thought the ABC was the ducks nuts. It was great especially in the non urban areas; and now it has been totally taken over by mostly inner city zealots.

        A start would be to shut and disband ALL the city based ABC stuff and peoples; sell off most or all to raise a buck and keep only the regional and far away centres and peoples. The resultant sale could pay wages for years to come maybe!!

        The remaining staff would soon realise what their charter was and would soon be credible again! (One could only hope)

  • nev 29/06/2020, 10:38 am

    A demonstration that we finally have the intelligence to defund an anti-Australian propaganda machine that epitomises the meaning of “false news”. A well oiled far left outfit, frequently labelled treasonous and traitors, we all know those descriptions are not just a slur.
    As Bushkid correctly points out there are plenty of uses for $1.2 billion, but the savings are potentially far greater, because their ABC leverages exponentially the damage it does to our nation.
    Indeed we could hold our heads much higher and heap our esteem on the leader who does our nation a great favour.

  • Tony H 29/06/2020, 11:45 pm

    Australia would look pretty good without the ABC actually, we would certainly be a lot better off financially. ScoMo is a grade dickhead for appointing this bitch, she is captured by the lefty luvvies of the inner city! Sell it off, make it user pays and just stop funding the rotten bloody thing we don’t need it. Sorry but for ScoMo to win me over he needs to 1. Get rid of the ABC
    2. Get rid of the renewables
    3. Have Turnbull dumped form the Liberal Party

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