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Byron Shire
December 10, 2023

Northern Rivers Friends defend Aunty over attack

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ABC managing director Mark Scott. Photo abc.net.au
ABC managing director Mark Scott. Photo abc.net.au

Following the tabloid media frenzy over the appearance of one former Islamic extremist on the Q&A program last week, Northern Rivers Friends of the ABC have moved to defend the public broadcaster.

Attacks by the Murdoch media have been particularly vitriolic, with headlines including: ‘Terror Vision’, ‘ABC of Jihad’ and ‘Who’s side are you on?’

ABC’s managing director Mark Scott has come in for particular praise from Northern Rivers Friends’ president Jill Keogh following his eloquent speech addressing the ABC’s strident critics: the government, the tabloids and their cheerleaders.

‘Mark Scott has told the ABC’s detractors what we already knew, which is that the ABC is a top-notch media outlet of world quality, and it is utterly worth defending’ Ms Keogh said.

Manufactured crisis

She said the comments made ‘by one Muslim man on Q&A were not deserving of the media beat-up and manufactured crisis that followed’.

Ms Keogh added that if a mistake had been made in relation to the Q&A program, ‘then Mark Scott has accepted responsibility and it is now time to move on’.

‘Australia is a robust democracy but it can remain that way only if we are enabled to hear and discuss assorted viewpoints.

‘We are fortunate to have a national broadcaster that is not controlled by the government. It is because the ABC is independent that the public knows that it can be trusted. That is why, in times of crisis, and especially in our own Northern Rivers area, people switch to the ABC,’ Ms Keogh said.

In paraphrasing Mr Scott she said that ‘the ABC excels in speaking truth to power, seeking to verify what we are asked to take on trust, uncovering truths and helping us to understand our nation better.

‘If the message has not sunk in to some commercial media outlets and government members, the ABC is independent, was set up to be independent, and the majority of Australians who value diversity and free speech want it to remain independent.

‘Mark Scott is right. The ABC is on Australia’s side,’ Ms Keogh said.

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  1. Jill Keogh’s description of Zaky Mallah as a FORMER Islamic extremist defies belief as does the ABC’s action in giving him free prime time TV to air his seditious agenda, It has been reported that this is a man who supports ISIS,,advocated that two female journalists be gang raped and wants to parachute Steve Ciobo, a member of our elected Government, into his war zone. Regardless of any discussions about free speech these people, whose stated agenda is to kill all the infidels (Aussies and others) and our way of life should not be pandered to and, appallingly, clapped and applauded on our National TV Station, paid for by the public purse.

  2. Well said Jill Keogh and Friends of the ABC. Tony Abbott says he ‘loves the ABC’ over The Killing Season. A few days later Tony Abbott claims the ABC are traitors. Double standards. Yes the ABC is fearless, as it should be. No wonder the government cuts their funding in the budget despite televised promises not to do so immediately before the last election.

  3. For a start ABC was hijacked long ago by fringe self interest groups. It has not been Our ABC for many years bit is blatantly a biased media outlet that has long ago lost sight of it charter. That ABC could give airtime to a Nong like ZM just shows how low ABC has sunk. I have watched short segments of Q&A and have found it to be a puerile Jerry Springer style show. Canned applause and a selected audience akin to performing seals. ZM is a cheerleader for ISIS, a convicted terrorist and ABC stooge him into their Jerry Springer show.
    Has any one actually followed ZM on Twitter for a few days? Try it and you will be more bewildered by the ABCs decision.
    Good luck with the ABC and the simpleton Managing Director. I am just disgusted at another example of my tax dollars being splashed up against the wall on this “reality” style TV.

    • Dear Jim Harris and Tweed
      Firstly Jim thanks for being honest enough to go by your own name, Tweed, it’s easy enough to complain behind the veil of anonymity- do you really have the courage of your convictions to stand proud and out yourself as someone who is ok to put it out there and be sure enough of what you are saying to put your name to your thoughts and feelings?

      The things that are going on in our government right now are so disturbing and distressing that I behoves me to weigh in and say what is happening is Not ok, in fact far from it.

      The beat up on the ABC is just ridiculous when you consider that the original protagonist, besides Zakky was Steve Ciobo himself. In earlier times he was there laughing along at the Liberal dinner when Julia Gillard was described as a KFC special with small breasts etc and the rest of that disgusting sexist rave, he was the one who suggested on tv that that anyone close to her would want to slit her throat, and yet there seems to be such a disconnect between what is said by a fuckwit of the extreme right (Zakky) and a fuckwit of the extreme right (Ciobo). They are both dropkicks and they both got airtime but you both seem to forget that they are both fascists in their own way.

      Our current government has shown that time and time again they are prepared to travel that road, and I’m going to call it as close to fascism as in fact what fascism is.

      Check this out. there are one or two dissimilarities but in the main in all rings true.

      14 defining characteristics common to each fascist regime:

      1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

      2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

      3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

      4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

      5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

      6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

      7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

      8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

      9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

      10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

      11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

      12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

      13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

      14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.


      Thanks for theinterpretor.wordpress.com for the 14 points. They are not my words but I sure agree that so many of those words are relevant to our current situation.

      By the way Tweed, it’s not your ABC, it’s not my ABC, it’s OUR ABC.

  4. I fully endorse Jill’s comments. Too often it is the good that remain silent so we hear far too much unrepresentative dissent. The ABC will always be there to serve the best interests of the nation and those who are capable of widening their world view will always appreciate its value. I applaud the courage and dignity of the staff and their ability to, “keep their heads when all around them are losing theirs and blaming it on them.”

  5. Anything remotely balanced would have to be to the Left of the Murdoch media. They are Australia’s least trusted news outlets. The Murdoch campaign is pure self-interest and support by the lickspittle coalition is only to be expected in the light of their mindless adoration of market ideology and loathing of “public good”. Nobody with half a brain can be totally uncritical of the ABC, Nor would any reasonable ABC journalist want it any other way. But I thought the Q&A program in question was interesting and informative. Which is what I pay my taxes for.


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