Get Their Hands Off Our Throats

Andrew Bolt sums it up perfectly:

Here are hints of the real problem, several drawn from Conroy’s unwittingly revealing interview last night on Lateline.

First, Conroy has already called an inquiry into what the Greens insisted was the “hate media” – an inquiry that focused on News Ltd and journalists reporting on climate change from a sceptical position.  (Conroy really does believe there’s a News Ltd plot against the Gillard Government.)

Second, Conroy intervened to block News Ltd’s winning tender of the Australia Network, giving it back to the more friendly ABC.

Third, Conroy in this election year handed the ABC $10 million for news coverage.

Fourth, Conroy on Lateline cited as a benefit of the $37 billion NBN he’s building the ability to help Crikey, a hard-Left website:

I’m a huge supporter in trying to bring the National Broadband Network, which will allow all of those digital voices to come into people’s homes, but we’re not yet at the stage where Crikey, probably the most well-known blog/subscription model, actually only has about 15,000 customers.

Fifth, Conroy in citing the need for tougher rules against journalists just two examples of alleged error and bias that – surprise! – involve reports critical of the Gillard Government:

I think my colleague Anthony Albanese recently had an experience where a news report went to air on the nightly 6 o’clock news, he put in a complaint to the ACMA. He was upheld completely. All of the points made in the program were wrong….

I myself had an experience where someone complained about the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of the National Broadband Network. And they made three complaints. All of them were upheld by the Press Council. And they were ordered to – by the Press Council, the Daily Telegraph, to correct it prior to Christmas a couple of Christmases ago, and not only didn’t they comply with that, they waited until 27th December and they put it on I think about page 42 in tiny print.

Sixth, in saying on Lateline laws were needed for more diversity of opinion, he in the next breath mentioned News Ltd as an opponent:

So it will be a sad day for democracy if there was a further reduction in the diversity of opinion. So, News Limited have at times been quite hysterical about this.

And, seventh, I know Conroy has threatened a media organisation about giving me a platform, and also know how another media organisation has seen his threats of controls as threats meant to make their coverage more government friendly.

No one, but no one, should doubt that however Conroy dresses up these changes, they are an assault against the freedom of journalists to say what they think, and against the freedom of the public to hear whom they want.

It is astonishing – revolting – that such attacks on free speech should be launched in Australia

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