The ABC is being attacked by the Abbott government and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire as payback for rejecting an approach to its boss to lobby on behalf of the national broadcaster, says the federal Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer.
The federal leader of the Palmer United Party said the attacks on the ABC stem from its Managing Director Mark Scott turning down on offer from former Howard government minister and registered lobbyist Santo Santoro.
“Mark Scott, as was revealed on the ABC’s Lateline program, was approached by Mr Santoro to lobby for the ABC if the Coalition won government,” Mr Palmer said.
“Mr Scott told him he didn’t need his help and now that the Coalition is in power there’s been a policy of payback against the ABC which has been joined by the malicious Murdoch press.”
Mr Palmer said a strong and independent ABC is essential to maintaining the quality of journalism and news reporting which is paramount in any democracy.
“The Abbott government wants to undermine the ABC as it sees it as a threat to its hold on power and now coalition cheerleader Rupert Murdoch has joined in the attack because he wants to weaken a major competitor to his media interests,” he said.
“Murdoch has form for this as he used his newspapers in Britain in a similar attack against the BBC.”