Silver linings …

And while we’re talking about the ABC consider this …

Final figures show last year’s budget deficit $543m lower than expected

I heard the ABC take on this in the car. In their determination to find a silver lining in every Labor cloud they were selling the notion that after years of promising a surplus a budget deficit of $18.8 billion was cool because the forecast of five months ago was half a billion larger. (Another way to think of it is as a train of thirty eight carriages costing half a billion dollars each, isn’t it great that only thirty seven were destroyed in the train wreck.) They thought a net debt of $153 billion was fine too because it was predicted to be 5.6% bigger five months ago.

On the other hand, thunder clouds were in evidence when Mr Hockey declined to say when he would deliver a surplus … after all he’s been in the job for two whole weeks now.

I can think of one place he could save $1.18 billion.

Leaning …

The bias that the ABC tells us it doesn’t have can now be tested by its very own impartial fact checking unit.

It has appointed former Fairfax journalist, Russell Skelton to head it. As the ad said …

The editor will lead and manage the unit, to deliver engaging content that builds a reputation for accuracy, impartiality and clarity.

Roger Franklin at Quadrant suggests that Mr Franklin might have  “a rather passionate distaste for conservatives,” in light of this piece from his portfolio …

The 2020 Summit has been just such an exercise. For one weekend a national conversation took place about the future of the country without a bunch of once-influential marsupials shouting down discussion of significant policy issues.

These are the possums of the conservative commentariat. They are an invasive, boisterous species. They make their nests within the pages of Quadrant magazine (an obscure journal with a circulation that is a fraction of the Kmart catalogue), and invade the columns of News Limited papers and the hollowed-out walls of right-wing think tanks.

Mr Skelton joins his wife Virginia Trioli at the ABC and should fit in quite nicely.

Leaner can have a couple of meanings

  • to be inclined (… to the left perhaps)
  • to have less fat

Hopefully the ABC will be much leaner after the next election.

 

Plagiarism at the ABC …

Lies, damned lies and ALP spin …

Consider this Emma Alberici paragraph …

Back to that $96 billion “Labor debt” inherited by the Howard government in 1996 – which actually comprised $40 billion of Fraser government debt that carried through the Hawke-Keating years taking the true level of Labor debt in 1996 to $56 billion. Bringing down that debt wasn’t all about constrained spending and higher taxes, in fact neither of those things were characteristics of the Howard-Costello years. Government asset sales between 1996 and 2007 worth $72 billion wiped the net debt out entirely with $16 billion to spare.

Read Sinclair Davidson on its history and innacuracy.

 

Green Jacket …

Whilst travelling in the car at lunch time I was listening to the ABC’s News Radio.

The big news was that Miss Gillard, please take note of the newly found respect, Miss Gillard congratulated Adam Scott on his success in the US Masters.

Isn’t she fabulous, well at least the ABC think so. Expect them to find a way to inject her into every good news story between now and the election.

Thankfully, attention had shifted to Adam Scott, himself by the time I drove home.

News from Cape Cod …

The Cape Cod Times has published an apology.

Apparently one of their reporters has been making it up as she went along.

The reporter was Karen Jeffrey, 59, a writer for the Cape Cod Times since 1981. In an audit of her work, Times editors have been unable to find 69 people in 34 stories since 1998, when we began archiving stories electronically.

On Tuesday, Jeffrey admitted to fabricating people in some of these articles and giving some others false names. She no longer works for the Cape Cod Times.

A sort of Lance Armstrong of reporters. Her best chances of future employment are probably with the ABC or Fairfax …