Response from ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie to Quadrant editors, Wednesday 24 May 2017
Quadrant promotes itself as “the leading general intellectual journal of ideas”. Those words ring hollow in the wake of last night’s vicious and offensive attack on the ABC, its staff and its program guests.
To take issue with our programming and our content is one thing. But to express the wish that, if there were any justice, the horrific terrorist bombing in Manchester would have taken place in the ABC’s Ultimo studio and killed those assembled there is a new low in Australian public debate.
Your subsequent attempt to make amends by changing some of the wording (without acknowledging or apologising for the original article) has done little to undo the damage. The article continues to state that if a blast occurred in one of our studios, none of the likely casualties “would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.”
Like many others, I am appalled at your willingness to turn an act of terrorism in the United Kingdom into a means of making a political point against those you disagree with. One of the immediate results of this behaviour is that while our staff both here and in Manchester were working long hours to provide extensive coverage of this unfolding tragedy, we were also forced to reassure worried staff who had read your article and call in our own security experts to assess any possible impact flowing from your inflammatory words.
I ask that this response be posted prominently on the Quadrant website, and I also ask that the article, which continues to contain entirely inappropriate comments about possible bombings at the ABC, be removed and apologised for.
ABC Managing Director