ABC Celebrates its 90th nationwide – and on Sky News?

The national broadcaster, our ABC, is gearing up to this month celebrate its 90th birthday across the nation, with a full schedule of celebratory events, that started with the Ita Buttrose, Andrew Olle Media Lecture on June 17th, and will extend right through the month of June.

Two key program events are:

  • ABC 90 Celebrate! An ensemble cast of ABC’s favourite presenters will host ABC 90 Celebrate!  – a live two-hour television event starting at 8.00pm on Thursday 30 June 2022, hosted by Zan Rowe, Craig Reucassel and Tony Armstrong.  There will be familiar faces from the past and present, some surprise guests and crosses to international locations.
  • 90 Years of ABC Radio will broadcast across our capital city and regional radio networks, and on RN and Radio Australia on Friday 1 July from 11.00am. Hosted by Richard Fidler, the one-hour program features presenters past and present and looks back on some of the amazing stories, news and music that’s kept Australians entertained and informed across nine decades.

Expect to see and hear a lot of nostalgia, to laugh, cry, and remember just how much the ABC has contributed to our lives over the years.

And while that is all happening, the Murdoch media group is planning its own ABC celebration .. of sorts. Jon Faine has revealed, via an article in The AGE this week, that he was approached to participate in ‘a one hour doco, Ninety Years of the ABC (working title) for the SkyNews/Foxtel/Flash platforms. He has firmly declined, as have others.

The program will examine ‘Is the National Broadcaster currently ‘serving all Australians effectively?’, and ‘Is the ABC a positive or negative contributor to the national debate?’. It will be hosted by Chris Kenny. One can imagine the direction this program will take. Celebratory? We think not.

Now for anyone unfamiliar with the attitude that SkyNews and Foxtel take to every discussion about the ABC, here are some of the opinions that they have presented over the years.

  • “The ABC no longer even pretends to be balanced!” and “QandA is stacked with activists of the left!”– Bolt Report Nov 2019
  • “Utterly biased” and “Completely unbalanced” – Jack Houghton July 2021

And what of the host Kenny? He has served in a variety of staff positions for SA Liberal Premiers John Olsen and Rob Kerin, and for Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, before concentrating on a media career, currently as a columnist for Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper and as host of the Kenny Report on SkyNews Australia.

In February 2014, when interviewing Julie Bishop about the ABC run ‘Australia Network’, broadcasting into the Pacific region, he described it as “an indulgence for Australian taxpayers that in fact the best thing would be to scrap it altogether.”

In 2020 he referred to the ABC and SBS as “enemies of the people”.

In 2022 he said the ABC ‘is a green left protection racket’.

To read the Jon Faine article in full (it’s well worth reading) go to https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/the-surprising-offer-from-sky-news-that-i-had-to-refuse-20220616-p5aucf.html