Friday 31st October, 2014

Australian Conservative

Dissent not tolerated at the ABC

Chris Uhlmann and Virginia Trioli.

It is becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to many of the key political and public policy issues of our time, much of the media has made up its mind that there is only one side of the story to be heard.

On global warming and boat people, many in the media and especially Fairfax and the ABC have made up their mind.

One side is right, the other wrong, therefore only one side of the story is allowed to be told while anyone who holds different views is mocked and demonised.

Witness Virginia Trioli’s effort against Barnaby Joyce in which she characterised him as crazy for holding a dissenting opinion on global warming.

Witness those who liken climate change “denialists” to those who deny the Jewish Holocaust ever happened.

To hold a healthy scepticism about doomsayer predictions of future events is a far cry from denying a historical reality.

Anyone who is sceptical or realistic about global warming is branded a member of the Flat Earth Society.

Anyone who believes they have a democratic right to scepticism on public policy issues is either mad, bad or just plain stupid.

And when it comes to boat people, those who argue for border security and against people smugglers are vilified as inhumane.

Among those leading this particular charge is The 7.30 Report’s political editor Chris Uhlmann.

This was Uhlmann’s conclusion on last night’s program:

CHRIS UHLMANN: By any rational measure the flood of people pouring out of Afghanistan and South Africa (sic) clearly isn’t driven by tinkering with Australia’s border protection regime.

But one thing is even clearer. This debate isn’t driven by reason.

He is right about one thing. The left-wing argument in favour of an open door to people smugglers and their cashed-up clients isn’t driven by reason. It is driven by emotion and by ideology.

How are Uhlmann and his fellow travellers to know that Rudd’s softening of border protection after the 2007 election hasn’t prompted the current flood of boat people to Australia.

And when they argue that Australia should be compassionate and let the boat people in, where would they draw the line, given reports of as many as 250,000 people are in refugee camps in Sri Lanka.

Free speech and open debate has never been under greater threat in modern Australia, and it is those supposed champions of democracy and free speech who are front and centre.



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