Chris Berg appeared on Andrew Bolt’s low rating television show and stated that: ‘One of the reasons [the left] set up the ABC was to be a counter party to commercial media bias. The Labor Party believed that the news services provided by particularly the Murdoch press which was providing right wing or commercial bias, and the Labor Party felt they needed a countermeasure to that, so they insisted that the ABC set up a news service. So that news service is specifically non-commercial. It’s specifically non-right and it’s specifically left’1.
It is interesting that his name given as Burg from RMIT on Bolt’s twitter account1. It is also apparently not mentioned that he is from the far-right corporate lobbying organisation, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)2,3. Maybe this is because they have become so on the nose in recent times, and because RMIT has at least some semblance of respectability, despite not having a Ramsay Centre course in Western Civilisation4. In addition, whoever is doing Bolt’s twitter account, seems to also be a right wing nut job (RWNJ), like Bolt, as there is a high correlation coefficient between such nutjobbery and the inability to spell or punctuate. Either that or the misspelling of Berg’s name was intended, so his affiliation with the IPA would be less obvious.
Now for some facts, rather than mindless conservative drivel. The Australian Broadcasting Company Pty Ltd, a government licensed consortium was founded in 1924 to operate commercial radio stations. A Royal Commission in 1927 recommended full nationalisation, as had happened with the BBC, but the then conservative government opted for an outsourcing model, and the Australian Broadcasting Company was contracted to provide content for the Federal Government’s National Broadcasting Service. This contract expired in June 1932, and thereafter content was provided by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).
The ABC was actually established by the centre right Lyons United Australia Party (UAP) federal government in 19325, and did not have a single journalist on staff until 1934, by which time, Robert Menzies was a UAP Member of the House of Representatives, and Lyons’ obvious successor. After it was created, pre-existing radio stations were reformed into a cohesive radio broadcasting organisation. News broadcasts were initially restricted due to pressure from Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s father), who controlled many Australian newspapers (which had supported Joseph Lyons of the UAP during the 1931 federal election). The UAP eventually effectively collapsed, in part because they had spent all but eight months of their existence in government, and they were not prepared for opposition after losing a vote of no confidence. In addition, Labor Prime Minister John Curtin was very popular, to the extent that after the 1943 federal election the UAP was reduced to having 12 members of the House of Representatives. Menzies, who was leader at the time, was convinced that the UAP was no longer viable, and in 1945 it was folded into the newly created Liberal Party6. After losing to the Labor Party at the 1946 federal election, the Coalition (of the Liberal and Country parties) won the 1949 election, and remained in government until 1972. It was during their tenure, that the ABC began broadcasting television, after ABN2 was inaugurated by then Liberal Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, in Sydney.
So, for Chris Berg to say that it was all about the Labor Party developing a left wing biased media outlet is abject rubbish. However, that is to be expected from a person who comes from the IPA, and he has inadvertently made a fool of Bolt, which is not a difficult thing to do. This sort of rubbish is an indication of how far to the right the Liberal Party and its supporters have shifted from the original ethos of the Liberal Party as created by Robert Menzies and expressed in his ‘forgotten people’ speech7. If there is anything the far right cannot stomach, it is scrutiny. That is why they hate the ABC so much.