News Corp's ABC obsession

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(Cartoon by John Graham /

The is something quite sick in the obsession News Limited has with our country's public broadcaster, the ABC, writes senior correspondent Barry Everingham.

For what seems years, the Murdoch press has been trying to get its grubby hands on the broadcaster's payroll and this week it has hit pay dirt.

Splashed all over The Australian's front page with a spill to page two, those of us who could be bothered reading the story learned what such stars as Tony Jones, Leigh Sales and Barrie Cassidy are paid to provide balanced reporting, which is lacking in the newspapers of the News stable and the TV programs churned out by the Fox network.

Well, there is a theory abroad that as the ABC is funded by the taxpayer we have a right to know what the employees are paid.

I have no argument with that but there is no need for specific details. All we need to know is what the annual salary bill is, not what individuals are paid.

And what is sauce for the goose is also goose for the gander.

Are shareholders in News told that its common knowledge around the journos trap that the convicted racist Andrew Bolt's salary is paid from New York? The figure is rumoured to be in the vicinity of 500k, excluding of course what Australia's Mother of the Year pays him for his TV clap trap on Channel 10.

Are the shareholders told what Tim Blair gets or even that Piers Ackerman is actually, paid to spout the right wing rubbish he spews on a regular basis.

Then there's the likes of Alan Jones, utterly infamous for at least three things — two of which spring to mind are his outrageous denigration of Julia Gillard's father and his encouragement of bogans to get the Cronulla riots going.

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This country is blessed by having such an organisation as the ABC.

There are many fine writers in the Murdoch stable however the events in London now before the courts illustrate what a dark and evil empire it has become.

What News does in the UK is nits business, what it does here is ours and it is time the news buying public shows its collective displeasure by not buying their publications.

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