The boss of the ABC has been accused of arrogance by a Liberal Senator in a scathing complaint letter about the national broadcaster’s horribly ‘biased’ news reporting in Alice Springs.
He has also been slammed over his failure to apologise for a segment on ABC’s The Drum that compared a crisis meeting in the troubled outback town to a gathering of the Ku Klux Klan.
In the two-page letter obtained by Daily Mail Australia, Senator Sarah Henderson slams managing director David Anderson for trying to defend the ABC’s lopsided coverage before reluctantly offering an apology ‘late in the day’.
‘The ABC’s first response was irresponsible, deeply flawed, arrogant and reflected very poorly on you as editor in chief,’ the Senator and ex-ABC journalist wrote.
‘It showed the ABC either did not understand or was not prepared to acknowledge its obligation to all Australians to report the news accurately and impartially.’
Senator Sarah Henderson, an ex-ABC journalist, has slammed ABC boss over the broadcaster’s ‘deeply offensive’ reporting and handling of the controversy
The Senator called out ABC boss David Anderson saying his apologies were ‘irresponsible, deeply flawed, arrogant and reflected very poorly on you’
The scathing letter followed a public outcry over a radio report by Indigenous Affairs reporter Carly Williams that portrayed 3000 Alice Springs residents who attended a crisis meeting as ‘white supremacists’.
Senator Henderson also highlighted a further report – not apologised for or mentioned – which compared Alice Springs to a US town fictionalised by Hollywood where American white hate group the Ku Klux Klan murdered three US civil rights activists.
‘I note that the ABC did not reference … the inflammatory, inaccurate and deeply offensive comments by a guest on The Drum who compared the Alice Springs meeting to … institutional racism by a town’s residents including members of the Ku Klux Klan,’ the Senator wrote.
Personally addressing Mr Anderson, Senator Henderson made it clear she would still be lodging a formal complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), despite his apologies.
Senator Henderson’s letter smacks down the ABC, and calls the broadcaster’s comparison of Alice Springs residents to Ku Klux Klan members as ‘deeply offensive’
The Senator was particularly critical of Mr Anderson’s ‘deeply flawed’ defence of Ms Williams’ reporting.
She then noted the ABC issued a second response ‘late in the day … on its Corrections and Clarifications website’ which conceded the report ‘should have included a broader range of perspectives’.
But in that response, the ABC had failed to reference Ms Williams story ‘or the inflammatory, inaccurate and deeply offensive comments’ by The Drum guest, Nareen Young.
A Professor for Indigenous Policy at the University of Technology, Sydney, Ms Young had compared the Alice Springs meeting to the film Mississippi Burning.
The letter says the ABC failed to acknowledge it had compared Alice Springs (above) to the US town where American white hate group the Ku Klux Klan murdered three US civil rights activists
The 1988 movie is based on the real life Ku Klux Klan murders of two African American and one Jewish activist whose bodies were dumped in a Mississippi river, sparking national outrage across the US in 1964.
Referring to Carly Williams’ report of the Alice springs meeting, Professor Young told The Drum that ‘If you saw that room in Mississippi Burning, for example, Australians would say “how terrible, oh that’s terrible that happens there”.
‘The vitriol and racism and lack of regard and respect for those people on their land while those people were living off the bounty of it was appalling.’
In her letter, Senator Henderson said Williams’ report ‘did not include any details of the escalating violence in Alice Springs, the profound safety concerns of thousands of local residents, the support which many traditional owners gave the meeting and … the anti-social behaviour discussed’.
‘The ABC must explain … its first response and why the report inexplicably remains online … which is tone deaf to the ABC’s failings and completely unacceptable,’ she wrote.
The ABC described the Alice springs audience (above) of concerned families, business owners, Indigenous leaders, health and emergency services workers as ‘white supremacists’
The senator described as ‘rubbish reporting’ the ABC reporter Carly Williams’ (pictured) report the meeting was ‘a disgusting display of white supremacy’
‘I will be asking ACMA to investigate whether the ABC has breached its Code.
‘As the Code states “the ABC belongs to the Australian people. Earning and retaining their trust is essential to fulfilling the ABC’s charter (to provide services) of a high standard to Australian and international audiences’.
Senator Henderson, who once worked as a consumer reporter on the ABC and presented 7.30 in Victoria, described the broadcaster’s coverage as ‘rubbish reporting’.
Thousands of fed-up residents attended the Save Alice Springs meeting on January 30 after intense media focus on the town’s battle with a crime crisis.
The audience at the town hall meeting was comprised of concerned families, business owners, Indigenous leaders, health and emergency services workers and police.
Since the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a flying visit to the town in January, the Northern Territory Government has now reinstated alcohol restrictions which ban takeaway sales in central Australian communities, including the Alice Springs town camps.
Post source: The List