While watching ABC's Four Corners last night I was struck by the obvious double standard that was on clear display.
Voices of Dissent, presented by Liz Jackson, took a look at the issue of dissent in China in light of its human rights record and the upcoming Olympic Games.
The program focused on the stories of a small number of people, and their apparently quite brave lawyers, who have spoken out against the Chinese regime and now languish in prison serving 3-5 year sentences.
One particularly confronting aspect of how the Chinese treat these people was shown when one hooded dissident was led from the courtroom to the paddy wagon to be taken off to prison and wasn't allowed to see or talk to his family and say goodbye. China allows few, if any, visitors for them while in prison so they won't see their families for the length of their term.
In summary, the ABC was showing that China's government stifled dissent and 'takes care' of those who speak out against it.
So where's the double standard?
The ABC is an organisation that sits firmly on the left to far left of the political spectrum. Very few of its journalists could be described as being centre-left, though they might see themselves that was but that's because they don't know where the political middle is in Australia, as I've pointed out previously.
Cuba has a far worse human rights record than China. Why does the ABC not only not expose this fact but supports the place by not shining a light on it and printing such puff pieces as this and this and this.
Where are the programs exposing the overwhelming leftist bias in our universities, particularly in the liberal arts and so-called 'studies' faculties, and their unwillingness to allow other views to be heard?
Where are the programs exposing Kevin Rudd's stifling of the media? The left has always thrown this one at the right when it's been in power and, while governments will always attempt to manipulate the media, this new government has taken things to a whole new level.
Where's the program on the 2020 Summit and the remarkably one-sided stacking of political thought?
Recall the ABC's showing of The Great Global Warming Swindle and the hysterical response of its senior journalists. The show was followed by a panel discussion in which anyone who did not support the 'consensus' position were ridiculed and dismissed as being in the pocket of some lobby group or other. Mr '100m sea level rise' Robin Williams even went so far as to point out that when he met up with Professor Tim Ball (I think it was him) he was smoking, which is an attempt to liken dissenters with the pro-smoking lobby. I wondered at the time whether Williams didn't smoke some other, less legal substance to come up with that one. Host Tony Jones interviewed TGGWS's Martin Durkin and was extremely aggressive in one of the most one-sided, unbalanced interviews I've ever seen.
Dissent. Not at the ABC, please.
It's a shame for Australia that its major publicly funded television station displays such a political bias though we're not alone, as both the BBC and PBS suffer the same issue. One-sided thought may be OK in a think tank or lobby group but it's not OK at the ABC, our universities or other media - regardless of which side of politics it represents.