By: Steve Dellar | 09-27-2018 | News
Photo credit: Twitter @PoliticsAustralia And NewsAUCom.png

Australia - ‘Complete Rubbish’ PM Morrison Responds To ABC Press ‘Hit-List’ Claim

New Australian Prime Minister Mr. Scott Morrison has got a first press scandal on his hands. Whereas his predecessor Mr. Turnbull had to deal with the aftermath of Sky News being abolished from public transport over a Blair Cottrell interview (see our related coverage), for Mr. Morrison it is ABC News and his government’s claimed ‘journalist hit list’.

The Australian press says it has proof that former PM Mr. Malcolm Turnbull had asked ABC chairman Mr. Justin Milne (who has by now resigned) to get rid of senior journalists which were critical of his government’s plans.

Related coverage: <a href=""> Australia - Sky News Banned From Trains After Cottrell Interview (Video)</a>.

Mr. Milne allegedly told ABC’s managing director Ms. Michelle Guthrie to ‘shoot’ political editor Mr. Andrew Probyn after a conversation with then Prime Minister Mr. Turnbull for being too critical of his liberal government. Afterward, the same happened with economics journalist Ms. Emma Alberici.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The radical right&#39;s attack on the <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ABC</a> has been led by Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull AND Scott Morrison, through massive funding cuts and, as we now learn, through attacks on its independence, with threats and intimidation of journalists. Enough is enough. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HandsOffOurABC</a></p>&mdash; Wayne Swan (@SwannyQLD) <a href="">September 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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During an angry exchange with Ms. Guthrie, Mr. Milne reportedly told her "you have to shoot" Probyn, saying the then prime minister "hates him".

After those events, Mr. Milne then emailed Ms. Guthrie, demanding she also fire presenter Ms. Emma Alberici.

On May 8, a day after PM Turnbull complained to the ABC's news director about an Alberici report on government spending, he emailed: "They (the government) hate her. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC, not Emma."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Scott Morrison says he spoke to his predecessor today and clarified <a href="">@TurnbullMalcolm</a> had merely pointed out ABC journalists “got facts wrong’’<a href=""></a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#scomo</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#abc</a></p>&mdash; The Australian (@australian) <a href="">September 27, 2018</a></blockquote>

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It is well known that Mr Milne and Mr Turnbull are friends and former business associates.

However, current Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison, who took over from Mr Turnbull after a no-confidence vote, backed his political colleague, stating: "The idea the government has some list and telling the ABC who should work there is complete rubbish."

He furthermore claimed that the ABC "isn't perfect" and when they get things they wrong they need to be "called out".

A little later, the PM tweeted: “ABC Board and Chairman have made the right call. Time for the ABC to resume normal transmission, both independently and without bias. That is what Australia’s taxpayers pay for and deserve.”


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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 38104 2018-09-27 : 14:01

They are more effective with journalist hit lists in mexico.

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