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Terrific editorial from The Australian on Laura Tingle's Labor/Left partisanship @TheirABC

Screenshot 2024-05-27 at 10.24.20

Screenshot 2024-05-27 at 10.24.20

ABC chair Kim Williams has his work cut out. Two months ago, he warned journalists that activism was not welcome at the taxpayer-funded broadcaster and said if reporters failed to observe impartiality they should leave.

If he is to make an impression on the national broadcaster, he needs to address the political positions taken by Laura Tingle, chief political correspondent for 7.30 and the staff-elected director on the ABC board, which Mr Williams chairs.

Tingle’s self-described “little rant” to the Sydney Writers Festival on Sunday revealed attitudes that are incompatible with the positions she holds, including loathing for the country the ABC is funded to serve: “We are a racist country, let’s face it, we always have been and it’s very depressing.”

It was a “terrible prospect” for the next election, she claimed.

It is not depressing because it is not true. No society, including ours, is perfect but Australia is one of the world’s most open, harmonious, multicultural societies, in which migrants have thrived.

Many media outlets, including this newspaper, have criticised Peter Dutton’s policy to cut the permanent immigration intake by 25 per cent to fix housing, for its likely negative impacts on workforce skills and the economy.

Tingle is entitled to critique it but her irrational, illogical claim that the Opposition Leader had given aspiring homeowners the green light to abuse others when they’re on the hunt for a house to rent or buy was incompatible with impartiality.

Watching Mr Dutton’s budget reply speech, Tingle said, she felt a “terrible chill”. She had “this sudden flash of people turning up to try and rent a property or at an auction and they look a bit different – whatever you define different as – that basically he (Mr Dutton) has given them licence to be abused and in any circumstance where people feel like they’re missing out”.

In contrast, Tingle’s praise of the Albanese government was sweeping and hollow.

“It’s not just about whether they got rid of Scott Morrison, they are actually trying to govern, they are trying to run a government, they are actually trying to do policy,” she said. A government trying to govern and “do policy’’? That is its job.

As Mr Williams says, the ABC is a publicly funded, accountable organisation that should be fair-minded. He is correct.

Tingle’s performance has given him and ABC managing director and editor-in-chief David Anderson a challenge.

Anthony Albanese has no need to hire her, as he did former Guardian journalist Katharine Murphy. Tingle already spins for Labor, courtesy of the taxpayer.