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“For christ’s sake stop making fun of christians” pleads Eric Abetz

October 19, 2015

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Liberal senator Eric Abetz has ­unleashed an attack on the Canberra press gallery, arguing it is hostile to conservative, christian politicians while giving favourable treatment to left-leaning or Muslim MPs.

Senator Abetz said the media had treated him and his conservative colleagues, in particular former prime minister Tony Abbott, “unfairly”.

He said the media felt comfortable vilifying politicians like Mr Abbott because of their christian faith, but would never dare speak the same way about people of other religions.

“Journalists will need to ­explain why they do this, but it is very clear that if somebody swears their oath on the koran, this is a wonderful expression of diversity and to be encouraged, whereas if you swear your oath on the bible then you’re an old fart and not to be taken seriously.

“Well, excuse me, what’s the difference?” he said.

“There is a special negative-sentiment override for those that profess the christian faith.”

Senator Abetz referenced a ­description of Mr Abbott as the “mad monk” that often appeared in the media.

“Just imagine making fun of somebody else’s religion of a different nature, as in if you are a Muslim, Buddhist or a Hindu,” he said.

“There is the double standard that you can basically vilify anyone from the christian side of the tracks but don’t you dare touch anyone else.”

Senator Abetz, an employment minister under Mr Abbott who was dropped from cabinet by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said Australian political reporters did not give fair treatment to conservative policies, such as stopping the boats, scrapping the carbon tax and opposing gay marriage, often mocking the conservative point of view.

He indicated that compared with other prime ministers, the media had treated Mr Abbott and John Howard far more harshly.

“The public can make up their own mind as to the coverage and treatment by the media of John Howard and Tony Abbott as prime ministers in comparison to others,” he said.

Members of the Canberra gallery gave more positive coverage to politicians and policies they agreed with, Senator Abetz said, arguing that journalists hardly ever referred to the far Left or the extreme Left when discussing the Greens or the Labor Party, but frequently referred to him, Cory Bernardi and other conservative politicians as being from the far, extreme or religious Right.

“I’ve been referred to as from the ­religious Right a number of times in the media and when I’ve thrown out the challenge, when are you going to report on the godless Left? The answer is never,” he said.

The ABC was one of the worst offenders, he said, providing coverage that was markedly different for the politicians it supported.

“I’m terribly loyal to my new leader but you might comment on the flirtatious approach of Leigh Sales when she interviewed Turnbull. Just ask yourself the question, did Leigh Sales ever apologise for interrupting Tony Abbott?” he said.

“If you’re a conservative, you’re fair game to be interrupted.”

Senator Abetz said that when ABC host Tony Jones interviewed Joe Hockey onLateline, he interrupted him 33 times. However, when he had Wayne Swan on the previous evening, there was barely an interruption.

“Then they say Joe Hockey is unable to sell the message. Well, with 33 interruptions in one interview, one might understand why it is difficult to sell the message,” he said.

Senator Abetz found the “groupthink” of political journalists had worsened since he entered federal parliament in 1994. And it was to the detriment of democracy, he said.

“If you promote conservative policies, you are immediately demonised and conservative policies are demonised,” he said.

“If you have a christian, conservative point of view to offer, the media will have this negative-sentiment override which will simply be critical of any views that you may seek to express and that has, regrettably, been the case now for many years in the media gallery.”

The result, Senator Abetz said, was that some politicians were too intimidated to admit they agreed with conservative policies.

“Parliamentarians are intimidated from stating their point of view because they know, no matter how sensibly they present it, it will somehow be misrepresented or a negative picture, negative commentary will be presented,” he said.

“I think the groupthink of the media gallery has got worse as the years have gone by and the concept of a diverse range of opinions or interpretations is now lacking.”

When asked if journalists were reflecting the view of their audience, particularly when it came to issues such as gay marriage, Senator Abetz said he did not subscribe to the view that conservative christian values were unpopular with the public.

He said they were unpopular with the media, which was unrepresentative of the Australian people.

“If you go to the footy, you’re a man or woman of the people, but if you go to church, what a strange individual you are. Yet around Australia, as I understand it, a lot more people go to church on a Sunday than go to football on a Saturday.”

Senator Abetz said the press gallery tended to report on issues in the same way.

“The genuine diversity of ­reporting just does not seem to be there as one would have hoped it might,” he said.

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57 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 9:36 am

    lol, abetz does a “hate media”, but is apparently unable to read

    arguing that journalists hardly ever referred to the far Left or the extreme Left when discussing the Greens or the Labor Party

    Yea, hardly ever (unless you are part of the countries most pervasive media outlet that is) 😉

  2. October 19, 2015 10:13 am

    Abetz reminds us – “christians are the most persecuted group in the world”

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/08/christian-refugees-from-middle-east-should-be-given-priority-says-eric-abetz

  3. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 10:14 am

    Will Labor try and link turnbull directly to this, or just let it sit in the background? I would guess just let the Cayman’s fester there, and keep highlighting the loopholes

    Labor says it will support the Turnbull government’s new laws cracking down on multinational corporations, even though they “fail to address” the practice of companies loading debt into Australia to artificially inflate their tax deductions, according to shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh.
    ………….

    The bill imposes stronger penalties on large companies that engage in tax avoidance and profit shifting, and introduces country-by-country reporting to give tax authorities greater visibility of multinationals’ tax structures.

    ……….
    “The [Coalition’s] bill fails to address the practice of companies loading debt into Australia to artificially inflate their tax deductions,” Dr Leigh will say.

    “Even as the government is cracking down on GST compliance for small businesses, they are turning a blind eye to how some of the world’s biggest firms are abusing deductions.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-to-support-turnbull-governments-multinational-tax-laws-20151018-gkc09r#ixzz3oxpU7hfI
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

    Will the “mate media” draw the comparison? I can’t see how, after their vociferous defense of the practices of turnbull last week.

    And the big question the matemedia should be asking, specifically, what are the rules for the Caymans, and how effective can they be?

  4. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 10:15 am

    christians are the most persecuted group in the world

    So, yabot and his flags were just trying to bring balance back to the persecution ledger? How nice.

  5. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2015 10:24 am

    Boo-hoo Abetz …

  6. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 10:40 am

  7. October 19, 2015 10:45 am

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  8. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:14 am

    And these spoilt shits want to hit the lowest paid so they can pay for their temper tantrums?

    what sort of table?

  9. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:24 am

    Shorten is finished if The Age is taking these unfounded rumours from a biased royal commission seriously!

    Bill Shorten should offer the Australian people a full explanation of his conduct as a union leader if he wants to have the credibility and standing to be our next prime minister. As it now stands, his conduct, ethics and character are under serious question from some of the deals that were made by the Australian Workers Union when he ran it.
    In particular, Mr Shorten must detail his knowledge of and involvement in a deal that resulted in $300,000 being paid to the AWU by Thiess John Holland in the mid- 2000s. The payments were part of a secretive “side-deal” on the EastLink road project

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/mr-shorten-owes-the-nation-an-explanation-20151016-gkbbau.html#ixzz3oy7OIzcS
    —————
    I had the privilege of sitting next to Abetz at a dinner once. It was a unique eqperience.

  10. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:25 am

    experience

    (I’m not going to allow any of those grammar and spelling police critique my comments!)

  11. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:32 am

    Mr Shorten has denied any knowledge of the issuing of bogus invoices.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/mr-shorten-owes-the-nation-an-explanation-20151016-gkbbau.html#ixzz3oy94aoyL
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

    ffs yomm, when will you (and fairfax) admit that the ” bogus invoices” were dis-proven in last weeks turc? Yet you, and they, continue to run the smear.

    and he has now been contradicted by the documentary records of company executives.

    And their testimony was contradicted by the cross examination of the Unions lawyer. There is NO evidence of “bogus invoices”, just claims that were exposed to be made without any knowledge.

    https://theguttertrash.com/2015/10/06/the-tpp-if-its-so-good-why-is-it-so-secret/#comment-116952

    So, I’ll ask again, show us PROOF, or keep spouting biased leaks from a biased RC to a biased newspaper.

  12. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:42 am

    Don’t we recall the glee with which farfax and the other matesmedia broadcast the initial arrest. ……Will there be crickets now?

  13. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:44 am

  14. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 11:53 am

    But when the bible is sworn on, is it on a marble table?

    #tablegate has been born

    Labor’s Penny Wong is now back into the fate of the marble table. The evidence being given now suggests Parliament House cleaners first discovered remnants of a marble table in the PMO. Officials then sought access to the prime ministerial suite. We believe there had been a table damaged but we had no access to the area, the Department of Parliamentary Services official tells the committee. We were not allowed access until the Friday.

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2015/oct/19/poll-bounce-for-malcolm-turnbull-and-the-coalition-politics-live?CMP=share_btn_tw#block-56243ccce4b01867c5abf078

  15. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:01 pm

    experience
    (I’m not going to allow any of those grammar and spelling police critique my comments!)

    Just proudly leave it out there tomM, no corrections necessary, how else would we know that you’re a fallible human? [I’m resisting a strong urge to type a TBesque ‘your” ] 😆

  16. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:03 pm

    But yor not gonna sink that low are ya ao 😉

  17. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:10 pm

    We need more morals in our Country to fight the terrosists

    Yep, if you aren’t a believer then you have no morals … apparently …

    … hang on, don’t the Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the same dog?

    And I can’t remember an atheist or agnostic terrorist or war for that matter …

  18. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:13 pm

    And I can’t remember an atheist or agnostic terrorist or war for that matter …

    Victims of the Mongols carnage might disagree TB 😉

  19. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:16 pm

    It was a unique eqperience.

    Clever, ToM … judging by that last word it sure was!

    BTW, I see you’re getting the hang of it now … unfounded rumours from a biased royal commission

    Bill Shorten should offer the Australian people a full explanation of his conduct as a union leader if he wants to have the credibility and standing to be our next prime minister.

    WTF does that mean … its like the old chestnut … “when did you stop beating your wife”?

  20. October 19, 2015 12:20 pm

    I heard a funny one the other day…

    Atheism is a belief system like not moving is a dance.

    🙂

  21. October 19, 2015 12:25 pm

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  22. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:40 pm

    Atheism is a belief system like not moving is a dance.

    That’s very deep … and meaningless, Jummy!

    … sound like sb or Wally!

    Actually people think I have an issue with the faithful but that’s not true … what pisses me off is the hypocrisy …

    Take the Ten Commandments … fairly simple stuff really … but as we know … and have experienced …

  23. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 12:45 pm

  24. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2015 1:10 pm

    How much was that worth?

    Who’s paying?

    Oh, Milkum’s got a few bucks stashed away … 😉

  25. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 1:20 pm

    How much was that worth?

    But the million dollar question, was the marble table a victim of yabot finishing off his last Commandment to “break”?

  26. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 1:31 pm

  27. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 1:38 pm

  28. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 19, 2015 1:57 pm

    [I’m resisting a strong urge to type a TBesque ‘your” ]

    Your just teasing TB!

  29. October 19, 2015 2:04 pm

    For YoM… 🙂

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  30. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 19, 2015 2:52 pm

    Great about Lomax.

    I recall that Mick Gatto wasn’t convicted of shooting some guy to death a while ago, but for some reason people think he’s a little shady.

  31. Tom R permalink
    October 19, 2015 2:58 pm

    I recall that Mick Gatto wasn’t convicted of shooting some guy

    It’s true

    I have some very good friends who haven’t been convicted of shooting anyone or anything.

    Lock ’em up I say!

  32. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 2:58 pm

  33. October 19, 2015 5:01 pm

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  34. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 5:54 pm

  35. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 6:17 pm

  36. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 19, 2015 6:24 pm

  37. October 20, 2015 1:43 am

    BooHooBolt, took the bait…

    “Boo-hoo Abetz …”

  38. October 20, 2015 1:51 am

    “Atheism is a belief system like not moving is a dance.
    :)”

    …or, my favourite…”…like not stamp collecting is a hobby”.

  39. October 20, 2015 1:56 am

    not stamp collecting = default

    * for the AtheistsmIsReligiousToo irrational apologists…

  40. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 8:09 am

    Even after he’s gone, yabot still supplies the Cartoonist with the best possible material. The imagery is just too perfect. What better to illustrate what damage he and his grubmint (now turnbulls grubmint) has done with their time in office. Nothing but Trash the Joint!

    http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/city/antiques/1980-s-italian-marble-table-slightly-damaged-/1092555569

  41. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 8:12 am

    lol, get it, “still on the table” ROFL

  42. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 8:55 am

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has singled out his support for public transport infrastructure when challenged to name one difference between his administration and that of his predecessor Tony Abbott.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/question-time-yes-one-thing-has-changed-since-i-became-prime-minister-says-malcolm-turnbull-20151019-gkcp9m.html#ixzz3p3MvBh8W
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

    Unfortunately, the reality doesn’t back up that claim

    The Turnbull government has raised the possibility of two rail services to an airport at Badgerys Creek – including an express train to a transport hub in western Sydney – but continues to insist the airport does not need a working rail link when it is opened in a decade.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/turnbull-government-leaves-door-open-to-badgerys-creek-rail-link-20151019-gkcnrs.html#ixzz3p3N96W8D
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  43. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:00 am

    “The only place that is a crime is in tin pot third world dictatorships”

  44. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:02 am

    Brisbane has a dedicated rail link to both Domestic and International Airports …

    Atlanta, Georgia has a light rail WITHIN the terminal …

    And if Turncoat can only “discuss” public transport (a state responsibility BTW) then nothing has changed … how many weeks is it now … ?

    Whose running the country?

    Hypocrites all …

    Nothing is new; and …

    Nothing has changed …

  45. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:03 am

    “The only place that is a crime is in tin pot third world dictatorships”

    Well guess what … the nasty looking one has gone … now we’ve got the smiley one …

    Nothing has changed …

  46. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:04 am

    lol

  47. Tom R permalink
    October 20, 2015 10:07 am

    Nothing has changed …

    Does that mean we are now just a silver pot third world dictatorship? 😉

  48. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2015 9:24 am

    The court heard that when police arrived they overheard Mr Maybir say to James “he’s in a better place, he’s with Jesus now”.

    Mr Maybir also allegedly told her “you didn’t know Jesus until you met me, that was the only way I could help you”.

    They really are frightening bastards … the poor little bugger was already in the better place … until Maybir turned up …

    Better fkn place my arse … I know what I’d be doing with the cowardly prick …

  49. October 21, 2015 9:43 am

    BTW did anyone watch the pokies documentary on ABC last night?

    It was one of the best documentaries I’ve seen this year. Mind you it is a pet topic of mine.

    There were no surprises in the revelation that pokies use subliminal rewards in the form of lights and sounds to engross the player, but the level of sophistication that goes on behind the scenes in terms of the musical composition and psychology at play was fascinating.

    The interviews with those who are responsible for creating the the sounds and “musical” reward tunes were also really interesting.

    I was surprised at the level of honesty from those who were interviewed with some quite clearly uncomfortable in the knowledge that the work they get paid for goes on to separate ordinary people from their money.

    Definitely worth catching up on iview if you missed it.

  50. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2015 9:46 am

    Thanks, sreb, will do … entertaining the rellies for the next two days but I’ll catch up on the weekend … they’ll be in Wally country!

  51. October 21, 2015 9:51 am

    It’s good to see TB getting out and about even though he’s not as mobile as he once was…

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  52. October 21, 2015 9:53 am

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  53. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2015 10:32 am

    It’s good to see TB getting out and about even though he’s not as mobile as he once was…

    The more observant will note that I can no longer afford weed and a razor!

    BTW, sreb, I thought you were still stoned when you took that!

  54. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2015 10:34 am

    Joe Hockey confirms that as soon as he has been appointed US ambassador the ‘Age of Entitlement’ will well and truly have ended

    Maybe Joe was at the table top marble smash party … he was the elephant in the room?

    I guess as the US ambassador (that’s fkn frightening) he won’t have to worry about bills (‘scuse the pun) anymore …

  55. October 21, 2015 3:02 pm

    blib-tweet”””RT & spread the word.@TurnbullMalcolm said the Gov’s policies remain the same.

    Changing leaders has changed nothing”””

    #(except the outcome of a popularity contest)

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