Flat White

Milligan’s Island

1 November 2021

1:30 PM

1 November 2021

1:30 PM

Just sit right back and hear a tale 

A tale of a fateful trip

That started from this tropic port

Aboard this tiny ship.

Remember Gilligan’s Island’, that old TV series from the sixties? 

A bunch of people on a boat ride are marooned after a storm, on an isolated but not unpleasant island.

Here’s an update — not a party of marooned day trippers but federal public servants who happen to work at the ABC who have somehow convinced both themselves and ordinary Australians that they are above normal public service rules on probity, constraints and fairness to the public they serve.

An ABC journalist tweeted, on her private account, a libellous tweet about a serving parliamentarian. The subject of the Tweet sued the journalist personally but her employer, the national broadcaster chose to cover her legal costs. Before a parliamentary committee, ABC’s Chairman defended his decision to pay the journalist’s legal costs and pass them onto taxpayers. The plot thickens every minute

The ABC’s Ultimo headquarters is a secure island of seemingly elite privilege, rearing up above a cosy corner of inner-city Sydney, just around the corner from the always mixed bustle of Broadway, next to the yum cha palaces of Chinatown and five minutes walk from Central Station.

A media job with the ABC is, as the Chinese say, an iron rice bowl: a guaranteed salary for the rest of your life and a generous defined benefits pension when you retire. Or, you might like to consider a run in politics — at least people have heard of you.Or write a book. The ABC will ensure you get appropriate publicity interviews.

Even if you indulge in defamatory tweets.

So the updated lyrics of old ‘Gilligan’s Island’ might go like this.

The ABC has set its course

With a full packed load on board

With Chairman Dave and Ita both

With Probes and Speers and PK too

All on Milligan’s Isle.

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