ABC boss David Anderson defends Laura Tingle’s writers’ festival comments

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ABC chief executive David Anderson has defended comments made by the network’s chief political correspondent for the 7.30 programme, Laura Tingle, after she openly criticized opposition leader Peter Dutton’s budget response speech.

At a panel at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Saturday, Tingle expressed disapproval of Dutton’s speech, claiming she couldn’t remember a time when a political leader had said “everything that’s going wrong in this country is because of migrants”. .

Ms Tingle also called Australia “a racist country”.

The comments fueled accusations of bias at the national broadcaster, with Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce accusing the ABC of being “crazy left-wing”.

In his opening statement before Senate estimates, Anderson preemptively defended Ms. Tingle’s comments.

“Laura Tingle is among the country’s most respected and admired journalists and political commentators reporting across broadcast and print platforms… and has been characterized as forthright, honest and accurate,” he said.

“The problem was that public comments at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival did not provide the relevant context and explanation to support his analysis of the opposition’s post-budget policy position on immigration.”

Faced with a barrage of questions from Victorian Liberal senator Sarah Henderson about whether the comments breached editorial standards, Anderson said they would not meet them if they were made on an ABC platform.

“I think Ms. Tingle expressed regret for these comments. The way they were summarized and truncated,” Anderson said.

“I think so and I agree with you that it was a mistake.”

Asked whether Ms Tingle should leave the ABC, Mr Anderson said no.

“I don’t think Laura Tingle should leave the ABC, again, I think what needs to be said is that it was an impromptu conversation at the Sydney Writers Festival, she regretted not providing context,” Anderson said. .

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Read related topics:Peter Dutton

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