Cheap Influence in National Politics: How Panasonic buy time on our public broadcaster

Tim Blair broke the story of Tim Flannery claiming to be working for Panasonic. (But wait, I hear you say, how could that be, we thought he was working for the Australian people?!)

If you are a foreign multinational and you want to influence national Australian policies, you don’t need to spend much. Prime time advertising in Australia is as cheap as chips, but it only works on politically correct topics where our national broadcaster (the ABC) will give you a free pass. When it comes to climate change, ABC adverts don’t interrupt the program, they are the program.

Flannery has been on ABC’s Q&A five times, ABC’s Lateline three times [1,2,3,], the ABC’s 7.30 report, ABC breakfast, ABC Latenight live, something on the ABC called Conversations, and too many radio spots to mention. When people question whether Tim Flannery ought be proud of promoting an electronics giant at the same time as he is paid for government funded work … the ABC comes out defending him, and their no-hard-questions approach to promoting what he promotes.

It’s not that someone of his notoriety shouldn’t be getting ABC airtime, it’s that he gets away with failed predictions, half truths, and is […]