Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Big Ideas, Big Gag

UPDATE: As of this morning, 22 comments have been permitted.

ON RADIO NATIONAL's Big Ideas this evening, straight man Paul Barclay interrupted his flow of hit-em-for-six slow balls to Anita Heiss midway through the show. It was both the standard pause for station identification and a moment for Barclay to solicit listener comments for his show's ABC web page. Here are his exact words:
To express your views head to our website ... we welcome your views on all Big Ideas programmes, but a reminder: please be civil and refrain from offensive comments. Difference of opinion is fine. Abuse is not.
So far, some three hours after the broadcast's conclusion, not one comment has been posted. From this absence we can conclude one of two things.

1/ Radio National listeners are ordure-flinging trolls, none of whose comments are deemed worthy of seeing the light of day.


2/ Anita Heiss is a protected species who must be kept safe from exposure to criticism of all kinds, even if this means suppressing remarks by even her most ardent admirers.


  1. 3.30am Just checked in to the ABC link. Still no comments. I posted one also

    "Just wondering why there are no comments here?

    Is it because of the controversial nature of the book, it's title and the author?

    Am I Black Enough For you?

    What can I say? Is this a rhetorical question or is the writer trying to be confrontational?"

  2. Or 3. No one listens to Radio National. Wonder why?

    1. And another thing, the Australian Liberal Party seem to have gone into hibernation! I seem to have missed something, because I had always mistakenly believed that we had legislation in place to make the behaviour of the ABC clearly illegal! I must've confused here with somewhere like Iran?

  3. Or possibly:

    '3/ As per usual, no one was listening'?

    Only on the ABC could Heiss' rubbish be considered a 'Big Idea'. Well, maybe also at Fairfax (By the way, those circulation figures that you posted for the Age yesterday were chilling. It's just a matter of time now).

  4. Very sad. I made what I thought was a well reasoned even gentle point about a negative answer would drag one into court. Not there....sigh.

  5. Dearest Dingo
    It's likely that the last request (referring to abuse) was ignored. There are some who can't/won't read or listen.

    1. You abuse the owner of the blog to write that?
      Who says the left doesn't do irony?

    2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.April 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      How about critique, Numbers? It seems that is what is really going to be missing. Fair (oops) critique is not abuse.

    3. Obviously different rules apply depending on opinions held. Apparently I'm not allowed to assign a tag to the host, but it's OK for my tag to be changed at will.
      Fair critique is not abuse, but unfortunately many posting, blinded by bigotry, can't distinguish one from the other.

    4. But, Robert, you change your monicker at will. Aren't you Bob 7 amongst others?

      Methinks you do protest too much.

  6. My comment is not there either. Nothing racist about it. Maybe they'll put them all up later today. It's hard work moderating comments at the ABC. There are endless phone calls and coffee breaks to sort out. A lot of people there don't know how to work computers so moderation is a specialized art.

  7. I just congratulated them for standing up against the racist hegemony in Australia - LOL - wonder whether that will get through?

    Mick from Melbourne

  8. Seems we are good enough to pay Their ABC's bills but lack the required ideology to comment.

    PM Abbott can't be allowed to do a Howard on the ABC, ie. fold, could you bear it?

  9. Tried to comment but it would not accept it.
    Maybe Bromberg is their moderator? Or her media adviser since he is fond of advising writers on how to express their views?

  10. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.April 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I listened with half an ear to this 'interview', while busy doing something else far more productive: viz. the ironing, most useful for letting off the steam induced by this piece of softball.

    Anita Heiss shows herself to be a motor mouth of extreme proportions, and somewhat hysterical in her presentation, as well as completely self-serving in her views. But no doubt some luvvie comments will be organised in good time today. Not to do so would be very racist, as Ms. Heiss (awarded an unstated in this interview $90K to assist her independent work) is obviously too disadvantaged to deal honestly with even the carefully expressed critiques of her positional stance that emerge naturally from the unintended irony of her claims.

    Meanwhile, as I await the comments, I will keep on doing the ironying.

  11. The thought police took over the moderating and deemed all comments too hard for the sensitive author to accept.

  12. There are comments on the site now, even some critical of the book

  13. ABC have finally figured out how to moderate the comments. THirteen up on their site at the moment.

    Mine must have been accidentally deleted by the bumbling ABC moderator.

    But this one was good to go from a fawning admirer:

    "Thank GOD for ANITA HEISS. A gutsy true woman prepared to stand up for what is right for ALL Australians."

    Good old ABC moderating free speech away...

  14. My comment hasn't appeared yet is it racial vilification ?
    "By your mother's own published statements you are of racially mixed parentage. There are many people of full Aboriginal background who have suffered far greater disadvantage than you who may be more deserving of the perks you gain from personal racial identification.
    Using an unjust law to silence a valid question for the Australian community to discuss is cowardly."

  15. Quite a few comments there now. Almost all of them are consistent with the comments taken down from the Random House site and the ABC site, and with the comments on the Amazon site i.e. "Couldn't care less about how she identifies, really care that she uses the legal system to silence anyne who disagrees with her."