By Spencer D Gear
Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales
ABC Ultimo Centre
700 Harris Street
Ultimo 2007, SydneyBroadcast area: Australia
If you want to see the mass media bias against Christians, watch what secular journalists do to a politician who is an evangelical Christian operating from a biblical worldview in his or her policies. That’s what I saw on Thursday, 16 April 2015 in the Australian ABC TV programme, 7.30. See, ‘Fred Nile: Controversial Christian Democrat MP poised to hold balance of power in New South Wales parliament’.
Here the ABC proceeded to expose Fred Nile MP (Upper House, New South Wales parliament), who is ‘renowned for campaigning on social issues. He opposes gay marriage, gay adoption, Islamic face coverings, and wants limits on halal food in Australian supermarkets’. The ABC’s bagging of him continued, ‘But despite his long history of activism, he does not understand why some people call him controversial’.
Fred’s response was:
“It always surprises me, because I’m the most non-controversial person you could get,” he said.
“Everything I believe is just so – in my opinion – mainstream and ordinary.
“The only controversy comes because there are groups of people who oppose what I’m saying.”
Then 7.30 proceeded to expose Nile’s approach to Muslim immigration:
Rev Nile once called for a halt to Muslim immigration, and now he fears that a larger Islamic community will try to impose sharia law.
“There are some dangers that Australians should appreciate,” he said.
“Once [the Muslim population] gets to 5 per cent or 10 per cent, it’s not that the Australians change [but] the Muslims change and become more militant and more demanding.”
The opponents on ABC TV
So who does the ABC call on to oppose Fred Nile?
Islamic Friendship Association Spokesman Keysar Trad condemned Mr Nile’s statement.
“I’m very disappointed with Fred Nile’s contribution to New South Wales,” he said.
“As a man of God, as a Reverend, you’d expect him to be inclusive, you’d expect him to reach out with love and compassion and peace towards others.
“But what we’ve seen from him over the last couple of decades is vitriol, divisiveness and fear mongering about Islam and Muslims.”
Then there was Greens MP, John Kaye, who spruiked his opposition to Nile’s policies:
“Fred has always been the pilot fish of the lunar Right,” Greens MP John Kaye said.
“When homophobia was the cause of the day, Fred was right there as their man in parliament.
“Now it’s hatred of Muslims, and fear of Muslims, whether it’s mosques or halal food, Fred is their voice in parliament.”
Mr Kaye said he expected Rev Nile to vote with the Government on most issues.
“He is the Government’s patsy,” he said.
Enter illogical thinking
By calling Fred Nile ‘the pilot fish of the lunar Right’, John Kaye is using an ad hominem logical fallacy to put down Nile. What is a logical fallacy? It is illogic in action. But the journalist who did the interviewing of John Kaye did not call him for using such fallacious reasoning. If he called him to task, he could have said something like, ‘Why are you labelling Fred Nile’s character and actions when you should be dealing with the truth or falsity of his claims about homosexuality, Muslim immigration, halal food and mosques? That’s false reasoning that you are using’. Hearing that from an ABC journalist would send this viewer into an unnatural tizzy fit. The ABC, based on my past listening and viewing, is not in the habit of giving favourable coverage to Christians who are engaged in the public culture.
Does this contemporary journalist not have the common sense to know what John Kaye did in that kind of response? Kaye did not deal with the issues Nile is raising and their impact on Australian society.
The supporters on ABC TV?
Who would you think that ABC TV’s 7.30 would bring in support of Fred Nile so that there would be ‘balance’ in the programme? Outside of his wife, there was
The ABC receives approximately $6.61 billion (over 5 years) in Australian government funding to run its broadcast operations. There are many Christians who live in Australia, so who would any journalist worth his salt choose to engage positively with Fred Nile’s views? There was not a single person. So, I sent
This is the online bellyache I had against the ABC and its bias:
I’ve just watched your 7.30 programme featuring Fred Nile and his wife in which you proceed to bag Fred Nile for the things he stands for. This was a classic example of ABC bigotry towards this Christian parliamentarian. Who did you choose to oppose him? A Greens MP who proceeded to slam him for what he wants to do about Islamic migration and Fred’s support for the James Packer casino.
If the ABC was to present a balanced programme I’d just about have a heart attack. For every one who opposed Fred on 7.30, you should be presenting one in favour of Fred’s views. That would at least be fair. But Leigh Sales had only the bag in hand to bash Fred Nile’s views.
I’m tired of the bigotry that the ABC presents against those who don’t support the ABC’s agenda. If you did to a Muslim, what you did to Fred, you’d have a Jihad on your hands. But you think that it’s perfectly OK to bash Fred Nile, a Christian, while you receive $2 billion in funding from the Federal Govt. It’s time that the ABC learned what fairness and justice are about.
You slammed Fred Nile with your dose of injustice. What will 7.30 do to change its approach to people who have views with which it disagrees?
P.S. I don’t live in NSW so I can’t vote for Fred Nile but as a Christian, I found what you did to be utterly offensive.
I omitted to mention that one other opponent was featured on 7.30, Islamic Friendship Association Spokesman, Keysar Trad.
The ABC’s reply
How do you think that ABC would reply to what I emailed to them? Well, I’m not allowed to tell you. But I can say, from my perspective, it was not favourable towards the content of my complaint to it about Fred Nile’s views.
But it did make sure that I couldn’t tell you exactly what it said, by making this claim at the end of the email received from a person at ABC’s ‘Audience and Consumer Affairs’ on 20 April 2015. It stated:
The information contained in this email and any attachment is confidential and may contain legally privileged or copyright material. It is intended only for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are not permitted to disseminate, distribute or copy this email or any attachments. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email from your system. The ABC does not represent or warrant that this transmission is secure or virus free. Before opening any attachment you should check for viruses. The ABC’s liability is limited to resupplying any email and attachments.
I can’t even give you my response to this reply because I included some quotes from the ABCs reply.
The overall emphasis of the 7.30 story on Fred Nile was to paint this politician who could hold the balance of power as an extremist who doesn’t represent what the Greens MP or the Islamic association promotes.
There’s a lesson here for all Christians who want to engage in public issues through cultural apologetics. Be prepared for antagonistic bashing from mass media journalists and their producers.
New South Wales Legislative Council (55th Parliament)
Upper house (since 1856) of the Parliament of New South Wales
 I sent this via an online complaints form to the ABC on Thursday, 16 April 2015, and at my request I received a copy of my complaint by email reply. I await a response from the ABC, but I’m not holding my breath expecting them to do anything by way of change of editorial policy. However, they need to hear my protests and reasons for it.
 Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, on his website stated, ‘the Government’s continued investment in national broadcasting of more than $6.61 billion over the same five year period’ (FAQs on ABC and SBS, 19 December 2014, Malcolm Turnbull MP).
Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.