Senior Liberal minister Mathias Cormann was interviewed on ABC TV this morning, and was asked about Tim Fischer’s criticism of ideologues in the Coalition who constantly criticise the ABC.
Just to recap, former Nationals leader Tim Fischer on Monday said regional Australia “would be Siberia without the ABC” and “perhaps the ideological warriors should tone it down a bit.”
“[They] should listen to all that the ABC, for its dynamic professionalism, is offering. I salute the ABC,” he said.
“I could not live in and around Albury-Wodonga, Yackandandah, but for the ABC.”
Cormann was asked about Fischer’s comments on Tuesday, and he said he had never criticised the ABC.
“I agree that the ABC has a very important role and responsibility in the public interest,” he said.
“You will find that personally I’ve never, ever criticised the ABC. I love the ABC, I appear on ABC outlets on a regular basis and I respect that you have journalists there doing their hardest work.
“From time to time to ABC or other media outlets can be having questions raised against them. Personally I don’t believe I’ve queried an ABC story myself, I’ve queried stories with other journalists in private sector outlets.
“So there’s nothing wrong with having a conversation about a report being accurate or not, but in the broad the ABC is an important organisation and we recognise it as such.”