#GamerGate: ABC Producer Tells Senator To STFU Regarding Investigation


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was caught in an alleged lie regarding their coverage of #GamerGate. They told the ACMA that there were no interviews on hand to offer a counter perspective to the slanted news story they ran on #GamerGate, even though it turns out that they did have interviews on hand offering a counter perspective. One of Australia’s Senators has been investigating the ABC recently after charges of journalistic impropriety were brought to his attention, and ABC producer Tom Greenard said that the Senator could “STFU”. For those not in the know, it’s an acronym that means “Shut The F**k up”.

Recently, a member of the Liberal Party in Queensland, Australia reached out to inform me that the situation regarding the ABC and their slanted coverage of #GamerGate has escalated quite quickly. In fact, he reached out to various important figures in Australia’s political community, one of which included Queensland Senator James McGrath. When informed about the ABC’s alleged lie to the ACMA regarding covering up their position to run a slanted piece on #GamerGate, McGrath responded saying…

“Thank you for that piece of information. I am investigating the matter and if appropriate will question the ABC on it at the next Senate Estimates.”

The ACMA was also notified about the ABC’s attempt to absolve themselves of any blame by claiming that they had no interviews on hand to provide a balanced view of #GamerGate, even though they did. One of the media representatives for the ACMA simply stated that they would “look into it”. Two other media officers of the ACMA were also informed about the situation.

Nevertheless, James McGrath has been investigating separate issues regarding the ABC and charges leveled at the corporation for running slanted news stories. However, his attempts to get the ABC to straighten up recently led ABC producer Tom Greenard to post a message on Facebook saying…

“I have just one feeling. The Senator should STFU”

Earlier today, James McGrath posted the following message publicly on Facebook, saying…

“The issue is not the language but the mindset of the ABC. Sadly sections of the ABC see themselves beyond reproach or question and diminish those who ask questions of a $1.1 billion dollar taxpayer funded entity.

 

“The producer’s comment is is merely the latest example of why a much-loved icon is turning into a rampant leftist quagmire. Whether it is appointing Ray Martin, a Q&A apologist as an independent reviewer or a taxpayer-funded producer shutting down debate, the ABC needs to take a good hard look at itself.

 

“I have written to Mark Scott asking a series of questions about breaches of the ABC’s social media policy. I shall keep you informed of the response.”

#GamerGate is now part of a series of slanted news stories and misappropriated uses of information from a national broadcasting platform at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The original ABC 7:30 segment can be viewed below, where they spend a good deal talking to the Good Game crew getting their take on #GamerGate. Monique Schafter was also in talks with another individual identified as “pro-GamerGate” feeding her information on the corruption angle, where she revealed to them that she would attempt to get the bottom of the story. However, the segment was a one-sided hit-piece.

Slanted #GamerGate coverage from ABC Australia. November 2014

Uploaded by whenindoubtdo on 2015-07-08.

One of the ABC’s Good Game producer, Ben Shackleford, defended the position of the broadcasting corporation, saying on Twitter

“For no reason other than time and relevance. Not everything is about us trying to take sides or corruption. We did some interviews regarding GamerGate but didn’t end up running a story as we felt there wasn’t really one.

 

“It’s nothing personal and no conspiracy; it’s just the way television works. Not everything makes it to air. You have to understand the size of ABC and how things work. There were multiple crews there filming for different..reasons and for different purposes. We don’t all talk to each other all of the time. And no one interviewed clearly said “I support GamerGate for these reasons…”

 

“I’ve emailed you back mate if you want more info or want to take this further but honestly there really isn’t a story here.

According to the ACMA report, it was stated…

“The ABC submitted that the reporter approached over 30 individuals for comment at the PAX Convention and was unable ‘to find a counter perspective’, and that the reporter had explored ‘a mixture of views online’. It was also submitted that ‘some journalists and developers were reluctant to go on camera out of fear of being targeted online’.”

As Ben Shackleford noted, they did have interviews on hand and the Good Game crew obviously participated in the 7:30 segment, but any “counter perspective” was chosen not to air.

According to Senator James McGrath, it also appears there is a story here. In fact, on July 9th, 2015 Senator James McGrath had the following letter sent to the ABC regarding their behavior and the viewers’ charge that the broadcasting corporation is on a very tilted political slant when presenting news. You can check out the letter in its entirety below that James posted to Facebook.



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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Mekadave

    Telling an incumbent senator to STFU? Wow, that’s some arrogance. Just what we’ve come to expect from aGG, but DAMN.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Telling an incumbent senator who’s investigating their asses to STFU?

      That’s suicidal arrogance. Just what we’ve come to expect from AntiGamer.

      • Mekadave

        True that

      • TheGreatGamerGod

        They act like that until it hits the fan (which seems inbound for these guys very quickly after that comment) then they start phase 2. The blame shift. ‘These people are bullying us, trying to take our jobs and livelyhoods,’ etc etc.

      • I expect that is exactly what we will hear if anything starts to come of this. #GamerGate is quite convenient for the Liberals in that regard. I expect they have been wanting to deal the the ABC bias for some time, but most of the issues they could come down on them for involve the Liberal party in some way. It would have looked too much like they were simply trying to punish the media for criticizing the party. But the Liberals aren’t remotely involved in GamerGate and are very unlikely to do so.

      • masterninja

        we see where this leads but im putting money on that senator for taking a major bite out of their sorry asses

  • You have an archive on that Facebook post by the ABC guy?

    Because holy shit. Why would you say that, in that way, publicly, to someone that might be able to shut your whole operation down?

    • I don’t have the original Facebook message — it was screencapped and sent to Senator McGrath.

      • GEhotpants101 .

        As a general rule, I like to both screen cap and archive. That way, I have the convenience of a screencap where I can apply any further needed information, and do things to help clarify if the situation might seem unclear, and the archive is around for when someone accuses the screen of being tampered with in a dishonest way. That’s just my two cents.

      • Oh I agree. Unfortunately I wasn’t the one who spotted the post from Greenard. Whoever did the original post-spotting just screen-capped it and sent it to McGrath, who in turn posted it on Facebook.

        But in this particular case I’m inclined to believe that McGrath wouldn’t tamper with a screenshot and write a public letter to a national broadcasting company accusing them of something he fabricated.

        But yeah, I wasn’t privy to the firsthand information and have to go by these secondhand sources. Kind of sucks but hopefully some traction can be gained from this.

  • anopolis

    GET EM

  • Rich

    Happening?

    • TetraD20

      This may be a happening in the making.. and it might be a whopper..

    • Yeah… GG will be addressed at the Australian State Estimates if the ABC doesn’t address the issue of their slanted news.

      • Generaal

        This is even better than the Dutch Journo Ethics Council case.

      • I don’t know if I would go that far — even if McGrath pelts ABC about #GG (amongst their other infractions) it could all end up being filibustered, etc.

        IF the Dutch media outlet actually runs some more GG coverage and it’s neutral, that could be a huge win as well.

        I think both situations are up in the air, but the wheels are definitely turning on both axis.

  • So they ran a non-story because it was a story that wasn’t there? Even Ron Burgandy would struggle with that logic.

  • Hawk Hopper

    I know nothing about Australian politics, but it’s very surprising to see senators making inquires to the ABC about GamerGate. It would seem like most politicians would just see this as something involving video games and do nothing about it. There could be some political angling going on, like conservatives vs. leftists as shown in this quote : “much-loved icon is turning into a rampant leftist quagmire.” This could be one side using this as leverage against the other side. We’ll have to see.

    • Nusstopher

      The liberal party hates the ABC, they don’t care about video games (over 200 games have been banned here in the last few months alone) but they’ll use this as a way to go after the ABC.

      • To be fair, those 200+ games were submitted online using the ratings tool. Usually if a game is sent in (with a nice cheque as required for hands-on ratings) they probably would have gotten through with an MA15+ or an R18+.

    • Poonoo

      The current right wing government is doing hardcore Austerity even though Australia has a low public debt (gotta fit in with the cool kids in Europe). Any excuse to make budget cuts they will take, and they have been cutting the ABC a lot lately and this will give them more ammo. It is entirely political with shitty motivations unfortunately, but the ABC IS heavily left wing despite being government owned and paid for by the tax payer.

  • Sonja Newcombe

    Holy shit, the LNP got something right! But then they were already pissed at the ABC over the Zaky rhing.

  • Joseph Fanning

    Wow, ever been so corrupt that you forget that you’re supposed to pretend that you’re not?

    • C G Saturation

      Sounds like most people nowadays.

  • An Honest Opinion

    Telling a Senator to shut the fuck up is bad enough behind closed doors, but putting it out there on Facebook? That’s a high level of arrogance and disrespect, which we’ve seen time and time again over the last 10-11 months.

    I don’t want to get my hopes up too high regarding this investigation, but I do expect there to be some fallout, and for Mr. STFU to be suspended at some point.

    • TheGreatGamerGod

      Even if they fired him which I doubt he’d likely just get a job at another SJW outlet. It’s what happened in gaming after the major sites disposed of the super corrupt, they all headed back to their home base at Polygon.

      • Poonoo

        The ABC is one of 5 major television networks in Australia. If he does go somewhere else, it will be a downgrade to somewhere on Cable TV or some magazine. It’s like going from NBC to Boing Boing

  • Ty Thompson

    Aside from denouncing GG those at the expo sounded just like the GG people I talk to, definitely a lot of smear happening.

  • Radspakr

    I’m so conflicted in this whole deal with the ABC.
    I want fair and balanced reporting from the ABC because they are generally the most reliable news here and it’s treatment of this issue has been poor.
    I don’t want to see GG turned into yet another political game piece for the LNP to attack the ABC and strip it’s resources for the benefits of Murdoch (who is leading the charge against the ABC).
    We run the risk of having Gaming Culture being used even more so as a political tool and not just by the Auth Left but the Con Right as well.
    This should be handled carefully and I think it should not just be the LNP that is approached but Labor as well.

    • This should be handled carefully and I think it should not just be the LNP that is approached but Labor as well.

      If/when it gets to a Senate hearing it’s out of our hands. However, do you know if any members of the Labor party are actually interested in media corruption? If so, I can attempt to reach out to specific party members.

      I agree that we don’t need this to become a Left vs Right issue in Australia with GG being another tool for political warfare between ideologues trying to gain ground on one another. However, I’ve been told by an LNP member that McGrath is actually interested in free speech advocacy — but I don’t know how far he can go to bat for free speech while keeping the rest of the party at bay, especially with them seeing blood in the water from the ABC.

  • C G Saturation

    Disgusting, but entirely expected of the ABC.
    Thanks for covering this, as always.

    By the way, comments seems to be fixed now.

  • Thanks for covering this, Billy D. Mind if I cite you as a source if I cover this in a few days. (Weekend, so busy 🙁 )

  • politicalcynic

    But #Gamergate is a HATE group and there’s NO problem with ethics in journalism, right?

  • Pax Humana

    GamerGate is every bit as sexist as the people that are making the sexist games.

    • yellow__umbrella

      Says paxhomo…ha ha.

      • Pax Humana

        …says the butt hurt troll that is pathetically attempting to mount an assault on my intellect and wit. Keep trying and maybe, just MAYBE, you might say something that is remotely resembling intelligence within the next billion years…or is that time frame being too generous to yourself?

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