G+: "Mr Abbott also raised questions about the cost …
"Mr Abbott also raised questions about the cost and necessity of the ABC's new Fact Check unit, saying "surely that should come naturally to any media organisation?""
Ha! Bulls**t! I!! can think of several media orgnisations that have plenty of trouble with reporting "the facts". Also, it's not just for Media organisations Tony. They're making sure pollis aren't spinning some tall tales.
Right, as far as I can see, the Fact Check program is less about ABC internally checking their own facts (which, as Abbott says, "should come naturally to any media organisation"), but about calling out bullshit claims made by others, including politicians and other media organisations.
I'm also becoming increasingly concerned about the use of the terms "left" and "right" in political debate. Maybe I'm just becoming more of a "lefty", but it seems to me that "left" and "right" are just cover terms for "rational" and "irrational".
Traditionally, "left-wing" refers to socialist style government where the government funds a lot of things and people have little choice about where their money is spent. But these days, I see the term "left-wing" applied to basically any organisation that believes in anthropogenic global warming, respects international laws regarding immigrants, believes fundamentally in divulging the truth, and so on. Rational behaviour. By framing rationality as a "left versus right" debate, it gives readers a clear visual image that the two sides are balanced around a hypothetical "centre", and implies that the media should be in the "centre" and give both sides equal standing.
So when someone says "the ABC has a left-wing bias", they really mean that they are refusing to give irrational opinions the same weight as rational ones. It doesn't sound so bad when you put it that way.
Or, as Stephen Colbert put it, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."
That looks like it might have been the issue that kicked it off. It's probably one of the strongest rebuttals of a political issue I've seen.
One interesting distinction I've heard (when reading about Democrats vs. Republicans in the US) is that while the left-wing are more concerned with "helping everyone" the right-wing are more concerned with "their community". At least that way you can see a sort of rational thought process (even it it's a greedy, short-term view). From that view you could see "liberal bias" as being an attack on (their) community.
I guess that's why you also see news that caters to this kind of word view - people like being reassured that their world-view is right/correct and not hearing about the inconvenient truth of reality.