Amongst the fall-out in the controversial, perhaps catastrophic Peppa Pig crisis, the pond barely noticed a murmur of hope:
It was Senator Zed Seselja asking the questions yesterday, but it could have been The Australian, with the Liberal ACT Senator leaning heavily on the paper’s analysis to grill ABC managing director Mark Scott at Senate estimates.
Coalition senators peppered Scott with claims the ABC leant left-wing, or anti-government. But Seselja did see one ray of light, asking Scott whether the rumours he’d heard that the ABC was considering a new show hosted by a prominent, right-wing commentator were true.
Scott responded: “It’s pretty important not to flag our intentions too early… Wait and let the chefs cook. We’ll see if it passes muster. But as I said here before, audition tapes are always welcome.”
Seselja asked if Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Blair’s name had been floated. Scott was enigmatic. “I couldn’t possibly comment.” (Crikey, here, may be paywall affected)
Blair himself linked his presence on the ABC to a death threat against the pig. Clearly he has an interest in the ABC disposing of the runt, even if he does attempt to shift the blame to Fairfax:
Yes it's that twittering twit Sharri Markson at the head of Blair's piece but let us note that Blair's recycling of the Fairfax image shows some sign of intent.
The pond is only running Blair running the terrible, traumatic image, because we urge viewers to SAVE THE PIG (unless a bacon shortage strikes).
Anyhoo, the whole thing strikes the pond as yet another example of Tim Wilson syndrome. You know, you shout and howl at the moon, revile an institution, routinely parade your fear and loathing of it ... and then you take a job with it, and laugh all the way to the bank.
Here's Blair on Radio National:
... let’s provide Mark Scott with some useful suggestions on how he might trim his bloated budget.
He could start with Radio National — the only station in Australia with more staff than listeners. It would reach a greater audience if presenters shouted at the street from their balconies. Close it. Or, even better, sell it. (here, freshly minted only a day ago at news.com.au)
Close it? Sell it?
Even better, sell it?
What a stupid man. Who would buy it?
But would any of those opinions stop Blair from accepting a gig on RN, should Scott and others be stupid enough to offer it to him?
Of course not. The Tim Wilson paradigm says you must take the job, and do your best to white ant away.
Amongst the other targets for a Blair closing are ABC News 24, and Media Watch. It is of course predictable, the sort of kool aid drinking you find going on daily in Murdoch la la land ... partly because they realise their own popularity is inclined to be fukt and their commercial future is in dire straits.
Of course there's a reason for Blair's ongoing anti-ABC activism. He was at one time given a brief gig on RN on Friday nights in the graveyard slot at 9pm, and the show was a spectacular flop that wasn't renewed.
There were many howls of rage, and much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the time that the fix was in, that the pair had been set up for a fall, but Imre Salusinszky later bounced back, and became something of a fixture hosting - with Michael Duffy - at Counterpoint on RN.
Here's the pair all in a twitter about Bob Dylan back in 2004 (there's a transcript there).
The pond sometimes suspects that the pair inveigled ABC management to put Amanda Vanstone in the chair and then persuaded her to chat with Brendan O'Neill, so that listeners could sigh deeply and gaze off nostalgically into the twilight zone, and say 'remember the good old days of Imre and the Duffster'?
Anyhoo, the point is that Blair wasn't much chop, and he's sensibly stuck to blogging most of the time.
There's a vast world of commercial radio he could explore - Miranda the Devine has shown the way for the Terror commentariat - and if Blair had the interest and the desire he could have disappeared off into the babbling throng.
Now the pond would rather the exploding heads Mars Attacks! solution of listening to crooning yodelling country music than endure a nanosecond of commercial radio, but why is it always assumed that the ABC should pick up and dust off the dross and give them a gig as a token conservative voice?
At vast expense, the pond dug up the images below, showing how Salusinszky and Blair pitched themselves in their dud outing.
Presumably Blair contributed to, or had a say, in how he was presented as a mindlessly stupid and offensive petrol and rev head, no doubt on the principal that he was sticking it to all the hairy-armpitted feminists ...
But THINK GLOBAL, ACT STUPID?
Did he really scribble that? Was he even then posing as a mindless gadfly?
Well it's true Blair follows that motto on a daily basis in his blog, and in the pieces he scribbles for the Terror. Write stupid, stupid.
But why on earth would anyone want to dig this Frankenstein's monster out of the ground, and put the vampire back behind a microphone?
Oh we love to mix our metaphors, because who could imagine a world in which Cardinal Pell is invited to dissect footy fever?
The ABC might be in a continuing crisis, but why does Blair need to do a Tim Wilson?
Can't he go fruit picking in New Zealand with Erica Abetz?
(Below: screen caps, no links, just the continuing crisis)