ABC boss Mark Scott: Chris Kenny image was tasteless but justified by him being a public figure

mark scottABC managing director Mark Scott has labelled The Chaser’s depiction of The Australian’s Chris Kenny as tasteless and undergraduate, but said that under editorial guidelines its broadcast was justified as public figures such as Kenny faced different standards.

During an episode of The Chaser’s The Hamster Decides the show broadcast an obviously manipulated image of Kenny and a dog.

In his first interview since the Federal election, Scott told listeners to Melbourne’s ABC 774: “I thought it was pretty full on and tasteless and undergraduate. Personally I didn’t like it much.”

However, he defended the skit saying it was an “attempt at satire and people will draw their own conclusions as to whether it was funny and as to whether it was appropriate.”

His comments follow the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs investigation into the item which found that it “was likely to offend but the segment was justified by the editorial context.”

Scott defended the right of satirists to work free of having to second guess his personal views. He said: “I think it’s quite important that when you have satirists at work that they don’t try and do their work trying to anticipate what’s in my mind whether I will find it funny, and you certainly can’t expect them to do their work saying no one will be offended.”

He continued: “Did I like it? No, not very much.Do our policies give a pretty broad licence? Yes. Will there be occasions when we say no that isn’t appropriate? Well there will be occasions like that and there have been occasions like that in the past.

“But this was on a high profile issue, a high profile person, those of us in the public eye have different standards applied to us as far as satire is concerned and that’s how we saw it but I didn’t like it much.”


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