Dr Mumbo

The Oz apologises to itself, on behalf of the ABC


What is it they say? If at first you can’t get an apology from someone… just go and write your own?

Dr Mumbo was pleased to see The Australian launch a new weekly column in its media section in which it publishes faux apologies containing what the national broadsheet feels the ABC should have said.

As the newspaper explains: “The ABC has refused to publish corrections for its errors, so, from this week, we will begin a column where we publish clarifications on behalf of the ABC.”

The new column is a glorious new addition to Australia’s media landscape and will surely rival both the infamous Cut & Paste and Gerard Henderson’s Mediawatchdog, in both sheer audacity if not also lack of self awareness.

The first outing of “The Mitchell apologies” carries an overall grovel to the viewers of the ABC, one for the Australian Navy and, of course, an apology on behalf of Media Watch host Paul Barry, written by The Australian, to The Australian and its clearly aggrieved editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell. 

But one point about the new column is causing much mirth within the corridors of the ABC’s HQ in Ultimo and that is The Oz’s decision to classify its new faux apologies column as “premium content”, putting it behind a paywall.

“The Oz has clearly found a new way to stem its $30m losses. Just issue fake apologies, that’s bound to solve the problem,” quipped one ABC staffer, referencing last week’s admission the newspaper lost $30m last year.

Meanwhile the ABC declined to comment on the new column however, a spokesman did note: “The ABC has a policy of publishing corrections on its website. These corrections are not paywalled.”



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