An Open Complaint to the ABCPosted: June 24, 2016
I would like to make a complaint about numerous journalists over the past two days using the phrase ‘Mediscare campaign’. As a supporter of Australia’s universal healthcare system, who has watched the Liberal government first under Abbott and now under Turnbull chip away and chip away at Medicare in their ideological quest to turn it into a user-pays healthcare system, and who has been aghast at secret plans to privatise a little bit here and there and no doubt a slippery slope to turning the whole thing into a profit-centre, I do not appreciate your journalists’ inference that Labor’s campaign to ensure voters are aware of the Liberal government’s Medicare policies is nothing more than a ‘scare campaign’.
We all know what scare campaigns are. They are fact-less, politically opportune, cynical attempts to use fear to win votes. By calling the ‘let’s save Medicare’ campaign a ‘Mediscare campaign’, not only are you overstepping the line between reporting the news and editorialising in favour of the Liberal government, you are also undermining your very important job of providing voters with a true assessment of the facts this election.
The Labor Party has every right to tell voters what a Liberal government plans to do to Medicare and has every right to point out that the Liberal Party has always been an enemy of Medicare. Last election, the Liberals campaigned on a promise of ‘no cuts to health’, a lie blatantly exposed in the 2014 budget when the GP co-payment was sprung on us. Since you won’t do your jobs and tell voters the facts, and instead you write-off Labor’s campaign to protect Medicare as nothing more than a scare campaign, I am making this official complaint about your conduct.
I also note that you never came up with some pithy little slogan or catch phrase to undermine the Liberal Opposition’s un-factual scare campaign about the mining tax, or the Carbon Price. Nor have you mentioned the current Liberal scare campaign which accuses Labor of ‘putting people smugglers back in business’. You seem to spend all your energy trying to trick politicians into gotcha-moments and would like to think of yourselves as players in the political system, rather than doing your jobs and just reporting what is really going on.
There is little credibility left in your organisation. Each time one of you says ‘Mediscare’, you get closer and closer to the zero mark.
I look forward to a response.