Australian Broadcasting Corporation chair Ita Buttrose has sacked News Breakfast co-host Paul Kennedy following “this morning’s disgracefully biased and unprofessional performance involving Senator Michaela Cash”.
Ms Buttrose rang Mr Kennedy, the show’s summer stand-in host from Sydney as soon as the program finished at 9am and ordered him to clean out his desk and leave the ABC’s Melbourne Southbank studios immediately and to take his box of coloured socks with him.
In a statement, Ms Buttose said: “In my short time at the helm of the ABC, I have worked steadfastly to ensure all journalists on staff perform their duties in a totally balanced and professional manner as per the corporation’s charter of honesty and integrity.
“The way Mr Kennedy tried to badger the Senator and make her answer simple questions on some sports grants subject he wanted to canvass because he thought Australians would be interested in it has no place in 21st Century Australian journalism, and especially not at the national broadcaster.”
Ms Buttrose said she had been aware for some time of a deliberate left-wing trend among many of her ABC staffers and “this will no longer be tolerated”.
“It’s become very clear to me that the ABC urgently needs to strike the right balance between how News Corp Australia publications and related TV shows such as Sky News Australia, and the Channel 7 network and its Sunrise program, see balanced and fair reporting, and the one-sided, left-leaning rubbish some ABC staff served up during the last federal election campaign.
“There are many silent Australians out there who are expecting me to get that balance right and I intend on their behalf to get it as right as possible.”