ABC faces backlash as board convenes emergency talks over reporter’s comments

Calls to defund the ABC surge following Laura Tingle's public remarks that Australia is a 'racist country.'

ABC faces backlash as board convenes emergency talks over reporter’s comments
Laura Tingle / ABC
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Calls for the ABC to be defunded are intensifying as the broadcaster's board holds urgent discussions following a high-profile reporter’s controversial statement labelling Australia as a "racist country."

Laura Tingle, 7.30's chief political correspondent and a staff-elected ABC board member, made the remarks during a panel discussion at the Sydney Writers' Festival on Sunday.

"We are a racist country, let's face it. We always have been, and it's very depressing," Tingle stated.

Tingle further criticised Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for inciting anti-migrant sentiment and lauded Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s leadership.

In response, the Coalition demanded clarity on how Tingle could maintain journalistic impartiality with a federal election approaching next year.

Sources suggest that ABC chair Kim Williams may expedite the next board meeting to address the fallout from Tingle's comments.

The Australian public has also voiced their anger, with many demanding the immediate defunding of the ABC.

During the festival, Tingle expressed concern over the negative portrayal of migrants, saying, "I had this sudden flash of people turning up to try and rent a property or at an auction and they look a bit different – whatever you define different as – (and) that basically he (Dutton) has given them licence to be abused."

Tingle accused Dutton of "dog whistling" and criticised his anti-immigration stance as irrational. She praised Labor's efforts, saying, "It's not just about whether they got rid of Scott Morrison, they are actually trying to govern, they are trying to run a government, they are actually trying to do policy."

Critics accused Tingle of failing to uphold impartiality as a political reporter, leading to calls for the ABC to lose taxpayer funding.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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