‏My reply to @PositiveTony, who thinks @4corners won't touch #Ashby for fear of Abbott funding cuts.

My tweet: Want @4corners to get to the bottom of #Ashby? Ask them here http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/contact/ … Via @Auspolatix

His tweet: @margokingston1 @4corners @Auspolatix They are too scared of what Tony will do to them later for that.

Yes, John Howard's new government slashed and burned ABC funding when it won office in 1996. It broke a solemn promise when it did so, claiming this promise was 'non-core'. Well, it certainly was core to many voters, including me.

The ABC survived, and is now expanding, due to staff commitment and public loyalty.

It is certain that an Abbott government would seek to slash ABC funding reduce its footprint. It would owe Murdoch an awful lot, and Murdoch's antipathy to the ABC and the BBC is legendary - for ideological, accountability and commercial reasons.

Timidity by the ABC would no nothing to ease its pain under Abbott. Would the ABC really think that if it was nice to Tony he might slash less than if it did its job under the ABC charter to report news and investigate current affairs without fear or favour?

If it does think that, it is foolish. It would need strong, loyal public support to fights cuts, and to make do with the cuts it suffered. New media is showing that many people are completely disillusioned with most traditional media, and the ABC is not dumb enough to trash its priceless asset.

Fairfax was that foolish. For example, only 20 years ago The Age was Melbourne's most respected institution. The jewels in the Fairfax crown were too precious to lose, and yet management moves did just that.

I do not believe the ABC will do the same.

Tony, I pray that you are wrong. I believe in the ABC. Australia needs her strong, fearless, accountable and fair.

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