If you thought Ita Buttrose was going to be a Liberal stooge at the ABC Michael Kroger, then you don’t know Ita


Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger has launched an extraordinary attack on ABC chairperson Ita Buttrose and called for her to resign.

Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger has called for Ita Buttrose to resign as ABC Chairperson (image – News Corp)

In what can only be compared to a baby throwing its toys out of its cot, Michael Kroger has had an almighty spray at ABC Chairperson Ita Buttrose over perceived bias at the ABC.

It’s an age-old tale when it comes to the culture wars of the Liberal Party v the national broadcaster and last night when Kroger appeared on Sky News he blamed Ita for ‘failing’ to fix the problem, saying:

“They have weaponised Four Corners, Q&A in particular, which is like political acid in the face of the Liberal Party,

“It’s a shockingly biased program. The Drum, these current affairs shows are just weaponised against the Coalition.”

According to Kroger went on to call for Ita’s resignation, saying:

“Ita has been a terrible failure. And I know there are many people in the Coalition, including people in the cabinet who regret her appointment.”

“She and some of those board members should go. She’s lost control of the Board. The Board has lost control of the managing director. The managing director has certainly lost control of news and current affairs,’’

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned after working with Ita over the years – she’s no-one’s stooge.

Just what was Kroger hoping would happen? Did he expect Ita to become a patsy for the Liberal party? Whatever her political leanings, Ita is a journalist first and foremost and will always fight for independence.

There are issues at the ABC to be sure, but Ita is not one of them.

And just what is Michael Kroger’s legacy from his 5 years on the board at the ABC?

Is that crickets I hear?

Ita Buttrose is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. I was her boss for five years and I came to admire her work ethic and values. The ABC is lucky to have such an accomplished person steering the ship.

Here’s the thing people really need to know though – unlike other organisations, the Chairperson of the ABC has limited power. They have influence, to be sure, but they do not have editorial control over programming.

I know blaming Ita for all the failings of the ABC makes for a good headline and an easy target, but the simple fact is the ABC is made up of thousands of individuals who all contribute to the ‘voice’ of the National Broadcaster.

Although our Federal Government seems to be making a habit of attacking strong, competent women of late (think Christine Holgate and others), I think you’ll find Ita Buttrose will be a much harder target for your misogynistic attacks.

Ita will not resign, and nor should she.

Yes, the Government will have a diversionary headline for the day to distract us from the real issues, but if the Australian people had to choose between Michael Kroger or Ita Buttrose, they’ll go with the former Australian of the Year every time.

And before you write my commentary off as being from a biased leftie, I have not been afraid to attack the ABC when it deserves it. Whatever issues there are at the ABC – Ita is not one of them.


Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and executive producer of AFTERNOONS WITH SOFIE FORMICA on radio station 4BC


  1. I think Kroger’s beef is that Ita should have been able to control/balance the very real left wing bias at the ABC. That’s not wanting her to be a Liberal stooge; that’s just doing what anyone in that role is meant to do – keep things in balance. You say yourself there are issues at the ABC. Well, those issues are what Ita should have been fixing.

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