ABC managing director calls Laura Tingle tweet ‘error in judgment’

A top ABC boss has called a journalist’s politically-charged tweet blasting Scott Morrison an “error in judgment”.

Laura Tingle, chief political correspondent for ABC’s 7.30 program, recently sent out a tweet about a colleague leaving the channel that ended with the words:

“We grieve the loss of so many of our fine colleagues to government ideological bastardry. Hope you are feeling smug @ScottMorrisonMP.”

The ABC’s managing director David Anderson was asked about the tweet during a Senate Estimates hearing on Wednesday evening, and defended Ms Tingle’s credentials as a journalist but said the tweet was a “mistake” and an “error in judgment”.

“Laura Tingle is a veteran of over 30 years of outstanding journalism,” Mr Anderson said.

“I would ask anyone to judge her on the quality of her journalism that is otherwise put out by the ABC, as opposed to social media.”

He said Ms Tingle had taken down the message because she agreed it was a mistake and was contacted by her executive producer.

“I am satisfied that no more action needs to be taken.”

Asked by Andrew Bragg, Liberal Party Senator for NSW, whether she will continue to cover federal politics, Mr Anderson said:

“She will.”

Prior to the tweet questions, there was considerable debate among senators whether the government’s indexation freeze amounted to an ABC budget cut, with David Van, Liberal Senator for Victoria, arguing the broadcaster’s funding has gone up in “real terms”.

Mr Anderson said 229 staff had left the ABC following the indexation freeze.

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