Peter Dutton launches blistering attack on ABC’s Laura Tingle in 2GB Ray Hadley interview: ‘Partisan Greens supporter’

Peter Dutton has slammed ABC 7.30’s chief political correspondent Laura Tingle as a ‘partisan Greens-Labor supporter’.

Mr Dutton appeared on Sydney radio 2GB’s Ray Hadley show on Thursday to condemn Tingle’s comments at the Sydney Writers Festival last Sunday.

While speaking on a panel at the event, Tingle labelled Australia a ‘racist country’, praised the Labor Party under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s leadership and accused Mr Dutton of inciting violence against migrants.

On Thursday Mr Dutton reflected on Tingle’s spectacular rant and said her ‘credibility as a journalist is really shot’.

‘Laura Tingle’s outed herself now as somebody who is a partisan, she’s a Greens/Labor supporter,’ he said.

‘I mean, she’s just now completely destroyed her credibility – but they’ll keep her on because that’s what happens at the ABC.

‘But, as I say, I think it’s comical, and you just let them play their games.’

Peter Dutton slammed the ABC’s senior political correspondent Laura Tingle (pictured) as a ‘partisan Greens/Labor supporter’

Mr Dutton’s harsh words followed Tingle’s public reprimanding from the ABC’s news director, Justin Stevens.

Mr Stevens said Tingle’s comments did not meet the ABC’s editorial standards and described them as ‘lacking context, balance and supporting information’.

Tingle is one of the broadcaster’s most senior journalists and took up a staff-elected position on its board in 2023.

Nevertheless, Mr Stevens said she had been ‘counselled over her remarks’.

During Sunday’s panel, Tingle said she couldn’t remember the last time a major party leader was seen ‘to be saying … everything that is going wrong in this country is because of migrants’.

‘[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, and in any circumstance where people feel like they’re missing out,’ she said.

Tingle accused Mr Dutton of ‘dog whistling’ and said his call to cut immigration didn’t make ‘rational sense’. 

She also praised Labor, 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.

‘Whether you think the policy is s*** or not, that’s another issue.’

Mr Stevens on Wednesday revealed Tingle was warned against poorly representing the ABC at ‘external events’.

Tingle accused Mr Dutton (pictured) of inciting violence against migrants during a panel at the Sydney Writers' Festival on Sunday

Tingle accused Mr Dutton (pictured) of inciting violence against migrants during a panel at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Sunday 

‘Although the remarks were conversational, and not made in her work capacity, the ABC and its employees have unique obligations in the Australian media,’ he said.

‘Laura has been reminded of their application at external events as well as in her work and I have counselled her over the remarks.’

The ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, will be questioned over Tingle’s comments at a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday.

Despite receiving ‘counselling’ for her rant, Tingle released a 1380-word statement on Wednesday in which she described reporting on her comments as creating an ‘opportunity for yet another anti-ABC pile-on’. 

‘This is not helpful to me or to the ABC. Or to the national debate,’ she said.

‘I am proud of my work as a journalist at the ABC, on all its platforms, and I let that work speak for itself.’

Tingle also attempted to downplay her claim that ‘Australia is a racist country’.

‘I did indeed make the observation on Sunday that we are a racist country, in the context of a discussion about the political prospects ahead,’ she said.

‘I wasn’t saying every Australian is a racist. But we clearly have an issue with racism.’

The ABC’s editorial policy specifically states its employees should not make public comments that could ‘affect the perception of impartiality of staff and the ABC’, even during external activities.

Opposition communications spokesman David Coleman described Tingle’s comments about Mr Dutton as ‘extraordinary and completely indefensible’. 

Tingle was publicly reprimanded by ABC's news director, Justin Stevens (pictured), on Wednesday

Tingle was publicly reprimanded by ABC’s news director, Justin Stevens (pictured), on Wednesday

‘In addition to her comments about Mr Dutton, Ms Tingle has made further statements about her views on the Albanese Government and the Coalition,’ he said.

‘While every Australian has a right to their political views, not every Australian is Chief Political Correspondent for ABC’s 7.30 program. 

‘The ABC needs to explain how Ms Tingle’s statements are compatible with her role at the taxpayer-funded broadcaster.’

The ABC did not respond to Daily Mail Australia’s request for comment on Monday. 

ABC issues impartiality warning 

ABC Chair Kim Williams told staff in March to remain impartial or leave the organisation as he declares activism is not welcome at the national broadcaster.

Mr Williams, who replaced Ita Buttrose as ABC chair, said he would have little tolerance for journalists who fail to remain objective in their reporting.

‘If you don’t want to reflect a view that aspires to impartiality, don’t work at the ABC,’ he told host Monica Attard in an episode of the podcast The Fourth Estate.

‘I really think this is a very serious issue.

‘This is a publicly funded organisation, it is a publicly accountable organisation, it is a respondent to legislation to the national parliament, and it must always aspire to be as fair-minded in its work as it possibly can be.’