The Independent Complaints Review Panel (ICRP) has not upheld a complaint made against The World Today program.

The complaint relates to a program segment titled “RBA raises interest rates” which was broadcast in The World Today program on 8 August 2007.

The complainant made two allegations in relation to the segment; that with an election forthcoming Mr Long (the ABC's Economics Correspondent) was strongly implying the then Prime Minister, Mr Howard, and the then Federal Treasurer, Mr Costello were ‘lying’, and that Mr Long used comments made by the Sydney Morning Herald's Political Editor to justify his position.

In its report, the Panel concluded, “the use of the term ‘the Big Lie’ in the segment and the word ‘furphy’ used by Mr Long to describe the Federal Government's assertion as to the cause of interest rate pressure suggests that discussion on the real economic causes of interest rate rises was being avoided by the Federal Government. The use of such political tactics by both state and federal governments is a common occurrence in Australian politics, and in the Panel's view, is generally seen by the electorate and its voting public as a manoeuvring ploy rather than as deliberate lying.”

Therefore, “the Panel is satisfied that in the context of this short segment, Mr Long's reference to “the Big Lie” did not amount to an allegation of a case of actual mendacity on the part of the Prime Minister and Treasurer.”

Furthermore, “the Panel believes that balance was achieved through the various The World Today program segments which were broadcast between 6th and 13th August 2007, since they contained principal relevant views from the Prime Minister, Ministers and Leader of the Opposition.”

The Panel therefore found no breach of the Code of Practice or Editorial Policies had been demonstrated. Accordingly, the complaint is not upheld.

To read the full ICRP Report click here().

Background: The ICRP is an independent body established by the ABC Board to investigate allegations of 'serious cases of factual inaccuracy, bias, and lack of balance or unfair treatment arising from an ABC broadcast or broadcasts, or publication of material on ABC Online.