I am a farmer and small business operator; as was my father and his father. My great grandfather captained his own brigantine, chasing cargoes around the world. Thus it is not surprising that I am a staunch supporter of the philosophy of free enterprise. I am also a student and admirer of Adam Smith and those other Scottish dons who created an intellectual hub of the Enlightenment in Edinburgh and Glasgow. These brave souls challenged the orthodoxies of the time, taking on the conservative oligarchy of a remnant feudalism with ideas of empiricism and reason, representative government, individual freedom and ambition.
My battered old Oxford defines Left Wing as: “progressive, radical”… and “more advanced or innovative section of any group”. The “Right”, is simply defined as “conservative”. The broad definition of “conservative” remains, averse to change or innovation.
So I suppose that I would have to call myself a child of the Left.
The ABC is implicitly bound by its charter to reflect and promote the attributes and values of a liberal democratic society and consequently can hardly avoid a Leftwing bias.
The commercial media by contrast, is bound by economic imperatives to promote the interests and culture of global capitalism; a culture profoundly at odds with the philosophies of Smith, Hume and Mill, while disturbingly resonant of the narrow power structures of the past. 
The commercial media in this country may be free of government control, but it is, by definition, overtly political in every aspect of its hegemony over the lives, aspirations and values of its audience.
There is no question that Australia is a procedural democracy. Its government is elected by a universally enfranchised citizenry; it has a free press, freedom of association (mostly), and an independent judiciary. However, to achieve the status of being a substantive democracy, a little more is required.
I suggest that a democracy is only as good as the quality of political debate within its institutions and among its citizens, which is in turn dependent upon the quality and quantity of information available to nourish that debate.
The problem in ostensibly democratic societies like Australia is that, for a variety of reasons, the ownership of the media is dominated by large corporations whose clients are mostly, other large corporations. This inevitably creates a confluence of interest that does nothing to nurture diversity of opinion and debate. Such a situation diminishes the contrasts with more autocratic societies. The potential for these powerful interests to control the flow of information and sway public opinion is immense.
This influence may actively promote anxiety and prejudice or passively suppress important debate, but the reality is that there are strong commercial reasons for tailoring their offerings to the largest market; i.e. the lowest common denominator.
“Keep them scared. Keep them stupid. Keep them spending.” This has proved to be a very rewarding business plan for the media industry here and elsewhere.
Its lack of intellectual/conceptual framework has made fascism notoriously difficult to define, but the relationship between government and business interests is a common factor to most attempts.
Adam Smith warned in the Wealth of Nations that a government dominated by mercantile interests was “the worst of all governments for any country whatsoever”.
A more contemporary and specific definition of fascism was articulated in a message to Congress by Franklin D. Roosevelt, on April 29th, 1938.
“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
Why do the words, “News Limited” spring to mind at this point?
The most important role for the ABC is to provide a counterpoint to an almost universally Right-Wing commercial media. The best way to eliminate that counterpoint is to privatise our favourite Auntie.
 The revolt of the American colonies was in so many ways a product of the Scottish Enlightenment, as much as it was of the salons of Paris. Its catalyst was an instinctive revolt against the corrupt corporate power of the British East India Company and resulted in the clear distinction made between corporate and natural citizens in the US Constitution. This distinction lasted for almost a hundred years before finally succumbing to the growing power of the railway companies after the Civil War; thus making the War of Independence, arguably, the most successful Leftwing revolution in history. That distinction has now largely been reversed, giving rise to a virulent corporate culture that threatens the very essence of US democracy. If only the “Tea Party’s” constituency understood their own history.