by Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor and Katherine Delaney

With noted protagonists on either side, the debate about anti-American bias within the Australian national broadcaster was one of the more obvious examples in the so-called 'culture wars' of the Howard era. This article aims to transcend the claims and counter claims of this ongoing debate by analysing a case study that not only documents both sides of the argument but also provides evidence to judge the veracity of claims of anti-Americanism. The case study used is Minister Richard Alston's claims of anti-American bias by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in their coverage of the 2003 Iraq War. Examining Alston's allegations and the three subsequent inquiries they initiated offers an opportunity to distinguish between anti-Americanism and criticism.