In the lead up to the 2013 federal election, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott both announced that that there would no cuts to the ABC, but this position was revised in the May 2014 budget when Mr Hockey announced a $35.5 million budget cut over four years.
The ABC’s Director of Television, Richard Finlayson, stated that the shortfall has prompted the ABC to look at more frugal ways of spending its limited funds.
“We’re looking at this as a positive step. Reporting on current affairs may be important but a lot of it is pretty grim stuff. We now have the opportunity to make peoples’ evenings a little more pleasant by bringing back that lovable old gang from Friends. Who can forget Phoebe’s blonde moments or Ross’s mopishness?”
“I personally never tire of their fractured take on modern life and could easily watch the whole series three times over again — which may well end up being what happens.”
“Sure, we’ve had some great results with our current affairs reporting over the years — Children Overboard, the AWB oil-for-wheat corruption scandal, the Catholic Church’s protection of child abuse — but who can forget the time Chandler got stuck in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre? Good times.”
“You can’t underestimate the value of that.”
Communication Minister Malcolm Turnbull applauded the change as a step in the right direction for the well-being of the nation.
“We would caution people about the dangers of knowing too much. Often you may think that you want to know what’s going on in your country and around the world but then you find out that there’s some pretty scary stuff happening and there’s not much you can do to stop it, and that’s not good, psychologically speaking. Why would you expose the public to that?”
“Much better to leave the complicated and scary stuff to those who know how to handle it. I would urge everyone to trust those in power, not ask any tricky questions, and enjoy a beer and a good episode of Friends.”
“Unlike Joey, you don’t need to build a giant poking device out of chopsticks to see whether Ugly Naked Guy is still alive — we’ll scan his metadata, organise a warrantless ASIO raid, ship him off to Cambodia and tell you that everything’s fine.”
“That’s what friends are for.”