[In 2003, the Coalition] Minister Alston … made 68 complaints of bias in the ABC’s reporting [of the second Iraq war].
An internal investigation found that two of the 68 complaints were substantiated.
An independent panel found that 17 of the complaints had merit, although there was no evidence of anti-Coalition bias as alleged by the minister.
[The] Australian Broadcasting Authority found that 21 of the 68 complaints were substantiated, but did not accept the complaint of systematic bias.
At the time [there was a funding] disagreement between the [government and the ABC.]
The minister said that the complaints were not connected with this [disagreement but that if the] parliament thought that the ABC had lost the plot, they could be defunded. …
[T]here is no suggestion that the minister’s complaints caused the ABC to ‘tone down’ its reporting, even though its budget was a matter of intense debate between the ABC and the government of the day.