PM wants Q&A to shift to News & Current Affairs

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged the ABC move Q & A to its News and Current Affairs umbrella -in return he will lift an imposed ban.

“Front benchers look forward to resuming their participation on Q & A once this move takes place,” he wrote in a letter to ABC Chairman, Jim Spigelman, Fairfax reports.

Such a move would mean the show falls into line with news balance and accountability.

Currently the programme exists under the Entertainment umbrella.

Yesterday TV Tonight flagged the question of moving the show in a range of questions reviewers Shaun Brown and Ray Martin could recommend in their review.

But the recommendation by Tony Abbott could be awkward for the broadcaster, which needs to be seen to be independent of government influence.

Fairfax suggests ABC will not rush to a decision, with the issue expected to be discussed at the August ABC board meeting.

Malcolm Turnbull is yet to confirm his Monday appearance on Q & A despite ABC promoting him as a panelist yesterday.

22 Comments:

  1. Hitler and the Nazis gained power on 30 January 1933. By March that year Hitler had total power over the country. Do you think Tony Abbott’s and the Liberal goverments idea of leadership is taking the Australian public to a Totalitarianism political system, in which the state holds total control over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible?

    • Automatic loss of argument due to Godwin’s Law”

      i.e. ‘……newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin’s law’

  2. Abbott has no interest in giving millions of Australians marriage equality but he can’t shut up about a TV show.

    Seriously. This guy is an idiot.

    It’s a public broadcaster not a state run broadcaster. This is not Russia.

    Tony – if you care about TV that much – can we get our networks in HD. Like the rest of the world did 10 years ago.

  3. Maev....Sydney

    Can anyone in a democracy really condone the leader of the country manipulating the media….I think not….Well this is my opinion…

  4. Abbott is just trying to save face and claim he will force the ABC to do something. He can’t and it won’t affect anything anyway.

    How does making Q&A part of the ever growing ABC News and Current Affairs empire change anything? Look at their coverage of Shorten’s brief appearance into a 2 year + inquiry into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. The ABC has done a much more effective job of obscuring the facts and defending Shorten than Shorten and his team of spin doctors.

    Compare their coverage of the Liberal setup 2+ year Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption and Shorten’s short appearance before it and their coverage of the ALP set up Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse and attacking Pell for not appearing when he hadn’t been request to (and had before).

    Then explain how these stand up to their editorial policy as being objective, not…

  5. oceanographer

    Q&A seems to have this repetition of politics, politics and more politics every week. They seem to struggle breaking out of that mould. Do they really have to have politicians on the panel every single week? Is it possible we could have some non-political news item discussions on that show?

  6. themanfromoz

    Time for Q&A to simply call the Prime Minister’s bluff.
    Simply do not ask for any Lib/Nat member of any level – cabinet, front bench or back bench to appear.
    I am tired of the BS this current government is trying to put over.
    While I agree the ABC didn’t do due diligence on the recent show … get over it.

    • That would just formally put Q&A in breach of the ABC charter and responsibility to show editorial balance. Anyone in the ABC making this instruction would be in breach of the ABC charter. As much as some would like to deny, the ABC does have responsibilities and has to follow its own charter, thats the law. The ABC is not above the law, and is accountable for its actions and lack of due diligence, it is more accountable because its a publicly funded broadcaster, not a private company (which also have to obey the law).

  7. If Q&A moves due to Abbotts request, then the ABC will be nothing than a State Run TV Station. All Australians need to be concerned about these actions.

  8. Has Tony Abbott become that far removed from reality that he thinks he can dictate such terms? Tony has had it in for the ABC from the beginning and has jumped on the recent controversy in order to push his own agenda. Hopefully the public will see sense and vote him out, as he poses a serious threat to our future democratic rights, in particular freedom of speech.

  9. Well at the end of the day he does own it as he pays for it. I must admit I thought it was a News production and not from the general production area.

    • Well actually the taxpayer owns and pays for it and will do so long after Abbott gets booted out. Its not there for Abbott or any Government to control.

  10. daveinprogress

    The program removed Turnbull’s face from its Facebook update. Looks like he will be a no show. This saga is just interminable, but my hope is that Abbott will along with his other unilateral decisions come undone politically.

  11. I can just imagine Jim Spigelman, a brilliant intellect who knows a thing or two about politicians agreeing to this. Who is advising Abbott? He will not emerge as a strong man but just a bully whatever the result, the man with the glass jaw. Turnbull can just sit on the sidelines watching Abbott look like a goose and Shorten minimises any further adverse coverage as the media is diverted. Abbott can’t restrain himself and the end result will be his early departure from politics, a one term PM.

  12. That’s Tony Abbott’s idea of leadership and conflict resolution (he creates the conflict). Rearrange the deck chairs so it looks like he’s had a win. Whatevs. Can we resume normal broadcasting now?

  13. Back in the days of analogue TV, it was planes flying overhead that caused the biggest interference to the ABC.

    Now we have (Hot) Air Tony.

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