Q&A has come in for more criticism for its selection of audience members with News Corp raising questions about a man who directed a question to Pauline Hanson on Monday’s show.
Khaled Elomar told Hanson, “I work in Cronulla. I have worked there for eight years. I absolutely love the place.
“Only recently, after your rhetoric has came onboard the media, almost every day I get called a Muslim pig because of you.”
But an editorial in The Australian said ABC had failed to check his social media posts, which regularly attack Israel, the US and Ms Hanson. They included conspiracies about the CIA and terrorism, and abuse such as “F### the Australian government”.
However ABC has rejected the claims in a statement:
Khaled Elomar registered to be on Monday night’s Q&A through the normal processes and there was nothing out of the ordinary about his appearance on the program.
As usual, the audience members were checked as much as is practicable on social media by the audience producers. And as usual, the audience list was referred to the AFP and the NSW Police. There were no security incidents and all audience members were well behaved and held a respectful discussion.
Less than 40 minutes of the program was spent discussing Islam, which was a relevant topic given Ms Hanson’s election, Sonia Kruger’s comments of that morning and the tragedy in Nice.
People with strong, differing and often contentious views appear on Q&A, in the audience and on the panel – that is how the program is designed. Q&A provides a safe place to talk in a constructive way about vitally important issues that often inflame people’s passions.
On Monday night the audience had that constructive conversation, and as a result about one million Australians gained better insight into what our new Senators are thinking, with thousands engaging in the discussion on social media.