Following the recent “uproar” on Q&A (the show allowed terror accused and sentenced Zaky Mallah to make some mildly inflammatory statements on-air regarding our government’s anti-terror policies, intimating that the government is forcing Muslim youths into extremism as a result) many “proud Australians” (Read: bigots, xenophobes, nationalists, politicians) have spoken up against the ABC. With MP’s Malcolm Turnbull and Alan Trudge both cancelling appearances on the show citing bad precedence and even our own PM Turny About, without so much as a whiff of irony, calling for “heads to roll” over the issue. We are however supposed to ignore the fact that these are the same individuals who were only too proud to display their support of free speech following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
The media has, as always, done its due diligence and over-inflated the issue putting far too much stock into the opinions of like-minded fools and giving a platform to the dregs of nationalism. What has been by-all thoroughly overlooked however is that every one of these faux-patriots are hitching their wagons to a farce. One attention seeking moron does not a revolution make and if unwittingly giving a moron a platform is the sole requirement for public apologies and resignations we should be inundated with them from the House of Representatives.
This is little more than misdirection. Q&A has been a thorn in the government’s side since its introduction in 2008. Sure, when things are going well an appearance on Q&A can be a boon to public opinion. If however your party is on the back of a bad year or two it can be a devastating blow to confidence. This witch hunt is more about drawing attention away from a long string of blunders (budget missteps, asylum seeker mismanagement and non-existent climate policies to name a few) as it is about free speech and who has a right to it. In this case we are not being “protected from extremism” we are being obscured from incompetence.
For more of James’s writing, see www.myownbias.blogspot.com.au