Because of a deliberate campaign by the right-wing senator Eric Abetz, the ABC has gone out of its way to boost the Liberal voting and conservative element in the studio audience for the political discussion program Q & A.
ABC managing director Mark Scott told a Senate estimates hearing yesterday that, of the 2500 people who had attended the program this year, 34.4 per cent said they supported the Coalition, while 33.9 per cent voted Labor. Green voters comprised 12.8 per cent of audiences, while 2.4 per cent supported other parties and 16.6 per cent declined to reveal their voting intention…
…To restore the balance, Q & A producers leaned on Liberal politicians, firms such as Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers and organisations including the Australian Christian Lobby, the Australian Union of Jewish Students, the Australian Family Association and the Australian Retailers Association in their hunt for conservatives.
The Howard government has gone but their miserable culture wars live on. The ABC has to bow to the whims of wingnuts like Abetz or, presumably, stand accused of commie radical advocacy. There is a huge double standard at play here.
If that tactic had been employed by the ABC to boost input from people Mr Abetz didn’t approve of, it would have been called “stacking”. If efforts had been made to boost input from marginalised or less powerful groups in society, it would have been called “affirmative action”, and you know how well that goes down with the Abetzes and Albrechtsons. Oh, well, consistency, you know, the hobgoblin of little minds, etcetera.
12.8 percent Greens in the audience is called “over-representation”. When a single Liberal senator pressures the ABC to use affirmative action and stacking to increase the rightwing content of the audience, it’s called “balance”. Anyway, that explains why there are so many inane questions from young apparatchiks-in-the-making in this program’s audience.
Crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo. Edited to correct typo “12.8 Greens” to “12.8 percent Greens