Is the ABC’s Q&A leaning too far to the left? 485



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Does the ABC’s controversial program Q&A lean too far to the left? Senate Estimates Hearings yesterday brought this feedback to the fore, with one senator telling Mark Scott, the ABC Managing Director, during Senate Hearings that the panel needs to include more balanced selection of panellists.

Senator James McGrath spoke out in the hearings on Wednesday saying that most coalition MPs acknowledge the program leans to the left and is biased against the Liberals and LNP.

 The Age quotes him as saying, “If you spoke to any Coalition MP – even those appear on it – they’d admit the program does lean to the left,” Senator McGrath said.

It certainly raises some interesting debate. Do Government sponsored media channels have the obligation to present a bipartisan political view? And what could be done to level the playing field in what could be the most widely watched political forum show on Australian television?

“There will be someone from right of centre – on a good week two people who are centre or right of centre – and then three people who are clearly left of centre or clearly not supporters of the Coalition.

“I’m interested in how that comes about and how steps are not taken to ensure there are more balanced panels”.

And the ABC Managing Director was not surprised by Senator McGrath’s comments. “It is not the first time I’ve heard that depiction”.
Mr Scott spoke at length about the show, debating that Q&A was serving its purpose in airing a range of issues.

While Q&A regularly features one politician from the left and one from the right, many other panellists cannot be easily assigned to a political category, he said via The Age.

Tell us what you think… Is Q&A leaning too far to the left?  And is it appropriate for a taxpayer funded body to be allowed to do so?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. ABC has been biased for many years and is getting worse. Being paid for by the pubiic it should be either completely neutral or present both sides of every subject. They definitely have an agenda at the moment.

    2 REPLY
    • Murdoch is paid for by the Australian public, to the tune of $900 mollion last year. Not to mention the tax that he avoids paying

    • I agree Sue, but the public has the choice to buy his products or not – with taxes we have no choice about how they are spent.

  2. I watch it every week an they give you the percentage of what side of the politics the Audience are at the start of the show , there is always more Liberal than Labor. If anything I think the deck is stacked the other way

    26 REPLY
  3. No way check back it gives what ever party is in at the time labour and lib/nat have to answer the tuff questions and not give political speak answers we need q&a

  4. They are outrageously too far left – they are absolutely rude to the PM and his ministers – I cannot believe what I see. I used to love the ABC but I just cannot abide this bad behaviour. They have no respect for the office. The Labor Party have a free run on this channel. Like a lot of other people I am very selective as to what I watch on this channel. I might tell you I voted labor all of my life until now!

    16 REPLY
  5. Although I personally lean to the left I think that political agendas are inappropriate on public media (of all types) and a proper balanced viewpoint from all sides needs to be used.

  6. Of course it leans to the left! It is the media arm of the Labor party after all! It does not adhere to it,s charter, to be fair and balanced in it,s reporting. I think there needs to be a big shake up, as is about to happen in the BBC apparently. Taxpayers fund the ABC and currently half of us are not represented! I always watch the ABC news, but haven,t watched QandA for years now. I don,t know why conservative politicians bother to go on it.

    1 REPLY
  7. I watch it every week unless someone I really dislike is on, I would say the show is very fair in its questioning and it’s audience participation, They are never going to please everyone. I can’t even see why this is an issue, if you like the show, you watch it, if you don,t then watch something else

  8. I think they are rude and ill mannered inverted snobs ,how dare they bite the hand that feeds them so well
    They are meant to be unbiased and apolitical !


  9. I find it absolutely amazing that people can’t see the bias on Q & A! There are always more socialists than conservatives on that programme and Tony Jones is a joke . And what they are paid is sickening. Cut that programme , it just stirs up the emotions of hate and divisions. And I have never heard a good word said about our PM, you would think there would be a more balanced view!

    19 REPLY
    • I think it is time they were privatised, they are a loose cannon and the damage they can do could be beyond repair. Everyone has to be accountable in the roles they are employed in – why not the ABC?

    • Well said Shelley Ruth Michelle Burden i never miss it .Its more Right than Left LNP, if people dont like it dont watch it simple .

    • Never miss it! If you think there is not a kind word said about Our PM it could be because no one has any respect for him! For goodness sake accept that there are some who don’t agree with you and yet entitled to their opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Joanne – Rubbish. Check the audience opinion poll at the start of each and every programme. It’s shown at the foot of the screen. The LNP always have the greatest audience representation.

    • exactly Dennis and they just given me a load of abuse for saying the same thing, they never watch Q&A, they are just mouthing off like spoilt children and convincing no one but themselves

    • That is because there is nothing good to say about this PM, he is doing this country a great dos-service by taking it backwards instead of forwards. Nope, nope, nope!

    • There is very little you can say about him . He is doing so much harm to the community even his party hold different views to him and embarrassed by his captains call ,one person decisions and out of touch views

    • Obviously you labour lovies are totally blind. Remember Rudd,Gillard,Rudd& now Shorten the union thug who talks like a feral. What an embarrassment he would be on the world stage AND borders open, carbon tax , huge public service, more businesses closing down. Oh that’s right Swannie gave us a SURPLUS lol if you lot think that’s good for Australia you must be dreaming . Or uneducated. Or just totally self absorbed. Yes the PM is well liked and you guys are hateful , thank goodness most Australians care more for their country than you do.

    • How do you know the figures they put at the bottom of the screen are true? Do you really believe everything you hear and see on the ‘idiot box’ ? Q & A is very biased and indoctrinating, and I stopped watching it years ago. Occasionally, I try to have a critical look, but it hasn’t changed one bit, in fact it has been getting worse. It should be scrapped.
      And also that very left, dim witted and sarcastic woman on ABC 24 breakfast show. She makes my skin crawl.

    • Joanne you are the one who is hateful
      Just look at what you have said about Mr Rudd, Miss Gillard and Mr Shorten
      Every one is so hateful and so angered about Governments Remember if you don’t like a Government kick them out next election. I am not uneducated as I vote for the Candidate who is going to office better service in my area not the Person who is going to be the PM

    • You only have to read the majority of these comments to see the hatred they all have for the conservative side of Politics, because they are pro Labor, the majority of people that Tony will have on the Show.

  10. I think it is fair, you can’t always tell what side of the fence the non politicions are on when they come on until they give their views, sometimes the LNP side hog the show. It’s just that LNP supporters can’t stand any criticism.

    5 REPLY
    • these people can’t accept that others have a different opinion to them and that is why I think that they hate the show

    • No I’m not joking, I have family and friends who are LNP supported, they have only one eye for sure, and can’t stand for anyone to have a different opinion to theirs, and talk louder than you to get their point across, tell you you are stupid for having a different opinion than theirs. The only way to get on with them is to keep your mouth shut and don’t offer an opinion at all.

    • That’s not a bad thing Enid Brown, lull them into a false sense of security , let your vote speak on election day ..just like what happened in Queensland. Lnp are shocked when they realize the public has seen through them .

    • I agree the number of LNP supporters you read who still rabbit on about disproved statements made by their party is incredible. I have found extreme one eyed labor supporters on far left sites, but most of the considered opinions that the right wingers deride as being Leftist are probably just from intelligent individuals who think about every issue on its merits. Swinging voters who judge a party on its actual performance and policies and don’t vote either way just because they always have.

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