“You ought to be ashamed” says human rights commissioner 304



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Last night’s episode of Q&A tackled the issue at hand straight off the bat, with host Tony Jones and the Liberal appointee to the Human Right Commission Tim Wilson facing off over last week’s inclusion of Zaky Mallah on the show.

Mr Wilson said he had considered boycotting the show in line with fellow party members, but decided to go on the show to explain a few things to the producers.

“Over the past week, I have vacillated as a private citizen about whether I go on because I am not happy with Q&A’s conduct last week, but as human rights commissioner I feel an obligation to go on Q&A and explain what free speech actually means,” Mr Wilson said.

He said Mr Jones – who opened by saying the entire staff of Q&A was responsible for the content of each show – and the producers should be “ashamed” for the decisions made last week.

“I think the producers and yourself ought to be ashamed of yourselves for giving him a platform. The issue at heart is that the ABC chose to give this person a platform on live television,” Mr Wilson said.

“To be brutally honest Tony when I came on this program in 2008 it was an environment where we had serious policy discussion. Too often these days it’s caught up with gotcha moments and snide remarks designed to get extra attention in the news cycle,” he added.

The Q&A host opened the show by saying it was the ABC’s role to give people a voice under certain guidelines.

“The ABC’s editorial standards tell us to present a diversity of perspectives so that over time no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded, nor disproportionately represented,” he said, implying that is what they did last week.

Mr Jones said the “safety and security” of the panellists and audience “is always a key priority for us”.

Elaborating on the topic of freedom of speech, Mr Wilson said, “No one has called for this individual [Zaky Mallah] to be silenced or censored. No one has called for that.”

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to receive a report of an investigation into last week’s Q&A program on Tuesday.

The department investigated the context in which Mr Mallah appeared on the program, the decision-making process for the appearance and the protocols used in regard to physical security for the live broadcast.

Whether government ministers will continue to boycott the show remains to be seen, however, one Liberal MP thinks it is the wrong move. Queensland backbencher Ewen Jones said refusing to appear on the show “smacks of petulance” and is counter-productive.

Do you think this will put an end to the standoff between the Government and the ABC? What do you think of Tim Wilson’s appearance on the show? 

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  1. with regard to tim wilsons appearance on q&a,he is what he is a coalition appointed commisioner pushing the coalition barrow of thought,pretty predictable,were are the balls in the coalition,alan tudge has none,peter dutton wiring is on repeat the mantra,malcom campbell has trouble keeping it simple,he just likes to hear himself,avoiding the issues with dramatics as for abbott,pointless asking him to respond with something sensible

  2. Congratulations Tim Wilson, thank you for doing your job and expressing the view’s of mainstream Australians! Clearly you take your tax payer funded position responsibly, unlike Q&A.

    10 REPLY
    • Mainstream Australia agrees 100% with the ABC. Only the fascists disagree, and their opinion is worth less than nothing.

    • He is actually paid, and so is his institute of public affairs by big donors like corporations and right wing rich donors who want to stay anonymous and pay him to promote their views. Go and look it up… An other con of the right wing machinery, the name “public affairs” is nothing public..an other propaganda machine, with the Murdock press. I know he has taken a position for the government for human rights! Give me a break! An other captain call I suppose !!

    • It is sad that you don’t believe people have the right to express their opinions, and other people have the right to hear them. If you are really about terrorism in Australia, you should be listening to all viewpoints!

    • So Roger, you have heard all of the joices from “mainstream” Australia?You must have deep pockets and a wonderful survey engine.

    • Tim Wilson is an IPA plant put in place by Abbott’s fascist leaning government to slant and corrupt opinions towards an arrogant right wing thought process. Had they been able to shame Gillian Triggs into resigning for telling the truth he would have been planted firmly in her position. I get so sick of the unfettered arrogance of those that believe they speak for “mainstream Australia”. I really don’t think most thinking Australians are prepared to hand our nation over to Abbott’s redneck followers just yet.

    • Roger, I’m a mainstream Australian. Married 32 years with 2 (now adult) children, we are very mainstream, ordinary tax-paying Aussies. I disagree completely with your view and find it obnoxious that you assume you can speak for mainstream Aussies. By all means speak your own opinion without fear or favour. That’s called free speech. Do not ever assume you speak for others. That is arrogant and misguided.

      1 REPLY
      • I agree with you Michelle – people who claim to speak for “mainstream Australians” are arrogant in their ignorance. This is what got the Queensland and Victorian Libs in trouble and voted out, and it can happen in the Feds too. Too much media hype taken to mean ‘everyone agrees with me’ – and the voters quietly show how untrue that idea was! I live in a plural household – he votes one way, I vote another – it has been less plural lately. He is definitely much more disillusioned than I am! That tells me something that none of the focus groups and polls will ever tell – ware the ides, Abbott.

    • Roger Carrigan , yes, I agree with you
      Regardless of whether you think Mallah a pathetic loser – and certainly given his awful tweets in which he suggested Newscorp columnists “Rita Panihi and Miranda Divine [sic] Both need to be gangbanged on the Sunrise desk”
      After all, Personally, I think putting Mallah on the program was incorrect purely because of his tweets about Devine and Panihi. I’m all for different people being allow to have a say, but the bloke had already demonstrated on the public forum of Twitter that what he has to say – and it’s not worth bothering with. He is in my openion a very dangerous misogynist criminal. !!!!!!!!

  3. I’m “main stream” Australia. Please don’t presume to speak for me Roger.

    11 REPLY
    • Certainly would not do that Anne Pow but fact remains mainstream Australia does not agree that the abc was in any way justified to provide a platform for that anti Australian grub! Interesting it appears from much comment that many in the extreme left indicated their support. Fact is they are not mainstream!

      1 REPLY
      • Roger, would you like to explain to us how you assume “Mainstream Australia” supports these declarations of fear & abuse.
        If Mainstream Australia supports Mr Ciobo’s declaration of slitting a Prime Ministers throat, it’s not part of any Mainstream I’m aware of, & they would be a greater threat to the Constitution than any halfwit on a skateboard. The PM has been scaremongering since the Lindt tragedy.
        Incompetent treasurer/routed economy deflection much.

    • you don’t know mainstream Australia, all you know are the people who in your vicinity, there are 23 million people in Australia and I doubt very much you know them all !! The ABC is getting a lot of support on Social media and off

    • Where do you get your statistics on who makes up mainstream from Roger? I’m not extreme left, but I will defend the right of people to have opinions other than mine. Far right commentators become almost hysterical when their views are challenged.

    • The issue isn’t about the right to have free speech Anne. No one wont’s to stop free speech! The issue is firstly the Q&A programs are heavenly bias to extreme left views when mainstream Australians would appreciate some balance from their tax payer funded media. Further more ‘free speech’ isn’t an excuse to provide a national platform for an Un Australian grub to promote hatred in this country— that certainly isn’t the role of a tax payer funded Australian media.

      2 REPLY
      • What you see mate as “Extreme left views” is an LNP platform of loyalty. Anything not Extreme right wing is regarded as “Left”
        I can nominate several LNP policy’s that I found appropriate.
        I can nominate several things this & the previous PM have done that I find inexcusable. That is “mainstream Australia” & it has nothing to do with communism.
        Now do your credibility a service & address issues without the “Reds under beds” drivel. It’s an appalling reflection on the era you & this government are trying to reclaim.

      • Good heavens man! Don’t you get it? People are allowed to disagree with your view point. YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT! No matter what you think.

    • But it’s ok for LNP politicians to recommend violence against a sitting Prime Minister, ironically using methods of death used by terrorists. Pot calling the kettle black! ABC is fine the way it is. If you don’t like it, turn it off & watch the totally unbiased, ethical commercial channels or better still Fox! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      1 REPLY
      • or better still stick with andrew bolt. he suits your point of view

    • Roger Carrigan you cannot speak for mainstream Australia unless you have spoken to each and every one of us. The ABC is the only TV station that still trys to give all sides a voice and I think all Australians, except those with hidden agendas, like the diversity and credibility of the ABC for this. We are told by our government that the threat from terrorists to us and our country is higher and higher so we loose more rights and freedoms in the name of our safety but we are forbidden to hear from these people who this government say threaten our safety. That in itself is taking away our access to free speech. How can this government take away our access to one type of speech but allow the constant radical speech we get from most TV and media as long as it supports this government and destroys all other party’s that may stand against what they are trying to do no matter how right or wrong they may be?
      I also find deplorable the use of the expression of things like not on my taxes or as you have said here ” from their tax payer funded media”. That’s a group of saying invented by the NLP, in john Howard’s time actually, designed to divide and isolate and it is often used in a horrid and insulting way by this government and people who believe everything that’s said by them instead of thinking for themselves. It’s actually dangerous to allow our right to freedom of speech (and to be heard) to be taken away bit by bit. That’s what dictatorship starts with. How can a country and its people protect themselves if they loose the knowledge of the truth around them?

    • What can I say? Sharon you have given voice to precisely the issues that are worrying and depressing me. As a student of history I’ve seen how the rights of people are gradually whittled away in the name of security, how minorities are demonised and alienated and how decades later sane people ask, ” how did they let this happen?”

    • Roger he is not anti Australian. Be careful of how Much of the Abbott rhetoric you believe. All Abbot’s scaremongering is just over the top.

  4. I watched Q&A and for Human Rights Commissioner I thought Tim Wilson was a rude and aggressive man

    6 REPLY
    • Agree, he certainly showed what a short fuse he has which indicates he is a sook. He is undergoing a re education program under the auspices of some very good people but clearly he is failing the pass rate. He is actually an IPA plant. Nothing like having ‘a man on the inside’.

    • Yes, I agree totally – couldn’t even answer a question – went off on his own drivel. And Robina I totally agree about the short fuse – he came across (to me anyway) as having anger management problems.

  5. As usual I watched Q&A and as usual I found they let people with different views express themselves. Hope this is allowed to continue in future programming. If not, every we have a remote control and can make decisions by just changing channels.

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