The ABC has been peddling backwards after a Q&A audience member said that Australian muslims who disagree with Liberal politicians are “justified” in joining ISIS.
Zaky Mallah, who pleaded guilty to making death threats against parliamentary officials back in 2003, spent two years in high security jail in Goulburn before he was acquitted on two terrorism charges.
During Q&A, Mallah commented on the government’s plans to strip dual national citizens of their Australian citizenship if they are involved in terrorist acts.
— ABC News (@abcnews) June 23, 2015
“I think that’s a comment we are going to rule totally out of order,” Q&A host Tony Jones said, “I’m sorry about that. I don’t think there is much more to say at this point.”
This morning the director of ABC Television, Richard Finlayson said in a statement: “In attempting to explore important issues about the rights of citizens and the role of the Government in fighting terrorism, the Q&A program made an error in judgement in allowing Zaky Mallah to join the audience and ask a question.
“Mr Mallah has been interviewed by the Australian media on a number of occasions. The environment of a live television broadcast, however, meant it would not be possible for editorial review of the comments he might make prior to broadcast, particularly if he engaged in debate beyond his prepared question.
“Tony Jones correctly and immediately ruled a statement made by Mr Mallah as out of order.”
Twitter, as it usually does during a Q&A broadcast, exploded:
#QandA I don’t believe Jones can justify having a terror suspect threaten a govt polly and exhort Muslims to join ISIS! Hope it gets out!
— Bill Henry (@BigBilly3) June 22, 2015
I was all prepared to give that young man the benefit of the doubt until he opened his mouth and spoke garbage #qanda
— Dame Sandy (@SandyJB57) June 22, 2015