Last night Channel Seven aired an investigation into anti-Islam group Reclaim Australia during the network’s Sunday Night program, things took an awkward turn as viewers voted in support of the anti-Islam group but Twitter exploded with rage.
According to OzTAM metro figures, 896,000 Australians tuned in to watch Sunday Night which featured an interview with Reclaim Australia’s founders. The group’s founders told Channel Seven reporter Alex Cullen that Reclaim Australia wants to ‘save’ the country from halal and Islamisation.
Co-founder of the group John Oliver said: “I can’t let my kids grow up in a country where kids are getting murdered in the streets. It’s just not Australian.”
During the show an online poll asked whether audience members thought Reclaim Australia represents Australian values – at one point the vote was 79-22 in favour of the group, many of the vote were Reclaim’s Facebook fans who were encouraged to cast their vote.
Anticipating criticism for giving the controversial group airtime, Cullen wrote a piece justifying the segment:
“A lot of people ask me, ‘why are you giving these people airtime?’ It’s a fair question and one I have thought long and hard about. I have to then ask, why not?,” Cullen wrote.
“These are real people with a serious story to tell as are those who are standing up to oppose them. Their actions concern a lot of people, from the Prime Minister down. So, do they warrant our attention? Their motivations, views and aspirations should be questioned and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Following the segment, #ReclaimAustralia was trending on Twitter, mostly attacking Channel Seven for giving them air time:
It must be just exhausting living your everyday life with such anger and hate. #ReclaimAustralia
— Qld_Nurse (@Nursey_Ally) October 18, 2015
I’m so ashamed/embarrassed that #ReclaimAustralia is trending. I apologise profusely to my Muslim friends for the racist bs that is flying.
— Eddie Kareena (@ekareens) October 18, 2015
I’m going to presume #ReclaimAustralia is the Indigenous population taking back from their European invaders? No? Oh awks…
— Matt Blomeley (@MattBlomeley) October 18, 2015
— Arif (@Atozai) October 18, 2015
— Felicity Reynolds (@FlickReynolds) October 18, 2015
I’d be more worried about bringing children up in a world of hatred and inequality, not ‘reclaiming’ Australia #SundayNight
— Yasmin Milner (@yasmin_milner) October 18, 2015
— Mona Abu Zalaf (@Monaabuzalaf) October 18, 2015
Shame that #SundayNight is giving vile, uneducated, bigoted morons media coverage with no balance in their “report”. Great “Journalism” guys
— Filip (@mcfilip) October 18, 2015
— Todd Morgan (@todd_morgan) October 18, 2015