The federal immigration minister Peter Dutton has renewed his attack on the ABC and described news of controversial host Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s axing overnight as “one down, many to go” on Sydney breakfast radio this morning.
Last week Dutton launched an extraordinary attack on Fairfax Media, calling it “out of touch” and that Australians would be “better off without reading Fairfax newspapers”.
On his regular segment on Macquarie’s 2GB with host Ray Hadley, Dutton turned his venom on the ABC, singling out Abdel-Magied and the Q&A program.
Dutton called Abdel-Magied axing, whose Australia Wide program has been culled by ABC management, a “good start” and added he’d like to see more ABC employees go.
The minister said the ABC had a “cultural problem” and suggested Q&A had defended terrorism by only having academics on the program who played it off as a minor problem while ignoring the voices of actual victims.
Dutton described Q&A as a “waste of taxpayer money” and said the ABC board “needs to deal with it”. He also described the show’s host, Tony Jones, as a “disgrace”.
The minister told 2GB: “You can muse about it and carry on, the reality is as we’re seeing now victims as young as eight, those families who have allowed their children, young children, teenage children to go to a music concert as all of us have done over a long period of time, travel out to a public place, go on a bus, go on a train, whatever it might be, those people, those victims of that crime and those families that are left behind frankly I think they’re the people and their voices should be heard, not the voices of some academics or people that seek to get their face on Q&A.
“I actually think there is a fundamental problem with the ABC, particularly around Q&A, the composition of the audience, the selection of these people on the panel and the direction it’s given by Tony Jones. You’re right you’ve raised my blood pressure,” he railed.
Dutton’s comments follow-on from claims of ABC bias by members of the One Nation party who have called for $600 million to be pulled from the public broadcaster’s annual budget. Party leader Pauline Hanson has also refused to give any interviews to ABC journalists.