A second panelist on tonight’s episode of Q&A has reporetedly pulled out of the program in protest of the ABC’s handling of its controversial episode last week.
This morning Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary, Alan Tudge, reneged on his invitation to appear on tonight’s episode. Now The Australian is this afternoon reporting that a second guest – the Menzies Research Centre’s Nick Cater – has also pulled the plug, as a protest to terrorist sympathiser Zaky Mallah appearance on last week’s program
The Oz is quoting a letter Cater sent to Q&A’s executive producer Peter McEvoy for his reason for not appearing. Cater has appeared on the program twice before.
The letter quotes Cater, a former senior editor at The Australian, as saying: “Given that the ABC has failed to apologise unequivocally for giving an open microphone to a convicted criminal and terrorist sympathiser on last week’s Q&A, I will no longer be participating in tonight’s program.
“The Menzies Research Centre is a public policy think tank, not a political player. The reputation of our ongoing public policy research must be protected.
“My personal view is we have to take the fight up to the ABC and our critics and we should take every opportunity to be on those kind of programs.
“But the failure of the ABC to unequivocally apologise for the gross error in bringing on a criminal and terrorist sympathiser makes a calm and rational discussion of these matters impossible tonight.”
Fairfax this morning reported that communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was offered the vacant slot, however, declined.
The guests for tonight’s program will be – the deputy leader of the opposition Tanya Plibersek, the Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, counter terrorism expert Dr Anna Aly, and physicist Lawrence Krauss.
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