News National Ray Martin: Q&A ban ‘silly’

Ray Martin: Q&A ban ‘silly’

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The journalist charged with conducting the inquiry into the ABC program Q&A after the Zaky Mallah controversy has described the furore as a “political issue”.

Ray Martin also said the move to ban government ministers from the show was “silly” and that Tony Abbott’s actions are reminiscent of a Prime Minister looking to an election.

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Zaky Mallah’s appearance on Q&A has triggered a long chain of controversy. Photo: ABC

“I thought it was about time for a little balance,” Martin told Sunrise. “I thought the rants and raves were a bit crazy about that thing so I think it’s at least time to have a look.”

“I can’t imagine Australia without the ABC, that doesn’t mean it can’t be better.

“It’s clearly a political issue at the moment in terms of terror and I think we’ve already started looking towards the next election.”

There has been plenty of criticism of Q&A after former terror suspect Zaky Mallah asked a question on June 22.

His controversial response to a government minister prompted Tony Abbott to order Martin and former SBS managing director Shaun Brown to look over the past 22 shows for political bias.

“We’re looking back at the last 22 programs,” Martin said. “I’d like to see what happened the year before when there was a Labor Government. I suspect that Tony Jones was as tough on the Labor Government as he is on the Coalition right now.

“I think a Bex and a good lie down would help at the moment.”

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