THAT ABC political talkfest Q&A recorded its lowest-ever ratings on the same night Malcolm Turnbull and Sarah Hanson-Young featured as panellists was a classic case of cause meet effect.
Thursday’s program attracted just 224,000 viewers – which means the only people watching were those employed in the national broadcaster’s legal department.
The remaining 25 million Australians did anything else but tune in. And who could blame them?
The Turnbull / Hanson-Young double act was a ratings disaster waiting to happen, even without the rehash of climate change orthodoxy thrown in.
Senator Hanson-Young and ratings greatness do not go hand-in-hand.
And you’ve almost got to feel sorry for former Prime Minister Turnbull.
I said “almost”.
The Labor Party didn’t want him. The Liberal Party tired of him. The NSW State Government wanted him, and then didn’t want him after all. And on Thursday night he ran into the warm embrace of the ABC, only to discover viewers didn’t want him either.
Naturally, it was a complete mystery to bosses at the ABC as to why a program focusing on climate change and emissions targets with the Miserable Ghost and the Sea Patrol Senator as special guests did not rate.
But one thing is for sure, the result points to what the majority of Australians think of woke climate alarmism. Prime Minister Scott Morrison might like to take note.
But back to Q&A and the Australia Bashing Corporation.
ABC director of entertainment Michael Carrington was quoted in The Australian saying “we’ve discovered that audiences now look for content elsewhere around 9pm.”
I think Carrington might find that audiences are looking for content elsewhere 24/7.
Outside of the ABC studios in Ultimo, nobody is interested in watching far left politicians, far left authors and far left actors attack a solitary right-leaning heterosexual male every week.
The naval-gazing toxic celebration of gender-bending wokeness and identity politics – which invariably ends up as a boring, formulaic, green-left pile on – just isn’t attracting audiences.
People are bored with the five woke topics Q&A recycles in an endless zombie-like loop each week.
Or perhaps people have grown weary of being ridiculed and denigrated by the self-superior cohort Q&A likes to assemble.
Or maybe a weekly platform for feral leftists to scream “victim” and “crisis”, while mouthing slogans as if they were intellectual arguments, just isn’t as amusing as the ABC director of entertainment imagines it to be.
Television journalist Neralda Jacobs, featured as a guest on Q&A’s history making lowest ever rating episode, fired off this zinger during a segment on climate change: “If you believe there’s a future in fossil fuels then you are a fossil fool”.
Well drop the mic!
Not since Churchill has an English speaking nation produced such oratory. Why wouldn’t audiences want to tune in each week for witty word play like that?
I mean, unless they were already busy getting one of those Covid anal swab tests which seem to be so much more fun than spending an evening trapped in the ABC’s radical green/left echo chamber of nonsense.
The Government should sell the ABC. They would save tax payers more than $1 billion every year, forever.
But the ABC will not be sold. And so Q&A will survive, due to the simple fact that it is accountable to no-one.
It has no shareholders to satisfy. It has no advertising dollar to attract.
I suspect the low ratings will hardly bother staff at the ABC at all.
Rather than bemoan the fact that barely anyone is watching these days, they will likely congratulate themselves for “telling the truth, even if no-one is watching” and so redefine failure as a virtue and make their lack of viewers an asset.
Next Thursday Q&A panellists will again lecture and hector and abuse viewers until those of us who don’t agree with their arguments – by which I mean sloganeering – just get up and walk away.
At this rate, the Q&A live audience will soon be larger than the show’s television audience.
James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for The Spectator.
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