ABC TV’s Insiders returns in 2019 with a difference



ABC TV has confirmed it will air a 2019 series of its Sunday morning political discussion program, Insiders, but with a major difference compared with previous years.

Since first airing in 2001 the program has been built around a cast of political “insiders”, usually members of the Federal Parliamentary Media Gallery, discussing major issues of the week among themselves.

The program has been hosted by experienced political journalist Barrie Cassidy with each episode featuring three of his colleagues from various media outlets.

ABC’s head of inconvenient truth programming, Karl Stalin, told The Bug the national broadcaster recognised the Insiders program should not continue in its current format.

Mr Stalin said changes would be made in 2019 based on extensive viewer research conducted by the ABC.

“We realised that Insiders is no different to any panel discussion show on any channel because it’s just people sitting in front of TV cameras and flapping their jaws for 30 or 60 minutes,” he told The Bug.

“The panellists – often over-the-hill hacks from the dying print-media side of things – usually just drone on until one of the others interrupts them for no reason other than they haven’t had the camera on them for a minute or so.

“It’s really pretty deadly dull when you think about it, and the only real bright spot in the history of the show was the 2011 stand-up brawl between David Marr and Gerard Henderson (pictured). But you can’t have one of those every Sunday, can you?

“The audience research we undertook shows viewers consider the weekly panellists to be very good at just rabbiting on about things that are only of interest to those who live and breathe politics in the Canberra hothouse.

insiders marr brawl“In other words, as the Yanks would put it, it’s an ‘inside the beltway’ program. This feeling came through very strongly in surveys we also conducted of viewers who have given up watching it.

“Those ex-viewers said the weekly panellists only repeated what the viewers themselves had seen, heard, or read in a range of other media during the week.

“They basically told us they saw Insiders as just a forum for a handful of commentators to air their so-called ‘inside’ knowledge, talk to each other as if the viewer didn’t exist, and strut their very large and precious egos. They also thought a lot of their supposedly ‘insider’ analysis was pure shit anyway. Or Liberal propaganda in the case of Niki ‘here’s what the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government needs to do to survive’ Savva.”

Mr Stalin said as a result of the findings the ABC would make a significant change to the 2019 season of Insiders.

“We already knew from polls that the Australian people have stopped listening to their federal politicians so our research asked the obvious question: have they stopped listening to Insiders too?

“The answer was yes but luckily we found they haven’t switched off yet either. So we decided to play to our strengths,” he explained. “So, as from the first show in 2019 Insiders will be broadcast with no sound for all of its 60 minutes on air. Total silence. We won’t even be subtitling it. We’re saving money on audio  and viewers can’t get any more pissed off than they already are so we keep our ratings safe.

“We will also be accentuating the ‘inside’ characteristics of the program. It will be just like the front windows of electrical stores around Australia in the 1950s. Viewers will have their faces pressed up against the window with the panellists jawboning inside but won’t be able to hear a word of the shit they’re saying or how mumbly, bumbly and confused poor old Barrie has been getting of late. These days he’s worse than Malcolm Farr and Dennis Atkins have always been.

“We think that will really strengthen the concept of the show and truly put the ‘inside’ into Insiders,” Mr Stalin said.