Stung by criticisms that its state election coverage panel on Saturday night is too right-wing, Channel 7 in Sydney has moved swiftly to bring greater balance to the broadcast.
Added to the existing expert panel (pictured far right and above in a Channel 7 promo) to provide a left-leaning perspective will be a miked-up Ho Chi Minh (very left, below) from his mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Noted American serial killer Hannibal Lecter (top image) also joins the commentary team. Very few people would know this but early in his killing spree across the United States in the 1960s, Lecter released bizarre manifestos with strong Trotskyist and Lennon/McCartney influences.
Confined to a secret federal penitentiary somewhere on the US mainland, Mr Lecter has also obtained a masters in psephology during his decades of confinement and will be brought into the conversation occasionally as Channel 7’s answer to Antony Green to offer his professional assessments as the count unfolds across NSW.
“I think we’ve now got the balance pretty right and, really, that’s all we can aim to do as a professional media outlet,” said Seven’s assistant director of programming Tory Backer.
“And if our cameras somehow manage to capture Hannibal enjoying someone’s liver with fava beans washed down with a nice chianti then that wouldn’t hurt our ratings either.
“We do realise that any deeply informed comments Ho might wish to make during the night might be difficult to hear from inside his glass coffin. There will also be language barriers to overcome but we’ll use sub-titles if necessary.
“But at least we’ll also be able to tick the box when it comes to ethnic diversity on our panel.
“Now all we need to keep the Twittersphere at bay is a couple more sheilas. I wonder if that WAFL player with the long legs is available?
“You wouldn’t happen to have her number, would you?” Mr Backer asked The Bug. “She could give our ratings a real kick along.”