The ABC has set a broadcasting record by issuing three apologies in short order for an item appearing on today’s edition of its weekly political panel program Insiders.
Shortly after the program ended the ABC broadcast an apology to viewers for an interview between host David Speers and Acting Prime Minister and National Party leader, Barnaby Joyce. (main picture)
The interview centred on Mr Joyce’s stand on the Morrison Government’s emissions-reduction target and whether he and his party, as part of the coalition government, would support a target of zero net emissions by 2050 as advocated by some Liberal Party members.
The ABC’s initial apology followed a deluge of calls to the national broadcaster’s switchboards around the nation and messages to its social media channels from viewers asking why the interview was run backwards.
The callers complained that they couldn’t understand anything Mr Joyce said and that the ABC’s technical stuff-up had reduced his utterances to meaningless gibberish.
However, the apology was interrupted by Insiders host David Speers who explained that the interview was not run backwards but that Mr Joyce was simply performing in his normal manner as the greatest retail politician in the nation.
The ABC then issued a second apology apologising for its first mistaken apology.
Following another wave of calls and social media attacks, the ABC shortly afterwards issued a third announcement distancing itself from Mr Speers and his limp questioning of Mr Joyce about his past declaration, made before he returned to the National Party leadership and the post of Deputy PM, about the need to return the “Biolela family” to their former Central Queensland community.
“The ABC apologises for this lapse in expected standards and for the fact Mr Speers let the loudmouth grandstanding hypocrite off the hook,” the announcement said.