ABC too lax about Mallah
THE ABC didn’t bother checking Zaky Mallah’s recent social media history, YouTube posts or gain advice from community figures before the terrorist sympathiser appeared on Q& A.
Revelations of the lackadaisical approach the national broadcaster took before allowing Mallah a live platform on Q& A were revealed in a damning government report released yesterday.
It was also revealed the ABC had received almost 1000 complaints about the episode.
The report found Mallah had appeared in the audience twice previously, dating back to 2011, and had been booked as an audience member another three times but had cancelled those appearances.
The probe by the Department of Communications found the ABC phoned two people who knew Mallah but they did not answer the calls.
Rather than seek further advice, the ABC asked one of its journalists to review tweets Mallah posted in August 2014 and looked at previous media appearances Mallah had done.
The ABC did not check his tweets from this year, among which he called for two female journalists to be “gang banged”.
After its checks the ABC determined Mallah was: “not dangerous, would not be disruptive and would be a suitable audience member to ask a question.”
The report did not provide recommendations or form any views about the ABC’s actions.
Q& A executive producer Peter McEvoy, who made the ultimate decision to allow Mallah on the program, has since been issued with a formal warning from the ABC board.
The ABC this week announced it had launched an independent review of the episode.
Zaky Mallah on