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Friday, May 29, 2009

ABC's Q and A bias

The first series for the year of Australian television's Q and A finished up last night after 16 episodes.

The ShadowLands has just completed an analysis of all the guests the ABC has had on the show so far this year. Assuming that someone who supports the ALP or political causes to its left are "lefties", and those who support the Liberal Party or political causes to its right are "righties", our major conclusions are as follows:

* Lefties outnumbered righties on the panel for 12 out of 16 weeks.

* There was balance between lefties and righties for 3 out of 16 weeks.

* Righties outnumbered lefties one week, (but the non-politician righties Susan Cato and Wendy Machin were both fairly restrained on the night.)

* 42 out of 80 guests were lefties (52.5 %)

* 27 out of 80 guests were righties (33.75%)

* 11 out of 80 guests were of indeterminate political persuasion (13.75%)

* Excluding the two Federal politicians from opposing sides who appeared each week, 27 guests were lefties, 12 were righties and 11 were of indeterminate political persuasion.

* Three Islamic representatives were given the chance to speak for the Islamic world, but no Jewish people were given a similar opportunity any week. One Jewish person who did appear, (Louise Adler) spread vile falsehoods about Israel that the show has yet to correct.

* Only one vocal AGW climate sceptic appeared, namely Andrew Bolt. This won't surprise anyone who knows about this.

The following is the data that we have used to make these conclusions. Please note, there were 15 appearances by Federal politicians from the ALP (lefties) and 15 from the coalition (righties) *. These are included in total figures. For the sake of brevity, we bring you all the other guests and our analysis of their position on the political scale.

We are happy to change these designations and our conclusions if readers can show evidence to make us change our minds.

Week 1
Peter Cosgrove - neither
Fiona Wood - neither
Tania Major - neither
Tim Flannery - lefty
Jonty Bush - neither

Week 2
Kate Carnell - righty
Senator Christine Milne – lefty
Paul Howes - lefty

Week 3
Leslie Cannold - lefty
Jonathan Biggins - lefty
Sabrina Houssami – neither (a bit confused)

Week 4
Sally Warhaft, - lefty
Rebecca Weisser - righty
Geoffrey Cousins – supports whoever is in power, thus - lefty

Week 5
John Symond, - neither
Noeline Brown - lefty
Dr Tanveer Ahmed - righty

Week 6
Bettina Arndt – righty
Bruce Wolpe – lefty
Fr Peter Kennedy – lefty

Week 7
Andrew Bolt- righty
Louise Adler – lefty
Susan Carland - lefty

Week 8
Satyajit Das - neither
Dennis Altman - lefty
Rachel Fry - righty

Week 9
Andrew Boe - lefty
Jane Caro - lefty
John Hewson - neither - no evidence he supports any conservative causes these days.

Week 10
John Elliott - righty
Catherine Deveny – lefty
Stephen Crittenden – lefty

Week 11
PJ O’Rourke – righty
Cindy Pan - neither
David Marr – lefty

Week 12
Sarah Hanson Young - lefty
Pru Goward – righty
Wesley Enoch - lefty

Week 13
Greg Sheridan - righty
Guy Rundle - lefty
Randa Abdel Fattar - lefty

Week 14
Misha Shubert - lefty
Geoffrey Cousins– lefty
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor – neither

Week 15
Bob Ellis - lefty
Wendy Machin - righty
Susan Cato – righty

Week 16
William McInnes - lefty
Peter Holmes a Court - neither
Miriam Lyons – lefty

* NB In episode one, all the guests were people who have won Australian of the Year awards and there were no politicians


kae said...

Is is me or is the latest post black on black?
I would have placed Tanya Major as a lefty.
And McInnes more central (just 'cos he's an entertainer, I don't think he believes that his opinion/ideas/ideals should be adopted by the people he entertains, unlike some other celeb/entertainers).

WV: mingudic

dave said...

Interesting. Good work!

by the way, Margo's, your formatting is screwed up.

Margo's Maid said...

Thanks for the tip on formatting - hopefully it will come good. It's a frustrating bug.

McInnes described himself as a lifelong Labor voter, so scored a lefty tag.

Tania Major is arguable - she has spoken out about Aborigines taking responsibility for themselves on some issues, rather like Noel Pearson and would score as a lefty on others. I have given her the benefit of the doubt.

There are others where I have suspicions - you would think, for example, Peter Holmes a Court might be a natural conservative, but I can find nothing from his utterances to back this up.

spot_the_dog said...


No-one at Bolta's can read your black-on-black text....

Any chance you can fix, somehow?


Infidel Tiger said...

If Peter Holmes a' Court is anything like his mum, then he'll be a red ragger for sure.

Anonymous said...

Week 13 included Mark Arbib (ALP Hack) as well, although he didn't add much.

Egg said...

Holmes a' Court came across as having a li'l too much pedigree and a lack of cross breeding in the top paddock...

Quacker said...

Could you do an analysis on the Liberal politicians that were invited on. The few shows I saw seemed to have wet Liberals (i.e. lefties) like Pyne,Hunt and Bishop.

Margo's Maid said...

Excellent point Quacker - they also seem to adore anyone who has a past Liberal Party affiliation but has since gone to the other side. Examples would be Cousins and Hewson.

Mehaul said...

I thought Fiona Wood went on record saying she hated John Howard. That kinda positions her.