OPINION: Coalition's jihad against QandA is over the top

THE current jihad being waged by the Abbott Government against the ABC's QandA program is childish to say the least.

I'm not condoning the inflammatory comments made by Zaky Mallah on the program a week or so ago, they were out of line, but the government's reaction has been way over the top.

Banning Ministers from precious television airtime on the national broadcaster is totally counter productive to the government's aims.

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Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce was scheduled to appear on Monday night and it remains to be seen whether Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will appear next week.

Joyce had every reason to appear last week as he had a White Paper on agricultural competitiveness to spruik and yet, by not appearing, he let the viewing audience down which would have been primed to listen to what he had to say.

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I certainly don't want to hear any whinging from the government later about struggling to get their message across in the media.

In many ways, by appearing on QandA, Coalition members are largely preaching to the converted.

At the start of each program the breakdown of the voting allegiances is flashed up on screen and the audience is usually weighted in their favour (if you don't lump the Greens and Labor together).

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So who is this ban really hurting?

The show goes on without them, Labor and Greens get to hog the limelight and the taxpaying audience who paid for program in the first place misses out.