A controversial Four Corners episode delving into the PM’s alleged links to conspiracy cult QAnon will air next week. Picture: Rick Loomis/ Getty Images North America / AFPSource:AFP
A Four Corners episode delving into Scott Morrison’s alleged links to a supporter of a far-right conspiracy group will air on Monday.
The upcoming episode has become a lightning rod for criticism by the government after the Prime Minister lashed “deeply offensive” attempts to link him to QAnon.
The fringe cult claimed a cabal of elite pedophiles secretly ran the world out of Washington and Hollywood.
The episode was slated to run a week earlier but was delayed for further editorial review by ABC managing director David Anderson.
Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour on Friday tweeted a 30-second preview of the program, titled “The Great Awakening: A Family Divided by QAnon”, which revealed it would air on Monday.
Here we go, folks. Next on #4Corners ‘The Great Awakening: A Family Divided by QAnon’. Here’s a preview pic.twitter.com/m3j7qb1d2k
— Sally Neighbour (@neighbour_s) June 11, 2021
It will delve into Mr Morrison’s alleged links to Tim Stewart, an alleged supporter of the QAnon cult.
The preview quoted an interviewee claiming Mr Stewart “believes the world has been overtaken by Satanic pedophiles” and a voiceover alleging “questions over the Prime Minister’s old friend”.
Mr Anderson this week flatly rejected
reports the program had been nixed, reiterating his support for the “outstanding, award-winning” Four Corners team.
The episode was delayed after being “upwardly referred” to Mr Anderson, who raised “concern over some areas” and suggested elements “to be strengthened within the story”.
“It is our process (and) I think it only strengthens us and what we do,” he told senate estimates on Monday.
Mr Anderson said the program was not referred to him “with concern”, revealing it “may very well go to air” if the Four Corners team could satisfy his concerns.
The PMO made no attempt to prevent the story going to air, Mr Anderson confirmed.
The Four Corners team tweeted on Saturday the PMO had not responded to 20 requests for comment over the story, but Mr Anderson confirmed a member of his staff had spoken to ABC news director Gaven Morris.
Scott Morrison has hit out at ‘deeply offensive’ attempts to link him to QAnon. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sharon SmithSource:NCA NewsWire
Mr Morrison lashed attempts to tie him and his family to QAnon as “really poor form”, saying he “clearly did not” have links to the “dangerous” cult.
“It is also disappointing that Four Corners in their inquiries would seek to cast this aspersion, not just against me but members of my own family. I just think that is really poor form,” he said earlier this month.
Government senators pressed Mr Anderson over Ms Neighbour’s social media presence.
An editorial in The Australian on Tuesday also criticised Ms Neighbour and Walkey-winning journalist Louise Milligan, accusing the pair of “hubris”.
“The most dangerous enemy of the journalist is bad, lazy, deceitful journalism,” it read.
But in a statement on Friday, the ABC backed the pair and lashed the allegations as “serious and unfounded”.
“To see The Australian use its editorial space in such a way undermines the traditions of journalism it purports to stand for,” the statement read.
The QAnon cult has been linked to insurrectionists attempting to overthrow the US government during January’s Capitol Hill attack.
The ABC declined to comment.