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ABC threatened with legal action over coronation coverage

<p dir="ltr">The Australian Monarchist League have threatened to take legal action against the ABC over their coronation coverage, specifically the comments made on their hour-long special <em>The Coronation: A discussion about the Monarchy in 2023</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The programme, focussed on the monarchy’s relevance to Australia, featured <em>The Drum</em>’s Julia Baird and Jeremy Fernandez as hosts, with a panel that included the likes of<em> Q&amp;A </em>host Stan Grant and Australian Republic Movement co-chair Craig Foster. Julian Leeser - a Liberal MP and monarchist - and Teela Reid - a Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman - were also involved.</p> <p dir="ltr">The coverage, which broadcast in Australia three hours before King Charles III’s coronation, faced a wave of criticism from the Australian Monarchist League, as well as <em>3AW</em> radio host Neil Mitchell, ABC audiences, and Liberal MPs.</p> <p dir="ltr">And now, the AML have announced their intention to take their complaints further, with a statement from AML national chair Philip Benwell declaring that their “legal advisers are preparing a formal complaint to the board of the ABC in regard to the production and airing of Saturday's extremely biased pre-Coronation programme specifically designed to attack the Constitution and the Crown. Our Executive and others are meeting this week to formalise our approach.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So vitriolic are their attacks on the King, the monarchy, the British settlement and everything that came thereafter that they forget that they are the very people who want our vote for their Voice to the Parliament.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Brenwell noted that they were inviting “pertinent comments” regarding the broadcast to help compile their formal complaint, specifying that these should “include specific comments made during the programme by interviewers and panellists”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Neil Mitchell, radio host for <em>3AW</em>, had a lot to say about the coverage too, noting his opinion that it had “misread the mood”, as well as his desire for the ABC to see the broadcaster held accountable. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Somebody in the ABC needs to be accountable for this,” he declared, “as the national broadcaster it should have been the place you go to see the coverage of the coronation, instead you see all this bitterness about our Indigenous history.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He also took the opportunity to point out that the panel had featured four individuals, with “three of them republicans”. </p> <p dir="ltr">The fourth - and only monarchist - Julian Leeser agreed that the broadcast had gotten “the balance wrong” when it came to their panel compilation. </p> <p dir="ltr">As Mitchell added, “to have only one of four panellists as supporters of our existing constitutional arrangements meant there was little opportunity for a panel discussion that reflected the warmth and respect Australians have for King Charles.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Q&amp;A</em></p>


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