Razer's Class Warfare

Feb 13, 2018

Razer: Q&A dresses up narcissism and calls it democracy

If you're wondering if Monday nights have changed, it's just business as usual: "A group of people fresh from the Qantas Club Lounge think about themselves, and the medium they inhabit in that moment, as democracy itself," writes Helen Razer.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

“Behind every great fortune, there lies a great crime.”

Balzac, prolific 19th century novelist, probably wrote something like this in one of his books but, as there’s more than 90 of the things, no one’s found the time to check for sure. Apocryphal or not, the statement is one for which we might find frequent use. I, for example, plan to yell it throughout the banking royal commission every time the criminal fortunes of the finance sector are shown to be lawfully stolen — this will be often. It is also handy to scream at the television during Q&A.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

76 comments

Leave a comment

76 thoughts on “Razer: Q&A dresses up narcissism and calls it democracy

  1. susan winstanley

    excellent coverage Helen .. and yes, Linda Reynolds is one to watch, she has climbed out from underneath all the self-serving and confused crap talked about section 44 and put it squarely on the line that a bipartisan referendum is on the agenda..for example, all we have to do is add the words “until parliament otherwise decides..” (these words are already in the Constitution prefacing a number of clauses) and let Parliament set the rules according to modern values and expectations

    1. Lee Tinson

      And yet … still supporting the Goose. Wonder what she’ll be saying day after tomorrow?

  2. David Thompson

    I’ve watched just the one Q & A in donkeys’ ages. Twas last week’s, on iView, the following day, and only because I’d read Sally McManus was on ‘the panel’.
    A well stacked panel it was, too, stacked against McManus, of course (apart from Crikey’s Mayne, who didn’t get much of a look in). Fortunately, there were a number of intelligent contributions made, apart from McManus – all from the audience.

    1. Norm

      That’s one more Q & A than I’ve ever watched. Although a keen follower of news and current affairs I could never stand the format, be it on the ABC or anywhere else. Never watched a single show, zilch, zero, nil.

  3. Paul

    The only question is “do you get paid penalty rates or danger money” for having to watch this crap? Clearly I cannot say first hand what it is like but the structure is reason enough to say that I am going to bed to read a book.

    1. Helen Razer

      A good OH&S question, comrade. 🙂

    2. AR

      Bearing in mind the Kennedy/Nixon debate & McLuhan, it is different on NewsRadio.
      Not better, but the massage is different.

  4. ralph

    The best talent is the audience – legions of journalists may have covered the 2016 election campaign but it was Duncan Storrar who asked the most pertinent question showing that the journalists covering the campaign lived in a bubble and that Kelly O’Dwyer is a complete lightweight.

  5. Michael

    Helen, I am heartily sorry that you have endured Q&A to inform we the masses of what transpired. Please, there is no need to torture yourself further, not on my account at least. Cheers, M

    1. Helen Razer

      I do feel it a civic duty, though, M.

      1. Lee Tinson

        It isn’t. Those who watch it and enjoy it don’t need your input, and those who don’t: well, you know, they don’t either. So do yourself and everyone else a favour and don’t watch it any more. I only say this because you are simply severely biased on the subject.

        Seems no-one is ever going to forget the dog. Go Chas!

    2. zut alors

      The Q&A programmes devoid of politicians are good value. Especially the panels consisting solely of scientists.

      The politicians are particularly infuriating when talking over each other or another panelist (Terri Butler, it’s highly possible I’m alluding to you).

  6. Roger Clifton

    The “new era of nuclear proliferation” has been a godsend for the messianic egos of Trump and his Korean counterpart, allowing each of them to storm and strut on camera. But that is only possible while people are willing to be frightened of weapons that are too big to be useful.

    How much better it would be if world opinion were to become afraid of climate change! All our egotists could still strut around, promising to save us all from the common enemy, economies could be re-mobilised, and the world’s military forces could be re-equipped as disaster response teams.

  7. Jeremy Henderson

    Thank you so much, Helen, for re-affirming the good sense of my decision to abandon the masochism that watching Q & A proved to be. I trust that Crikey pays a suitable loading, and provides access to counselling, for forcing you to endure self-righteousness at its most irritating.

  8. Wayne Robinson

    For what it’s worth, in Balzac’s ‘the complete ‘Human Comedy’ cycle, ‘great fortunes’ is mentioned twenty times and ‘great crimes’ once. And not together.

    1. Helen Razer

      And Lenin never said “Sometimes, decades happen in weeks” and Keynes never said much of what is attributed to him. As for Voltaire’s defence to the death. That is the work of his biographer etc.
      Thank you for offering us your expertise and damn these historical figures for so rarely summing up their own ideas!

      1. leon knight

        Helen I must say that Tony Jones is no fool – it must be particularly galling for him to have to compere the crap in the way his ringmasters instruct him to.
        At least I could turn the TV off when Kenny got too much for me, but he has to sit through it week after week – still I suppose his pay packet is not too shabby.

        1. Helen Razer

          Dunno if I can concur, L. Good broadcaster, though.

        2. David Thompson

          Jones sold out ages ago, Leon.
          As for the missus, Sarah, she is defined by last year’s batting eyed interview with Mrs Bubba.
          Which was topped off by the 4C EP, Sally Neighbour, retweeting “Assange is Putin’s bitch” straight after the sham interview finished.
          That’s ‘journalism’!
          Meanwhile, in the last 2 days it’s been revealed the Limey CPS coerced the Svedes into keeping the ‘Assange – rapist’ meme alive, after the Svedes wanted to give it away in around 2013.
          You’ll need to google it because, up until mid afternoon today, virtually no Oz media outlet was touching it.
          So, I’ll give it a try here, and we’ll see how we go. Jonathon Cook is a damn fine Brit journo, based in the ME. He is another who was cast out of the mainstream, because he was ‘inconvenient’ (and, the list of such people grows longer by the day);
          Cook from ‘home’ – https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-02-12/the-uks-hidden-role-in-assanges-detention/
          It is utterly disgraceful the way this country ignores Assange.
          Another suggestion – try finding “Ahed Tamimi” mentioned in Oz media.
          She’s the 16 y.o. Palestinian who slapped who fully booted and spurred IDF thug, shortly after he’d shot her young cousin in the face.
          Some around the world have reckoned that ‘slap’ will ring for decades.
          And she, along with about 350 Palestinian kids remain locked up in Israeli gaols.
          And, this bastion of a human rights devoted country actively ignore the kid, and all she stands for.
          We have a truly dead heart.

          1. klewso

            …. And who was pulling the UK Crown Prosecutor’s strings – telling the Swedes, among other (including deleted???) things “Don’t you dare get cold feet over this”?
            ABC NEWS/WORLD has touched on it (Steve Cannane).

      2. Nudiefish

        People can get so literal, Helen.

  9. (the other) HR Nicholls

    A man who watches Q and A, is tired of life.

    Except the one where Zizek was on, you could see the steam coming out of Jones’ ears behind his Cheshire Cat grin as his precious show ran off the rails.

    1. Helen Razer

      Me and a close friend exchange the link to this YouTube video every time we are despairing. It’s very funny.

      1. seanieg

        Maybe you’ll also get a chuckle out of this Wikipedia entry…
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavoj_%C5%BDi%C5%BEek
        …may the force be something something…

        1. seanieg

          Oh well… for a short moment yesterday Zizek’s Wikipedia photo had been replaced by Mark Hammill’s. The internet has now self corrected.

  10. sarahenicholson

    How representative is it to place Van Badham on a panel? Shouldn’t she come with a disclaimer? She has proved herself to be a Labor party propagandist who is purely interested in being a megafone for their party line. She is not actually interested in engaging in actual political debate about their positions. So much for democratic debate, eh?

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...