The Today show was copping a wave of social media pressure over the One Nation leader’s appearance, where she labelled the tower residents as “drug addicts” who should have learnt English before coming to Australia.
The Queensland Senator’s comments have been called “utterly repulsive”.
Senator Hanson was picked up by the Nine breakfast show in May last year and has a regular Monday spot at 6.45am on the “news chat” segment – which she has used to spout a number of controversial statements.
ABC presenter Tali Aualiitia let fly at the Today show this morning, saying they knew what they were going to get when they brought Senator Hanson on the show.
“The Today Show KNEW they would be talking about Melbourne’s public housing and they KNEW they would ask Pauline Hanson her thoughts,” she said.
“Even if a producer didn’t pre-interview her they KNEW what she was going to say and, STILL they gave her a platform and asked her.
“And, it’s not as if they can justify her appearance by saying that it’s in her electorate. They know exactly what they’re doing her when they give her a platform to share her racist diatribe and, then they share it on social media as if they haven’t been complicit all along.”
It is not the first time Senator Hanson has made controversial statements on the Today show. In May she said she “doesn’t trust Chinese”.
“I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them,” she added.
In July last year, she appeared as part of an all-white panel to discuss the closing of Uluru to climbers and argued why the sacred rock should stay open to climbers – saying closing it was a “ridiculous” move comparable to shutting down Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
“The fact is, it’s money-making. It’s giving jobs to the Indigenous community, you’ve got over 4-500,000 tourists a year that want to go there and climb the rock,” she told the program.
“It’s no different to saying we’re going to close down Bondi Beach because there are some people there that have drowned. How ridiculous is that! This is an iconic site for all Australians.”
After this morning’s rant, the Today show was copping pressure to get rid of the controversial Monday morning segment altogether.
That pressure paid off this afternoon, when Nine revealed they had axed Senator Hanson’s “news chat” segment.
“The Today show has advised Pauline Hanson that she will no longer be appearing on our programme as a regular contributor,” Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick said in a statement.
“We don’t shy away from diverse opinions and robust debate on the Today show. But this morning’s accusations from Pauline Hanson were ill-informed and divisive. At a time of uncertainty in this national and global health crisis, Australians have to be united and supportive of one another. We need to get through this together.”
Channel 7 also copped heat for giving regular airtime to the One Nation leader on Sunrise.
Back in 2016 Sunrise admitted to paying Senator Hanson for regular appearances in lead up to the election.
Senator Hanson has a long-running affiliation with the Seven network. In October, 2004, 10 months after announcing she would not return to politics, she was back in the spotlight on Seven’s first season of Dancing with the Stars.
WHAT DID HANSON SAY THIS MORNING?
On the Today show this morning, co-host Ally Langdon put it to Senator Hanson that some of the tower residents hadn’t had a proper meal since Saturday.
“Ah come on Ally, we’ve seen food being delivered there,” she replied. “The fact is a lot of them are drug addicts as well, they are getting their medication, they are alcoholics so they’re being looked after in that way.
“They are actually getting paid extra money. Why are they getting paid extra money? For what? They are not leaving the premises.”
Senator Hanson went on to say that residents’ inability to speak English had led to the towers being shut down.
“A lot of these people are from non-English speaking back grounds, probably English is their second language who haven’t adhered to the rules of social distancing. They all used a lot of the same laundry,” she said.