Acquitted terror suspect Zaky Mallah is reportedly “deeply upset” by the media attention he has received following his televised appearance in the ABC’s Q&A audience. As the Q&A scandal rolls into its second week, Mallah and the ABC continues to be the focus of no end of opinion columns, televised debates and talk-back radio exchanges.
According to a spokesman, Mallah is a deeply private person who has never craved the spotlight and is now emotionally distraught at becoming a household name. His initial appearance on Q&A was something he felt he had to do so that he might have the opportunity to question a government minister, but the subsequent celebrity status has been unwelcome.
“Every day there is another column by Andrew Bolt or Miranda Devine discussing him,” said the spokesperson. “They’re boosting his profile, increasing his following, turning him into some sort of political leader. He didn’t ask for any of that.”
The ABC’s initial broadcast of Q&A in which Mallah appeared was watched by fewer people than Family Feud or Millionaire Hotseat, however subsequent discussion on news and current affairs programs have elevated his appearance to the most talked about news event for over a week. The government, via a spokesperson, has dismissed claims that the media circus might inadvertently give a platform to a figure with a history of espousing radical and dangerous views.