The delayed Four Corners episode about the alleged “close friendship” between Scott Morrison’s family and a QAnon conspiracy adherent will be broadcast on the ABC on Monday night.
Investigative reporter Louise Milligan talks to the family of significant QAnon adherent Tim Stewart about his involvement in the extreme political movement.
News the episode had been delayed caused a political furore last week.
After refusing to answer Four Corners’ questions, Morrison said at a press conference on Friday it was “deeply offensive” and “poor form” of the program to investigate his relationship with Stewart.
“I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation,” Morrison told reporters. “I clearly do not. It is also disappointing that Four Corners would seek to cast this aspersion not just against me but members of my own family. I just think that is really poor form.”
The QAnon conspiracy purports that powerful forces are hiding and protecting satanic paedophile rings and that a secretive individual named Q leaves clues for his followers to decipher on internet forums.
Last year, Stewart’s QAnon Twitter account, BurnedSpy34, was permanently suspended for “engaging in coordinated harmful activity”.
Stewart said in 2019 he had not attempted to influence Morrison or had conversations with him about any QAnon content.
“I have never spoken to Scott about anything of a political nature. I’m not an adviser. The idea of me talking to him about this ... it’s just not true,” he said at the time.
The Four Corners program, The Great Awakening: a family divided by QAnon, explores Stewart’s “long friendship” with Morrison.
“I would imagine that [the Morrisons] would be among their closest friends,” an interviewee says. “I think that’s a reasonable thing to say.”
“Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by … Luciferian paedophiles and that is represented by the left, the radical left,” the ABC quotes a “sister of a QAnon follower” as saying.
The ABC managing director, David Anderson, denied he had “pulled” the program, saying he had asked Four Corners to answer some “queries and concerns” he had.
“Any suggestion that I ‘pulled’ or ‘blocked’ the program is simply not true,” Anderson told staff last week.
The ABC news director, Gaven Morris, had “upwardly referred” the episode to Anderson after it was cleared by legal and editorial processes.