Liberal's Teena McQueen Stuns In 'Trainwreck' Q&A Appearance
If you combine laughing audience members, panellists rolling their eyes, quarrelsome interjections, unpopular opinions and a TV set, what do you get?
Monday night's episode of the ABC's Q&A is what.
In what is being described as a 'trainwreck' TV appearance, the Liberal Party's conservative-aligned vice president Teena McQueen spent her time on the panel claiming right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos is an "entertainer" and that white supremacy is "not growing" in Australia.
Seated next to author and essayist Roxane Gay, McQueen was unwilling to join her in praising New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern for her leadership following the Christchurch Terror Attack.
Gay commended Ardern for moving quickly to ban military-style semi-automatic guns in the wake of the terror attack, but McQueen hit back, claiming she was merely "copying the Liberal Party in Australia".
“We did that years ago. The Liberal Party did that years ago with John Howard," McQueen interjected.
Laughter rippled through the crowd.
“You think that’s funny? John Howard did do that. Jacinda Ardern is copying exactly,” McQueen said.
“Can I also remind you, Jacinda Ardern is only there because she formed an alliance with Winston Peters [the leader of the New Zealand First party]. I think everyone forgets that little fact," she continued.
Labor's Tony Burke responded to McQueen after taking a long, deep, calming breath.
“I don't think anyone can understate how effective Jacinda was … in providing the words that the whole world needed to hear. It was an extraordinary act of leadership, and I think to compare any of our politicians to that, they're all going to come up short. I think that's reality," Burke said.
But that didn't conclude the barrage of controversial opinions McQueen bought to the Q&A desk.
Claiming she's "probably the only person on the Panel that's spent time with Donald Trump," McQueen refuted claims the US President is prejudiced against women or ethnic minorities.
“He was none of those things -- he was not racist, not sexist, none of those things,” she said.
McQueen later defended right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, who was banned from entering Australia in early March because of his hateful comments.
During a discussion around the rise of hate speech in Australia, McQueen said she classified Yiannopoulos as "an entertainer", and that “no-one could possibly take Milo seriously".
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi responded passionately: “For once, listen to what the Muslim community is saying.”
Roxane Gay reminded McQueen of the thousands of people in the US who take Yiannopoulos very seriously and spend money to attend his events. McQueen was dismissive of this and continued to push her own political agenda, claiming the “worst hate speech I’ve heard recently is [from Greens leader] Richard Di Natale”.
"But once again you are using your personal experience as a metric for reality," Gay hit back.
"It cannot be that subjective as 'I have experienced Milo as this or that, I have experienced Trump as this or that therefore, I can apply it more broadly'."
After all this, McQueen claimed white supremacy is not growing in Australia.
“You know, perhaps I’m in a bubble — I don’t see the growth of white supremacists that I hear constantly," McQueen said.
The audience let out an audible groan as McQueen spoke.
“You are in a bubble," Gay replied.
McQueen's appearance on Q&A caused a flood of comments on social media, with many people claiming she was the biggest trainwreck panellist in the show's 11-year history.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday that some members of the Liberal party have started distancing themselves from McQueen following her Q&A appearance.
The article also states McQueen's media commitments have been a concern for the party for some time.
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