Early days on Q&A had Tony Jones trying to show how smart he was in directing the conversation and deciding who could and could not answer questions and even whether a question needed to be answered - "I'll take that as a comment". Much of Tony's Lateline bias came through as he controlled the stage and many of us turned off it for that reason.
The last half dozen programs (until last night 30/8/10) have been much better. In the run up to the election, the shows have been excellent and quite a good source of independent questioning of policies and politicians. During the election Tony seemed to have concentrated on ensuring that parts of questions did not go unanswered and generally kept it on track. Even the first post election program was pretty well weighted and well managed.
Last night was a shocker though. There was a return to the stacked panel - ALP Biographer, ALP Daughter, ALP Professor who waffled on about past ALP Leaders, ALP Apologist Malcolm Fraser and one sensible young guy who was labelled a commentator.
It will be a shame if Q&A lifts its pre-election discipline of a less biased panel and returns to the bad old days of stacked panels and Tony talking over any clapping of any Centre right points of view.