ABC won’t broadcast Palmer’s speech to the National Press Club live ‘for fear of Covid vaccine rhetoric’
The ABC will not broadcast Clive Palmer’s pre-election speech live from Canberra – reportedly amid fears he could use the opportunity to push anti-Covid vaccine rhetoric.
The billionaire mining magnate – who opposes sting warrants and is not vaccinated himself – is due to launch his United Australia Party’s election campaign at the National Press Club at 12.30pm on Tuesday.
The national broadcaster normally televises press club speeches live, but said it would instead air Mr Palmer’s speech with a 90-minute delay at 2 p.m.
ABC executives took the rare decision to delay the broadcast because they didn’t want to give the billionaire a platform to air his views on Covid vaccines, The Australian reported.
Clive Palmer’s pre-election speech at the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday will not be shown live on ABC, the broadcaster said. ABC executives fear he is using the opportunity to spout anti-Covid vaccine rhetoric
The report originally claimed the ABC refused to televise the speech altogether, before the broadcaster issued a correction.
‘[The] claiming that the ABC “refused to air Clive Palmer’s appearance at the Press Club on Tuesday” is untrue,” a spokesperson said.
“Clive Palmer’s speech will air 90 minutes late at 2:00 p.m. AEDT on Tuesday on ABC News.”
Mr Palmer has previously made an unsubstantiated claim that Covid vaccines have undergone ‘no testing’.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the ABC for further comment.
The UAP president, 67, has spent more than $31 million since August on publicity for the party and claims to have attracted more than 80,000 members.
The billionaire mining tycoon opposes direct mandates and is himself unvaccinated. He is pictured with his wife Anna
Nielsen Ad Intel figures show the Labor and Liberal parties spent just $266,494 and $246,133 over the same period, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Center for Public Integrity chairman Anthony Whealy QC said the spending was “dangerous for democracy”.
“What that means is that a multi-billionaire with misleading ideas can present them blatantly throughout the community,” he said.
“So the sheer amount of spending makes the peddling of these notions a … threat to our democracy.”
Mr. Palmer said his party would be supported by a well-resourced campaign that can win seats in both the upper and lower houses.
It is believed that ABC executives made the rare decision to delay the broadcast because they did not want to give the billionaire a platform to air his views on vaccines (File image from ABC offices in Sydney)
He announced that the UAP was running in the federal elections last month.
Asked about any potential breaches of the rules, Mr Palmer fired back.
“I don’t think I need a Covid vaccine personally, I haven’t caught it, I have a healthy life,” he said.
“I don’t think I’m in bad shape. I think I look a lot neater now than when I was in Parliament.
“I didn’t check into the hotel, I didn’t go to the restaurant here, I just walked up the escalator and walked into this room.”
The mining tycoon announced last month that he was making another run for federal politics, promising that his United Australia Party would launch the “biggest and most extensive political campaign in the country’s history” ahead of the US election. This year.
The vaccine mandate opponent (pictured) says his party has attracted more than 80,000 members and will be supported by a well-resourced campaign
Mr Palmer’s United Australia Party plans to field Senate candidates in every state and territory, with the former lower house MP last winning in 2013 when he won the Fairfax seat on the Sunshine Coast.
In March, the outspoken businessman will return to court where he faces up to five years in prison for fraud and malpractice.
He is accused of pumping $10 million from his mining company Mineralogy into his 2013 election campaign.
The tycoon categorically denied the allegations, calling them “nonsense”.
“The reason I came back into politics and played a key role at this important time is because of the state of the nation,” he said pointing to the level of the national debt.
“I would like to be on my boat but I am not, I am in this situation.”