The delayed Four Corners episode about the alleged “close friendship” between Scott Morrison’s family and a supporter of QAnon conspiracy will air Monday night on ABC.
Investigative reporter Louise Milligan talks to the family of key QAnon supporter Tim Stewart about his involvement in the extreme political movement.
News that the episode had been postponed caused political furore last week.
After refusing to answer Four Corners’ questions, Morrison said at a news conference on Friday that it was “very offensive” and “bad form” for the program to investigate his relationship with Stewart.
“I find it deeply offensive that there should be any suggestion that I have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organization,” Morrison told reporters. “I clearly don’t. It’s also disappointing that Four Corners wants to throw this slander not only against me, but also members of my own family. I just think that’s really bad form.”
In 2019, Guardian Australia revealed that Stewart was a family friend of Morrison’s and that his wife was employed by the Prime Minister.
The QAnon conspiracy claims that powerful forces hide and protect Satanic pedophile circles and that a mysterious person named Q leaves clues for his followers to decipher on Internet forums.
Last year, Stewart’s QAnon Twitter account, BurnedSpy34, was permanently suspended for “engaged in coordinated malicious activity”.
Stewart said in 2019 that he had not tried to influence Morrison or have conversations with him about QAnon content.
“I have never spoken to Scott about anything of a political nature. I am not a consultant. The idea that I’m talking to him about this… it’s just not true,” he said at the time.
The Four Corners program, The Great Awakening: a family shared by QAnon, explores Stewart’s “long friendship” with Morrison.
“I can imagine that [the Morrisons] would be one of their best friends,” says one interviewee. “I think that’s fair to say.”
“Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by … Luciferian pedophiles and that’s represented by the left, the radical left,” the ABC quoted a “sister of a QAnon supporter.”
ABC’s executive director David Anderson denied having “pulled” the program, saying he asked Four Corners to answer some of the “questions and concerns” he had.
“Any suggestion that I ‘pulled’ or ‘blocked’ the program is simply not true,” Anderson told staff last week.
ABC’s news director, Gaven Morris, had “redirected” the episode “upward” to Anderson after it was approved through legal and editorial processes.