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Meet Aunty’s new, objective and fair-minded TV host

 Gerard Henderson, in the Sydney Institute Quarterly, on the latest ABC Lateline moderator on Friday nights
LAST year Sally Loane was dumped as the presenter of the ABC 702 morning program in Sydney and replaced by Virginia Trioli. The word went out from the ABC that Loane did not rate well enough in inner-suburban Leichhardt. Meaning, apparently, that she did not appeal to Green-voting leftist luvvies or to the Labor Left and, horror of horrors, was just too middle class...

So Trioli was called in from 774 in Melbourne where, shortly after 9/11, she had appealed to the inner-city leftist luvvies in Fitzroy by suggesting that the best way to handle al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden was to invite him around for a chat to discuss (in the parlance of the modern cliche) his issues. Well, the good folk of Leichhardt may well be happy with Trioli, who has a tendency to preach at, rather than listen to, callers to the program.

It is a matter of record, however, that her ratings (at 7.4 per cent) are lower than Loane's final figure (at 9.0 per cent), although Trioli's program commences and finishes earlier than that of her predecessor and, consequently, should rate higher, since it benefits from the popular news and AM programs which precede it ... Soon after taking up her Sydney gig, Trioli headed back to Melbourne where, on February 5, 2006, she took part in a performance of Sedition!. According to the pre-performance advertising: "Sedition! will bring together a coalition of comedians, commentators and satirists to protest against the Howard Government's recently introduced sedition laws". For "balance", Kim Beazley was mocked as well. But not, of course, Bob Brown or, indeed, Osama bin Laden.

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