Ally Langdon has sparked a divided reaction after she shut down Anthony Albanese in a fiery interview about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
The Prime Minister was making a plea for Australians to vote Yes when the TV host pointed out a glaring issue with his referendum campaign: ‘People do not get it.’
Mr Albanese said a pamphlet would soon drop through every Australian’s front door explaining how the proposed advisory body would work.
Langdon replied: ‘I am not sure all of that is simple and straightforward for people.’
Mr Albanese responded: ‘Well, I think it is pretty straightforward as an idea that has come from indigenous Australians themselves.’
Langdon hit back: ‘Saying it is clear and simple and straightforward does not simply make it so. People do not get it, and that is a fact.’
Mr Albanese also said he was ‘asking Australians to trust themselves and their own judgement’.
‘But their judgement is ‘we don’t get this’,’ Langdon replied. ”We don’t know what it is.’ It’s wishy washy.
‘There’s this Voice, but I don’t know it doesn’t have any real power. It doesn’t have any real legs. It can change over time and might look different in a decade to what it is now, and that scares people.
‘I mean, my parents don’t understand it. They’ve looked at it, their group of friends who have looked at it and don’t understand it, that is a massive problem.’
The interview sparked a fiery debate among viewers, with many accusing Langdon of being uneducated about The Voice.
‘Genuinely offended by Ally Langdon’s utter ignorance of the Voice referendum and diminishing herself to a mere mouthpiece for the No vote’s disinformation,’ one man fumed.
‘Albo was patient and clear. It wasn’t a balanced interview. Not good enough, A Current Affair.’
A second said: ‘It disturbs me that Alison Langdon still doesn’t understand the detail on The Voice.
‘I have no problem with anybody voting no if that’s how you feel, fine it’s a free country.
‘What I can’t fathom is that people still don’t understand what it involves, especially if you’re Alison Langdon.’
But others said Langdon’s tough questions were reasonable, and thanked her for asking them.
A Current Affair host Allison Langdon has divided viewers over her interview with the PM
‘If the polls are correct, and we’re leaning toward a no vote, it’s quite reasonable for Ally Langdon to ask the questions she did from a no point of view,’ one woman said.
‘He had his chance to change the no voter’s minds last night, but even Albo doesn’t really know why he’s doing it.’
Another viewer added: ‘Skilled reporters ask probing questions. Poor reporters ask pandering questions. Ally has demonstrated to the world what a skilled reporter is capable of.’
‘Mr Albanese got absolutely pumped and proven to be the fool he is by a TV presenter, not even a hard-hitting journo.
‘Well done Ally, you asked many questions we have and still got the same answers we’ve heard for 18 months now.’
‘A third said: ‘Langdon’s performance was absolutely exemplary, and the further Albo tried to waffle, the less she stood for it. It earned a huge mark of respect from me.’
‘A fourth declared: ‘Albo answered each of her questions with mindless wishy-washy waffle that explains nothing about how The Voice will help or why we can’t listen without it.’
Channel Nine bosses quickly leapt to Langdon’s defence.
‘Ally did an excellent and professional job by asking the questions that the majority of Australians have long wanted answered.’ Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick told media.
Ally Langdon shut down Anthony Albanese as he made an emotional pitch for the Voice on A Current Affair
During the interview with Langdon, Mr Albanese said the referendum was about ‘faith, hope and love, and indeed it is about bringing Australia together. It is positive’.
‘It is just an advisory group. It is no more complicated than that it is an advisory group on matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.’
He added that it was ‘aimed at closing the gap in health and education and housing’.
‘This is a proposition that has come from the people; it’s come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves,’ the prime minister said.
‘This will not impact most Australians directly, but it might just make life better for the three per cent of Australians who happen to be the most disadvantaged group – the First Nations people.
‘I think it will be a moment where we can show respect to them; where we can feel better about ourselves as well as a nation and where the world can look at us and say ‘Australia is a mature, grown-up nation’.’
He added that the Voice was an opportunity for Australia to close the gap for indigenous people.
‘[The Voice] is aimed at closing the gap on health and education and housing,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘We know at the moment there is still an eight-year life expectancy gap.
‘If you are a young Indigenous male, you’re more likely to go to jail than university.
‘If you are a young Indigenous woman, you’re more likely to die in childbirth than if you are a non-Indigenous woman.’
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Albanese announced the referendum would be held on October 14.
In an emotional speech, Mr Albanese urged Australians not to close the door on constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, saying that a No vote ‘leads nowhere’.
‘On that day, every Australian will have a once in a generation chance to bring our country together… And to change it for the better,’ Mr Albanese told the audience.
‘On October 14 you are not being asked to vote for a political party or a person. You’re being asked to say yes to an idea whose time has come,’ he continued, appearing almost tearful.