Tuesday 7 March 2017
1 I knew prior to the interview that Barry Cassidy (ABC Insiders) had never interviewed Pauline Hanson so I had sort of formed a view as to his approach. It was as I thought. He allowed her to relax by giving her time to reflect on her 20 or so years in politics, although the reality is that she has been around politics that long but not in politics.
As I anticipated he wanted to cover a broad range of topics. I have read criticisms of Cassidy’s interview saying that he didn’t drill in hard enough but I tend to discount them because Cassidy is in my view always fair. This might upset those who like a bit of blood on the dance floor, but subtlety is more his style.
And of course Cassidy had to feel his way. Interviewing people of intellect can be hazardous but interviewing someone with of little of it can be equality so. Particularly one who expresses with quivering speech and limited vocabulary.
She ummed and ummed her way through various topics without putting her foot in it until Barry hit a higher octave. When she started to wax lyrically about the virtues of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cassidy had had enough and questioned her praise for one who was responsible for the deaths of 38 Australians. She was also enthusiastic with her praise for one Donald Trump who wants to make America great again at the expense of everyone else. He is very popular with the American people, she said.
She had dipped her toe into the waters of nonsensical response and didn’t handle it well.
Even the Prime Minister, normally loath to criticise her was forced to rebuke her asinine liking of the Russian dictator hiding behind the red guise of a Clayton’s democracy.
“I respect the man. He is very patriotic towards his country, the people love him, he is doing so well for the country. So many Australians here want that leadership here in Australia.”
Cassidy hit back:
“Vladimir Putin’s Russia is subject to international sanctions, to which Australia is a part, because of his conduct in shooting down the MH17 airliner in which 38 Australians were killed. Let’s not forget that,”
Mr Turnbull said Mr Putin’s Russia was responsible for the “shocking international crime” of shooting down the MH17 airliner – killing 298 people, including 38 Australian citizens – and was not worthy of the Queensland senator’s admiration.”
Cassidy now had his back up and was no longer spoon-feeding her. When he asked her about her statement some years back about being swamped by Asians she became befuddled and her answer confusing. Cassidy reminded, or rather divulged to her that half of all Australians were born overseas or had a parent who had, she seemed stunned.
It got worse. Then came the revelation that she is also a vaccination denier. She questioned the safety of child vaccinations, refusing to retreat from comments in which she linked vaccines to autism despite no credible scientific evidence of a connection. She said that parents should “do their own research” and “make an informed decision”.
Seemingly she thinks a parent’s research is better than a scientists.
“What I don’t like about it is the blackmailing that’s happening with the government. Don’t do that to people. That’s a dictatorship,” she said.
The Prime Minister was forced to comment. He had said she would not be a welcome presence in the Parliament during the 2016 campaign but had been loath to censure her since.
“The health of our children, the health of the nation, depends on vaccination and that has to be as close to 100 per cent as possible,” he said. “It is a vital health objective to ensure that everybody is vaccinated.”
Now that Cassidy has his first interview with Hansen out-of-the-way, might I suggest round 2 will be some way off.
2 When Bill Clinton lied about Monica Lewinski, Jeff Sessions said lying under oath was a “high crime”, worthy of immediate removal from office. Now that Sessions has been caught lying under oath, he says he simply wasn’t clear in his answers to Congress. That’s like if Bill Clinton said, “I didn’t lie! When you asked if I had sexual relations with her, I thought you meant that day!”
3 The National Accounts were summarised by this question from Bill Shorten in question time last week.”Yesterday in Question Time, the Prime Minister said that he supports the decision to cut penalty rates. Today’s National Accounts confirm that corporate profits had their biggest increase in 40 years and that wages and salaries had their largest fall in over 20 years. Why is it that, under the Turnbull government, when companies receive record profits, they get tax cuts and, when wages flat line, workers get pay cuts?”
From my American friend Ben Williamson:
”One thing idiots like Trump and those who follow him don’t realize when they bash major Pulitzer Prize winning publications as “fake news” is that unlike conservative media, real news journalists have a LOT to lose by getting caught lying. As we’ve seen often, if you tell a whopper or completely fabricate a story on Fox News, it’s no big deal, and you’re often even praised for it. If a journalist from CNN, NBC, ABC, CSPAN, or even MSNBC gets caught making up “fake news”, they are immediately forced to apologize, and are then fired or forced to resign. Real journalists from real news outlets would be putting their careers completely on the line for a fabricated story, and while it has happened (rarely) over the years, they are always caught and branded for it. If you want to really be able to tell the difference in a real news outlet and a fake one like Fox News or Brietbart, see how they punish those who get caught lying, if they do at all.”
4 The Ombudsman reports that the largest amount of complaints comes from internet NBN subscribers not getting the speeds they pay for.
On this day in 2016 I wrote:
1 What a shocker of a week it was for the Coalition. The Treasure and the Prime Minister made fools of themselves by trying to link the BIS Report with Labor’s Negative Gearing policy.
2 As dramatic as that was I think Tony Abbott’s declaration of war with Malcolm Turnbull will have enormous repercussions down the track. Abbott has done himself no favours with colleagues with his National Security leak to Greg Sheridan and The Australian. You might even say that Turnbull may never, while he is surrounded by the methodology of Abbott governance, the negativity of it, be able to introduce the positive innovative style he talks about.
And we had this nauseating spectacle of Turnbull praising Abbott’s leadership at Howard’s 20th Anniversary while Abbott is shirt fronting him. Shades of Rudd you say. Well yes except Rudd had some public support whilst Abbott doesn’t. There can only be one inevitable conclusion if he continues. History shows that he will destroy Turnbull, himself and the party’s chances of winning the election.
That won’t worry him of course because wrecking is in his DNA.
3 Friday I watched the PM at a press conference waxing lyrically about the roll out of the NBN. On Monday, another Government leak highlighted massive delays in Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN.
4 Has there ever been a more crass candidate for the Presidency of the United States? Donald Trump as if to say that size is important in potential Presidential aspirants assures a debate audience that he is well endowed. Really, what a prick.
My thought for the day.
“Have you ever had a coffee with someone and you have had little to say but later on reflection felt like it was just the best conversation ever.”
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