Home > Australian politics, Media > Tony Abbott reclamation project begins

Tony Abbott reclamation project begins

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 hours, you will no doubt have heard the latest gaffe from Tony Abbott to hit the airwaves, recorded during his trip to Afghanistan.

Now after first viewing you’d think he sounds like a totally insensitive prick (now where would we get that idea from) but after a bit of further explanation you come to realise his comment was in relation to the broader aspect of war itself. All well and good and easily explainable.  As you would expect the Liberal cronies have jumped all over this with the usual barrel of excuses…he was taken out of context, it’s a media beat-up, it wasn’t written down so it doesn’t mean anything, yada, yada, yada.

But here’s the kicker.  Yes the reporter was “journalist” Mark Riley, not exactly a paragon of objective reporting, and he had to jump through some hoops to actually get the footage i.e. an FOI request.  He then arranged the interview with Abbott via his press secretary, gave him a transcript of the footage and let them know what he was going to ask, then gave them 2 and a half hours notice to prepare.  Ample time you would think, yes?

Watching the interview itself, I wasn’t so much concerned with the words spoken…typical TA stuff that would be rapidly glossed over by the media as far as I could see…but his response after being pulled up by Riley was just astonishing.  The visual of Abbott with a hideous rictus on his face giving rapid little head nods and just staring at Riley for a full 70 seconds was just horrifying.  It gave the impression that he was too stunned to utter a coherent sentence and his pissweak final response of “I’ve given you the response you deserve” was quite frankly a disgrace for someone who is supposedly a gifted parliamentary performer.

The spinning has furiously started already, with it being cast as an ambush interview and poor Tony was taken completely by surprise by those nasty media types.  Of course, for anyone who has actually observed the media for the past 18 months this is so hypocritical as to be beyond description, but I can see this as the start of an attempted sympathy uprising for Tony to try to recover lost ground after his piss-poor performance  after the recent disasters in Queensland.

I may be over-estimating the Machiavellian skills of the LNP but does anyone else find the timing of this breaking story to be incredibly convenient, considering the amount of sympathy reporting he is likely to get from anyone apart from Channel 7?

To my mind the part that should be focussed on is his response to the questioning.  Either he was completely taken by surprise at Riley’s refusal to toe the media line and let him get away with anything, or he is so poor at thinking on his feet that he had a mini-meltdown and brain lock.

Whatever the cause, that is not the way anyone who aspires to leadership should react to a difficult situation.

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  1. lyn
    February 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Hi Massivespray

    You have done it again, another well thoughtout, genuine,
    response to the latest Abbott Gaffe, you are a major asset
    to the blogoshpere.

    Well done, thankyou so much.

    “Whatever the cause, that is not the way anyone who aspires to
    leadership should react to a difficult situation”.

    Brilliant sum up by you, fair and square, objective opinion.

    Cheers

    • Michael
      February 9, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      A comment from facebook:-“He could have said this: “Look Mark… ahh… what I was saying when I was talking to the soldiers was in the context of that discussion about the nature of fighting and danger resulting in injuries and in deaths of mates. Maybe it was a bit flippant, but I wasn’t specifically talking about the death of soldier Jared MacKinney at all.
      I resent the fact that you and Channel 7 have sought to edit the footage and couch that with journalistic hyperbole, to imply something different.
      It was incredibly unprofessional of you and a breach of the journalist code of ethics. Fair’s fair, but that was just a cheap shot mate.” And then everyone would probably have got over it…”
      see also this “kill the messenger” facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-7-News/149463705112382

      • February 9, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        But Michael, he didn’t have it written down for him, so how would we know he wasn’t lying?

  2. lyn
    February 9, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Hi Massivespray

    Another genuine, sincere, true perspective of the recent
    Abbott Gaffe by you.

    Thankyou Massivespray you are an asset to the blogosphere.

    Brilliant sum up

    Cheers
    Lyn

    • February 9, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Thanks lyn…high praise coming from you.

      Do you think I am over-reaching with the “ploy for sympathy” thesis?

  3. lyn
    February 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Hi Massivespray

    (“but I can see this as the start of an attempted sympathy uprising for Tony to try to recover lost ground after his piss-poor performance after the recent disasters in Queensland.”)

    No! to over-reaching, you make a worthwhile point.

  4. Spike Pedestal
    February 9, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    And Tone will remain the story…….Bazza will be asking whichever Liberal he interviews all about it on Sunday.

    • February 9, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      They’ll all say the same thing they’ll be saying from now until then…”bad Channel 7! How dare they ambush Tony with questions? And Gillard is wooden so there…”

  1. February 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

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