Clive Palmer and his rag-tag bunch of senators have got people talking across all forms of media.
The focus over the last seven days moved squarely back to Canberra and the negotiations in the Senate as the government attempts to get a raft of election commitments and budget cuts through. Palmer United Party Leader Clive Palmer was at the eye of the storm and leading coverage on radio and TV as his party eventually did deals with the government on the carbon tax and FOFA reforms, while the mining tax and other budget cuts remain held up.
The media remains fascinated by the Senate and its new balance of power senators. Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir’s statement of semi-independence from PUP moving him into the top five for the week as he kept his cards close to his chest on how he would vote. Fellow PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon stayed well up in the news as well, with Xenophon clearly enjoying his renewed relevance after three years of having to watch Lower House Independents have all the fun.
The deteriorating conditions in the Middle East, as well as the continuing focus on Australians either fighting in the region or promoting jihad in other areas, pushed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop up the list. The Senate and international issues dominated to such an extent that the premiers were almost invisible this week. Only Queensland’s Campbell Newman maintained his normal level of coverage — plenty of that had to do with Newman’s long-running battle with Clive Palmer.
Crikey Political Index: July 10-16
Palmer was a mile ahead on talkback as he continues to be the new cartoon villain, a role he seems to fairly comfortable with( in a jovial way), while Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir also copped some heat.
Talkback Top Five
It was the complete reverse in the Twittersphere, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott continuing to draw the most fire. There’s also plenty of heat still on the asylum seeker issue long after the professional media has largely moved on. Palmer still maintains a very healthy level of chat.
Social Media Top Five
And Ian Thorpe’s interview Michael Parkinson is a a reminder to those of us who feel warm and cuddly in our tolerant, sharing and caring modern world that it remains extremely difficult for many people to publicly declare what is still seen as a fundamental difference from the “norm” rather than just one aspect of someone’s life.