Another popularity poll? Is there a warning from TV land for the government? Peter Costello’s Budget averaged 707,000 viewers, down from 798,000 in 2006. In contrast, Kevin Rudd’s response got 718,000 people watching.

Old Jellyback? Nice to see Strewth name-checking Crikey today on the row between Ross Fitzgerald and the Prime Minister. The PM, of course, has still not told the Australian people how he intends to discipline his maverick mate Bill Heffernan for his comments on Julia Gillard. He wrote a stroppy letter to the Oz in defence of his actions after Fitzgerald bagged him on Monday, but it seems as if Heffo has been let off with a stern talking to. If the PM genuinely disagrees with the Senator on the substance of his attacks on Gillard, he is not letting it show. He seems to lack the courage of his convictions. Otherwise, surely, he would have shown the Australian people that his parliamentary colleagues will be held accountable for unacceptable public outbursts of sexist bigotry. So much for John Howard, conviction politician. Yet again.

More media management malarkey. Just what is Heavy Kevvie’s media strategy? To annoy as many journos and presenters and producers as possible? Here’s Charles Wooley talking with fellow on air personality Kate Kimmorley on his Across Australia program yesterday:

Charles Wooley: You won’t get Kevin Rudd, will you? He doesn’t seem to do a lot of radio?

Kate Kimmorley: No, no we haven’t heard him much on the radio have we?

Wooley: I wonder why that is?

Kimmorley: We could try, we could try.

Wooley: You could try.

Kimmorley: He’s too busy cooking with Kerri-Anne I think.

Wooley: Let’s not spoil a splendid day on the air by becoming embittered because some people won’t come on our programme…

Wearing your heart on your sleeve. It had to come. You can get your own “Deliberately Barren” t-shirt here.