Crikey readers watch morning TV! That Crikey has all kinds of readers is now clear to me as one has sent me details of an appearance by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the Mornings with Kerri Anne show on Nine last week where the subject of that peck on the cheek of Treasurer Wayne Swan (Crikey yesterday) was raised in an interview. Here is the transcript of the important exchange:

KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY: Ok, well as you’ve wrapped up. The eyes are always upon you Julia and when the Budget was announced the other night I mean a lot of discussion has been made on a kiss. Have a look at this. Of course everybody’s quite excited.

KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY: Now a little hand – look.

[Laugh]

KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY: Nice to know you guys are all up close and personal.

JULIA GILLARD: Well you know Wayne had worked incredibly hard, he’d done a great job. He’s doing a great job talking about the Budget in the days that have followed; he did a great job putting the Budget together so I think it was worth a kiss.

KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY: They were thinking a headlock.

[Laugh]

JULIA GILLARD: And whist the footage doesn’t show it I wasn’t the only one to give him a kiss. Jenny Macklin gave him a kiss and Tanya Plibersek gave him a kiss so he was a much celebrated man on Budget night. And I don’t think he was objecting to being kissed by any of the women in Labor’s Ministry who came up to give him a kiss on the cheek to celebrate a good Budget; and a lot of work done by the Treasurer.

KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY: You’ve just got to watch that vision though; they’re making things up there.

JULIA GILLARD: I’ll live to tell the tale hopefully.

According to my informant, who rises far earlier of a morning than me, this incisive exchange followed an original disclosure on the Today Show which preceded it from 5.30am onwards. The staff of Rove Live, it seems, are Channel Nine watchers!

Tony gets an earn? Tony Abbott made no secret of the pains of adjusting to the loss of a minister’s income which perhaps explains his somewhat plaintive plea on a live blog yesterday for the Daily Telegraph. As a man who once earned a living writing editorials for The Australian , backbencher Abbott had no trouble putting a few words together about his shadow portfolio of Indigenous affairs and the Northern Territory.

He ended his contribution with these words: “Thanks everyone for your questions. I’m sorry I didn’t get to them all but would be happy to come back. Please tell the Tele you’d like that to happen – cheers Tony”. Now that reads like a job application to me.

A Hillary win discounted. This morning’s big win by Hillary Clinton in the Kentucky primary has not influenced the people with money one iota. The Crikey election indicator has moved even more in favour of Barack Obama with the probability of him becoming the Democratic Party nominee now assessed at nearly 93%.

The Daily Reality Check

Something for Age journalists to think about this morning. The third most read item on the paper’s website this morning was not written by one of them or even one of its paid contributors. This craven move should frighten us which attracted such attention was a letter to the editor from Ray Wyatt, associate professor, school of resource management, University of Melbourne. Good to see the argument that “when academic freedom – a fundamental principle of democracy – is compromised by a Labor government, it is time for all thinking Australians to be afraid” can get academics clicking on an item to send it up the popularity list. Must be following the example of the paper’s management who did so well yesterday with the report on how well Fairfax is doing.

The Pick of this Morning’s Political Coverage

What the world is reading on the net

OK- what cathedral is it? (Answer can be found here)

Quote of the Day:

My favourite definition of an anti-Semite is “a person who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary”. Susan Chandler, the former Victorian Liberal Party campaign manager who described a colleague as a “greedy f..king Jew”, appears to qualify.

— Barry Cohen, former Federal Labor Minister in Some of my best friends are anti-Semitic

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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