Brendan Nelson was the most popular politician in Australia on radio and television this week… if you subscribe to the theory that all publicity is good publicity. Only press and internet dominance kept the PM at number one, while some backbench chap named Costello went to number three? Anyone?

While no-one should be blamed for Sam Newman other than Channel Nine and the man himself, hands up all those that think the continuing US style celebritisation of politics is good for Australian democracy? Not that the pollies haven’t been partly to blame as well in choosing to have an opinion on every tabloid issue that floats past.

In other news the sniffer finally snuffed it (politically), Anna Bligh and Alan Carpenter battle it out for the 432nd biggest prize in sport — the Commonwealth Games, and it seems Mark Vaile’s retirement may not end up being quite as fortuitous for the Nats as Peter McGauran’s was.

The PM slides back up to top spot on the Talkback Top 5, followed by Larry, Curly and Mo while the punters cheered Troy Buswell to the sideline.

And what of our celebrity benchmark? To state the bleeding obvious, it all makes you wonder why anyone would want to run over Sam Newman… slowly.

Peter Fray

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