The silence as Tony Abbott stared at Seven News reporter Mark Riley after being questioned on a comment he made in Afghanistan after being briefed on the circumstances surrounding the death in action of an Australian soldier was nothing less than eerie. To me it looked like the Opposition Leader was weighing up using the skills that gained him a university blue for boxing. Certainly there would have been sympathy from me, and I think many others, if he had because the suggestion that Tony Abbott was being disrespectful was nothing short of outrageous. This was malicious journalism of an atrocious kind.