Nov 27, 2012

PM vs press gallery: anatomy of a tense encounter

The Prime Minister's performance at a press conference on the AWU issue yesterday was strong, but her critics have already shifted the goalposts. Crikey had a fly on the wall as Gillard took on the media.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

“Questions to answer”, apparently. So Julia Gillard strode from her office yesterday at 1.10pm, grim-faced, a little drawn, ready for battle with the press gallery, who had crammed into Parliament’s Blue Room, the aptly-named ministerial press conference venue. The strategy was simple: pre-empt the impact of the opposition’s much-trumpeted “grilling” of the Prime Minister over the AWU non-scandal, which had already been deflated by Bruce Wilson’s weekend remarks.

As time went on, though, it also occasionally seemed as though the Prime Minister had another goal. For so long confronted with vague claims about nebulous wrongdoing without any specific charges, as well as frequent misreporting, accidental or otherwise, of what happened, it seemed as though this was as much about Gillard directly hitting back at her tormentors as about presenting the opportunity to grill her. In this way, it often seemed as though it was journalists in the firing line, not the Prime Minister.

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117 thoughts on “PM vs press gallery: anatomy of a tense encounter

  1. Venise Alstergren

    It is to be wondered why the MSM opposes any form of accountability for its endless stream of misinformation, slander, and straight out lies. Yet these are the foundation for their refusal to accept a referendum into their activities.

    If their egregious behaviour was mimicked by the medical profession they would all scream r-pe. Yet there they scamper, little chip-on-the-shoulder apes employed by money-bags Murdoch-and Fairfax, not so money-bags.

    Some day, one day, they will have to be held accountable-and elephants may fly.

  2. Holden Back

    So, is the PM allowed to set journalists a few tests?

    We could start with IQ tests and work our way up.

  3. Karen

    Bernard Keane – great article – the Liberal attacks and those of their minion MSM journo acolytes have now reached the moment of high farce. Its great, Bernard, you’ve actually stuck to the facts and have pointed out, accurately, a complete absence of evidence to implicate Gillard in any wrongdoing, moral let alone legal.

    As a journalist, I would be interested to see who has financed Blewitt’s return to Australia and on whose advice.

  4. Karen

    And, as a member of the public, I’m getting tired of seeing that big, jaw-boned woman, Credlin going into Parliament briefing Bishop and Abbott on how to keep attacking Gillard. That black photo of her standing in Parliament next to Bishop with a lever arch folder sporting Gillard’s name over it was a shocker. I’ve never seen politics get so personal, thanks to that toxic combination of Abbott, Credlin, and Bishop. Wake up, Australia! You don’t want this [email protected] running the joint next year.

  5. cairns50

    your article says it all,what can she do to lay these claims to rest, when the murdoch press tony abbott julie bishop,the shock jocks and all the other right wing nut case lackeys just keep going on and on about this

    very very similiar to the witchunt that occured when carmen lawrence was a federal member of the penny easton affair

    surely the australian public will wake up to whats going on and see this smear campaign for what it is

    another push by abbott to remove a democratically elected pm before an election is due

    a pox on all right wingers , every single one of you

  6. cairns50

    your article says it all, what can she do to lay these claims to rest, when the murdoch press with unlimited resources and money tony abbott julie bishop the shock jocks and the rest of the right wing nut cases just keep going on and on about this

    very similar to what occured to carmen lawrence was a federal member over the penny easton sucicide in wa many years ago

    surely the austrlian public will wake up to whats going on and see this smear campagin for what it is

    just another push by tony abbott to become pm before the next election was due

    he just doesnt get it, the independents formed a govt with labor not liberal

  7. john2066

    Lets face it, when you’re dealing with Murdoch monkeys, you’re dealing with a human subspecies.

  8. Jimmy

    The Libs will want to be very careful about this issue this week now, Gillard has shown that the issue has no merit and the govt is introducing legislation on some forward thinking popular issues, if the libs keep trying to go over things from 20 years ago I think it will blow up in their face. I think the public have moved on.

  9. minnamurra

    Our Prime Minister has more than dealt with all of this farcical nonsense – if it continues it will only underlines the misogynist nature of these great whites. Including the women who bay at their heels.

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