The press gallery, and in particular the broadcast media parts of it, may have thought it was a huge story, but the punters seem to have been considerably less interested in the last throes of the political divorce between now independent Senator Jacqui Lambie and her former parliamentary leader Clive Palmer. With no leadership tension in either the government or the opposition, it seems a bit of human drama was gold dust to the professional media, but while Lambie and Palmer received more broadcast coverage than the PM, they achieved less than a third of his discussion of levels on talkback and social media — even in a week that Tony Abbott’s social media numbers fell by half from the highs of G20 week. Could it be that people really are more interested in issues than colourful personality clashes?

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine made it up to fifth place and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews into the top ten as the Victorian state election campaign comes to the pointy end, while Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull climbed further up the list as ABC and SBS cuts and the resulting closure of a number of regional facilities stayed in the news. Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s online petition to protest the closing of the ABC’s Adelaide production unit also pushed him up the list, and the float of Medibank Private saw Finance Minister Mathias Cormann into the top ten. Defence Minister David Johnston just snuck into the list late with his full and frank assessment of ASC’s (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation) ability to manufacture recreational paddlecraft.

Crikey Political Index: November 20-26

Jacqui Lambie and Clive Palmer fill the same slots on talkback as they do in the main list, but this time Tony Abbott received more mentions than their combined total.

Talkback Top Five

Huge drop in numbers for Tony Abbott this week, but still well ahead of the pack, with the ABC cuts causing plenty of stir among the Twitterati.

Social Media Top Five


It may tend to live mainly in our subconscious until something like the tragic injury to cricketer Phil Hughes occurs, but the truth remains that almost all of our most popular sports involve the risk of serious physical injury, and that risk, if not the actual injury that occasionally occurs, clearly is part of the attraction of both playing and watching those sports for many of us.

Comparison of media mentions

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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