Friday, January 28, 2011

Mitchell and Gillard: talk back at its most pathetic

This morning, Julia Gillard, as is the case when needing to sell something, was all over the airwaves and TV screens. She fronted up to David Koch where she had to try and explain to him that the contingency fund in the budget was not a slush fund to be used for a rainy day. It is used for programs that are demand driven – eg Medicare that are not capped – ie you don’t get to the end of the financial year and see the Government say, “Sorry no more operations for you, we’ve used up all our money for Medicare this year”. In the budget they estimate how much they need for such ongoing and demand driven programs but if, for whatever reason, they under-estimate, there is money available.

Personally, I wouldn't want the Government to muck around too much with that.

She then went on 3AW to “talk” with Neil Mitchell.

Now I’ll admit I am no fan of Mitchell’s. I think on his best days he is a bad interviewer who takes everything personally. The main reason he went in hard on Abbott last year was because Abbott had admitted on the 7:30 Report that he had pretty well lied to Mitchell when he had said to him that he wouldn’t bring in any new taxes. Mitchell wasn’t going to stand for that, and so in he went studs up, and forced Abbott to sign a pledge not to bring back WorkChoices.

My biggest issue with Mitchell is that when he doesn’t get an answer he likes (ie one that confirms his pre-held belief) he lets out groans and sighs like a petulant school boy. It is the kind of response that were my 7 year old daughter ever to do it, I would be quickly giving her lessons in manners and sending her to her room (though unfortunately, my 7 year old daughter actually likes her room…).

Today against Gillard he put this into overdrive. His views on the BER spend were set in concrete (and oblivious to any actual evidence), so too his views on the levy. He adopted a petty tone, and at one point put on a rather weird voice. Gillard snapped: “Neil,you don’t need to patronise me” which quickly had him back peddling, and then laughably accusing her of patronizing him!

Listen to the interview (16 minutes, good luck) to judge.

Later in the day, on 3AW, Derryn Hinch commented on the interview. Now I am also not a huge fan of Hinch, but I think he makes some good points.

Most conservatives on Twitter that I have conversed with compared Mitchell to Kerry O’Brien. Personally I think the comparison ludicrous – O’Brien uses facts for a start, not lines that he thinks his audience wants to hear. And if you think O’Brien doesn’t have to worry about fact, you should watch the head of ABC sit before the Senate Estimates committee, where any small error of fact is usually raked over by Liberal Senators.

The thing about talk back radio shows like Mitchell’s is that mostly Liberal Party voters listen to it (and old ones at that), so there’s bugger all upside for Gillard doing them. And if she comes a gutser, there can be a big fall out – as it will be reported widely (and “victories” of course, will not).

Personally, after this morning, I’d be inclined to put Mitchell on the black list for a while. He’ll sook about it, but so what? Better he sook to himself than sook while you’re sitting opposite him.


Anonymous said...

Kerry O'Brien, surely not O'Brian.

Thirdborn 314 said...

Grog, love your work. You are consistenly picking the issues and providing some reasoned analysis. Personally I was horrified at the interview, I thought respect for office was a deeply ingrained value in us all.

Greg Jericho said...

Cheers Anon. Fixed

Bill said...

You only have to compare and contrast Mitchell's behaviour towards Gillard with his regular treatment of John Howard.

Anonymous said...

Yeah was not the best example of how a PM should be spoken to, and not very effective.
I have been listening to Mitchell for a long time and do enjoy him more often than not, but not this one.

Lad Litter said...
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Lad Litter said...

Because Mitchell's shock-jock cotemporaries such as Jones and Laws et al are so obviously loathsome and corrupt he tends to fly under the radar somewhat.

And the way his obvious coalition cheer-leading manages to still be considered journalism by the gullible probably reflects that.

You needed to listen to him and his 3AW stablemates during the Kennett era to get a true idea of how low they sank. They were even worse than the latter-day Australian.

I wouldn't have minded if it wasn't so bloody obvious.

Mike said...
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Mike said...

I think the best approach with "sock-stuffers"* like Mitchell is simply to deny them oxygen!
(* reference: movie "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"*

Victoria said...

As I commented on a previous blog, after I saw Mitchell on The 7PM Project questioning the PM's sanity in a back and forth with George Negus, I lost all respect for his opinion. Let alone considering what he does as 'journalism'.
Why is it that these media outlets, and especially since the station MTR came on the scene in Melbourne, felt the need to go even further to the crazy Right end of the spectrum, as opposed to moderating their views and taking a Centrist Right viewpoint, in contrast also to the ABC's supposedly Centre Left pov? You'd think that was where the majority of the listening audience was.
Anyway, it's obvious that these shock jocks have one eye on America and how successful such menaces to society, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh were in dislodging the Democrats from power in the Congress at the Mid Term elections, and thus they fancy themselves as being capable of much the same thing here when it comes to the Gillard government.
I hope not.

emjar said...

I've been longing for someone to start the discussion about respect toward the office of the Prime Minister and at least Derryn Hinch's programme offered that opportunity. I'm absolutely over the media referring to the Prime Minister by her first name or even more disrespectfully by her surname. I hate to show my age(53) but why can't she be referred to as Ms. Gillard or the Prime Minister,Ms. Gillard.Isn't that just manners? Media can as we know set the tone for discussion in the community but I suppose if they have such ovious disdain for the Government and the Labor party they feel they can forget about the usual courtesies to the person who occupies the most important political position in the country. If I was the Prime Minister I would be vetting the journalists who are disrespectful, starting with Mr. Mitchell.She shouldn't just have to wear this sort of behaviour.