Apart from game one of the State of Origin rugby league series, the Barnaby Joyce ‘tell-all’ Channel 7 interview - and its fallout - has dominated this week’s news headlines.
The general consensus was that it was compulsive (or should that be repulsive) viewing, like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
Journalists and commentators around the nation seemed to agree they didn’t want to watch, but felt they had to in an effort to understand what prompted the (former Deputy Prime Minister and) National Party Member for New England tell all about his affair with former media adviser Vicki Campion, now mother of his baby son.
Most also seemed to agree they were none the clearer after watching, given Barnaby seemed better at dodging questions than world welter-weight title holder Jeff Horn was at fending off Manny Pacquiao’s explosive left.
The knock-out punch of the television encounter was Barnaby’s description of his National Party colleagues as ‘scum of the earth’ for allegedly suggesting Vick have an abortion.
Whether you agree that Barnaby, known for his conservative ‘family’ views, and Vicki were justified in speaking out, that they were paid $150,000 to do so by Channel 7 is another matter.
What do you think? Is it acceptable for a member of parliament to be paid for media interviews when they draw a handsome salary from the public purse? If not, why not?