Should parliamentarians take payment for media interviews?

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?

Comments   32 Comments

It was refreshing to see overnight the thoughts of Natalie Joyce, who expressed her views to Woman's Weekly. Incidentally she did not charge or receive a fee, despite the fact that she could have made a fortune by shopping it around. This lady has class.

She labelled the paid interview on Sunday by Barnaby and Vikki a disgrace, and questioned why he did not consider his daughters when deciding where to direct the $150,000 interview fee. She then said that she wouldn't have accepted it, but it clearly shows the lack of consideration for his estranged family.

This saga keeps dragging on and will do so unless Barnaby resigns his position. But he won't because he knows that he could not find a job as good or one that pays as well. But if he was serious about living with his new family out of the limelight, he would resign.He could fade off into obscurity with his 30 pieces of silver. But he won't!

Barnaby Joyce is symtomatic of the hedonistic lifestyle of federal politics. They have put themselves on pedestals and Barnaby is just one of many politicians who have played up on their partners. There are many also who have not yet been caught. Money power and prestige are powerful aphrodisiacs to the minions who serve the politicians in Canberra.
The exorbitant salaries, supplemented by extremely generous media and travel allowances and large travel budgets are not enough for our pollies. Barnaby took money for this tv interview but also received many other gifts. Other politicians also receive generous travel accommodation and other gifts. These gifts buy influence. Politicians should not be able to receive any gifts or money full stop. That is the origin of corruption.

Lorikeet. I know that it takes two to tango. Regardless of the temptation posed by Vikki, it was Barnaby who decided to abandon his marriage vows. He could have said no, consistent with his much publicised good Catholic family values. He did not. In a world where free will is paramount, he exercised his free will to abandon his wife and family for his girlfriend. His choice Lorikeet. All he had to do was say no! He couldn't and didn't. He can't blame anyone but himself.

I agree wholeheartedly with Anonymous, except for the part where Barnaby is the sole destroyer of his marriage. It takes 2 to tango, unless you have learned to dance solo like me. Even then, dancing Tango is one of harder dances to do alone.

I suggest that Anonymous might be wise to vote for one of the solo politicians, in the hope of getting someone (anybody) who cares about their own country and its people.

I would like to ask that all persons named Anonymous put at least 2 initials after their name, so we know which of you is commenting e.g. AnonymousGB.

2MC. I summarised Ms Campion's activities to counter your false assertion of 11/6 that "Vikki Campion was employed by him long before their affair began."
Vikki and Barnaby were an item before her move to Canberra with him, and before he employed her as media advisor after the 2016 election. Their behavior on the hustings and outside Albanese's office on arrival in Canberra proved this. So Barnaby clearly employed Vikki to continue their affair. And when the PM became aware, she was "transferred" to Canavan's office, but remained with Barnaby.
I am with you on the cheater bit though. Once a cheater always a cheater. There can't be a lot of trust between Barnaby and Vikki, as their whole relationship involved cheating. Good luck to them both, but I just can't imagine this relationship lasting.
Oh and we agree again on being over it. Like most people, I think his career is history and he should go. Then his family life can be private.

No politician should be able to receive payment for media appearances. The same should apply to immediate family unless that media is associated with their private employment or benevolent activities. I agree with NSA that politicians are paid handsomely. They don't need media cash and should not be allowed to take it. Especially this grub Barnaby. His media appearances have shown that he blames everyone including his son Sebastian for his demise. He has embarassed Vikki severely and branded his National colleagues scum. He is solely to blame for blowing his marriage and should not profit from adultery while employed as deputy Prime Minister.

I am fed up with politicians receiving money from sources outside of their employment. Barnaby apparently gets money thrown at him. He gets a free house, cheques from Gina Rhinehart, free holiday accommodation, free travel and now $150k for a supposed tell-all about his affair and new life with his mistress and new son.
Why do we allow politicians to receive free gifts and payments that us mere mortals can not achieve. I was always taught that nothing in life is free. There is always a price to be paid. Something meeds to be done to stop MPs from receiving money and gifts. Don't they think that they are already overpaid when accepting their parliamentary salary. If they were paid according to the economic performance of the country, they, including Barnaby would be paying the taxpayer instead of the reverse!

Just as the most poorly paid members of the Australian workforce (retail and tourism) lose their penalty rates, politicians have been awarded a pay increase of hundreds of dollars per week. It is like these cretins think that the taxpayers dollars are there for them to spend as they see fit. Our poor soldiers are given token increases while the pollies suck greedily on the public teat. And as if a paltry $200,000 annual salary is not enough to raise a child Barnaby Joyce takes advantage of his political position to demand $150,000 to appear on national television complaining that talk of his family is an invasion of his privacy. If this wasn't so stupid I could cry.

I don't think it is fair to hold Barnaby Joyce solely responsible for the breakup of his marriage. After all, we weren't there to see what happened, were we?

I remember this from marriage vows: "Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

That goes for women too.

This puts me in mind of a very sexist man who was loudly blaming a married woman for deserting her husband for a younger man. Both the sexist man and the younger man's church going parents tried to put all of the blame onto the married woman. They should have known from their own church education that their son was more to blame than anyone else. He was 30 years old and would have known what he was doing.

Maggie ... you've done a great job of googling and finding a media piece about Vicky Campion's job time line ... well done ! However I would prefer to hear about her career directly from her rather than a third party.

Lorikeet ... rather than me being "too forgiving", it's more a case of it's none of my business. I don't think they broke any work place rules. If they want to have sex with each other, that's their perogative and it's up to them to resolve personally, not me or anyone else.

I've read many comments about "poor Natalie", however from all accounts I've read - including the statement she made - she knew about the affair but hung on to a hopeless situation long past its "sell by" date. Personally if anyone cheated on me, they wouldn't get a second chance no matter what religious views I held ... why anyone would want to take back a cheater is beyond me,

I think the whole issue should be dropped from the media ... I'm a little over it.

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