Kerry O’Brien vs Malcolm Turnbull

Did anyone watch or hear about the heated interview Kerry O’Brien had with Malcolm Turnbull on Monday night’s episode of the 7.30 Report? O’Brien clearly had something against Turnbull if you watch the interview.

The pre-recorded interview involved Turnbull discussing his views about Rudd’s new ETS plan. The interview started smoothly but seven minutes into it, O’Brien thought it was necessary to bring up the Utegate saga.

O’Brien: …that he wasn’t so much a whistleblower but a Liberal mole. Is that the case?

Turnbull: Kerry I’ve said a great deal about this last week. We issued a comprehensive statement, had a very long press conference and I have got nothing more to say about the matter.

However, instead of just moving on, O’Brien to stay on the issue and told Turnbull that it was one question he refused to answer and repeats his question.

Turnbull tells O’Brien he was focusing on the debate of the emissions trading scheme and that he had said everything he had proposed to say about the Utegate affair. “I have nothing further to add.”

Unfortunately for Turnbull, this was not good enough for O’Brien who rebuked him for not apologising to Rudd. Turnbull retaliated by stating that Rudd had made allegations in the past against Liberal members and never withdrew nor apologised for them.

What Turnbull said afterwards made it clear he had finally got the message that politicians should just do their job. “The Australian people want their politicians to get on to the real issues and pursuing this matter…is annoying a lot of Australians who want us to talk about and resolve these very challenging economic issues.”

In my last post, I wrote about wanting that exact thing. Turnbull has finally seen the light! However, once you dig a very serious hole and it’s deep then it’s hard to get out out. That is the case with the Utegate matter. Just read any story that has come out this week about the Emissions Trading Scheme and that scandal keeps popping up especially in those stories concerning the Liberal Party.

Kerry O’Brien seemed to be hell bent on getting whatever information he could out of Turnbull even mentioning twice, the Opposition Leader’s slumping performance in the polls.

Turnbull: Kerry, you are wasting your viewers’ time. Let us focus on the real issue…

O’Brien: I’m sorry. The question was is there Liberal research that confirms…the Australian public regards you as a risk?

Turnbull: Well Kerry, Kerry, I am not aware of it and I’m the leader of the Liberal Party so what you are doing is focusing on gossip. It might be very entertaining but the fact of the matter is we should be sitting here discussing the design of the emissions trading scheme.

According the SMH’s The Diary, the heated discussion did not end after the cameras had switched off. “After the interview wound up, it is understood that O’Brien let Turnbull know exactly what he thought about his performance, saying he didn’t like his attitude. Turnbull, renowned for not taking a backward step, gave it back and then exited the ABC studios clearly fuming.”

At the end of the day, both men were flawed. Turnbull started a mess which he now desperately wants to forget ever happened and O’Brien is fixated on this and decided to waste the interview trying to get answers.

Readers of the Australian were clearly unhappy with O’Brien’s behaviour with one person stating that O’Brien was behaving like Kevin Rudd had employed him and that the interview was more of a “stage show”. Another description of the interview was that it was “cringe-worthy”. “O’Brien was not only aggressive, but rude and insulting. His infatuation with the Labor Party is blatantly evident, belying claims of unbiased reporting,” wrote an annoyed viewer. You can more of their views in the Australian’s  comment page titled ‘Is Kerry being primed by Labor’s spin doctors’.

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About Brendan
Journalist

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