The latest story that is on every good breakfast show this morning was about, you guessed it, Tony Abbott, and his comment concerning the death of a solider in Afghanistan. The comment that he made to the fellow soldiers was of course ‘well, sometimes shit happens.’
This of course didn’t make headlines on its own, his response when questioned by a channel seven reporter [Mark Riley] was what created a stir. Silence, funnily enough, was what caused the ‘media circus’ as Tony Abbott would put it. That, and the fact that he practically issued a death threat just by looking at him. If I were Mark Riley, I would sleep with one eye open. In fact, I might not even sleep at all.
People have criticized Tony Abbott for taking the soldiers death too lightly, for offending soldiers, for offending family and friends of the deceased solider, and for looking like he was going to kill someone. Mark Riley was criticized for asking him about the comment in the first place.
I don’t think that the comment is offensive, however I do think it is incredibly foolish to say that when there is a camera within a metre of you. Its unprofessional, and not necessary to use that kind of language. The very idea of the reporter being criticized is crazy. Its their job to be a shit stirrer, to make people’s lives miserable. This certainly isn’t something that should come as a surprise. If people can make Julia Gillard’s ear lopes a topic for debate, this is going to be front page for a week.
If you want to see the interview, I have inserted it into the post, however, this is, in a nut shell, the exciting part.
Abbott: I was doing my best to support the soldiers that I was discussing with then. Look, a soldier has died, and you shouldn’t be trying to turn this into a subsequent media circus.
Riley: The soldier shouldn’t?
Abbott: [Points to Riley] Riley: I shouldn’t? But I’m not turning this into a media circus. I’m showing you vision, of you, your reaction to his explanation of what happened on the day in the operation in which MacKinney was killed. How is that turning that into a media circus?
Abbott: [Nods, 20 second pause]
Riley: Well tell me, what’s the context then, if it’s out of context, what is the context? You’re not saying anything Tony.
Abbott: I’ve given you the response you deserve.
God I love politics!