Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Tony puts the media in its place

Its interesting to watch the vision for this incident and to see a confident Tony Abbott deftly put Nicola Berkovic in her place at the press conference yesterday:


After Mr Abbott arrived, the first question of the day was from Nicola Berkovic, a journalist from The Australian newspaper.

‘‘Prime Minister, do you trust this government, the state government, which is proving to be corrupt, to deliver your major infrastructure plans?’’

The question was perhaps poorly worded as no state Liberal has been found corrupt.

But Mr Abbott was not in a forgiving mood as he tried to turn his prime ministerial authority back on Berkovic.

‘‘That, if I may say so, is an entirely unjustified smear,’’ Mr Abbott said.

‘‘Let me not mince my words, madam. An entirely unjustified smear, and frankly I think you should withdraw that. There is no evidence whatsoever for that.’’

He then asked Berkovic, a former press gallery journalist of the year for her coverage of the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme, what her evidence was.

Another journalist tried to restore normal press conference service by asking Mr Abbott if he would remember receiving a bottle of wine from his birth year.

But Mr Abbott would not be deterred. Waving off the interruption, he returned to Berkovic.

‘‘Please, please, I’ve asked what the evidence of that statement was and none has been forthcoming,’’ he said, holding up his hands.

Berkovic replied: ‘‘I think that voters will have questions to ask about a premier who specifically said yesterday that if he was delivered a bottle of that nature he would remember it. Today a thank you note has been uncovered and he has resigned. I think voters would be quite sceptical about the way this has unfolded.’’

Mr Abbott said that was a very different statement from the previous one and called on everybody to lift their game.

Amusingly some minions of the left are suggesting that the put down of a woman journalist was “bullying” its similar to the line run by the Guardian yesterday as I see it we should expect a certain standard from all journalists and I hope that Nicola Berkovic   was just having a momentary lapse in judgement but some how I doubt it Maybe she should have stuck to puff pieces in Cleo about how to make lots of money when you are new to a career..
Cheers Comrades

Nicola Berkovic




  1. GD says:

    Well said, Prime Minister Abbott. No matter what Tony Abbott says or does, the left will continue to castigate and deride him. It doesn’t matter that the Libs won the election, the leftards will continue to shriek like scalded rats at whatever he says.

    Ninety seats in parliament to fifty, says it all really.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    ‘‘Let me not mince my words, madam. An entirely unjustified smear, and frankly I think you should withdraw that. There is no evidence whatsoever for that.’’

    Oh my God, Abbott is a total goose. Where did he think he was, in Parliament? What about this so-called right to free speech and opinion he keeps talking about? Why wasn’t the journo allowed to label the NSW Govt corrupt if that’s her opinion? Come off it you guys, this was Abbott diverting attention away from the real issue. And, oh, what a man. What a guy – he put down a nobody journalist. Take it in your strides Tony.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    you seem to be suggesting that Abbott should be in some sense deferential to this journalist which strikes me as being rather wrong headed.The Journo was of course entitled to make a fool of herself by asking a stupid question but Abbott was just as entitled to admonish her for her stupidity. He did so with dignity and grace which has very prime ministerial if you ask me.

  4. richard ryan says:

    Tony Abbott’s shit stinks likes everyone else when he goes to the toilet.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    All he had to say was, “I don’t accept the premise of your question” and move on. To publicly lecture her and demand a retraction was ludicrous behaviour and beneath his office as PM.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Had he done as you suggest Ray the Abbott hatters would have insisted that he had something to hide . Admit it , the woman asked a stupid question and she deserved to be admonished.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Sure it does Richard, and the problem was that the Journalist was trying to go all chimpanzee at the press conference and Abbott threw her excremental question right back in her face, as she deserved.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    She asked a stupid question, yes. And Abbott was equally stupid in response. If he’d brushed it off, as he should have, no one would have given it a 2nd thought.

  9. richard ryan says:

    The Bully Tactics are never far away, where Abbott is concerned, he needs a good smashing, in the boxing ring.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    How precisely was this “bullying” Richard?

  11. Jeff G. says:

    Going by her pic, the best place for her would be on her back.

    Comments like this don’t surprise me. Most journalists are not possessed of a lot of intelligence.

  12. David M. says:

    Typical of the Australian – now so Leftwing you would swear its The Guardian! I’m really over their bleeding heart attitudes and going soft on labor policies at every opportunity. It once was that they showed a bit of spine and played both sides of the game but nowdays its so socilaist I really cant bear to read it.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    well I don’t think that I could get away with saying that Jeff, however I won’t deny the thought had crossed my mind though 😉

  14. GD says:

    the Australian – now so Leftwing you would swear its The Guardian

    Actually what this does show is that the Australian presents both left and conservative views; something that the ABC, despite its charter, fails at.

    Of course, the parliamentary press gallery is comprised of mostly left-leaning chardonnay socialists.

  15. Jeff G. says:

    What, just because she says something idiotic she’s a left winger? Nice logic GD.

    And of course the ABC has more journalists working the press gallery. It’s the national broadcaster and does news for six states, on TV, radio, the web and the international satellite service.

  16. richard ryan says:

    Look at the bloke who gave him the bottle of wine, looks like someone out of the movie The Godfather, looks shonky to me, is he a member of the Mafia? The moral of the story: Beware of Italians bearing gifts, more so if it is a $3000 bottle of overpriced red.

  17. richard ryan says:

    GD! check her I.D. she might be a Muslim.

  18. richard ryan says:

    The one who looks like someone out of the Godfather, is the one I would be watching, I hate informers, they use to get shot during the war—-just saying. Shalom.

  19. GD says:

    Speaking of the media, here’s great video by Stu from the NT:

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, what has come out lately is simply how corrupt & shitful your precious Coalition is. You might support them but no decent person would. You should think about that.

  21. GD says:

    Yes Ray, the Labor Party is squeaky clean. Why the hell didn’t we re-elect them? They could have increased the deficit, kept borrowing money from China and thrown away more borrowed funds on idiotic green schemes/scams.

    As well as that, there would have been an ever increasing flow of illegal, unidentified immigrants.

    Yes, an undeclared bottle of wine and a premier’s resignation is truly a scandal.

    Why didn’t we stay with the magnificent statesmanship of Kevin Rudd or the caring compassionate communist Gillard?

    Like you, I weep for our country.

    Have you bought your ‘f*ck Tony Abbott’ T-shirt being promoted by Fairfax?

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    There you go with the finngerpointing again, GD. You never address an issue and never acknowledge any bad eggs on your side. It’s as though the ICAC inquiry into AWH is only about that bottle, according to your responses. I don’t know why you even bother to comment if that’s all you’ve got to say. It’s a real lightweight and, frankly, gutless approach, GD.

  23. Iain Hall says:

    what you seem to be missing here is that as regrettable as the faux pas with a wine bottle is its still very small beer compared to the endemic corruption and rorts perpetrated by Labor party and its union affiliates in NSW If anything this inquiry shows the folly of privatising government utilities

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you can’t diminish the AWH matter and the Liberal Party involvement by pointing to past corruption by former NSW ALP MPs like Obeid. This matter goes way beyond the bottle of red wine. O’Farrell accepted other donations from AWH, was pals with its chief executive and gave him a $100 million contract. He got out before the shit hit the fan and may well have set himself up for that very reason.

  25. GD says:

    how corrupt & shitful your precious Coalition is

    Wow, Ray, that’s the most erudite comment of yours I’ve ever read. Go to the top of the class.

    You should be proud of your debating skills.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    As opposed to your ‘debating skills’, GD, I certainly am proud of mine. You don’t even really debate, you obfuscate, cherry pick and finger point. Oh, and you play down or clam up whenever your side f*#ks up. You’re the ‘Joffa’ of debating … with more teeth.

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