Labor leadership ballot
Wednesday night, all channels
EVERY so often, on a Wednesday night, Australia girds its loins for an epic struggle – one for the ages.
It’s an uncivil war of state against state – brother against brother, sister against sister, on a televisual field of mortal combat with no quarter asked and none given, as the nation holds its breath.
I refer, of course, to a federal Labor leadership ballot.
It’s kind of like The Hunger Games for ugly people.
Bring back the biff? In this arena, it never left.
So how did the various stations cope with this midweek battle of the not-so-Titans?
This political junkie lapped up every minute of three of those coverages – and the results were startling.
First to “The One”, news staple Channel 9, where the mouth-breathers were catered for with a coverage so dumbed-down it defied belief.
Headed by Peter Overton(!) – who must have been walking past the studio at the time the spill was called – nothing was happening, insight was non-existent and analysis was, in a word, flaccid.
Worse, with a switchboard flooded by Neanderthals demanding their foody match – now – the coverage comprised constant promises to go to State of Origin at any moment.
It was easy to flick to the ABC, where they prattled on while nothing was happening under the paternalistic Chris Uhlmann. Not much to see here, but more comforting than Nine.
Seven’s coverage was said to be atrocious; Ten’s was never considered.
Where’s a man to turn?
Enter the Foxtel saviour, with Sky news providing blessed relief with in-depth analysis of both sides of politics – from the sure and steady hands of political veteran and Labor head-kicker, numbers man par excellence Graham Richardson and Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger.
You had me at Richo, boys.
Both were in devastating form, with in-depth analysis and expert reading of the packs ahead of the play.
When next a party implodes – and I sense it won’t be long – I’ll be on Sky with David Speers and Co. all the way.
– Jason Beck