Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Abbott Wishes Microphone Was Not On After "Gospel Truth" Gaffe on TV Interview


The opposition Leader in Australia, Tony Abbott, a relative newbie to the position is another high profile politician to make a gaffe in front of the microphone.

He was asked on the ABC's 7.30 Report recently about his promise this year not to propose any new taxes, which he reneged on a month later by announcing a levy to fund paid parental leave.

Mr Abbott said his scripted remarks could be taken as "gospel truth" but, "in the heat of discussion you go a little bit further".

So he's fessed up that he's a liar and of course the media and Rudd Government have had a field day - again a major focus for the media with the "Phoney Tony" tagline.

"I know politicians are going to be judged on everything they say but sometimes in the heat of discussion you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark.

"The statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth are those carefully prepared scripted remarks."

Abbott's other gaffe came in the heat of the last election when he turned up to a media debate with Labor's Nicola Roxon. He was caught out being rude to her when he thought the interview was over and the microphone wasn't on.

This issue is about trust. Was Abbott too honest and is he trying to distance himself from the consummate spin of Rudd?

There's no doubt the Rudd Government have been masters of managing the news cycle and that is starting to unravel.

The key takeaways from this for leaders are that always be disciplined in media interviews and learn to "block and bridge" tough questions.

This is basic politics 101.

Want to learn how to deal with the media? Come to our next Winning the Media Game course on June 1 in Subiaco Perth. Book here.

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