Election media insights: the stuff ups continue

Stephanie Banister from One Nation:
the worst candidate ever?
We're nearing the end of week one of the election campaign and, for those of us fascinated by media and political stuff ups, we haven't been disappointed.

Earlier in the week I covered a stuff up from each of the main parties (a Liberal interview implosion and a Labor interview meltdown) but now it's time to cast our eyes a little wider and examine the minor parties.

And yes, I'm including the Greens in this definition.  In my humble opinion, you're not a 'major' party unless you have a vague chance in hell of winning Government.  Anyone who thinks the Greens are within 70 seats of winning Government most likely needs their brain examined.

But our first minor party stuff up came courtesy of a party that I didn't even know still existed; One Nation.

Stephanie Banister is a candidate for the Queensland seat of Rankin, and she has taken the cake with the biggest howler of the campaign so far.  If you haven't watched Channel 7's vision of her interview, I can't encourage you strongly enough to do so right now.

Some of the best sound bytes from Ms Banister include, as AAP reported:

"During the interview, which Mr Savage says was misrepresentative, Ms Banister referred to Islam as country as well as referring to the Koran as "haram" and saying the national disability insurance scheme was "working at the moment", when it does not begin until 2016."

In short, it is both hilarious and overwhelmingly distressing.  Seriously!  Do these people expect to get elected??  Are they honestly that deluded to be under the disgracefully mistaken impression that people will vote for them?

Apparently so.  Because these things keep popping up.  That said, I can't remember there being this many noticeable stuff ups in such a short space of time, but that's because I reckon the way we consume media is changing.

Without Twitter and online newspaper the chances are I'd never have heard of these things because, well, I probably couldn't have been bothered.

But now you can't escape this stuff.  To be blunt, if you screw up these days, it won't go unnoticed.  Someone, somewhere will upload it to something and people everywhere will laugh at you including no-name bloggers like me.

Unfortunately I reckon this will lead more political hopefuls to abandon any sense of trying to have a persuasive and thought-out argument.  Rather they'll go so far into their shells and just reduce their answers to sound bytes and slogans so the risk of having a stuff up of Diaz proportions (you're damn right I'm invoking that guy's name) are minimised. 

And seriously, that's pretty disappointing.  People are so afraid they can't answer questions that they'll revert to one liners and risk minimisation.  Ideally this increased age of media scrutiny could have been a good thing.  The people who don't deserve to be elected would be found out and those who do deserve to be elected would shine (incidentally, Stephanie Banister has quit the campaign, so that's a pleasing result).

However, I don't think it's going to happen.


Now all attention is shifting to Sunday's leaders' debate.  Rudd vs Abbott.  Starting at 6:30pm (and no, I won't be watching - I'll be at church worshiping a leader worthy of respect), both candidates will apparently get a series of questions by some press gallery journalists and try and convince you, me, and everyone else that they are awesome and the other guy is lame.

 The only piece of contention is the debate's moderator.  David Speers from Sky News is once again going to moderate it (as he did in both 2007 and 2010).  I reckon this should change.

For those of you who don't know him, Andrew Greene is a journalist with ABC News 24 (albeit an obscure one - @andrewbgreene on twitter).

Sure he doesn't have runs on the board yet, but this is a time for change!  If the press gallery hopes to be respected by the population they should put their best foot forward.  And it's obvious this best foot is the former Heywire champion Andrew Greene.

So get behind the hashtag #draftgreenie and let's see this hero of the 4th estate get the recognition he deserves.