Channel 7’s interview stuff-up
"I SUPPOSE I was living a lie," former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce conceded in his $150,000 interview with partner Vikki Campion on .
And viewers were swift to point out that he had seemed in no hurry to end it.
Why that lie dragged on for so long, and why the couple didn't end it, remains one of the many questions that remain unanswered in the wake of Mr Joyce and Ms Campion's "tell all interview".
The hour-long interview failed to address several questions and issues:
1. Ms Campion moved into parliamentary roles in other ministerial offices after she left Mr Joyce's office - including one to a position that had not previously existed. Ms Campion was transferred from My Joyce's office to roles in the office of Resources Minister Matt Canavan, and another to the office of Nationals' Whip Damian Drum. Sunday Night did not ask either about the transfers, the jobs, or how those appointments were made.
The real scandal of @Barnaby_Joyce was never the affair. The problem was always shuffling VC between @The_Nationals party offices which neither needed her nor wanted her. This was a scandalous use of public money & not one question was asked about it @sundaynighton7 @alextcullen— Graham Richardson (@SkyNewsRicho) June 3, 2018
2. Mr Joyce said he knew he would lose the position of Deputy PM the moment Ms Campion became pregnant in mid-2017.
"My job was … I was gonna lose my job as the deputy prime minister and that was … And that was in front. And you know what? All I was doing is just hoping and praying for a healthy … healthy baby," he said. But he was not asked why he then went on to fight a by-election - triggered by his dual citizenship - in December without revealing his personal situation, despite being questioned by journalists repeatedly at the time about his private life.
Mr Joyce split from his wife after he won the by-election.
He did not resign as deputy PM or Nationals leader until January.
3. Mr Joyce was also not asked why, during the same-sex marriage debate last year, he campaigned heavily against same-sex marriage, using the sanctity of marriage as an argument, knowing his own marriage was in tatters.
Let’s just remember that Barnaby opposed Marriage Equality because he didn’t want the sanctity of that institution trashed.— Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) June 3, 2018
4. Mr Joyce was not asked about his expense claims and an investigation into travel spending, including a summer trip late last year up and down the east coast of Australia. Ms Campion accompanied him on that trip, despite having left her employment in his office in April. He has so far declined to reveal if the 11-day trip was paid for by him, or came out of the public purse. Sunday Night did not ask questions about how public money was spent on their travel, both before and after Ms Campion worked in his office.
So far on Sunday Night..with less than 5 Minutes to go, absolutely no political accountability. No explanation of the sweetheart deals shunting Vikki around offices with the PM or at least the PMO’s sign off. All at taxpayers’ expense.— Paul Bongiorno (@PaulBongiorno) June 3, 2018
An investigation into his travel with Ms Campion by the independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority is ongoing. Mr Joyce has said previously his expense claims had already been thoroughly probed, nothing had been found, and he was confident the investigation would find no wrongdoing.
5. The pair revealed their angst that their relationship, and pregnancy, were revealed via a paparazzi picture of Ms Campion pregnant earlier his year. Mr Joyce ventured he would have preferred to provide a nicer picture of the pregnancy when it was revealed. "I think that the way that they did it was wrong," he said. Sunday Night did not quiz the pair on why, in at least six months spent hiding the affair and pregnancy, they did not take control of the message and announce it, rather than be outed. Mr Joyce did give a hint that in the end, it might have come down to sheer stubbornness.
"I suppose towards the end I was fighting more out of spite than logic, and just thinking 'I'm not going to let these people beat us'," he said.
Mr Joyce was not asked when it was that he revealed the relationship to colleagues in the government.
6. The couple refused to name the "scum of the earth" who pressured them to terminate the pregnancy. But Ms Campion said in the end "the entire ordeal - you know, being pressured for an abortion, and, you know, the frenzy of having to hide - it was all totally worth it".
"He's just beautiful," she said.
As social media delivered its verdict on the interview, some saw the humour.
The thing that makes me most uncomfortable about this interview is not Barnaby and Vikki together, it’s all the exposed brick in that house.— Alex Anastassiou (@alexanasta_) June 3, 2018
Who the hell, needs that much exposed brick in a house? #SundayNight
Some suggested Channel 7 wasn't getting bang for its buck with the $150,000 exclusive.
Others saw the funny side of Mr Joyce's awkward exchange with Ms Campion over the "grey issue" of paternity episode.
Flashing back to that mediocre PR stunt on #SundayNight #SN7 in which Barnaby Joyce admitted calling the baby’s paternity into Q was decided by both him & Vikki (that top-notch media-adviser!), she then turns to him: “I DIDN’T SAY USE THE WORDS ‘GREY AREA’!”— Danielle Binks (@danielle_binks) June 3, 2018
Barnaby attempts to claim the paternity “grey area” line was a joint decision with Vikki. Vikki tells him on national TV he’s dreaming.— BenFordham (@BenFordham) June 3, 2018
Ms Campion gave birth to Sebastian Curtis Scott Joyce in April this year.
Mr Joyce is on personal leave from his parliamentary duties until June 15.
Some just can't wait for the reality show.
Each day we get closer to the Barnaby Joyce / Vikki Campion reality show— brad esposito 🍃 (@braddybb) June 3, 2018