Prime Minister Tony Abbott hit Channel Nine’s Today Show today to clear up the question of whether it was a good idea to wink like a horned-up schoolboy at a pensioner forced into working for a phone sex line. The verdict? Hell no!
“I should’ve been more focused on the caller and more focused on the interview,” Mr Abbott said. “I was attempting to do that. I was momentarily distracted by the interviewer.”
According to the PM, he winked because interviewer Jon Faine smiled at him during the segment on ABC 774 yesterday. But that shit don’t fly if you believe Faine, who told ABC News Breakfast he only “raised his eyebrows” and speculated as to the real cause of #Winkgate: “Whether it was a sort of private school boy snicker at the mere mention of the word ‘sex’ or … a Benny Hill moment, everyone who watches it will make up their own mind. I do think it has got way out of all proportion.”
The woman, who gave her name as ‘Gloria’, this morning told the ABC’s Red Symons she was glad Mr Abbott’s wink was received the way it was: “He’s pretty silly, because if he hadn’t done that I’m sure what I said would have been forgotten by now.” She also described it as “sleazy” and “slimy” and labelled Mr Abbott “a stupid man”.
The wink drew outrage on social media and from opposition politicians including Greens senator Sarah Hanson Young, who branded the PM a “creep” for winking and smirking at the woman’s “concerns of poverty and illness”. He’s also apparently lost the powerful Sophie Monk vote:
— 2DayFM Breakfast (@2dayFMbreakfast) May 21, 2014
Today, Official Abbott Cheer Squad/Rupert Murdoch charity project The Australian had a different take, suggesting that the media had it in for Tony Abbott and went “berserk over his every move — even a wink to a radio host”. Poor Tony! Mean media!