John Barilaro has had a bit of a tiffy on Sky News Australia after being questioned on whether or not he asked for the NSW Police’s Fixated Persons Investigation Unit to arrest FriendyJordies’ 21-year-old producer Kristo Langker.
The arrest, which occurred on June 4th in Dulwich Hill saw Langker charged with two offences of “stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm.”
It came only a month after Barilaro sued Jordan Shanks (Friendlyjordies) for defamation, accusing him of a “smear campaign” and “racist” attacks.
Now, Sky News reporter Tom Connell has questioned Barilaro on whether or not the use of the NSW Police’s Fixated Persons Investigations Unit in the arrest was at his request.
The interview started with a simple chat about the defamation case that is currently underway.
“I have every right to defend myself and I will continue the defamation process. We’re in the courts now and so be it,” Barilaro told Sky News.
“I’m happy to take them on regardless of what they post about the money that they have or not.
“I’m surprised that mainstream media hasn’t singled Mr Shanks out further, because you know what, it’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable today or tomorrow.”
Then came Connell’s question, which is where the fun begins.
“Did you ask for the Fixated Persons Investigation Unit to be involved in the arrest of Jordan Shanks’ employee Kristo Langker?” asked Connell.
“Absolutely not. Rubbish again. Rubbish. They want to pitch it a particular way to get community support from their social community, they use whatever means to misrepresent the truth, and again, I’ll leave that up to the police,” said Barilaro.
Because Barilaro didn’t really give a definite yes or no answer, Connell asked the question again to clarify the NSW Deputy Premier’s stance.
This is when Barilaro ripped into Connell’s professionalism. Journalists? Asking questions? Not on my watch.
“I’ve made it clear. I’ve said absolutely not. You shouldn’t be asking that question. It is an indictment on your level of journalism,” said Barilaro.
“You’re just going off remarks by an individual who is, on social media, an abusive individual. All he does is bully people online and that’s what you’re now supporting so good luck to you, Tom.
“It’s unfair for you to continue to ask something that is with the Police. I’m leaving it at that. I’ve answered more than I should have and I’ve been very very forthcoming with you.”
You can watch the full interview right here.
“For you to be even asking that question is an indictment on your level of journalism.”
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) July 16, 2021
If you need me I’m going to reading up on the journalist’s handbook to make sure that asking pressing questions isn’t an indictment on our professionalism.