In an absolutely wild press conference for 11.30am on a Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison managed to cry, told women he has listened to their complaints *and* asserted that there’s a sexual harassment investigation currently underway at Sky News, which is an extremely weird thing to bring up at a press conference.
But after the absolute shit show that we all just endured (you can read more about it here), Sky News has confirmed that they’ve got no fucking idea what ScoMo is referring to.
The news outlet’s Political Editor Andrew Clennell was quick to confirm that no Sky News employee is the subject of the investigation Morrison referred to, according to a tweet from Sky News’ Thomas O’Brien.
“Andrew Clennell confirms no Sky News employee is subject to the HR investigation referred to by PM Morrison in his Press Conference this morning,” he tweeted.
.@aclennell confirms no Sky News employee is subject to the HR investigation referred to by PM Morrison in his Press Conference this morning.
— Thomas O'Brien (@TJ__OBrien) March 23, 2021
The clarification comes after Morrison became heated towards Clennell in Tuesday’s press conference, asserting that nobody in the room was in a position to judge the workplace standards of parliament, despite that being their jobs as political journalists.
“I’ll let you editorialise as you like Andrew, but if anyone in this room wants to offer up the standards in their own workplaces by comparison, I’d ask you to do so,” Morrison said in response to an assertion that he has lost control of his ministerial staff.
The start of the tense exchange between Sky News' Andrew Clennell and the PM: "Doesn't it look like you've lost control of your ministerial staff?"
The PM responds by referencing a HR complaint at News Corp: "Let's not all of us in glass houses get into that." #AusPol @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/BLNlgLsnGI
— Naveen Razik (@naveenjrazik) March 22, 2021
Clennell then responded that he believes the standards at Sky News (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia) are “better than” the government right now.
“Well, let me take you up on that. Let me take you up on that. Right now, you’d be aware, in your own organisation, that there is a person who has had a complaint made against them for harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet, and that matter is being pursued by your own HR department,” Morrison heatedly replied.
“So let us not all of us who sit in glass houses here get into that.”
According to The Guardian, the Prime Minister’s Office has since confirmed that the incident in question does not involve Sky News, but it remains unclear if the allegation was directed at another part of News Corp.
However, it’s also worth noting that the Prime Minister just possibly used a woman’s harassment claim as a political weapon with precisely zero regard for if, when or how she wanted the allegation to be made public.
Just minutes after the ordeal, Labor Senator Kristina Keneally called the PM out on this.
“Did he have that woman’s consent to do that? Was he speaking with her consent? What was he doing?” she asked.
Similarly, Australian political reporter Olivia Caisley quizzed Morrison on how he is so well versed on the alleged scandals within Sky News while being completely clueless about the situation involving Brittany Higgins, as he claims he was until February 12.
Following his tense exchange w/ @aclennell, I asked Scott Morrison to explain how he knows about an anonymous press gallery HR complaint but was never told by anyone in his own office or @lindareynoldswa' about a rape on her ministerial couch. Watch his response… @australian pic.twitter.com/nCR36buo9f
— Olivia Caisley (@livcaisley) March 23, 2021
You would think that after all of the allegations we’ve seen come out of Canberra in the last month, our Prime Minister would have the brains and decency to not blatantly use a woman’s trauma for his own political gain. You. Would. Think.