TV Switch-off for politicians

So why are current affairs shows so nervous about having politicians appearing on their shows?

It was nearly a moment of coming full circle.

On last night’s 7PM Project, the team asked why our politicians are more interested in going on TV entertainment shows than News programmes.

With Tony Abbott appearing on Hey Hey and Julia Gillard having appeared on Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? it was a fair question.

But some might just as quickly toss The 7PM Project into the same basket. After all, it isn’t exactly Lateline, is it?

Footage reminded us that Rudd had appeared on Rove (that’s three Roving shows for pollies by now), Joe Hockey waved a tiara on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, (another TEN show) and Peter Costello had famously joined Kerri-Anne in the Macarena dance.

Today The Age tackles the same subject in an article asking why our current affairs shows are so nervous about having politicians. TT‘s Craig McPherson says viewers switch-off when pollies come on.

But 7PM Executive Producer Craig Campbell said, ”We get some of our best bits and fun out of politicians; they are one of our best bits of fodder.”

The show has open invitations to all senior politicians and has no fear of a ratings dip if the political parties take them up. Like ACA and TT, The 7pm Project analyses the minute-by-minute ratings of each program to see where viewers tune in and out.

While the former say their audience disappears if a politician comes on, Campbell says the same does not occur on 7pm.

Last night Charlie Pickering also noted that Julia Gillard hadn’t appeared on the show since becoming PM, but had made several appearances before landing the top job. Well, she is just a little bit busier now.

Source: The Age

4 Responses

  1. T-Mac: I think that might have been when ACA brought back Ray Martin and engaged in an ill-fated attempt to take the show somewhat upmarket with ‘more political coverage’. Obviously that didn’t last long. I don’t really blame ACA/TT for not having political interviews, though; it’s only the tragics who really want to watch them nowadays, since politicians just stick to the script and rarely say anything interesting. So why would incredibly ratings-driven shows like ACA and TT feature them?

    I confess to being an aficionado of pollie appearances on KAK though. That woman is just an evil genius, I don’t know how she convinces all these politicians to embarrass themselves on live television but it’s pretty awesome.

  2. Then of course there are the politicians who are scared to go on the current affairs shows.

    Abbott, for instance, who chickened out of appearing on the 7.30 Report.

    Though he doesn’t seem to mind spamming ABC Radio news with spin and slogans.

  3. I have decided on a media blackout for this election. I tried to be engaged but when I saw Gillard and Abbott kissing babies and playing footy with school kids I threw up and switched off. That stuff is shallow and hokey. I’ll make my mind up when I get into the ballot box, until then this election doesn’t exist for me, I can’t take it.

  4. It was claimed some years ago that on an edition of A Current Affair, when the host announced that John Howard would be on after the break, half the audience tuned out immediately.

    And going back further, there was also a quote in Frontline that summed up the current affairs shows’ approach to pollies perfectly. I can’t remember the exact text; hopefully someone else here will.

Leave a Reply