Annabel Crabb’s right of reply


Kitchen Cabinet presenter Annabel Crabb came in for a serve last week after Fairfax Media’s Ben Pobjie suggested “What a government minister is like at home – or in the kitchen – is irrelevant.”

She writes in part:

I can’t agree with this. I don’t think you can possibly separate what people are like from what they do. Political leaders – like every single one of us – are shaped by the things that have happened to them and to the people close to them. Those factors – what they’re like – exert a considerable and usually invisible influence over the most important decisions a political leader will ever make. Namely: which issues they are going to choose to die in a ditch for, which they will pop in the too-hard basket, which they might compromise on. This is the stuff that realistically drives the political process. And fleshy, human, and deeply subjective stuff it is too. Knowing what a person is like is powerful. Why should it only be political journalists and insiders who get to see it?

It was suggested to me a few times recently that “PR puff pieces” like Kitchen Cabinet are “swamping” journalism. Dear God. I have never heard such bollocks. The media landscape is heaving with old and new players, on various platforms, locked in minute-by-minute competition to expose, investigate and hold to account anyone in public life.

There is even enough space and expertise for whole squads of experts to debate the merits of individual television shows! 

You can read more here.


  1. carolemorrissey

    I only watch it when someone I like is on. I couldn’t stomach watching the Morrison one pretending to be a decent human being. Unfortunately they lumped Pyne & Albo together so had to tolerate watching Pyne. Someone complained to her that she made them like Christopher Pyne. I’m afraid nothing will make me like Pyne.

  2. If you follow the links back to Ben Podjie’s TV review you will find Podjie asking the question

    “Whether Kitchen Cabinet (ABC1, 8pm) is a “good show” is not really the question.

    On its own terms, it’s excellent. If one has a taste for gentle, sweet-natured human interest pieces, for cheerful people having a merry old time together, it’s quite superb.

    And credit should go to host Annabel Crabb for being probably Australian media’s most likeable character: a funny, sparkling, magnetic presence whose company it’s near impossible not to enjoy, and who does a wonderful job encouraging her political subjects join in the name of cosy fun.

    It’s a charming little show, and to criticise it on the basis of what it isn’t is a futile exercise.

    But it’s not a matter of “is Kitchen Cabinet good?” Rather, it’s a question of “Is Kitchen Cabinet good for us?”


  3. Pobjie column was fairly typical of the clickbait op eds in the SMH and Age. Anyone who doesn’t vitriolically attack somebody I don’t like is a racist misogynist homophobic fascist and therefore worthy of abuse.

    Annabelle on the other hand is sensible and polite, which is rare these days.

  4. I do not watch the show enough but I did watch the episode with Anthony and Christopher. Did not feel it was a puff piece but understood where both sides come from. Felt that both had a really good story to tell

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