PM cancels Project appearance over Waleed editorial

Hamish Macdonald digs in and delivers the show's response to "defamation" claims by the PM.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison cancelled plans to appear on The Project on Monday after hearing Waleed Aly’s editorial last Friday on events in NZ.

Calling Aly’s comments “defamatory,” Morrison denies he ever urged his party to exploit concerns about Muslims in Australia for votes in a 2010 shadow cabinet meeting.

The claims were first reported by journalist Lenore Taylor in the Sydney Morning Herald.

With Aly in NZ interviewing PM Jacinda Ardern, it was left to Hamish Macdonald to respond on his behalf.

“We offered Mr Morrison the opportunity to respond live on this desk when he was due to appear on this program on Monday,” Macdonald said.

“Not only did he decline but his media team pulled him out of the scheduled appearance altogether.

“Obviously, two months out from an election, this is being dragged into an ugly political fight.”

Macdonald said journalist Lenore Taylor stood by her original story and the programme has an open invitation for Morrison to appear.

10 has been contacted for comment.

22 Responses

  1. So…why is this ‘allegation’ still on his Wikipedia page (22)? Has been there for years. Does he get questions in advance when (that’s..When) he appears on Q&A, Insiders, 7:30 etc?

    1. As if Wikipedia is a credible source of information……. for years it was claimed Charlie Sheen was half-man/half-cocaine. Things get written on it, removed and then re-placed there.

  2. I recall a time when politicians – who are answerable to the electorate, the people they are supposed to represent – would front up to interviews with even the toughest interviewers, like Mike Willesee and Richard Carleton, because that was all part of the job and it was their chance to best explain whatever policy they were pushing. Now we have the likes of Morrison who refuses to go anywhere that it might get a little tough, and instead chooses far safer arenas like his mates on Sky or Alan Jones.
    I would like to see Morrison try to sue Waleed, and then have everything put out on the public record. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t want that.

    1. I live in Victoria, Daniel Andrews refused to be interviewed by on most popular radio 3AW because they asked hard questions of him last time….. at least Michael Daley appears on 2GB in Sydney

  3. Let’s not forget that Lenore Taylor alleges that multiple sources from inside the Shadow Cabinet meeting informed her of the comments allegedly made by Scott Morrison. Is one politician to be believed over several other politicians and a respected journalist ?

  4. Classic comeback, David. One for the pool room.

    All of this with Waleed Aly and Lenore Taylor is the worst kind of journalism. Aly relied on hearsay about hearsay. So much of political journalism from certain quarters is basically gossip. Of course, some is true but a lot is distorted. No wonder the term fake news has caught on with such a low bar for verifying stories with he said/she said/he said good enough

      1. Waleed did use the words “media reports” before he mentioned the Morrisson allegations. His is an important voice as it adds a bit of balance to the normal white and Christian voices in media landscape.

          1. I agree, “allegedly” should have been used by Waleed. A lot of emotion and a very busy day makes way for mistakes to be made.

    1. Lenore Taylor, who wrote the original piece, has come out recently & said she stands by her original article & so do the people who confirmed it who were in the room at the time.

      1. But that still amounts to gossip from Lenore’s point of view. Ultimately she wasn’t in the room and it’s a heavy allegation to make. How can she stand by the story when it was during the era when Turnbull was leaking to undermine Abbott so putting the worse spin on everything. The best Lenore Taylor can say is that the unknown source who made the allegation is etc. She is between a rock and a hard place now because she would have zero credibility if she backed down now about something she was never a witness to. No better than a Woman’s day writer with their supposed sources in Buckingham Palace about Meghan Markles.

        1. Given that the (now) PM has relied on Greg Hunt as his back up at this meeting, I’m far more inclined to believe Lenore. Lenore stands by what she wrote sourced from numerous meeting attendees. The PM is relying on Greg Hunt as his witness. Mr Hunt’s memory seems to be questionable, at best, given that he has backed the PM on the record about what was said, but in 2011 he said, again on the record, that he wasn’t at the meeting.
          Idk – how about politicians (of all persuasions) stop trying to rewrite history to save their own behinds while demonising the press, who are reporting on what they say and do.
          In a way, I hope that the PM does go the defamation route, but given the way he scampered out of yesterday’s presser when questioned about Mr Hunt, I doubt he would have the ticker for it.

  5. It’s understandable why politicians would not want to be a part of media presentations that are confrontational. It would be interesting to know if The Project had provided information about the editorial to the relevant persons and party involved beforehand and gave the opportunity for them to provide a statement of rebuttal. That’s something Media Watch has always been known to do before presenting editorials and reports, so that the rebuttal can also be broadcast alongside the accusations and claims.

    The Project had also been reportedly barred from entering One Nation campaign events during the 2017 QLD Election campaign.

    1. Lisa Wilkinson had once said “we had no obligation to forewarn you of any questions we were going to ask” in response to an actor that claimed he was tricked by The Project. People have the choice to appear on the show or not, and they are not obliged, however, it’s courteous to inform beforehand when accusations are being made to allow for statements, press releases and responses to be made.

        1. On one hand, I understand the “we had no obligation to forewarn you of any questions we were going to ask” view as then they get rehearsed platitudes, but on the other hand, it just gives rise to “gotcha moments” that often get disproved later on. By the way, lets face it, the Project is an entertainment program not a news/current affairs one.

          1. I find it to be a bit of both. I’ve found The Project sometimes do more investigative journalism than some so called news/current affairs shows.

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