Fairfax Media

Joe Hockey gives the F U to social media journalist while telling court how accessible he is to voters

I managed to get Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey to say a few words on video outside court on Wednesday (11/3/15) (as per below) which is a fair effort given he said very little to the media the previous 2 days. Based on what he said I assume he has read what I have written about him in previous posts but is no fan of this site.

Mr Hockey spent Monday and Tuesday telling the Federal Court of Australia how accessible he is and that you do not need to pay him big dollars for an audience. But when I tried to interview him when he left the court he gave me the big FU and asked if I was a journalist.

This raises 2 issues for Mr Hockey. Firstly, his court case where his conduct outside of court differs from what he is telling the judge inside the court. And secondly, the stupidity of it from a pure political viewpoint. Why belittle a member of the public? Maybe he thinks I am one of those poor people who don’t count.

What Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that it doesn’t matter if I wasn’t a journalist because the public have as much right as anybody else to ask politicians questions. And with the rise of social media everyone is a journalist anyhow.

In the video below and I start by asking Mr Hockey the question “Have Fairfax offered to settle, Mr Hockey?”

(Click anywhere on the above video to watch)

I can appreciate Joe Hockey is under extreme pressure but all he had to say was no comment which is exactly what he had said to other journalists Monday and Tuesday when he left court.

I will deal with the court case implications first.

Joe Hockey v Fairfax Media

Mr Hockey is suing Fairfax Media regarding articles they wrote in May last year in their papers and on their websites which were titled Treasurer for sale: Joe Hockey offers privileged access which he says implied he took bribes and was corrupt etc.

I think Mr Hockey has a strong case as there is evidence of malice by Fairfax. He will probably win in court but he has already lost politically. It was a bad move to sue as it puts a focus on political funding which has been shown to be corrupt for a long time and has cost over 10 Liberal politicians their jobs and/or party membership in the last 12 months or so.

I wrote a post in May last year titled “Joe Hockey sues Fairfax for defamation. Who’s his legal adviser, Craig Thomson?” and wrote:

“Didn’t the Liberals learn anything from the Craig Thomson defamation proceedings. If Fairfax Media do not settle and I suspect they will not, then a lot of media attention is going to be on Hockey and his financial dealings for a long time and most likely right up to the next election. A lot of people see the dealings as being dodgy even if they are not illegal. I can’t and most people cannot afford a lazy $22,000 to get a meeting with Hockey or most politicians for that matter.”

“Joe Hockey should have just forgot about it and moved on.” (Click here to read more)

Mr Hockey and his barrister Bruce McClintock SC spent Monday and Tuesday talking about how approachable Mr Hockey is and that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get a meeting with him. They claim he has meetings with Rotary Club members, local Liberal branch members etc. Even people who approach Mr Hockey at the local shopping center can get a meeting with him if he has the time Mr McClintock and Mr Hockey told the court.

Then I approach him on Wednesday and he in effect implies “Your not a journalist so piss off”. So much for the “approachable Joe” image he and his team have been trying to build in court.

I suppose it is fair enough for Joe to question whether or not I am a journalist given most of the country are still questioning whether or not he is a Treasurer.

Political suicide

One thing that stands out to me is the fact that the Labor Party under both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and the Liberals under John Howard all seemed to understand and deal with the media a lot better than the current Liberal Party. They really have no clue and Joe Hockey is one of the worst. He badly needs a new media advisor.

Whenever I contacted Julia Gillard’s or Kevin Rudd’s office they were always professional. Like most journalists I rarely got the answer I wanted but they were professional.

Rule number one, never insult the public because with social media everyone is a roving reporter nowadays and it will be on the net within hours if not minutes as the above proves.

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36 replies »

  1. If Joe Hockey had never been appointed Treasure, he wouldn’t be worth 22 cents to meet, personally I would rather keep my $22,000 and never have to meet him, …!!

    It appears to be a sign of the times in Australian Politics, where we have a growing class of Political Elite, that think they are better than the rest of us and “We the People” are just a Life Support System for them..!!

    I have this picture in my head of Maria Antonieta – Hockey telling us all to “Just Eat Cake”, while unbeknownst to to her, is a coming meeting with the Political Guillotine at a date to be advised.. 🙂

  2. Shane, having read what Fairfax published (SMH 5-5-14: your reference above) there can be no greater proof that our country needs a Federal ICAC. It appears to be the only way to enable transparency in politics. All else is doomed to fail due to entrenched bias in statutory, legal and business “networks” involved with government … (will be a bit like watching cockroaches run from the different forms of pest control).

  3. Joe Hockey has an excellent record as cabinet minister in four governments, and his reputation has been attacked by Fairfax in a malicious,vindictive manner. Even you, Shane, would have sued if posters and a front page accused you of corrupt behaviour. You picked the worst possible time to expect an interview in the worst possible place. What did you expect?

    • I agree, Colin.

      My viewing of the way Joe Hockey has been accosted outside of court by journalists, not in the least bit interested in the facts, is beyond malicious.

      They only want to present this as salacious, and not as an attack on a person’s integrity. This would never have been tolerated had it been Wayne Swan, for example.

      • OOps, error: “They only want to present this as salacious, and as an attack on a person’s integrity.”

    • Agree entirely. I feel the media have really overstepped their mark with this one. If it had been you or I we would have been encouraged to sue them. Because you are a politician it does not mean that you should not be able to protect and defend yourself.and your character. Shane you have defended yourself on quite a few occasions and rightly so, is there much difference between your right to defend yourself and Joe Hockey’s right to defend himself. You both have felt you have been wronged or would not have taken the action you have.

      It is time those working in the media stopped being lazy and fully investigated matters before going into print. If they did this instead of not caring what they say whether it is right or not and certainly not considering the harm they can cause, they might sell more papers. Fairfax have a record for being very slap happy with their reporting and it looks as if it is starting to cost them dearly.

    • An answer, that is all, which is the same as other journalists get. Hockey was avoiding the question by insulting me. He wouldn’t ask anyone from the MSM if they are a journalist and if he did they would attack him like there’s no tomorrow. All Hockey achieved was making himself look stupid.

      • So you are using your interpretation of his bad behaviour as an excuse to justify your bad behaviour. Do you know the first thing about manners. When you approached him he was just a member of the public. The problem with so-called journalists is that they think that everyone must defer to their demands 24/7.

      • Mr Hockey said in court how people come up to him in the street and at shopping centres and how he dealt with them. But when I asked a simple question it was an issue which contradicted what he said in court under oath.

  4. Well I’ve listed to it twice, I couldn’t hear him give you the FU? All he did was ask whether you were a journalist .. Seems you’ve overreached on this one..

    • I asked a legitimate question and whether or not I was a journalist was irrelevant. Does he only answer questions by people he regards as journalists? Did I need to prove I was a journalist before he would answer? By asking the question he was saying FU.

      • With respect it does matter whether you are a journalist. Because if you are a journalist he is entitled to say go away. If your a member of the public he might have given more of an answer. So shane were you a journalist or a ordinary person here? Me think you were a journalist so as a professinal f u he is entitled to do.

      • He would not have said that to a mainstream media journalist so why should he say it to me. You are also missing the point that what he did contradicted with the evidence he gave under oath in court.

  5. No need for me to watch that video Shane as I am no fan of Joe Hockey and in fact I think he is a scum bag. Certainly not a fit person to be an MP let alone Treasurer. Just shows how those North Shore toffee noses would vote for anyone who had Lib after their name. How about two sets of votes for MP’s? Let the locals have a go but takle into account what the rest of the nation thinks of their choice. I’d veto Joe Hockey for sure. Cheers, Warren Olsen

  6. I both agree and disagree Shane. Upfront I am definitely no fan of Joe Hockey as a politician of the people. I experienced this with Child Support when he held this portfolio sometime ago, trying to get a meeting with him or his office; around the draconian legislation at the time, which now has changed and is fairer compared to then. However, if I was suing a Media Newspaper, and someone approached me a day after a hearing, I would be on high alert that you could have been from the camp being sued. It’s no excuse for rudeness but completely understandable. I suggest there will be plenty of issues to raise around Joe Hockey’s policies and views and behaviour, but feel this example is not one of those issues. Bigger fish to fry. I do believe Politicians that operate with integrity naturally don’t need to be on as high alert, and are more relaxed in the face of pressure – Gough Whitlam was a great example of this. It appears Joe Hockey’s reaction shows he probably reads your articles – as most likely does the rest of Cabinet. Keep up the good work!

  7. I have been around long enough to see the whole political arena has ‘gone to the dogs’ the servants are running the ‘Manor’, and in effect should be told by every loyal Australian to go and get effed.
    The media are no longer interested in reporting the truth, their reports are as bent and twisted as a barbed wire fence, the majority of the mainstream masses allow themselves to be hypnotised by the tune being played, and trot along behind the piper wearing their rose-coloured spectacles.
    Wake Up Australia!

  8. I would tend to agree with Colin Spencer, I think you could have picked a better time to speak to Joe Hockey and a better place and tarring him with the same brush as your arch enemy Kerry Stokes is a tad unfair. If any “journalist” or newscollector had treated me like Fairfax treated our Treasurer, who in case you hadn’t noticed is try to get us out of the garbage they Labor left us in. I would responded the same way. Allan from Myalup.WA

  9. Congratulations Shane because:

    In September 2008 I spoke with Joe Hockey when he was in opposition he was leaving via the Members entrance at Parliament House, he was very polite and read a copy of an Irrevocable Certified Bank Payment Guarantee executed the day before by the Finance Department’s official accounts receivable and accounts payable duly authorised signatory officer agreeing to pay a public debt owing to me, and Joe Hockey said he wanted a copy of it, so Joe Hockey MP rang and had one of his staff come to collect a copy off it from me for Joe Hockey to have.

    Joe Hockey MP also asked me to please come back the next day to see him in his parliamentary suite office, so I agreed and we went back the next day, his staff ushered me and my associate into their meeting room while I noted Joe was standing in his office on the phone, a short time latter we were told Joe Hockey would not be speaking with us that day or at any time, so we were then rudely ordered to leave by his Advisors and so we politely and respectfully left, then about 10 minutes latter security came and stopped us in the corridors of Parliament House and they then immediately withdrew our unescorted passes and ordered us to leave our own Parliament House immediately.

    So Shane you did really well to even get Joe Hockey MP to even acknowledge you exist and to also get it on video/film without the need for you to go to any Political Party function to try and get to even met or speak with Joe Hockey, given my failed attempts.

  10. Yes, the public’s need to know!
    But journalists don’t provide that need.
    Journalists sensationalize,distort,omit without regard for truth as their primary purpose
    is to sell newspapers.
    Journalists need to go before a court daily and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    I have every right to tell a journo to buzz off and mind his own business.
    And a politician has every right to select which journos he speaks to.
    He would indeed be a fool to speak to those who had previously rubbished him!
    And journos need to be spoken to politely?
    Did they speak politely to princess Diana before they killed her?

  11. For what it’s worth Joe Hockey Answered my letter , to the Question ,Why is Australia Reg’d To Security and Exchange Commission ? Not a good Answer But Still , So Don’t like him don’t trust him, think he is a fraud ,want him sacked ..

  12. As judges are appointed by politicians in Australia i dread to think this may be one of those “it’s time to pay us back” occasions.
    Having had a legal matter where “government supplied their own judges” to get the result the government needed lets hope that doesn’t happen this time.
    Surely the judges ‘future ” judgement hasn’t already been determined.
    Just reliving my own experiences.

  13. Mr Hockey is not only the elected representative for the Federal seat of North Sydney since 1996, but also the appointed to the position of Treasurer of Australia since 2013.

    Why does he think he had the right to avoid answering any question from any citizen. Such high profile roles almost completely negate any ownership of personal privacy because their public role is so overwhelmingly important to the nation.

    He should have stopped to talk to you Shane no matter what the circumstances, in view of the seriousness of the issues, unless of course he felt he was in physical danger at the time. But I’m sure the Federal Police would have been monitoring such a scenario.

    The issue here is not about your right to ask a question, but about Mr Hockey’s obligation to answer the question. He didn’t.

  14. Shane,Firstly I thought it was illegal in NSW to record a person’s conversation without their consent, be you a journalist or Joe Blow citizen. Secondly, Joe Hockey has a right to refuse to speak to you and just because a microphone is shoved into his face doesn’t mean he has to answer questions. He was representing himself that day as a private citizen accompanied by his wife and not representing the government. Who’s to say you weren’t some sort of nutter looking to do harm to Mr Hockey; there are plenty of nutters on the streets these days, Man Monis was one.

    Joe Hockey probably has plenty of private conversations with his constituents and others who don’t front up to him with a recording device in their hand with the intent to make the conversation public.

  15. Shane, you accord to yourself the privilege of being personally affronted by Joe Hockey
    but you deny him that privilege in return, that you have personally affronted him.
    I have never met you but from what I read from your emails, I have no doubt that you could be very personally confronting.

  16. Knowing that Shane is a journalist, Mr Hockey certainly affronted him with his reply/question: “are you a journalist?”, i.e. Shane was insulted.
    Shane interactions were not an affront, i.e no insult made, but a confrontation- Yes!
    This is every loyal citizen’s duty, to question, to scrutinize and definitely to confront any and every politician, always.
    It is the main stream media that fails to uniformly confront because of its vested interests most likely, if not for other surreptitious reasons kept from the public. Shane, don’t you ever stop confronting! It is your duty.

  17. The site has been around a long time, and has a large following. The HeraldSun has been around a long time and has a large following. I think its less about whether you are a journalist than whether you are part of the right “club” of journalists. With you he can’t just phone the proprietor and have you called off.

    Its like in politics when someone from outside the fold manages to somehow break into the Halls of Power through that nuisance process called “democracy”, and gets it with both barrels from the Establishment, including their media lackeys (love or hate her, think Hanson, or even Lambie).

  18. Sorry Shane, but, I’d classify you as the rude one and the one saying FU to Hockey. You seem so very full of your self importance because you have a web site (?)

  19. Shame the amount of ostriches blindly sticking up for the righteous people’s hero Joe Hockey, some people really do deserve the out of touch corrupt and immoral politicians we have.
    Embarrassing really the amount of support he has garnered in these comments, in what is supposed to be a site for the slightly more enlightened.

    • This site built quite a following during the Gillard years I noticed, but it was never meant to be a Conservative pro-any-one-Party site. I think a lot became disappointed when they realized that. people love seeing their own opinions and beliefs reflected back at them, and can get pretty dirty when that doesn’t always happen. The integrity of the game itself often loses its importance in the excitement of team loyalty.

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