Andrew Bolt's family divided over same-sex marriage, Janet Albrechtsen's concerned about the constitution and Alan Jones’ ratings are on the nose. Here's what Australia's most powerful Megaphones have been up to over the past week.
The Gillard government's plan to change the constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has so far attracted little fanfare. But Janet Albrechtsen has got her crystal ball out, and she forsees trouble.
"For all the high hopes of bipartisanship, there are signs we are headed for yet another battle between elites and the rest of Australia," she warns today.
The elites in question are Noel Pearson and the other members of an expert panel that is advising the government on indigenous constitutional recognition. Albrechtsen is worried by reports Pearson & co. will recommend the creation of a new power to support the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
"Forty-four years since the 1967 referendum and after billions of dollars have been spent for very little tangible improvement in many communities, race-based laws are anachronistic and harmful," she opines.
"Need, not race or indigenous status, should determine the application of all welfare-based laws whether they are for providing housing, additional education services, special health measures and so on."
As we reported last week, News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt doesn't support gay marriage because he fears it could lead to the legalisation of polygamy.
In his column, Bolt mentioned that he had several close friends who were gay. But he didn't reveal that his sister, Stephanie, is a lesbian who travelled to Canada to marry her partner.
Stephanie Bolt broke her silence yesterday by penning an opinion article, published on Crikey, arguing in favour of gay marriage. She said she was motivated to write the piece after her attempt to post a comment on her brother's blog went ignored.
Meanwhile, in his weekend column, Bolt took aim at the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, for his history of lavish work-related expenses. These have included spending $320 in taxi fares in Canberra in one evening and $2500 on subscriptions to magazines such as The Wine Magazine, Men's Fitness, Sport Diving, Gourmet Traveller, Australian Aquarium Keeper, Esquire, Country Style, NZ House & Garden and Country Living UK.
But you won't hear a word of criticism from us at Megaphones Watch. We never miss an edition of Australian Aquarium Keeper.
2GB's king of mornings also had Slippery Pete in his sights this week. In an interview with Tony Abbott, Hadley pressed the Opposition Leader on Slipper's relationship with the bottle. Let's cut to the transcript.
Hadley: I mean let's call a spade. Does he have a drinking problem this fella? ... Is he a bloke that gets on the turps in Canberra?
Abbott: Well this is a question that the Prime Minister should really...
Hadley: But hang on, to be fair you dealt with this bloke over a long period of time. Is this bloke, does he have a problem with alcohol?
Abbott: Oh look, I think, like a lot of us, he occasionally has a drink and whether he goes too far ... I have never myself seen him especially drunk I've got to say.
Glad we've cleared that up...
Meanwhile, Hadley's colleague Alan Jones was tilting at windmills during the week. Jones is furious that the "morons in Canberra" – and in NSW state parliament – are pushing ahead with plans to expand Australia's use of wind power. He thinks the pollies are "raping and pillaging our country" and putting farmers' health at risk by putting turbines near their properties.
In news sure to add to Jones' anger, the latest radio ratings are out and they're not pretty reading. He remains the king of breakfast but has lost a total of 2.8 per cent of his audience since the beginning of September. Perhaps Jones should mouth off at a female journalist: it did wonders for Kyle Sandilands, whose ratings improved over the most recent survey period.