Kevin Rudd has been Prime Minister for about ten minutes, but already judgements are being made. I mentioned Peter Coleman in the previous entry:
Most of the reporters have always known that Kevin Rudd is the absolute Hollow Man. But since they hated John Howard more than they despised Rudd, they usually stood ready to turn a deaf ear to Rudd’s empty rhetoric.
Not all of them. One of the stand-outs during the election campaign was Annabel Crabb whose sketches in the Sydney Morning Herald of Ruddbot, our “first android prime minister” with a Muppet-inspired smile, helped save a little of the reputation of Australian journalism.
There are essential triggers, she wrote, hard-wired into the Ruddbot cortex. Ask the android machine about the number of union officials on its front bench and it will also promptly divert into a charming reverie about a rock star, an academic and a Mandarin-speaking diplomat. Include a reference to Mark Latham in a question, and it will reply “I am not aware of those reports.” Ask it any difficult question and it has been programmed to reply by asking itself several of its own. It will then answer them all with mechanical precision.
Crabb was not alone in comprehending the Ruddbot. Let’s not mention the small handful of pro-Coalition columnists. But take David Marr, a leftist critic of the Liberal Party. Ruddbot, he reported, killed Labor’s Victory Party in Brisbane. The Rudd we got then, he said, is the Rudd we will hear for the next three years—a grey, passionless performer with a middle-distance stare and big jowels…
Last night The Chaser embraced the David Marr/Annabel Crabb line. They have been adopting this line consistently, after all, for some time, last September being one of the better examples:
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