Imagine the furore if a Coalition parliamentarian told a Qantas staff member “your CEO is a poof”. Imagine the fury that would rain down from Labor and the Greens, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, The Guardian Australia, the ABC, news.com.au — everywhere.
Yet it seems to be a bit of a joke when it comes from Jacqui Lambie.
The Senator herself is happy to act from time to time as political comic relief, but this incredible demonstration of media double standards is no laughing matter.
First, a quick recap. On Monday, The SMAge’s droll little CBD gossip column reported Qantas had suspended Lambie’s access to its dead posh, invitation-only Chairman’s Club lounges after a number of incidents.
Today, CBD followed up the appetiser with a feast of detail:
[T]he senator has been suspended for six months across all Qantas services, including airlines.
This followed an incident on March 25 at the front desk of the Chairman’s Lounge in Melbourne. Senator Lambie reacted adversely to being told she couldn’t access the lounge, dropping expletives and referring to “pussy power” and telling staff “your CEO is a poof”.
The whole thing was captured on CCTV.
After negotiations, a decision was made to institute a six-month suspension from early April …
Lambie told CBD that she had lost her cool and apologised to staff. But she would like to do so again.
“It was the end of a long week in Canberra. I’d backed into a car that morning, got a speeding ticket on the way to work, and my flight home was delayed.”
The senator said she wasn’t in her usual frame of mind due to taking pain medication for an old back injury. “It was a bad day for me. But it was worse for the poor Qantas staff who had to stand and take my rant. It was totally uncalled for and totally unacceptable behaviour on my part. I have apologised to the staff for my actions, and I’d like to do so again.
“I’ll take whatever punishment Qantas throws at me. I’ve done the crime and I’ll do the time, because that’s what I deserve.”
That, as the newsroom old-timers say, is a ball-tearer of a yarn, yet it was buried in a gossip column. It was laughed over when Lambie made one of her regular appearances on Nine’s Today program this morning. The ABC has reported it as “Jacqui Lambie apologises for ‘rant’ towards Qantas staff” and the Flat White team couldn’t find a trace on the story when visited the Guardian. Even The Australian’s report made the Today show joshing a key focus.
Labor and the Greens have been silent.
But again, Imagine the furore if a Coalition parliamentarian told a Qantas staff member “your CEO is a poof”.
Lambie, though, is a protected species for the most contemptible of reasons; reasons that show just how debased modern politics and our MSM have become.
When she washed up in Canberra among the flotsam and jetsam of the Palmer United Party in 2013, Lambie was derided by the Gallery as a whinging, bludging bogan incapable of holding a consistent policy position on anything.
Lambie, however, in some twist of fate, has seen her story become one of left-approved victimhood; into tales of how she suffered at the hands of institutions the left loathe such as the army and Centrelink and, of course, men.
The Guardianistas, The SMAge and the ABC now can’t get enough of her — hence the disgusting double standards in their reporting of her rant.
The Jacqui Lambie protection racket. She supplies them with anti-Coalition bile. They overlook her personal conduct.
It’s all unofficial, of course. But that’s how the MSM now operates.
Just one other matter. Lambie blamed the episode on painkillers and “a long week in Canberra”. She spoke of backing into a car and getting a speeding ticket.
Should our media be hard at work on a follow-up story — should Lambie even have been behind the wheel of a car, let alone voting on the nation’s welfare through the week?
Editor’s note: On Friday evening, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age published a denial by Lambie that she had made the “poof” remarks, accompanied by a statement from Qantas that read in part “we have confirmed with our lounge staff that Senator Lambie did not make a homophobic remark”. This in no way negates our story. Indeed, if the media had pursued the matter with the same vigour they would apply to a Coalition parliamentarian accused of similar behaviour, the clarification may well have appeared more than 24 hours earlier.
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