The fireside chat that riled the base

“An adult female,” Albanese replied.

“How difficult was that to answer?” Morgan responded.

“Not too hard,” he said.

What about comedian Barry Humphries?

“I think that we’ve got to be able to laugh at ourselves,” Albanese said, adding his favourite show, Fawlty Towers, wouldn’t make it to air these days.

Don’t be rewriting children’s books either, the prime minister went on: “It is what it is at the time. That’s the context and I think that the idea of cancel culture is in my view, a sad development.”

Is Biden too old? “He’s doing great.” Would you deal with Trump? “I’ll deal with whomever the US people elect.”

You don’t believe in the monarchy, do you?

“No I’m a republican, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the institution,” Albanese replies before confirming he will swear allegiance to King Charles at Saturday’s coronation ceremony.

They’re a bunch of answers which should have enraged those who drink Albo Pale Ales with pride in Sydney’s inner west or Melbourne’s inner north.


To many, it would be puzzling to work out why the prime minister thinks he needs to appear on such a show. But it was a deliberate choice from a leader who appears supremely confident in his own skin, in his own job and of his electoral position.

Albanese did all this knowing it could send some of his left flank into a frenzy. But he decided he could afford to do it. Whether strategic or not, the prime minister is sending a message to his political opponents on the right that he is not conceding one inch of the centre ground and that he is determined to woo middle Australia.

Or maybe he just fell for the mysterious celebrity pull that Morgan appears to have: an interviewer who has boasted guests such as Donald Trump, Kanye West, Andrew Tate, Stormy Daniels and Cristiano Ronaldo in the past 12 months.

Albanese’s political strength has always been his authenticity. And it’s giving him plenty of latitude from voters right now. Such appearances by others could be viewed as desperate.

But this is a man who does not doubt his own judgment. No matter who he upsets.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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