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'S--t happens' for Tony Abbott

Posted by: 3AW Radio | 8 February, 2011 - 8:34 PM
Tony Abbott would be 'mortified', says Joe Hockey

Scroll down below the article to watch the video and Tony Abbott's stunted response on Channel 7

UPDATE: Ian MacKinney, the father of the dead soldier, Jared MacKinney, said the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's 'shit happens' comments were 'out of line' and made him 'feel sick'.

''My attitude would be to ignore it, to give it the least amount of credence,'' he told Fairfax before adding: ''It just shows how good he is, or isn't. I'm not going to let it bother me, but it just shows he's not very thoughtful. He doesn't care too much.''

Mr MacKinney's reaction comes after Treasurer Joe Hockey threw his support behind Mr Abbott following the remarks he made regarding a Digger's death.

Mr Abbott has been accused of making the insensitive remark while being briefed about the operation that lead to the death of Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney while on a visit to Afghanistan in October last year.

Mr Abbott says he's been taken out of context.

Mr Hockey says it's not in Mr Abbott's nature to make light of such a situation.

"When the suggestion was made he trivialised the death of a Digger he would be mortified .. he has spoken with the Digger's widow and that is where the matter should rest."

It's understood Mr Abbott's office tried to prevent the story going to air on Channel 7 tonight.

3AW Drive host Derryn Hinch says Mr Abbott's response to the footage being shown is worse than the comments captured.

"Abbott's scary mute performance has overtaken and outweighs the 'shit happens' comment. It was excruciating. Totally damaging," Hinch tweeted from his http://twitter.com/humanheadline micro-blogging site.

EARLIER: Footage of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott commenting "sometimes shit happens" when discussing the events surrounding the death of a digger in Afghanistan last year have been broadcast on Channel 7 tonight.

Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney was shot dead in a major contact with Taliban insurgents in August and the footage shown is of Mr Abbott's conversation with United States Commander, James Creighton, in October last year.

Mr Abbott, in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan at the time the footage was captured, is seen saying: "It's pretty obvious that, well, sometimes shit happens, doesn't it?"

The Liberal leader defended his comments on Channel 7 today by saying the media outlet had taken the comments 'out of context'.

"You weren't there. I would never seek to make light of the death of an Australian soldier," he said.

However, many pundits and microblogging users have noted that when asked how his comments had been taken out of context he could not manage a response for around half-a-minute.

"I've given you the response you deserve," he answered, finally, after more prompting.

Channel 7 says it obtained the footage after a lengthy freedom of information application process.


Was Tony Abbott's image tarnished more by his comments in Afghanistan or his 'silent' response on Channel 7?

1. Afghanistan comments

2. Silent response

3. Neither, media beat-up



SEPTEMBER, 2010: An Australian soldier claims our troops are not getting the support they need, on the front-line in Afghanistan.

The un-named soldier has sent an email to a friend at home, claiming he's been exposed to unnecessary risks.

PLAY AUDIO: Jim Molan speaks about the email on 3AW

The soldier claims he fought aside Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney and believes his death last month, could have been avoided if they'd been supplied with adequate intelligence and resources.

Retired Major General Jim Molan says the email is clearly emotional, but makes valid points.

Real Tears? Many don't think so

jg AUDIO: Prime Minister Julia Gillard fought back tears in a rare show of emotion as she addressed Parliament this afternoon, choking up as she described the impact of floods that have ravaged the country. Listen to her speech here.


'Political Storms'

gilllard abbott HINCH: "Most of the recent headlines have been about stormy weather but there are also political storms looming for both our leaders. Neither Julia Gillard nor Tony Abbott seems to be covering themselves with glory these days."

Blog comments Your Say

  • I guess the media have run out of hard hitting nail bitting stories about footballers and cricketers so they have draggged this little gem out of the vault

    Steve - Morwell Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 5:00 PM
  • TEll his father and get on with life.

    ian Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 2:38 PM
  • The farther seems to suddenly be foreign to the expression shit happens with a son as a soldier. Strange. Has he already been involved with C7 ?
    Don't be surprised.

    millie Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 2:34 PM
  • Tony Abbott seems to have this understandable, yet also unfortunate way of being cavalier which has come out in regards to him a couple of times now in Afghanistan. (first with the "gung-ho" machine gunner pics) This instance, ballsy language used to go with the american command company he was with - which wasn't really so becoming of his stature, and if in regards to any life that had been lost, could certainly be deemed offensive. Back during the pollie tour time, Gillard was picked at for the way she presented language around ADF members too (although i think slow, dull & patronising may just be her default setting). Tony, if given 2 hours notice really should have told the reporter if he thought he had misinterpreted him. It was as if he was holding back answering him cos he probably realises he may have said blase things, or things which could be construed inappropriate in relation to a life/lives. It was a bad moment for a would-be "leader". but really, how are any of them in power? well, sh*t happens.

    It's a shame journo's can't seem to pose real questions in relation to Afghanistan. Not that pollies would give real answers anyway.

    Josh Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 2:25 PM
  • I have just viewed the interview and I am stunned. I could feel Abbotts anger and justifiably so. What was Riley thinking? He and channel 7 need to take a long hard look at themselves. The death of one of our soldiers is a tragedy and Riley's interview and hijacking tactics is shameful

    Derek Wood Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 12:52 PM
  • Gillard,suitable being in Queenland at the floods. Crying "CROCODILE TEARS" now,"WOW" how good was the acting.

    ian Wednesday 9 February, 2011 - 12:28 PM

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