With the official start of the 2020 Queensland state election now only days away, The Bug is proud to present the third of a regular series of interviews with The Courier-Mail’s editor Chris Jones as the Brisbane tabloid hopes to shape public opinion leading up to election day on October 31.
The Bug: Thanks for your time this morning. This is the first interview we’ve done in person and, my goodness me, you look just like the black and white photo we have on file for you.
Chris Jones: Yes, the work load and the stress I’m under here have virtually drained all the colour out of me.
The Bug: Tough times?
Jones: Very tough. And not just for me. We’re coming up to the state election that’s probably the most important one in a decade…
The Bug: On Saturday, October 31?
Jones: That’s correct. And everyone here is working their butts off 24-7. They all know how terribly important it is that we get this Right.
The Bug: We couldn’t help notice there that you’ve used a capital “R” on the “right”.
Jones: That’s Right. Do you know that if discredited, corrupt, policy-free-zone Labor, led by that selfish, insensitive, uncaring, hypocritical, mendacious, nasty Annastacia Palaszczuk, were to somehow fluke a win in October, it will mean that by 2024, the ALP will have governed Queensland for 28 of the last 34 years!
The Bug: And you simply can’t have that?
Jones: My goodness me, no. That’s for sure. Thick and fast like a flock, like a fucking flock of flocking pigeons straddling a barbed wire fence. You try to walk like that and see how far it gets you. Good strong stable and the rest …. that’s all the good people of Queensland want… that’s for sure …
The Bug: That’s very good. Can you do anyone else?
Jones: People say my take of Whitlam on the steps of the old Parliament House in 1975 is quite good.
The Bug: Excellent. But back to the looming state election. Can I just mention how surprised everyone back at The Bug office was over your paper’s splash (pictured at top) yesterday morning?
Jones: Really? In what way?
The Bug: Well, you would have to admit your paper – and your sister Sunday Mail – have been fairly strident in their criticism of Annastacia Palaszczuk and the state Labor government?
Jones: That’s true …. but as a fair and balanced quality newspaper with a journalistic code of ethics to uphold …
The Bug: (spluttering) Could I get a glass of water please?
Jones: Of course. But as I was just saying, credit where credit’s due, surely? What else could we have led with for yesterday’s edition after that Newspoll found the Queensland people very, very supportive of the Premier’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, including border closures. And Newspoll is highly regarded for its accuracy.
The Bug: (spluttering) Mind if I get a top up, please? But aren’t you scared that the way you’ve reported that poll will displease Rupert Murdoch greatly?
Jones: Can I be terribly frank here?
The Bug: Moore?
Jones: No, just frank. I really am getting very sick and tired of these hurtful ongoing accusations that we are at the constant beck and call of that man and what he wants…nay…demands. It just doesn’t happen that way. Both myself and my senior editors – and those at the Sunday Mail too – couldn’t give a flying fuck what Murdoch wants, if you’ll pardon the French. We run our own race here and …. what on earth that’s noise?
The Bug: Yes. We can hear it too. Is that pigs?
Jones: I think it is. What a dreadful din.
Editor’s note: The interview with Chris Jones was terminated at that point and the News Queensland building at Bowen Hills evacuated when it became clear that a large group of flying pigs – far too many to count – had stopped overhead and had begun defecating all over the building.