Ministers fuming over ‘Tingle trickery’

FEDERAL POLITICS:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and their staffers are fuming after the two government heavyweights were tricked by stand-in host Laura Tingle into appearing on tonight’s edition of the ABC TV 7.30 program.

The Bug has been told Ms Tingle contacted both ministers on her iphone earlier this morning and, using face time, invited them to join her on air.

But the ministers’ anger is understandable because Ms Tingle had cleverly disguised herself as Sydney shock-jock Ray Hadley (at top) and because both thought they were talking to him in his Sydney 2GB studios they willingly agreed to go on straight away.

Instead, with the ABC cameras rolling in the corporation’s Melbourne Southbank HQ, Tingle as Hadley was in fact pre-recording their interviews and they are expected to go to air tonight with the presenter’s to-camera moments replaced with shots of the real Laura Tingle looking appropriately cynical and suitably unimpressed, which of course are both totally in contravention of current ABC directives.

The Bug understands, however, that legal teams for both men are seeking court injunctions to prevent those interviews from going ahead.

“The bitch – sorry, please don’t say I used that … really tricked us big-time,” a senior aide to Mr Morrison told us.

“The Prime Minister had just slaughtered a wild North Territory camel on a temporary abattoir platform set up on the lawns of Kirribilli House and after boning out the beast had just seasoned a hind-quarter for baking and photographing,” he said.

“Naturally he dropped everything immediately and did the interview from his study.

“Tingle tricked him from the get-go, using a VDB (voice distortion box) to say the PM was doing a mighty job for all the quiet Australians out there and it was an absolute privilege to have the nation’s greatest ever prime minister on his show, freely admitting that he was in fact wetting himself at the opportunity to once again say hello, before blowing him kisses and saying “we must lunch again soon!”

The Health Minister was equally furious when the charade became apparent.

A ministerial minder explained: “Mr Hunt was on the phone to health officials around the nation making sure there weren’t crates of Random Antigen Test kits just lying willy-nilly in town malls, parks or country paddocks where the hoi polloi could just simply grab as many of them as they wanted for free and race off with them.”

“Naturally he dropped everything and immediately patted down his hair, pursed his lips for practice and taped the interview with the bitch – please don’t say I called her that – who started the interview by saying that Mr Hunt was doing a mighty job for all the quiet Australians out there, freely admitting that he was in fact wetting himself at the opportunity to once again say hello, and it was an absolute privilege to have the nation’s greatest ever health minister on his show and it was a crying shame he was leaving politics before blowing Mr Hunt kisses and saying ‘we must lunch again next time you’re in Sydney’,”