In Question Time in Parliament on Monday, the PM was asked if he still supported the rest of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including Makaratta ‘truth-telling’ and a treaty.
But his response has sparked a political firestorm over what he actually said in reply.
Television footage appears to show Mr Albanese saying: ‘Regardless of what white people voted…’
However, the PM’s office insists he actually said ‘…what WAY people voted’.
A furious media row has blown up after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared to blame ‘white people’ for the huge defeat of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament
Comments by Radio 2GB’s Ray Hadley and Sky News Australia host Paul Murray triggered a swift reaction from the PM’s office.
Hadley said he had been bombarded by messages from the PM’s staffers since he first raised the apparent inflammatory comment.
‘Haven’t we struck a nerve with the Prime Minister?’ Hadley said on his show on Tuesday. ‘I’ve never heard from the Prime Minister’s office so many times.
‘They [usually] won’t speak to us – and all of a sudden, a plethora of phone calls from indignant members of the office.’
Murray attacked the apparent comment as an example of how out of touch the PM was, and in denial about the catastrophic rejection of the Voice proposal.
‘The idea the result of 60/40 No is because white people voted against it is a complete blind spot about what went wrong on the weekend,’ said Murray.
The PM’s media team referred inquiries to the official Hansard record of the session which offers yet another version of what was said.
Hansard records the PM as saying ‘regardless of the way people voted in this referendum’ – but audio and video from Parliament clearly shows that is inaccurate.
Some have likened the soundbite to the notorious blue dress/white dress meme that appeared to change colour with every glance which swept the internet in 2015.
Listeners to the PM’s comment have been able to hear both the ‘way’ and ‘white’ versions of his reply after repeated replays.
But comments condemning the PM’s answer by Radio 2GB’s Ray Hadley and Sky News Australia host Paul Murray (pictured together) triggered a swift reaction from the PM’s office
The PM’s media team referred inquiries to the official Hansard record of the session (pictured) – but that offers yet another version of what was said
2GB’s Ben Fordham also got involved in the row on Wednesday – but said he accepted the PM’s version of what was said.
‘It sounded like he said, “regardless of what white people voted”,’ Fordham said on his show.
‘But the PM’s Office has been in touch and they say he used the word “way”. He was trying to say, “regardless of the way people voted”.
‘When we played it yesterday, Ray Hadley suspected he misspoke. I accept the PM’s version of events.
‘It’s more likely that he was trying to say the way people voted, as opposed to what it sounded like, how white people voted.
‘When you look at the vision and listen to the audio, it looks and sounds like the word ‘white’ was used, but I accept the version of events from the Prime Minister’s Office.’
2GB’s Ben Fordham also got involved in the row on Wednesday but said he accepted the PM’s version of what was said
Hadley still insisted on his show that the PM made a blunder and should admit it.
‘We’re not suggesting that he did it deliberately,’ he said. ‘What we’re suggesting is, he made a mistake.’
Hadley believes the PM’s office then coerced Hansard to change the record to the sanitised version which it published, which was strongly refuted by the PMO.
‘He might have meant to say “what way people voted”, but it didn’t come out like that,’ said Hadley.
‘I’m sorry – Hansard may be reporting “regardless of the way” but this is what the Prime Minister actually said on the floor of Parliament.
‘He’s obviously made a blue and all of a sudden, “How dare you impugn our integrity? How dare you? Of course, we wouldn’t change Hansard.”
‘No. Someone must have intervened. He’s made a mistake. I’m not crucifying him, but I’ll tell you what – they’re very sensitive after what happened over the weekend.
‘They’ve obviously had no sleep…’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk