Ten News at Five is for my money the funniest show on tv, but even its long history of ramshackle earnestness, linguistic incompetence and cross-promotional hackery couldn't prepare me for a story I saw on last night's bulletin. The producers, clearly desperate to find a fresh angle on the tedious election campaign we are all, press corps and public alike, presently enduring, had sent a reporter to canvass the opinions of residents in two average Australian streets. Average? Perhaps not, for you see the two streets were named Gillard Street and Abbott Street. Ten's criterion for prime time punditry is clear: do you live in a street that shares the name of one of the candidates for Prime Minister? Yes? Then here's your soapbox, have at it.
Residents of both streets - all evidently white and aged 40+ - agreed that Sunday night's "debate" was "a tame affair". One Abbott Street resident said he preferred the PM's performance. The man was immediately and forcibly evicted. To make matters even more confusing, one Abbott Street man was named named Des Streete. God help us if he ever runs for PM.
Ten reporter Eddy Meyer referred to Gillard and Abbott streets as "key streets", although "key" to what he didn't say. Anchorman Mal Waldon didn't elaborate either: he was keen to get on with the serious business of interviewing Adam from MasterChef.