1. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was being interviewed by Fairfax radio host Howard Sattler this past Thursday, when things got a bit too personal.
2. Sattler asked why the Prime Minister wasn’t married to her partner, Tim Mathieson:
3. The conversation turned ugly when Sattler brought up one particular internet rumor:
Sattler Rumours, snide jokes, innuendoes… You’ve been the butt of them many times.
JG: Well, I think that’s probably right; we’ve certainly seen a few this week.
Sattler: Can I test a few out?
JG: In what way?
Sattler: ‘Tim’s Gay’
Sattler I’m saying… that’s a myth.
JG: Well that’s absurd.
Sattler: You hear it! ‘He must be gay; he’s a hairdresser.’ …but you’ve heard it! It’s not me saying it, it’s what people say!
5. She hands it right back to him:
6. The shocking question set off a Twitter storm:
Howard Sattler seriously just asked the PM to confirm that Tim isn’t gay. Baffling interview.— Mike Hopkin (@mikehopkin) June 13, 2013
Howard Sattler seriously just asked the PM to confirm that Tim isn’t gay. Baffling interview. this what commentators have been lowered too— Geoff Pearson (@GCobber99) June 13, 2013
8. Sattler didn’t back down, but instead asked her to confirm his sexuality:
JG: Oh Howard, don’t be ridiculous, of course not.
Sattler: But you’re in a heterosexual relationship? That’s all I’m asking.
JG: Howard let me just bring you back to earth, you and I have just talked about me and Tim living at the lodge, we live there together as a couple, you know that.
10. The Prime Minister was obviously rattled, but handled the situation with poise and class:
11. Howard Sattler has since made an on-air “apology”— if that’s what you can call it:
12. Sattler has since been suspended from the air.
Fairfax Radio management later said it viewed Sattler’s questions as “disrespectful and irrelevant to the political debate”. He now faces an internal inquiry.