UPDATE: Australia's immigration minister has made a humble apology for his "lame" joke about Pacific Island nations being threatened by climate change.
Dutton made the joke on Friday but it took till Sunday for an apology to be delivered.
"Obviously it was a private conversation - I should have realized the mic was there. I didn't. It was directly behind me," he said on Sky News' AM Agenda
"I made a mistake and I apologise to anyone who has taken offence to it. It was a light-hearted discussion with the PM and I didn't mean any offence to anyone."
The prime minister also weighed in on the controversy (some people dubbed #boomgate) on Saturday.
"It says something about the quality of our national conversation that a lame joke should be of more interest than something which is truly nation building and truly transforming, which reflects Australia at its best," said Abbott.
"Here we made a decision which reflects Australia at its best, and then we have a subsequent Twitter storm, which if I may say so reflects Australia at its worst."
To recap this is what happened... Dutton was caught out on a live microphone making a joke about how Papua New Guinea is about to be swamped by rising sea levels.
"Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to be, you know, have water lapping at your front door," he said.
There are two reasons why his comments are no joke. First, it's outrageously insensitive, given that the PM just came back from a meeting where he refused Pacific Island nations' pleas to commit to tougher emissions reductions. 2) IT'S JUST A BAD JOKE!
So let's try and break it down. Having just wrapped up a meeting on Syrian refugees, he starts with a casually racist joke about things running late in the far north.
Abbott humours him, saying that proceedings also ran late in PNG.
Then Morrison leaps in with a very weird question, which he definitely knew the answer to. Was he trying to save Dutton from himself by steering conversation back to general boring chitchat?
Oh well, TOO LATE! HERE HE GOES!
We put it to you, Mr Dutton, that if the rising oceans were threatening your house, that time would in fact, mean everything.
The PM cracks up. Morrison does not. Because he knows something the other two do not.
There's a boom mic just above Dutton's head.
Like, it was literally right there.
And then they just stand there, with smiles plastered on their heads, fiddling with their jackets, as they let the extent of the fuckuppery truly sink in.
Labor and the Greens jumped on it.
And just when it couldn't get any more perfect, someone set the gaffe to music of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at email@example.com.
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