During one of the Labor leader's tours of the nation's supermarkets yesterday this incredibly funny moment happened: a little boy told Bill Shorten to stop patting him in a deep Batman voice.
Shorten couldn't catch a trick. ABC News uploaded the video to Vine calling Shorten "touchy", Twitter piled on and sites like Pedestrian TV went with this:
But then Bill Shorten's office called media outlets when they saw the viral moment being shared around Facebook and Twitter at the leader's expense.
A spokesperson said the Batman-voiced boy in the video is autistic and they were upset the moment was being used against them. ABC News pretty promptly deleted the Vine.
Egg was on several people's faces. It was not a proud moment for the internet as people were using it as more evidence Shorten is terrible with members of the general public.
Hours later BuzzFeed News received an unlikely email from Jodi Revell - the mother of the boy in the Vine - asking for the footage. She even signed it off as "Batmans Mum"!!!
Jodi said her 7-year-old son Trystan Stephens, who is on the autism spectrum, has been going through a really hard time recently.
Trystan is one of five children and if Jodi's circumstances weren't tough enough, her husband died from lung cancer when their youngest son was 10 months old.
“Trystan has been through a very shit time with his treatment and there were many times when we thought he wasn’t going to make it," said Jodi.
"But he is a strong kid and he is doing the best in this situation."
She said yesterday's interaction with the famous Bill Shorten was thrilling for Trystan, who wanted to show off with his "alter-ego" Batman.
So a viral Vine which made Bill Shorten look ~terrible~ turned out to be a story about a lucky politician who got to meet a real Australian hero.
Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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