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What do the PM and The Fonz have in common?

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The AFR’s Peter Ruel contributed a great piece to today’s news cycle, bound to delight anyone who watched the PM’s exhausting attempt on the ABC’s Lateline earlier this week to avoid sharing his thoughts on ‘what level the public debt is likely to go’.

In his opinion piece, ‘How to get Kev to say two small dirty words’, Ruehl described the Lateline interview as ‘close to a comedy routine as anything since a Richard Nixon Press Conference’.

According to Ruehl:

Finally, he said: “300.” Three-hundred what? Holden Commodores? Kisses and hugs? He got “300” out but it was the “billion dollars” part that stuck in his throat. It kind of reminded me of the old Happy Days television program when Fonzie couldn’t bring himself to say he was wrong about something and kept repeating, “I was wrrrr…. wrrr…”

With such marvellous, apt and topical observations, it must surely bug Ruehl that his piece was split between two sections of the AFR’s hard-copy edition and will never be available to anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the AFRs online service (anyone who doesn’t scurry to take up this offer, for example).

AFR anthill

With The Wall Street Journal adhering to the digital paid subscription model and a number of other Murdoch publications set to follow suit, it might be a while yet before the big-wigs at Fairfax Limited, the publishers of the AFR, can be heard to utter, “We were wrrrr…”

Photo: Macinate (flickr)

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