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When was the last time an Australian leader spoke to you like this?


Among the belly-flopping corgis, astonishing Indian Pole Gymnastics and Justin Bieber clips that rise to the top of YouTube’s most watched clips on any given day, it’s rare to find something of substance. Sure, we love to watch Federer perform trick shots and find guilty pleasure in the apparent displeasure of a paragliding donkey. These 30 second videos cater to our short attention spans… just like a politician’s well-rehearsed and arduously scripted sound-bite.

This election could well be remembered as the one where focus groups took control, where success was won by the opponent most able to determinedly avoid sharing an opinion. This has not been an election about grand visions. It has become a contest of the least controversial.

That’s why it’s forever reassuring to witness the rise of an opinion that is not built on a sound-bite or caters to the common view.  This 12 minute ‘Special Comment’ was YouTube’s fourth most watched clip yesterday. In it, MSBC anchorman Keith Olbermann responds to factually incorrect reports about a community centre being built at ‘Ground Zero’ in New York.

There Is No ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

Sure, it’s sentimental and it ends with an awkward hat-tip to Edward R. Murrow. But when was the last time that you witnessed an Australian leader share an opinion that could be contentious but was designed to change opinions and inspire?