Willesee denies targeting PUP newbies in Sunday Night sting
MIKE Willesee has denied claims by Clive Palmer that interviews with his soon-to-be Senators were harshly edited to make them look bad.
Motoring enthusiast Ricky Muir, who works in a timber mill, had enormous difficulty answering questions on the Sunday Night program.
His response on a basic question on what the balance of power in the Senate meant was shared extensively on social media on the weekend.
"I have been criticised for exposing him to a television camera, but in editing he was comparatively protected,'' Willesee wrote in an opinion piece for The Australian today.
"My first question to him was what he wanted to achieve for motorists in the Senate. He told me he wanted to be able to customise his car. When asked how the Senate could help him do that he whispered that he could not answer the question.
"It was a most unproductive and disappointing experience. This team is not ready and at this stage is relying totally on the directions of Palmer."
Mr Palmer, the Member for Fairfax, described Channel 7's Sunday Night program as "disappointing" and "done for political purposes" - a point he qualified by noting that reporter Mike Willesee's son worked for Treasurer Joe Hockey.
But Mr Willesee said Mr Palmer's PR man Andrew Crook had actually texted his producer Mick O'Donnell after the show on Sunday night: "Thanks Mick very fair.
"PS I thought Mike was very good."
Do you think the Sunday Night interview was fair on Clive?
This poll ended on 28 June 2014.
Yep it was fair reporting Clive and his team didn't handle themselves well.
No it was unfair and biased reporting.
I didn't watch it I'm sick of hearing about Clive.
I thought it was unfair but Clive and his team handled themselves well.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Willesee earlier told APN he could not understand why Mr Palmer would fly 10 people to Boston for a 'bonding' session when he had his own resort at Coolum sitting as a 'ghost town'.
"Coolum is as good a place to bond as anywhere,'' Willesee said.
There have been mass sackings at the resort since Mr Palmer took over and occupancy levels have plummeted.
During the segment, Mr Palmer claimed the place had been 'cleared' for Willesee's own security when the TV reporter asked about the lack of people there.
In the opinion piece, Willesee denied the mining magnate and his Senators had been set up when Mr Palmer was caught on camera giving advice to his Senate team members.
Muir: "You being recorded right now?"
Palmer: "Don't have a problem … yeah, I'm being recorded."
"Sneaky? Not possible,'' Willesee wrote.
"Dangerous" because he is unpredictable and capricious and controls the balance of power in Australia.''