Mamamia chats with Kevin Rudd.


Earlier this week, Mia Freedman and the team drove over to Kirribilli House in Sydney, and sat down for a chat with the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Throughout the course of the in-depth half-hour interview Mia asked the PM about paid parental leave, asylum seeker policy, and marriage equality – as well as his relationship with the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

This is how it went down.

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Note from Mia: OK, let’s get a couple of things out of the way. I am not a political journalist. I am not Leigh Sales. Or Lisa Wilkinson. They interview politicians like nobody’s business.We’re all in agreement on that. I worship them both. But I’m not them.

So I am aware that there will be many who will watch this interview and complain. Complain that I didn’t ask hard enough questions. That I asked the wrong questions. That I should have asked about [insert issue here] and why on earth did I ask about his hair, how dumb is that and what a disgrace and I really expected better of this website and why are you giving women a bad name and UNFOLLOW.

mia kevin ruddI get it because in part, I agree. There are many questions I wish I’d asked. But I didn’t – not because I was scared or superficial or trying to suck up but because I only had a limited amount of time. We were told we’d have 15 minutes and I was doing everything I could to draw out the PM in the time we had, rather than the usual quick and often perfunctory Q&A you get on live TV.

It was not a combative interview – it wasn’t supposed to be. We brainstormed what questions we wanted to ask from the moment we were told the interview was happening (Jamila called me when I was on the set of Today sitting with Richard Wilkins for my Grill segment at 8:30am on Wednesday and by 4pm I was sitting across from the PM at his Sydney residence).

There were lots of questions I only thought of AFTERWARDS and yes I did kick myself. Whenever you do an interview this happens. Oh the wisdom of hindsight. But I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a fairly high pressure situation. I did the best I could.

And for those who will rightly ask if we will be interviewing Tony Abbott, let me say this: WE HAVE BEEN TRYING. For 4 years. He will talk to me off the record – we have a very amiable working relationship. But he won’t be interviewed by me – which is his absolute right of course.

However, it does come across as fairly one-sided when only one political leader will engage with the Mamamia audience. Still, we will continue to cover the full political spectrum in our ongoing daily coverage of this election. We’re keen to hear what you want to know about – cheat sheets? More interviews? More One Nation Candidates railing against ‘Haram’ and the country of Islam?


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