Okay – so the PM was photographed knitting. We all had a bit of fun but in the end its all harmless. I’m reminded of the Cheryl Kernot red dress photos of a few years ago. Slow news day, everyone has an opinion, but “so what?”
Well the issue here is going to be the bun fight. Here is a press release from the PM’s office:
Women’s Weekly requested an interview and photo shoot in March.
It was suggested by the PMO that a news angle for the story could be the Prime Minister’s gift of a knitting package (wool, patterns, and knitted toy) for Kate Middleton, for the July edition.
Women’s Weekly agreed to the idea of the article.
Women’s Weekly arranged the photo shoot, including requesting that the Prime Minister knit and that her dog, Reuben, attend.
Women’s Weekly claim that the PMO organised the photo shoot:
Overington – ABC Melbourne – 25 June 2013
The difficulty was because it was organised by her media team.
In fact, Women’s Weekly had complete creative control over the photo shoot. The PMO did not rule in or rule out any particular shot.
An estimated 400 shots were taken.
Shots of the PM were taken with and without knitting needles and wool, with and without Reuben, and in a formal outfit and an informal outfit. Reuben was also photographed with the knitted roo.
It was entirely Women’s Weekly’s choice to publish the image they did.
The PMO agreed to a wide-ranging interview. Caroline Overington interviewed the PM for one hour on her achievements, leadership, misogyny, knitting, the Royal Family, Kyle Sandilands.
Not a word of this interview appeared in the article published in Australian Women’s Weekly.
Here is the Women’s Weekly returning fire.
The Prime Minister’s press office, headed up by Director of Communications John McTernan, has released a statement addressing its involvement in the photo shoot and article about Julia Gillard in July issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.
The statement, published in full below, denies organising the shoot. However in an email to The Weekly a staffer clearly outlines the idea of a knitting pattern.
“I’m keen to discuss options for an interview/photoshoot with the PM, ideally for the July edition,” an email from the Prime Minister’s Office dated April 10 read.
“As I mentioned the PM is putting together a care package for Kate Middleton, who is due in mid-July, and I was thinking this would make a great story for the magazine. I’m picturing a story that includes the patterns for the items the PM will knit so your readers can knit their own royal blanket or something.”
The statement released this afternoon expressed concerns from the PM’s team about the number and variety of shots published.
Any readers who would like to read more of Associate Editor Caroline Overington’s interview with Ms Gillard, and see more of the photographs, can do so here on our website.
The Women’s Weekly also, very kindly, includes a photograph of the PM and her entire team (including the dog) on its site.
This guarantees that a bit of harmless silliness becomes yet another example of her inability to connect with voters and is just another stuff up.