Barnaby explains street showdown
BARNABY Joyce has called for new privacy laws to prevent "harassment" by photographers and media personnel.
Speaking on Sunrise this morning, he addressed the extraordinary Twitter footage he posted of an altercation with a photographer, who accused the embattled former deputy prime minister of threatening to punch him.
"I didn't (threaten him)," said Mr Joyce. "He knows that, and all the people standing around knew that.
"We had a person who didn't identify themselves, who was hiding among the trees - it was an issue for Vikki, it was an issue for Sebastian.
"If someone was hiding outside your grandkid's house, wouldn't you go up and say g'day to them?"
He said private individuals "deserve a greater protection so that they can live their lives … and not be harassed over a long period of time".
"You can't use defamation, you can't go to the Press Council, none of these things have any effect. The only effect that we've got is what I'm doing now - trying to raise the issue.
"I expect to be papped and interviewed, but private individuals - kids especially - don't have protections there. These people have the capacity to destroy people's lives."
Mr Joyce has copped strong criticism on social media for pushing for the tort, when just last week he voted against a bill that would protect women entering abortion clinics from harassment.
When asked whether this was a double standard, he said: "If we had a proper tort of privacy, that would protect people going up to clinics, absolutely. It would be much better protection."
The hypocrisy was not lost on many:
Barnaby, who this week lobbied NSW state MPs to vote against abortion clinic safe zones, is offended by someone harassing him as he goes about his business https://t.co/zGh8BLKAiQ— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) June 10, 2018
This is an excellent observation. @Barnaby_Joyce wanted anti-abortion protesters to have the right to harass, photograph and intimidate women entering clinics. One photographer outside his church and he goes feral. What an idiot. What a hypocrite. #auspol https://t.co/yCZf3tjIUC— John Wren (@JohnWren1950) June 10, 2018
Totally different to walking into an abortion clinic, having made one of the most difficult decisions of your life, and being harassed by people judging you for something they know nothing about and has no impact on their lives though. https://t.co/68ymMkBKWJ— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) June 10, 2018
Mr Joyce also claimed he didn't want to do the interview with Seven's Sunday Night last weekend, but thought it would "be a circuit breaker".
"We didn't want to do it - we waited half a year trying to burn this thing out, trying to stop it, thinking it'd all die away, but it didn't," he said. "We certainly never would have done the interview if we thought it was just going to continue on. Obviously it is.
"The reason we thought it'd be a circuit breaker is because any photos they wanted they could get for free … they don't have to hang around like some kind of creepy thing in the bushes outside the church, waiting to photograph you as you leave."
Ms Campion, Mr Joyce and their six-week-old son Sebastian gave an exclusive $150,000 interview on Seven's Sunday Night last week.
The interview copped a backlash while pulling in just 631,000 metro viewers, according to OzTam preliminary figures.
BARNABY'S ALTERCATION WITH PHOTOGRAPHER
In footage posted to Twitter over the weekend, Mr Joyce asks a photographer why he is following him.
"Well it's our job," the photographer said.
"Who do you work for?" Mr Joyce asked.
The photographer then accused Mr Joyce of threatening to punch him.
"How can you seriously come out of church and size someone up to punch them," the photographer said.
"I didn't size you up to punch you," Mr Joyce said.
"Yes you did. You pulled your right hand back and if I hadn't actually walked away you would have clubbed me," the photographer said, before telling Mr Joyce to "Go back to your regular job as a bouncer. Seriously."
We did the Sunday program to stop this, this is why we need a tort of privacy. pic.twitter.com/hLQReDOQta— Barnaby Joyce (@Barnaby_Joyce) June 10, 2018
The former Nationals leader, who worked as a bouncer in his university days, repeatedly asked the photographer for his name.
In a second video, Mr Joyce follows the photographer, demanding that he give him his name.
Coming out of church, guess who is hiding in the bushes taking photos, yet won’t give his name or who he works for pic.twitter.com/YNi4hRj4qU— Barnaby Joyce (@Barnaby_Joyce) June 10, 2018
A local also confronts the photographer, accusing him of hiding behind a tree "like a snake".
The photographer has since been identified as Matrix Picture Agency employee Guy Finlay.
Speaking on hit105's Stav, Abby and Matt this morning, Finlay revealed he made less than $10,000 for the photos.
According to The Australian, it's understood Matrix are considering whether to file a police report.
CAMPION WITHDRAWS PRESS COUNCIL COMPLAINT
Vikki Campion has abruptly withdrawn a complaint she put to the Australian Press Council over the Daily Telegraph's "Bundle of Joyce" exclusive.
Ms Campion complained that her privacy was breached when the newspaper photographed her while heavily-pregnant, in a photo that was later splashed across the Telegraph's front page.
She told Nine News: "I filed a Breach of Privacy complaint when heavily pregnant in an attempt to prevent my baby being hounded by media after his birth however he was papped at three weeks of age and drones used over our house.
"To stop being chased, we agreed to an interview. I have since approached the Press Council to close the complaint as I just want to focus on motherhood."
But there may be more to the story than that.
Ms Campion complained that the newspaper never approached her for comment.
In March, Mr Joyce claimed neither he nor Ms Campion were asked about the paternity at the time the photograph was taken, and that no other questions were put to the pair.
Only there's plenty of evidence of Markson attempting to interview the pair - which went completely ignored.
In response to Mr Joyce's Fairfax interview, Markson shared a screenshot of a list of questions she put to them the day before the story was published.
One of the questions was: "Is Mr Joyce the father of the baby and when is the baby due?"
Here's the email where, contrary to his quotes in Fairfax, I directly ask Barnaby Joyce, before publication, if the baby is his and ask him to confirm he had already told his wife and daughters. We published the story when we were satisfied he was treating the unborn as his own. pic.twitter.com/sKNBjCaqKP— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) March 3, 2018
Then there's this photo showing Markson standing outside Mr Joyce's apartment, wearing a Parliament House media pass on a lanyard, evidently seeking an interview with the pair:
The photo, of the security intercom, was clearly taken from inside the apartment.
According to The Australian, Ms Campion is known to have shared the photo of Markson with her friends, where it eventually reached News Corp.
This photo was among the proof Markson was planning to share with the Press Council to dispute the complaint that she didn't approach the pair for comment.
Only now that Campion has abruptly withdrawn it, there's no complaint to dispute.