During an interview on Australian current affairs programme ‘60 Minutes‘, veteran journalist Charles Wooley confessed to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, that he is smitten with her and described the 37-year-old leader as ‘attractive’.
The programme aired on Sunday night and shows Wooley telling Arden that of all the prime ministers that he has met, “none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive” as her.
The interview, which drew the ire of Twitter users who described it as ‘misogynistic’, descended even further when Wooley failed to ask Arden about her policies, instead asking her prying questions about her pregnancy.
The 60 Minutes Jacinda Adern puff piece is just ick. Charles Wooley has already called her the most attractive PM he’s ever met and asked about when she had sex to fall pregnant. pic.twitter.com/JKzhFfm74y
— Ryan Sheales (@RyanSheales) February 25, 2018
— Emily G (@emily_a_george) February 25, 2018
I assumed #60mins would have a second half of the Jacinda interview after the break that talked about her policies and political achievements. But… nothing. All we got was sexist comments about her looks and baby talk. Ugh. Absolutely shitful journalism… *changes channel*
— Priscilla Sutton (@trisgilla) February 25, 2018
Dear New Zealand, our best mate, you know how everyone has a creepy Uncle you need to avoid at Xmas parties? Sorry we got him to interview your PM. Please tell @jacindaardern we reckon it was gross.
Love, Australia https://t.co/B9Bz3AQRsk
— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) February 26, 2018
Wooley asked Arden about her reasons for going into “sordid” politics, the due date of her baby and the possible day of the baby’s conception.
According to Wooley, he did not raise questions about housing and tertiary costs in the interview because he believed that his audience would not care to hear about them.
He has defended his comments about Arden’s looks on Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, saying “If you say somebody is attractive, my thesaurus defines it as 50 choices from good-looking to gorgeous to likeable, there is so many different meanings.”
Wooley has called the social media attack as “Orwellian”, alluding to George Orwell’s 1984 where a secret agency punishes any criminal, political or individual thought that is not approved.
“It’s a bit Orwellian you know I think you got to be so careful with newspeak and thought crime and everything else, we suffer the same thing in Australia,” he said.
Watch the interview in full below: