Seven, which paid a reported $150,000 for access to Joyce and partner Vikki Campion, attracted only 65,000 local viewers to the interview on its flagship current affairs show, Sunday Night.
It was easily beaten in the same timeslot by the ABC’s new Australian drama Mystery Road, which drew 82,000 Adelaide viewers.
Ten’s hoary food reality show MasterChef – which overlapped part of Sunday Night – appealed to 67,000 locals. Nine’s singing show The Voice, which also overlapped Sunday Night, attracted 61,000 Adelaide viewers, although nationally it easily beat Sunday Night.
Across the five key state capital cities, Sunday Night attracted 631,000 viewers – well beaten by The Voice (816,000), Mystery Road (786,000) and MasterChef (781,000).
The program has been criticised for failing to ask tough questions in the public interest, including about the pair’s use of travel allowances.
Politics & journalism are currently facing a crisis of confidence. Democracy only survives & prospers if journalism is fair but fearless. Tonight’s soft ch 7 story on Barnaby fails that test. I am thankfully retired from politics. Tonight’s story could only be described as crap
— Peter Beattie (@SmartState1) June 3, 2018
Joyce’s political critics weren’t impressed either, with several calling on the former deputy prime minister to resign in the wake of the interview.
Joyce admitted to fighting for his political survival despite knowing his job was untenable after his new partner Campion fell pregnant.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was time for Joyce to move on from public office.
“Barnaby has taken leave from the parliament and I think he should probably pack up his office, go home and spend time with his family,” she told the Seven Network today.
“He will never be the deputy prime minister again. He will never be the leader of the Nationals, and I don’t think he will ever get re- elected in the seat of New England.”
Independent senator Derryn Hinch said Joyce had thrown Campion under the bus and was still betraying the National Party.
“I think he will finally quit, he won’t stand for re-election,” Hinch said.
“He can’t get the leadership back, he can’t get back into cabinet.”
Campion has claimed she was told by “conservatives” within parliament to abort her child.
In the tear-filled interview last night, Campion says she couldn’t terminate the pregnancy because her baby Sebastian had a heartbeat.
“And they said if you don’t, they’re going to come after you. And they did.”
When asked who suggested the termination, she said “people who are supposed to be conservative”.
Joyce campaigned and retained his seat of New England in a by-election last December brought about by a High Court ruling that he was a dual citizen.
He resigned the Nationals leadership in late February, weeks after the affair and pregnancy were sensationally revealed in tabloid newspapers.
“Toward the end, I was fighting more out of spite than logic,” he said.
He said he knew he would be out of the job by the time Sebastian was born.
But Joyce hit out at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for calling a press conference to criticise his deputy’s judgment.
Hanson-Young said one thing was “absolutely crystal clear” following the interview.
“Thank god Barnaby Joyce is no longer the deputy PM,” she said.
“A man of terrible judgment who can’t take responsibility for his own actions and likes to blame everybody else, including the woman sitting by his side, at times.”
– InDaily with AAP
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