The ABC morning show host is questioning the timing of a “soft, big profile” program about Treasurer Jim Chalmers in which he admitted he drinks every night.
Weekend News Breakfast host Fauziah Ibrahim asked behavioral economist Evan Lucas for his opinion on the timing of the article.
Her question came on the same day that Nine’s Good Weekend magazine on Saturday published an article written by veteran investigative journalist Deborah Snow.
Dr. Chalmers made a number of revelations about his personal struggles, including alcohol abuse and treatment for skin cancer, while opening up about his path to becoming treasurer and his enduring passion for politics.
Discussing his decision to quit drinking, the Treasurer was asked if he had been referred to in Parliament House as having “given up on his social life”.
“Because I drank too much,” Dr. Chalmers said magazine.
Ibrahim asked Lucas why this “soft, important article” was published during a turbulent time for the Albanian government.
ABC morning show host questions timing of long ‘soft’ report on Treasurer Jim Chalmers in which he admitted he drank every night
Dr. Chalmers made a series of stunning revelations about his personal struggles, including alcohol abuse and recovery from skin cancer, while opening up about his path to becoming treasurer and his enduring passion for politics
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has come under fire for his frequent trips abroad while Australians continue to struggle at home, while the government has been criticized for being on its knees over a High Court decision banning the detention of applicants for indefinite asylum.
Dr. Chalmers is also facing a cost of living crisis, with inflation at 5.4% and interest rates at a 12-year high of 4.35%.
“Deborah Snow’s article actually says that she doesn’t seem to do anything in moderation,” Ibrahim said.
“I have a question, or maybe I’m just a cynic: why now, why now, has this beautiful, soft, big article about the treasurer appeared?”
“That’s a very good question, Fauziah, and again, the cynical part of my brain kind of clicks when I consider that this week has been quite painful for the government,” Lucas replied.
He also called Snow’s article “puff,” suggesting it was used to promote Dr. Chalmers.
Lucas said the defeat in the Voice referendum on October 14 was also a “bruise” for the government.
“This is probably a good moment to show who the MP of the next generation undoubtedly is – this man is only 45 years old,” he said.
“He has very high ambitions and it is clear that he could one day become the next prime minister of this country, given his position.”
When contacted by Daily Mail Australia, Snow declined to comment on the timing of the article.
A note from Good Weekend editor Katrina Strickland in the magazine explains in detail how the Treasurer article came about.
“In today’s media-driven age, it is rare for a politician to speak openly to a journalist about his or her weaknesses and human failings,” Strickland wrote.
“His opponents will undoubtedly question his motives and/or use his outspokenness against him.
“Call me naive but I tend to believe Chalmers when he says this, by engaging in this profile – which was our idea, not his – he wanted to do it properly.”
The editor also anticipated that some might question the fact that the publication profiled the federal treasurer after 18 months in the role.
“Because by all accounts we are entering the most treacherous economic times, not just in Australia but around the world,” Strickland wrote.
“And that was before the Middle East blew up.”
Federal Treasurer Dr. Jim Chalmers (wife Laura pictured) gave an extensive interview in which he revealed that he quit drinking three years ago
The Queensland MP said he did not want to teach his children Leo, eight, Annabel, six, and Jack (pictured with wife Laura) that drinking is a normal way to unwind
“With this in mind, we thought it was worth finding out more about the man who, alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, will lead Australia’s response to whatever comes next.”
Doctor Chalmers he said in the article that he fell into abstinence because he didn’t want his children Leo, 8, Annabel, 6, and Jack, 4, to think that drinking wine and beer on the couch every night was a normal way to unwind.
Among other topics discussed in the interview was Mr. Chalmers’ path to becoming treasurer, having developed a passion for politics and history in high school courtesy of one of his teachers.
Later, after obtaining a doctorate in political science and international relations, he wrote to the same teacher, thanking him for his support.
The avid sportsman talked about his love for the Broncos and how he still plays basketball and trains at his local F45 gym whenever he can.
Perhaps also contributing to his newfound health boost was a terrifying battle with skin cancer and having a melanoma removed from his chest in late 2020, which plagued him for months as the wound didn’t heal properly.
At one point he spent a night in the emergency room of a Canberra hospital and the next morning he faced cameras in Parliament House without sleep.
Ibrahim has been controversial in the past: she was taken off air in the run-up to the 2022 federal elections after it was revealed that she had a list of “lobotomized idiots” and “trolls/labor thugs” on the X social media platform.
She returned to the air a week after the elections