SUNRISE star Samantha Armytage has lifted the lid on the seamier side of the nation’s capital in the wake of Barnaby Joyce and the “bonk ban”, declaring “there’s a lot of rooting around in Canberra”.
The TV host and former Sky News Canberra correspondent sat down with Miranda Live special guest host Jonathon Moran on the online radio show today to discuss the embattled Nationals Leader and her own experience with political reporting.
“When Canberra is on it can be very boring, but when it’s ON — it’s the place to be,” she told Moran.
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“It’s an incredible place to be a journalist: No one is from there, there’s a lot of bad behaviour, as we’re seeing now.
“It’s a naughty spot, there’s a lot of rooting around.”
Armytage, who co-hosts Channel 7’s Sunrise morning program with David Koch, cut her teeth as a reporter with WIN in Canberra before joining Sky News Australia in 2002 as chief political reporter.
She has backed the comments from many Canberra insiders who claimed the Barnaby Joyce affair drama was common knowledge before the Daily Telegraph publicly broke the story.
“There’s a lot of rooting around — in the press gallery and by politicians, and perhaps it’s an end of an era now,” Armytage told Moran.
Mr Joyce is now facing a party room revolt, with just a third of the Nationals still backing him to remain in the leadership position.
The married Nationals Leader’s grip on the leadership began to slide after explosive revelations of an office affair with his former media adviser Vikki Campion — who is now expecting his child — and a falling out with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the scandal.
When pressed on if Mr Joyce should step down, Armytage told Miranda Live she was initially hesitant to attack him.
“Does it matter (the affair)? Because they’re all screwing everybody down there,” she said.
“If you took everybody — man, men mainly — down there who is doing that, you wouldn’t have anyone left.
“I’ve seen so many young female staffers drawn to that power — Barnaby Joyce, let’s face it, is not a great looking man — but that power, there’s something that attracts young girls.”
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