Today co-host Deborah Knight interviewed the Queensland Senator and brought up successive opinion polls that show her party’s primary vote has collapsed, almost halving over the course of the campaign.
“The latest Newspoll, it shows support for One Nation collapsing to four per cent, on par with Clive Palmer’s party,” Knight said.
“In light of all the things you’ve faced, all the scandals, all the things that have been going on, can you really blame people for having their doubts about One Nation and considering Clive (Palmer) over you?”
It did not go down well.
Senator Hanson fired back by pointing out Today’s woeful ratings, which have plummeted to catastrophic levels since Karl Stefanovic was dumped at the end of last year.
Knight was brought in to replace him and co-host the show alongside Georgie Gardner, and viewers haven’t meshed with the new format.
“I’ve actually gone up since the last election, unlike your show, Deb, since you’ve actually taken over,” Senator Hanson said. “You’ve actually gone down in your viewership.”
“Ooh, you’re having a go,” Knight interjected.
Senator Hanson wasn’t done and took a sharp dig at Knight’s performance on the desk.
“So, should you hand over your job or should we bring Karl back? Should we bring Karl back? You have a go at me about this all the time.”
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The pointed attack obviously shocked Knight — and pretty quickly the show’s bosses.
Today’s Twitter account shared a video clip of the angry criticism, before promptly deleting it just minutes later.
And a video of the interview shared to the show’s Facebook page curiously misses the whole attack on Today’s ratings and Knight’s job.
What a coincidence.
Senator Hanson also attacked Clive Palmer during the interview, who remains in Fiji just days out from the election.
“I’m sure that people won’t be happy about it,” she said.
“Clive’s not going around the country supporting his candidates. Clive’s not interested in the country. Clive Palmer’s only interested in himself.”
The mining magnate and United Australia Party leader was photographed in Fiji at the weekend and a spokesman insisted it would be a brief visit. He was there to visit a sick friend, the spokesman said.
But Mr Palmer hasn’t come home, amid revelations that he’s demanded former workers at his failed Queensland Nickel refinery are being gagged.
The Guardian reports that workers hoping to receive millions of dollars in owed pay from Mr Palmer must first sign a nondisclosure, promising not to make disparaging comments about him.