As background, the team of John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have appeared on a weekly TV news program in Australia for better than 20 years.
The typical interview seems to unfold in three parts:
- Introduction and overly-solicitous greeting… “It’s nice to have you here…”
- Funny interview
- Announcement that “Time is up” and we get to see what a jerk the interviewee really is.
Sen: Well, some of them are built so the front doesn't fall off at all.
Int: Wasn't this built so the front wouldn't fall off?
Sen: Well, obviously not.
Int: "How do you know?"
Sen: Well, ‘cause the front fell off, and 20,000 tons of crude oil spilled into the sea, caught fire. It's a bit of a give-away." I would just like to make the point that that is not normal.
Int: Well, what sort of standards are these oil tankers built to?
Sen: Oh, very rigorous ... maritime engineering standards.
Int: What sort of things?
Sen: Well the front’s not supposed to fall off, for a start.
Int: And what other things?
Sen: Well, there are ... regulations governing the materials they can be made of
Int: What materials?
Sen: Well, Cardboard’s out
Sen: ...No cardboard derivatives...
Int: Like paper?
Sen:. ... No paper, no string, no cellotape. ...
Sen: No, rubber’s out .. Um, They've got to have a steering wheel. There's a minimum crew requirement."
Int: What's the minimum crew?
Sen: Oh,… one, I suppose.
Int: So, the allegations that they are just designed to carry as much oil a possible and to hell with the consequences, I mean that’s ludicrous...
Sen: Ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous. These are very, very strong vessels
Int: So what happened in this case?
Sen: Well, the front fell off in this case by all means, but that’s very unusual.
Int: But Senator Collins, why did the front bit fall off?
Sen: Well, a wave hit it.
Int: A wave hit it?
Sen: A wave hit the ship.
Int: Is that unusual?
Sen: Oh, yeah... At sea? ...Chance in a million.
Int: So what do you do to protect the environment in cases like this?
Sen: Well, the ship was towed outside the environment.
Int: Into another environment....
Sen: No, no, no. it’s been towed beyond the environment, it’s not in the environment
Int: Yeah, but from one environment to another environment.
Sen: No, it’s beyond the environment, it’s not in an environment. It has been towed beyond the environment.
Int: Well, what’s out there?
Sen: Nothing’s out there...
Int: Well there must be something out there
Sen: There is nothing out there... all there is .... is sea ...and birds ....and fish
Sen: And 20,000 tons of crude oil
Int: And what else?
Sen: And a fire
Int: And anything else?
Sen: And the part of the ship that the front fell off, but there’s nothing else out there.
Int: Senator Collins thanks for joining us.
Sen: It’s a complete void
Int: Yeah, We’re out time
Sen: The environment’s perfectly safe. .... We’re out of time?.. Can you book me a cab?
Int: But didn’t you come in a commonwealth car?
Sen: Yes, I did, but
Int: What happened?
Sen: The front fell off