I have been informed that apparently over there in America, the President can stop regular programming on TV to make announcements, and that he does so regularly, regularly enough that normal programming was stopped yesterday for a freaking press conference. Good Zooropa, if that happened here, I think there'd be a revolution. If John Howard dared to stop regular programming just for a press conference, not only would multiple switchboards at both the TV networks and parliament house overload and melt down under the pressure of so many phone calls of complaint, people would be incensed. I cannot remember the last time that regular programming on the commercial networks (or SBS (Special Broadcast Service, a non-commercial network), for that matter) was stopped just so the PM could make an announcement (I think regular programming has been stopped a couple of times recently for the PM, but that's during times when regular programming stopped anyhow, such as September 11 and at the beginning of the Iraqi War, so it doesn't really count). A couple of times I believe it's been stopped on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission, I think it's still government owned), but not many people watch that and usually it's known well in advance that regular programming is going to be stopped, sometimes so much so that it makes it into the TV guide and the PM's announcement is regular programming instead.
Sheesh. Stopping regular programming for a press conference seems so ... Soviet.