Angela Bishop: I Won't Sink To Senator David Leyonhjelm's Level

As a federal election looms I wonder, are you trying to stay relevant senator?

A few illuminating things happened when Senator David Leyonhjelm appeared on Studio 10 on Wednesday morning.

Among them an exchange with my colleague Hugh Riminton. Hugh said something with which the Senator disagreed. The Senator said “You’re entitled to your opinion Hugh.”

Lucky Hugh because, according to the Senator, Hugh is entitled to his opinion.  Me, not so much.

When I disagreed with the Senator, he called me a “bigoted bitch”.

I have many more serious and important things to worry about in my life than why an elected member of Parliament whom I have previously never met wants to call me names.

But theories abound.

The Guardian described Mr Leyonhjelm as “an obscure Senator facing re-election”, which would explain why he has become something of an abuse machine over the past few days.

In addition to the barbs directed at Senator Hanson-Young and myself, he called The Prime Minister a “pussy” and published a tweet about my Ten Eyewitness News colleague Phoebe Bowden that said “It’s actually a cut and dried case of misandry, you numbskulls. If it was misogyny you'd be screaming your prejudiced tits off.”

It’s kept him in the limelight and has earned him airtime across radio and television networks that he otherwise would not have had. With a federal election looming, perhaps he believes the attention could help him get re-elected.

But part of me did begin to wonder whether he just enjoys hurling insults, so I asked “Does it make you feel good to say these things?” to which he responded no and "why do you ask?”.

It was when I pushed him a bit further on the subject and pointedly asked  “How does it make you feel to call me a bitch?” that I got a response.

“It’s just in context of robust political debate on twitter, which is a bit of a sewer for political debate. What it does is say I strongly disagree with you. I could say I strongly disagree with you, or I could call you a bitch” he replied.

But it was what he said off-camera as he was departing that was really interesting.

“I probably shouldn’t have said it in public”. Take out the “probably” and the “in public” and he might have been on the money.

Stay classy Senator.