Politics

Angela Bishop Confronted David Leyonhjelm On Live TV After He Called Her A “Bitch”

Spoiler: he does not apologise.

Look, I’m sorry. I don’t really want to keep talking about Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm either. But I’ll be damned if he doesn’t keep acting like a twit.

To recap: Leyonhjelm has been under fire since Thursday when he told Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to “stop shagging men”. Leyonhjelm has repeatedly insisted that he was responding to an assertion by Hanson-Young to the effect that all men are rapists — although he can’t seem to produce the actual quote, and Hanson-Young has denied saying anything of the sort.

In any case, Leyonhjelm has spent most of this week defending his initial remark while launching grotty attacks on anyone who criticises him. When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he should apologise, Leyonhjelm called him a “pussy” and a “soft cock”, and when journalist Angela Bishop called him “pathetic” on Studio 10 he responded by tweeting that she was “a bigoted bitch”.

Following Leyonhjelm’s remarks about Bishop, the Studio 10 team invited him on their show to justify himself. And yep, he was absolutely terrible.

“You said that you made that remark towards Senator Hanson-Young because she was guilty in your eyes of misandry,” said Bishop. “I’m not a misandrist. Why did you call me a bitch?”

“Because you were being bigoted,” Leyonhjelm replied.

“Why not call her a bigot?” asked Bishop’s co-host Hugh Riminton. “Real men don’t call women bitches.”

“You’ve had a very sheltered life Hugh,” Leyonhjelm responded. “Women call each other bitches.”

The Senator went on to say that he thought it was acceptable to call women bitches “when they’re acting like one”.

Leyonhjelm also insisted that he was “very evenhanded in my abuse”.

“I would call a woman a bitch, and if a man said [that], I would call him a bastard. I do not think of that as sexism,” he said.

When Bishop continued to press him, Leyonhjelm told her “if you took offence, I’m sorry you took offence”.

“But do you admit that calling her a bitch was wrong?” asked co-host Sarah Harris.

“Oh no,” said Leyonhjelm. “No no. What I am saying is I’m sorry she’s taken offence.”

Now there’s a shock.

Leyonhjelm’s appearance on Studio 10 came shortly after he gave an interview to ABC radio that also went extremely poorly.

“I am an Australian. I will tell people they’re bastards or bitches or to f-off, irrespective of their gender,” Leyonhjelm told host Hamish Macdonald. “It is normal Australian behaviour.”

When Macdonald asked if Leyonhjelm had a problem with “women with power and opinions”, the Senator dismissed it as “a silly question”.

“I have a problem with misandry and people who don’t accept the fact that sexism includes misandry as well as misogyny,” said Leyonhjelm. “Bias against men, which Sarah Hanson-Young has, is the other side of the coin to misogyny.”