Culture

This Interview In Which Michaelia Cash Is Baffled By A Coffee Machine Has Left Everyone Confused

Nothing like being amazed that a coffee machine can make coffee to make you seem more human.

Michaelia Cash Coffee Interview Good Weekend

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It’s not rare that a magazine or newspaper will publish a feature on a divisive person to make them seem more human. More relatable. More normal. But the Sydney Morning Herald’s attempt to humanise Michaelia Cash in the latest issue of Good Weekend has done the complete opposite, making the Attorney-General sound more like an alien from outer space than anything else.

In the article titled ‘Cat-loving, coffee-swilling, karaoke-singing Thatcher fan: Meet Attorney-General Michaelia Cash‘, author Jane Cadzow tries to paint Cash out to be an average Joe. But in the first paragraph, Cash immediately proves she’s nothing of the sort, as she is somehow surprised that a coffee machine is able to *checks notes* make coffee.

“It is Michaelia Cash’s first visit to Deli Chicchi, a cafe in the Perth suburb of Mount Claremont,” the piece opens. “After finishing her almond milk cappuccino, she springs out of her seat and goes to the counter. ‘Who made my coffee?’ she asks. ‘It was beyond divine!'”

“Soon Cash is behind the counter with the [cafe-owner’s son], hovering at his shoulder as he works,” it bafflingly continues. “‘That’s fascinating,’ she says, studying the coffee machine as if it were a miraculous new invention. ‘The whole thing’s automated!'”

With the Attorney-General’s fascination over a regular coffee machine reeking of desperation to appear relatable to the everyday Australian, Cadzow later notes that Cash’s preoccupation with the barista actually momentarily hindered the ability for the interview to continue.

“I have a lot of questions for Cash, but for the moment the barista has her undivided attention,” Cadzow writes. “She asks him to show her how to operate the machine. She marvels at the finesse he applies to producing a brew.”

“‘You don’t realise,’ she exclaims, ‘it’s an absolute artform!'”

Beyond a large chunk of the article being dedicated to Cash’s love of coffee and sudden obsession with how baristas do their jobs, the piece eventually also dove into the Attorney-General’s twisted mentality towards work, her hero being Margaret Thatcher, and the fact that Cash does not identify as a feminist.

“To achieve, you work hard… to achieve more, you simply have to work harder,” Michaelia Cash says, ignoring that privilege often plays a larger part in success than hard work does. “There’s a hurdle in front of you? You go under it, around it, pick it up, and smash it, but you get to the other side.”

“If your parents give you a work ethic, you will survive anything,” Cash says. “You can be thrown into a swimming pool, with weights, and you will swim to the surface,” Cash continued, conflating “work ethic” with the leg up that often comes in the form of financial support and well-off upbringing demonstrating just how far removed the Attorney-General is from the reality for most Australians.

Unsurprisingly, the piece also notes that her “heroine” is Margaret Thatcher because she “was a conservative, she was female, and she was passionate about what she did”.

“Good on her for standing up for what she believed in,” Cash said about the famously anti-union former-British Prime Minister. “Good on her for being called every name in the book but not compromising on the policies. I have great respect for all of that.”

As expected, most of the 6,000-word feature is spent fluffing up Cash to be a strong woman with an unmatched work ethic.

Instead of using the interview opportunity to hold Cash accountable for her past missteps, the article just focuses on the Attorney-General’s love of coffee, her fondness for karaoke, and her strong fashion sense, over anything that actually matters.

In fact, the article only briefly touches on Brittany Higgins and her alleged rape in parliament and the infamous police raid on the Australian Worker’s Union — both of which Cash denied knowing about in the piece. The feature also entirely ignores the then-employment minister’s role in a scandal involving the Work for Dole program that led to the death of an 18-year-old in 2016.

People have seen right through the Sydney Morning Herald’s attempt at trying to soften one of the most senior members of Scott Morrison’s government as distrust and anger have grown in response to the absolutely botched handling of the pandemic.

While the piece is well-written and well-researched, the article is a clear attempt to humanise a public figure who has a poor public perception. Without any real lack of criticism towards Cash, her policies, or her past, it’s obvious that the Attorney-General’s team had final sign-off on what was and wasn’t allowed to be published making the whole thing a pointless puff piece.

Unfortunately for Michaelia Cash, no amount of grumpy cat cover photos and cups of coffee can erase her history of terrible decisions — especially not when the feature comes only one day after the Attorney-General urged Parks Australia to fight off charges related to destroying sacred sites in Australia.