ABC TV host finds himself ranked #3 on The AFR Cultural Power List

• Mediaweek is more interested in the Cultural top 10

The Australian Financial Review magazine today publishes its annual Power issue with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison taking top spot for a second successive year.

Mediaweek is more interested in the Cultural top 10. Ranking at number three is the winner of the 2019 TV Week Gold Logie – Tom Gleeson.

The AFR comments:

Tom Gleeson had been hell-bent on pointing out that Australian TV’s emperors and empresses were scantily clad, if not downright nude, as part of his 2019 Logie campaign, whether they found it funny or not. He’d successfully campaigned for 10’s Grant Denyer to win the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at last year’s 60th-anniversary event, even though – or rather because – Denyer didn’t have a program at the time. This year, he went one better, launching his own #Gleeson4Gold bid, complete with attack ads and axing Hard Quiz (“chucking a Denyer”) to fuel the campaign.

In his acceptance speech, wine glass in hand, Gleeson said his victory was a win for “taking the piss” and “not giving a shit”, before telling his industry audience to “lighten the f— up”, something many in the room were visibly having difficulty doing. As Gleeson said: “There has been a lot of concern that I’m turning this award into a joke. But what you are forgetting is I’m a comedian – I love jokes.” In a sense, he could be seen as the alternative, antic face of this year’s Power cover boy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison. And as fulfilling the jester’s essential function: exposing the folly and pretension of any court, be it Australian politics or Australian TV. “Do I have any regrets?” Gleeson asked rhetorically on the night. “No, I got a result. I’m like ScoMo on election night – this is a victory for the quiet Australians.” The PM had indeed been his inspiration, he said later. “I stayed on message and did as much media as I could, and I had heaps of self-belief.”

Read more about The 10 most culturally powerful Australians in 2019 here.

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