Interviewer to NZ Leader: When Did You Conceive Baby?

Jacinda Ardern laughs off line of inquiry called 'creepy' by critics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2018 9:25 AM CST
Interviewer to NZ Leader: When Did You Conceive Baby?
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford.   (Greg Bowker/New Zealand Herald via AP)

Australia's version of 60 Minutes featured an interview with 37-year-old New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the weekend, and the fallout is pretty bad for interviewer Charles Wooley. "Relentlessly creepy" and "creepy Uncle" are typical sentiments being expressed over Wooley's line of questioning toward the pregnant leader. "I've met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none so young and not so many so smart, and never one so attractive," Wooley said in his opening. Much of the criticism centers around Wooley's apparent need to know when the baby was actually conceived. After asking the due date (June 17), Wooley pressed on: "It's interesting how much people have been counting back to the conception date," he said. (See a clip here.)

Wooley and partner Clarke Gayford laugh but appear "visibly uncomfortable," per the Sydney Morning Herald. Ardern eventually says she got pregnant when "the election was done," adding, "not that we need to get into those details." At another point, Wooley expresses surprise that Gayford does the laundry at home, per the BBC. Wooley's critics say he came off as sexist throughout, but he defends his work: "It's a bit Orwellian, you know. I think you got to be so careful with newspeak and thought crime and everything else; we suffer the same thing in Australia," he tells Newstalk ZB. Ardern is being diplomatic and says she found no part of the interview out of bounds, per the Guardian. Partner Gayford, however, seems to be throwing some subtle shade with a tweet about how to escape for "60 Minutes." (Another journo called to learn how to pronounce Ardern's name—and she picked up the phone.)

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