POLITICS

Americans Have Discovered Pauline Hanson And They Are Shocked

Comedian Jim Jefferies interviewed the One Nation leader on his new TV show.

30/06/2017 11:03 AM AEST | Updated 30/06/2017 12:47 PM AEST
Comedy Central
Jim Jefferies and Pauline Hanson face off.

Americans have become gradually more desensitised to political craziness over the first months of the Trump presidency, but even a country with The Donald as its commander-in-chief has been left shocked and gasping by Australia's very own Pauline Hanson.

An interview with Hanson aired on Comedy Central last night, on a new show hosted by Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies -- you might remember him from this video about gun control as part of his Netflix comedy special, which went viral around the world. Hanson appeared on the show as part of a segment titled 'Trumps Around The World', introducing herself to millions of Americans.

And boy, what an introduction, as the U.S. heard her comments about Australia being "swamped by Asians", needing a "vaccination" against Muslims, and even her latest firestorm of controversy regarding comments she made about autistic children.

Throughout the interview, where Hanson repeatedly calls Jefferies "Jimmy" (it is unclear whether this is due to her mistaking his name, or an attempt to establish a rapport through nicknames), the audience is heard to audibly gasp in shock at Hanson's claims and ideas.

When asked to outline what her ideology is, Hanson explains simply, "Patriotism, being an Australian."

"Islam is not compatible with Australia... we should be vaccinated against it," she said, repeating comments which drew a huge negative response when she first aired them in March. The interview with Jefferies seems to have happened around a month after those initial comments and the resulting storm of criticism, judging from a tweet Hanson posted with Jefferies in late April.

Shocked gasps are heard in the TV show audience when she talks about needing to be "vaccinated" against Muslims. Hanson then claims Australia has "never had so many problems on our streets" without presenting any evidence, and when Jefferies challenges her on that point, she swiftly pivots to claim society is changing "not for the better".

As the conversation turns to a growing world population -- "we've got to put these people somewhere," Jefferies says -- Hanson has a simple solution.

"Stop having kids. It's called (a) contraceptive," Hanson said. The audience is seemingly stunned into silence.

"I'm not responsible for everyone around the world. That's their problem, not mine."

Hanson cites Japan as an example of a country which is "really nailing it". Japan is a country often cited by right-wing groups online as being a model of how to deal with refugees in the modern world, with links drawn between Japan's low intake of refugees and a low number of terrorism offences. Hanson does not draw this particular link, but Jefferies points out that Japan's ageing population and low immigration figures are causing economic and social security problems.

"I love Japan. I'm yet to go there," Hanson answered.

Watch the full interview and segment on Comedy Central's website.

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