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Brian Houston, Jacinda Ardern and Australian politics dominate online reader conversations

Online readers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have a lot to say, making 40,015 comments on 831 stories last week.

Politics dominated reader attention, as debate swirled around the integrity of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and readers threw their support behind New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “PM admits he asked White House to invite Brian Houston to state dinner” by national affairs editor Rob Harris was the most commented-on story.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed he asked the White House to invite Hillsong founder Brian Houston to be invited to a state dinner in Washington last year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed he asked the White House to invite Hillsong founder Brian Houston to be invited to a state dinner in Washington last year. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen, Trevor Collens

Morrison admitted on radio he had requested Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston join the dinner last year. His office had earlier dismissed as “gossip” a Wall Street Journal report the White House had vetoed the request.

Really? commented: “Why does this PM have so much trouble just being straight up with voters? No matter what it is, holidays, sports grants, make believe surpluses, river systems, environment, economy, health … it just goes on and on.” Several hundred readers agreed.

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