His rise from backbencher to the ALP leadership in the five years to 2006 was facilitated by his sustained weekly presence on the high-rating 'Big Guns of Politics' segment on Channel 7's Sunrise.
It was here that he was able to create 'a persona seen as ordinary, trustworthy and familiar to the point of intimacy'. But he lacked the ability to work with people behind the scenes to get things done for the ordinary Australians who regarded him as their 'mate'.
In the modern age of celebrity, public esteem has more to do with media construction than ability. It's questionable whether the winners of MasterChef and The Voice are as talented as we're led to believe. They are part of a long line of TV contests that gave us the rigged quiz shows of the 1950s.
Indeed there have been questions surrounding the legitimacy of Harrison Craig's victory in The Voice last week after the humble 18-year-old had overcome his stutter through singing and won over fans.
For example, on Thursday a desperate 2DayFM used a technicality to apply to the Federal Court for an order to restrain the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) from continuing its investigations into the 'royal prank' phone call that led to the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
ACMA's preliminary findings suggest the radio station is in serious danger of losing its broadcast licence over the incident, but 2DayFM is claiming that ACMA is going beyond its remit. It seems the station considers it deserves its licence as long as ratings hold up, and listeners remained loyal to the station after the royal prank call.
Possibly Facebook's greatest disservice to the online community has been its 'like' button, which has become so ubiquitous that it has sanctioned superficial evaluation of individuals and their performances everywhere. I can 'like' or not 'like' a person or what they've produced without having to give a reason, let alone make an argument to justify my support or lack of support.
Collective likes or dislikes can and do have consequences for peoples lives, and they are often based on prejudice rather than rationality.