Barnaby Joyce has described Kylie Sandilands as “a savage little man” after the radio host abused him at length on Friday morning.
The debate was over Hollywood star Johnny Depp’s dogs, Pistol and Boo.
Sandilands questioned the Agriculture Minister’s handling of the dogs’ quarantine ordeal after Mr Joyce gave the Yorkshire terriers a deadly ultimatum – leave the country or be killed.
Depp broke Australian law by bringing the pooches into Australia on a private plane without declaring them.
Speaking on KIIS FM’s breakfast show, Mr Joyce defended his comments, saying that if the actor had brought a disease such as rabies into the country Sandlilands’ listeners would be up in arms.
“I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be fined or the dogs shouldn’t be quarantined,” Sandilands replied.
“What I’m saying is, you sound like an absolute clown telling the guy to bugger off back to Hollywood or we’ll kill his dogs.
“You sound like an idiot. You should have re-worded your statement.
“You’re a government minister – have some decency.”
Rather than being offended or backing down, Mr Joyce egged the shock jock on.
“Jeeze Kyle, that seems interesting coming from you.”
At that point Sandilands went off.
“Oh shut up, Barnaby. You’re an absolute joke, Barnaby!” the host said.
But Mr Joyce continued to poke the bear: “Keep going mate. Keep going mate. Good on you.”
“I’m going off because you sound like an insensitive wanker,” Sandilands said.
“You’re a savage little man aren’t you?” Mr Joyce observed.
Sandilands appeared not to understand the figure of speech.
“I’m not even a little man, I’m six-foot-one.
“People don’t like people talking about animals like that.”
And that was that. Sandilands had had enough.
Upon hanging up the call, his co-host and voice of reason Jackie O said: “Well, we haven’t had an interview like that in a while.”
— with AAP