No way to talk to a woman on-air

IN case you’ve been under a rock the last couple of days (and sometimes, listening to Kyle’s latest cringe-inducing diatribe, I wish I could hide under a rock too), Kyle Sandilands hit back at a report by News.com.au journalist Alison Stephenson who covered the debut of his TV show, Kyle and Jackie O’s Night With The Stars, with a less than savoury comeback.

Since then, there’s been a shit-storm. Media and social commentators (and me) all having their two cents on the situation. So he has used his radio platform – again – to put his point across. That being along the lines of: “I’m not a woman-hater” and *pouts bottom lip “what about me?” So people have reacted to his desultory comments with similarly flagrant name-calling. Not exactly fair and, as Jackie O puts, a little bit “tit for tat”.

Well, Kyle if you can’t stand the heat….

He has not been victimised. This was not a media storm created by any one journalist or even any news organisation with a vendetta against him (what an ego to think that’s what’s going on!).

(For the record the show’s audience went from 1.2 million viewers at the start of airing to just 200,000 by the end… I don’t think Ms Stephenson was exactly pulling tweets out of some magic hat). Certainly not “crazy, outrageous allegations” as he described it.

It came about as women – outraged and rightly so – heard his comments, felt for the woman who was simply doing her fucking job and felt the bile rise up in their throats and obliged to speak out.

If he doesn’t consider himself a woman-hater, then riddle me this, Batman. Why was his instant reaction to attack her on such superficial grounds? A troll, a fat slag… and threatening to ‘come after’ her. That smacks of deep-seated sexism to me, and disturbingly violent. Why the fuck didn’t he just say it was an inappropriate, biased reporting? That I could understand. Even if I didn’t agree.

Why attack her hair, her boobs, etc? Her physical appearance has got shit-all to do with her journalistic integrity.

But rather than apologise, he defended his outburst saying she had come after him in a personal attack and he would have done the same regardless of gender.

What is it with men lately not apologising for bad conduct and instead turning themselves into victims?! Take Matthew Newton’s self-pitying confessional on ACA.

Tomorrow is White Ribbon Day – a campaign against violence to women – wouldn’t it have been a fortuitous media opportunity to apologise to Brooke Satchwell and Rachel Taylor and set an example of what’s not acceptable?

Nope. Instead we get to hear about how awful his world has been dealing with the frustration that is the mental health service industry in Australia. Indeed it would be. But still…

Why Kyle thinks similarly pointing to his past as grounds to excuse hurtful remarks is just mind-boggling. To go from “watch your mouth, girl, or I’ll hunt you down” to “if you grew up in my house, if you’d seen what I’ve seen, you would know I’m the last thing on earth like a woman-hater”. Someone needs to draw him a picture of the CYCLE of domestic violence.

Having unconcealed threats like that on commercial radio is offensive. I don’t consider it a joke. Nor should any woman. I’d really love to know what Alison Stephenson felt hearing his reaction.

At least corporate sponsors have got the message, even if Kyle hasn’t,  and pulled their support. As they should.

Women are predominantly the person handling the purse strings in most households and we can stand against such prehistoric, irrelevant slagging-off simply by choosing where we spend our money.

Now if executive television producers could start to understand – why personal conduct IS relevant when hiring a new show host (Matthew Johns as well as Sandilands and Newton) – then perhaps there’d be some incentive for these guys to mend their ways.

And if this was just some media stunt (as I sometimes wonder) to salvage a sinking ship, then I hope this one backfires horribly. Not with national criticism but with a certain pink slip.

PS You can sign a petition to cancel advertising with the company until the shock jock is dropped.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryse Durrant
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 04:44:05

    You don’t beat about the bush, Peta-Jo. Maybe you should host your own TV or radio show? You could call it Media Etiquette for Ferals. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Sheeple Liberator
    Nov 25, 2011 @ 06:26:58

    I’ve been diagnosed with “Manic depression, plus OCD, with a few personality traits thrown in”. Not to make light of mental illness, but really Matthew? Come on.

    Reply

    • petajo
      Nov 25, 2011 @ 07:35:24

      Exactly, mental health issues shouldn’t mean you can’t say sorry to the people you’ve hurt – particularly if you’re going on national TV to talk about it. Thanks for visiting, SL! x

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Big bum not ‘Germaine’ to the argument « PetaJo
  4. katedrury
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 13:22:25

    If we do want Kyle taken off air then we really need to keep the pressure on the sponsors. Austereo are obviously not going to let him go without a fight. To date 138 companies have withdrawn their advertising! This is thanks to the tireless work of a group of committed people who are using Facebook and Twitter to keep the message alive Sack Vile Kyle!

    Keep an eye on #vilekyle to see who the current sponsors are.

    Cheers,
    Kate
    (@Kat4e4)

    Reply

  5. Michelle
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 13:49:19

    Reply

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