If everybody looked the same…

The problem with thinking that everyone is the same as you is that they’re not.

If you grow up thinking this, and having it reinforced to you by a media that often talks about how you are all proud to be Kiwis, or Aussies or whatever, and you went to a school where the teacher taught a bunch of books with white characters in it (and you were white), and said “we” when they talked about when British settlers arrived, then you might become an adult who thinks that everyone is basically the same.  There are different coloured people but they’re alright if they like they same things as you (rugby or cricket or tomato sauce or whatever), and don’t have an accent, and there are poor people and rich people but they’re alright if they like the same things as you (rugby or cricket or tomato sauce or whatever), and there are disadvantaged people….  It’s only people with a bad sense of humour who don’t “get it” and just whinge about stuff that are the problem.

Imagine a situation where you got a bunch of these people together, these arrogant, fairly young people, who think that people are mostly like them and can “take a joke”, and you paid them to sit around thinking up ideas.

 In August 2009, DJ Kyle Sandilands of  “The Kyle and Jackie O Show” got a 14-year-old girl to admit that she had been raped after strapping her to a polygraph machine while her mother quizzed her about her sexual activities. “I’ve already told you the story about this, and don’t look at me and smile because it’s not funny,” the girl said on air. “Oh OK, I got raped when I was 12 years old.” Cruelly, Sandilands pressed on, asking, “Right, and is that the only sexual experience you had?”

You probably wondered why you had to go off air for three weeks.  I mean rape is sex right?  Technically?  You didn’t make them go on radio, and it was the mother’s fault, really, when you think about it.  Sure something bad happened to this girl, but we don’t need to get hung up on it.  That’s not what we do – we the great mass of people who are the same and can take a joke.  Another thing we don’t like is people who think they’re better than us.

In 1996, host David Rymer pretended to be from a school testing board and convinced a young girl that her perfect score on a major national test was a mistake, causing her to burst into tears.

Or people who think they should just get hand outs.

That’s not to mention the station’s “Heartless Hotline” shows, which exploited disadvantaged listeners by offering them prizes, but threatened to take them away if a more interesting listener wanted the loot. In one 2009 case, a mother of five children, four of them disabled, was offered tickets for the family to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, but was then told she had to argue with another caller over the tickets while the station decided whether she could keep the prize

People who don’t get the joke here are whingers, or bludgers, or foreign or something, and if they criticize you… well they get what’s coming to them:

“Some fat slag on news.com.au has already branded it a disaster,” the DJ said. “What a fat, bitter thing you are … You’re a piece of shit … You’re supposed to be impartial, you little troll … And your blouse. You haven’t got enough titty to be having that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth or I’ll hunt you down.”

There are always critics, but the bosses back you and pay the lawyers:

AN ON-AIR tirade by 2DayFM radio presenter Kyle Sandilands in which he described a journalist as a ”fat slag” and threatened to hunt her down was not aggressive or vitriolic in tone, but ”conversational”, a lawyer representing the station says.

Even now, with the latest “gaffe”, it will be ok because the man in the suit has legal advice that you broke no laws.  Anyway, when you think about it this was the nurse’s fault.  Anyone who spoke English properly would be able to tell this was a prank call.

Actually, it always seems to be Asian people who are stuffing things up.

In an interview with Prime Minister John Key, Henry asked if Sir Anand was “even a New Zealander”.

Henry then asked Key about his next choice of Governor-General: “Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time? Are we going to go for someone who is more like a New Zealander this time?”

What was unfair about this was that the Prime Minister sort of agreed with you.  John can take a joke.  He knows what “we” think.  All that stuff about using the word “gay”.  Silly stuff.  “We” all know what it means.  It just means stupid.  Don’t be so bloody precious.

In a show on October 1 last year, Henry used a discussion on the Commonwealth Games to make fun of the name of Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit.

He repeatedly labelled her “dick shit” and said the name was “so appropriate because she’s Indian, so she would be dick in shit” when walking the streets.

Well, Paul lost his job.  I suppose that some Aussies might too.  Some of “us” have to take the fall, because some of “them” can’t take a joke.  It’s sad for those hosts and DJ’s but they can always pick up work somewhere else.  What’s important is that the culture at the radio station stays the same.  That there is no actual change at the top, or no actual punishment handed down.

Why can’t we all just get along?

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2 thoughts on “If everybody looked the same…

  1. Since I don’t live in New Zealand so I can’t listen to the radio show in question, I didn’t realize what you were talking about here until I did. Here in the U.S. there would most likely be a boycott of the shows sponsors. It’s a tatic that takes a long time to pay off, but it can pay off. Speaking up, like you’ve done here, is another tactic that can work. It also takes a long time, unfortunately.

    Meantime, one does wonder how people can live with themselves.

  2. Quite a few major sponsors have pulled out.

    In the end I think it might be less about those two presenters and more about the culture at the radio station, and the lack of strong regulatory body. Which is far less sexy statement than: “Hang the DJ”.

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