Sky News suspends 25-year-old woman for publishing MP's sexist remarks

Sky News suspends 25-year-old woman for publishing sexist remarks made & endorsed by an MP & two hosts

Watching The Outsiders on Sky News and not expecting to be greeted by sexism at best, misogyny at worst, would be akin to me waking up of a morning and anticipating that my toddler has gotten herself out of her cot, put her clothes on and fed herself breakfast. Not going to happen. Those tasks are, at this stage, beyond her capabilities.

Admittedly I have never actually watched an episode of The Outsiders, largely on account of not being a masochist, but I have seen and read enough of the hosts “work” to be familiar with their schtick.

I’ve appeared on TV shows with both Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron on enough occasions to know that watching The Outsiders doesn’t appeal.

Frankly there are better ways to spend a Sunday morning than viewing angry  men who have somehow convinced themselves that they are marginalised complain about the world.

Yesterday morning was no exception in this regard but admittedly these men and their TV show were drawn to my attention last night.

Cameron and Dean were joined yesterday morning in the studio by another gentleman with a penchant for bold thinking and vile commentary, Senator David Leyonhjelm.

Undeterred by feedback that his remarks in the chamber on Thursday to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was disgraceful he persisted on Sunday morning by telling the TV hosts that apparently she has a ‘well-known’ reputation for ‘liking men’.

(Which is at odds with the narrative preferred by Dean, Cameron et al in which any woman with an interest in being treated with respect, dignity or equity is declared to hate all men.)

Leyonhjelm’s insinuation about Hanson-Young – like his original comment in the Senate – was lewd and atrocious, and this time his disrespect was greeted with enough disapproval that there were consequences.

Not for him. He’s free to continue along his merry way as an elected representative and not for the two men who were hosting him.

No, there were consequences for the junior female producer on the show who put Leyonhjlem’s words into a ‘strap’, the text that runs at the bottom of the TV screen, as is a basic requirement of her job, and she has been temporarily suspended.

The part I cannot comprehend is that Sky News itself made this announcement, genuinely believing, it would seem, that the wrong-doer in this scenario really was the junior woman in the studio.

Does anyone really believe that the instigator of the issue here was the young person in the backroom?

She didn’t say those words. She is not an MP. She didn’t ask the questions. She didn’t invite Senator Leyonhjelm onto the show.

(And let’s not pretend the invitation to the senator was extended for any reason other than giving his Hanson-Young ‘commentary’ another gratuitous outing. If an internal investigation examines anything let it be this.)

The good news is that it seems the hypocrisy and the inequity of punishing the lowest hanging fruit and making a scapegoat out of a 25 year old has not gone unnoticed.

While Sky News chooses to provide a platform for Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron to broadcast their grievances, laced as they so often are with base sexism, it diminishes its capacity to credibly claim shock when an appalling remark makes it on the screen.

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