Actually, Kyle. You’re the piece of shit
Kyle Sandilands’ two year grudge against a young female journalist shows he has not changed, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes
Imagine, you’re a young journo.
You work for one of the big publishers, but you’re no bigwig yourself.
You haven’t got a particularly high profile, and basically you just cover your beat.
You’re just like hundreds of other journos.
Until you cross Kyle Sandilands’ radar.
I refer, of course, to Alison Stephenson, who Kyle Sandilands again started up against over the weekend.
You may recall that back in November 2011, he targeted her in the most vicious possible way.
It came after she reported that his (shit) TV show Kyle & Jackie O’s Night With The Stars had been badly received on social media. Hours later, when the ratings came in, it turned out that few people had watched.
It was the sort of story that whichever journo was unfortunate to have assigned to them would have written. I still remember turning to social media to see what was being said – the show was that bad.
But Sandilands, as you may recall, focused on Stephenson, news.com.au’s deputy entertainment editor, with a nasty little blast:
“Some fat slag on news.com.au has already branded it a disaster. You can tell by reading the article that she just hates us and has always hated us.
“What a fat bitter thing you are. You’re deputy editor of an online thing. You’ve got a nothing job anyway. You’re a piece of shit.
“This low thing, Alison Stephenson, deputy editor of news.com.au online. You’re supposed to be impartial, you little troll.
“You’re a bullshit artist, girl. You should be fired from your job. Your hair’s very 90s. And your blouse. You haven’t got that much titty to be having that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth or I’ll hunt you down.”
It led to advertisers withdrawing, and another slap for his employer the Today Network from watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Stephenson, though, never responded. To this day, she’s never written or spoken publicly about the experience. To do so, would have allowed her career to be defined by his comments.
And yet, this weekend, Sandilands came back for her. Perhaps he is bitter at the humiliation he brought down upon himself 21 months ago.
So he’s lied about her in a way that if he did it on air would have got the station’s licence suspended – if his producers hadn’t got to the infamous dump button first.
In order to publicise Australia’s Got Talent, he gave an interview to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend.
And he returned to the topic of Stephenson:
“That girl got hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was just easier to pay her to shut up and go away.”
Except, I understand, categorically this is untrue.
She kept quiet and tried to move on.
Yet Sandilands has painted her as money-grabbing. And let her colleagues think she won some kind of lottery. Good luck next time you ask for a pay rise with that hanging over your head.
It’s a scummy stunt to pull. And it’s hard to believe that it’s based on a misunderstanding. You’d probably know one way or another if you’d made that sort of payout.
Sandilands’ employer Southern Cross Austereo referred my questions to Sandilands’ personal management, who have not responded.
This is an unequal battle. She’s a 27-year-old in a junior role who doesn’t want to be in this fight.
This has now gone from a temper tantrum to bullying.