No replacement for Latham on Sky News Outsiders, with guest ‘basket of deplorables’ instead

Sky News’ controversial political commentary show Outsiders has opted not to make a permanent replacement for presenter Mark Latham, who was sacked 11 days ago.

The new format instead sees co-hosts Spectator editor Rowan Dean and former politician Ross Cameron joined by a different guest each week.

Today’s guest was Johannes Leak, son of The Australian’s cartoonist Bill Leak who died a month ago.

After the sacking of Latham 11 days ago, Sky News took Outsiders off the air, saying only that it was in “in recess”.

Outsiders: Cameron, Dean and the now-axed Latham

The show – which drew comment about the lack of diversity in its lineup of three outspoken middle aged white men – first went on air for one episode late last year which rated an average of just 22,000 viewers.

After Outsiders’ brief return, Latham in particular caused a number of controversies through his on-air attacks on public figures. He made a number of potentially libellous comments about the likes of Sky News presenter and former NSW premier Kristina Kenneally, Sky News presenter Peter van Onselen and ABC broadcaster Wendy Harmer.

The final straw came  when it emerged that on an earlier show Latham had questioned the sexuality of a schoolboy, which was then labelled as bullying behaviour.

Today’s return to air was low key. Unusually, van Onselen, who was presenting the show immediately before The Outsiders did not tell viewers what was coming up next.

The first 20 minutes of Outsiders was dedicated to discussing Latham’s sacking.

Dean told viewers that there would be a revolving lineup of guest presenters, who he described as “a basket of deplorables”.

The phrase “basket of deplorables” was used by Hillary Clinton during last year’s US presidential campaign to describe supporters of Donald Trump.

Both Dean and Cameron paid tribute to Latham. Dean argued that the reporting of Latham’s comments about the schoolboy’s sexuality had not communicated its context. He said: “The reporting of the Sydney boys video was a disgrace. This was not about bullying.”

Cameron added: “Mark used to say ‘trigger warning, trigger warning, you’re entering an unsafe space’. It turned out to be most unsafe for Mark Latham.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.