It’s a little early in the year to be claiming we’ve reached peak media outrage.
But by the time most Australians were getting out of bed on Saturday morning, we were already approaching triple rollover territory.
First, over at the usually feminism-friendly Sydney Morning Herald, gossip columnist Andrew Hornery decided to lead his column by outing a sex worker.
The innuendo-laden column named the woman and the magazines she’d previously worked with before the apparent career change. The Private Sydney column included her photo, and revealed she had been listed on a website which offers escort services.
“She has been mysteriously absent from the site since PS began making inquiries,” reported Hornery.
Which makes Dr Mumbo wonder just what the mystery is. Presumably she didn’t want to be named and shamed. In which case, it wouldn’t be much of a mystery, would it?
Still with Fairfax, and a sports column published in both the SMH and The Age was soon creating its own storm on social media.
Columnist Malcolm Knox decided that the best way to demonstrate to Chris Gayle how offensive his treatment of journalist Mel McLaughlin had been, was to patronise him right back. Presumably, just so he’d know how it feels.
So Knox wrote his entire column in Jamaican patois. Repeat: He wrote the column in Jamaican patois. Sample paragraph:
“I didn’t take offence when you were charming ole sparkly eyes, because me didn’t have the foggiest idea what was comin’ out you mouth. Is you even speaking English? Me rasta brethren too – me spend seven days and six nights on a Qantas Holiday at Negril one time – so me jive talk better than any white man, cha! But the Universe Boss go too fast even for the I. So no offence taken!”
And just one more:
“You da man, brethren. You people have such lovely big smiles, the way your teeth and your own sparkly eyes shine out in the night-time, you’re a beautiful man. ‘Welcome to Jamaica, have a nice day’, heh heh heh.”
Very quickly, Knox was trending, with offended readers labelling it “journalistic blackface”.
But that wasn’t enough. Just to take it to a triple rollover, over on Seven’s Weekend Sunrise, the whole Chris Gayle storm appeared to have passed by Seven sports reporter Hamish McLachlan. He decided that this would be a great week to welcome new weather presenter Monika Radulovic with a hug while she tried to talk to viewers.
By 10am, he was back on air with one of those “If I’ve offended anyone…” apologies.
It’s going to be one of those years…