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Adios Kyle

By Chris Lloyd - posted Wednesday, 12 August 2009


I cannot really understand how such a talentless and unlikable person as Kyle Sandilands ends up earning $4 million per year. But then, I am not part of the Idol or 2DayFM demographic. I would rather listen to the ABC or watch the scifi channel.

I am also the kind of person who likes to question the source of public outrage, especially when there is the kind of one-sided moralistic media frenzy that we have seen over the past week.

Just in case you have been on holidays in Antarctica, Kyle and Jackie had a 14-year-old on their show, ostensibly to talk about drugs and sex, with her mother’s presence and consent. Drugs are illegal and so is sex for a 14-year-old. Yet, one assumes that the hosts were hoping and expecting that the girl would admit to, at least knowledge of, such illegal activities for the titillation of their teenage listeners. It is hard for me to see how this is entertaining, but if you look at some girly magazines it apparently is. And, let’s face it, some 14-year-olds do experiment with drugs and sex.

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If I were running the radio station, I would not have approved the segment. It is not only tacky but could lead to some bad consequences for the girl depending on what she admits to. But then, if I were running the radio station their ratings would be somewhere near Malcolm Turnbull’s. The main stream media is full of tacky trash where the welfare of the participants is not given a thought.

But mostly, stunts of this kind go unnoticed.

As would have been the case, I suspect, had the girl “only” said that she had smoked dope. It probably would not have made the news. How about if she had admitted to oral sex with her 15-year-old boyfriend? Full sex with her 15-year-old boyfriend? Not front page news I suspect, even though she is admitting to a crime. Though perhaps child welfare may have taken an interest.

Instead she unexpectedly revealed a more serious crime, that she had been raped two years previously. Inexplicably the mother, who went on the show to get a free Pink concert ticket, is supposed to have smirked.

Let’s look at why Kyle got thrown to the wolves. He has now lost his Australian Idol gig. According to Ten programmer David Mott

Australian Idol is very much a family program and its appeal is across the board. We’d like to think that all families can enjoy the program in front of the TV. It has become increasingly clear that as Idol has remained a family focused show … his radio persona has taken on a more controversial position.

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Well David, it was very clear that his radio persona was very different to his Idol persona long ago. If you had looked at the 2DayFM website, you would have found lots of good clean family fun: Kyle searching for the smallest penis in Sydney, having a race with mates to see who could make the fastest sperm donation.

But 2DayFM has now taken down content on its website showing these past stunts. The remaining stuff is pretty tame, though you can see Kyle’s scantily clad wife in some sexy poses with other women. It seems that Kyle is one of those blokes that like to watch.

So the conclusion is that Network Ten’s decision had nothing to do with Kyle having been a tacky, sensationalist jerk over the past few years. The mums and dads who watch Idol probably had no idea what he did on radio - but they do now. His sacking was due to the media driven public outcry of outraged moralists, feminist zealots and people who, understandably, just don’t like Kyle.

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First published in Club Troppo on August 6, 2009.



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About the Author

Chris Lloyd has been blogging for Club Troppo since 2006. He is an academic, a professional statistician and a former founding member of the Afro-rock band Musiki Manjaro. He has lived and worked in America, England and Hong Kong and maintains a blog on statistical theory and practice at Fishing in the Bay. The views expressed are the author's own.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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