The Australian and many other sources report that Austereo has suspended 2Day FM hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O and their show indefinitely for their revictimisation of a 14 year-old rape victim on-air last week. Advertisers are boycotting the network and Sandilands’ other contracts are in jeopardy. A firm response.
From the Department of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, this story from Australia:
Austereo’s Kyle and Jackie O Show sparked the controversy this morning when the 14-year-old girl revealed on air that she had been raped.
The girl’s mother submitted the teen to the test due to her concerns about her daughter’s experiences with drugs and sex and wagging school. Before the actual test, the girl admitted on air to Sandilands, â€œI’m scared … its not fair.â€
Her mother asked her daughter: â€œHave you ever had sex?â€ The 14-year-old replied: â€œI’ve already told you the story about this … and don’t look at me and smile because its not funny.â€
After a pause, she raised her voice with frustration and said: â€œOh okay, I got raped when I was 12 years old.â€
After a long pause, Sandilands then asked â€œRight … is that the only experience you’ve had?” before the mother admitted she knew of the rape â€œa couple of months ago”.
Her daughter yelled, â€œYet you still asked me the question!
One of the right’s responses to the Hikoi yesterday has been to complain about the presence of children on the march which disingenuous comments like “Why are there school children there?”. One could criticise these comments for relying on barely hidden stereotypes about MÄori, or for gross hypocrisy given the “family values” movements “family friendly” week day marches, but anyhow â€¦ what I actually want to talk about is why it is important that children are politically active.
As a child I attended many demonstrations, protests and marches: some at the suggestion of my parents, some off my own bat. I remember, as a 14 year old, asking my parents to write me a note for school so I could attend a rally at parliament in support of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill; I attended in school uniform with no school friends or family members. I also remember being in Parliament the night it was passed Â and realising that we had done it â€“ I was a very very small part of that “we”, butÂ Â I was a part of that “we”. I grew into a politically engaged young adult, and now adult. I know that one can make a difference, I know that my voice matters and that I can make it heard.
That is an amazing thing to know, and that is at the heart of democracy â€“ knowing that our opinions are respected, and that raising our voices is worthwhile.
I hope that, when Key and Hide back down, every child on that march is told “you did that, together we made that difference”, I hope that when they get old enough to vote they will vote in the seats they created, I hope that when they see something wrong in the future they say “I know I can do something about that”.
Raising democratic children is about way more than school, it is about raising children who know they have power and know how to exercise it.
… or in this case, trying to brainwash them. Ali Ikram’s Political Week in Review includes a clip of John Key at a rally against the Waterview decision telling a wee kid in a stylish National-Blue jersey with ACT-Yellow shoulder pads:
Your favourite colour is blue, ok? Not red. Those people, they’re cold and desperate.
Now, he’s clearly hamming it up for the camera crew and present adults, but this is nasty, divisive stuff. Leave the kids out of it, at least until they’re old enough to know that you can’t always believe what strange men tell you.
This isn’t quite as outrageous as those parents who took their hapless kids along to protest in favour of violence against children, but it’s more evidence against the moderate, inclusive Brand Key.
Teenager objects to school uniform policy is hardly news – unless the teenager is as photogenic as young Sheridan Marris, whose green streaks have landed her on the front page of today’s Rodney Times and Stuff’s splash image.
It works – this non-story is (as of the time of writing) on Stuff’s `Most Viewed’ list, along with stories such as “League’s group sex romps to continue”; “Man finds wife and mate on porn DVD” and “Babysitter sentenced for sex with boy”. Sheridan now has excellent publicity for her petition to have the rules at Rodney College changed, while her image has been employed to the same effect as those headlines. That’s how the mutual exploitation model of the media works; but is the payoff worth it?
Update 19:15: On the Stuff front page, the headshot of `world’s hottest woman’ Olivia Wilde is now positioned right next to the similarly-composed headshot of 13 year-old Marris.