Despite Ian Thorpe’s announcement, ‘poofter’ remark from commentator shows how far we have to go

Despite Ian Thorpe’s announcement, ‘poofter’ remark from commentator shows how far we have to go
July 13, 2014
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Eryk Bagshaw
Eryk Bagshaw
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As Geelong AFL player Harry Taylor was carried on the shoulders of his teammates for his 150th game on Saturday night, he farewelled the crowd with a royal wave.

“I am up here getting ready for the game and I’ve just seen that crap from Harry – he’s a big poofter,” Channel Seven commentator Brian Taylor said.

It was a remark displaying the casual homophobia that still permeates some living rooms, offices, bars and stadiums around the country, only this time it was heard on national TV. Continue reading

You’re probably more racist than you think

June 16, 2014 – 9:03AM
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Ruby Hamad
Ruby Hamad
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Last week SMH journalist Mark Sawyer decided that racism no longer exists in Australia. It’s just that nowadays, people make “stupid comments.” Setting aside the fact that it is perfectly possible to be both stupid and racist, only someone who hasn’t personally experienced it has the privilege to claim racism doesn’t exist. Continue reading

Media tells only what they think we can handle

Media tell only what they think we can handle
March 5, 2014
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Sally Young
It is remarkable how the reporting of events blows with the winds of change.

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Wendi Deng
Wendi Deng Photo: AP
The relationship between the media and power is wonderfully encapsulated by the front-page headlines that appeared in Le Moniteur, the official French government daily, in the month of March 1815. During that month, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from his exile on the island of Elba and launched an extraordinary campaign that began with recapturing France, and ended on the battlefield at Waterloo.

March 10, Dateline Elba

The Beast Has Escaped Its Lair

March 15

The Rebel Bonaparte Evades Arrest

By Loyal Troops, Heads North

March 19

The Emperor At The Gates Of Paris

March 20

His Imperial Majesty To Enter

The City Today

These headlines show the athletic flexibility of media reporting as it responds to shifts in power.

In that case, Napoleon was being elevated as his power increased, but, of course, it also goes the other way as we regularly witness the downfall of previously powerful individuals.

Most vulnerable of all are the women who are powerful by association because they are in a relationship with a powerful man. If they separate from him or – even worse – leave him, their shift from protected species to fair game can be dizzyingly abrupt. Continue reading