EDDIE, James, Danny, Tony, Caroline, the lot of you – hang your heads in bloody shame.
What started out, over a week ago mind you, as genuinely offensive comments has turned into a pitiful celebrity boxing match where the original issue has become borderline redundant and the genuine victims long forgotten.
Firstly, the comments went too far, no question. The premise of Caroline Wilson going down the slide is fantastic, what a high profile, ground-breaking football personality and to see her involved would be such a fillip for the Cure for Motor Neurone Disease Foundation.
But once the conversation turned towards holding her under, it’s too far, no doubt.
These comments went to broadcast mid-afternoon last Monday yet it took the best part of seven days for an Erin Riley to write about the remarks. She posted the story on her own website and then the grubby vultures got stuck into the carcass.
Caroline Wilson went on her employer station, 3AW, to totally reinforce the hurt caused by those Triple M boys and to initiate the next chapter in their long-going war, the everlasting to and fro between two heavyweights of the football media.
Meanwhile, Neil Mitchell also spoke to Tony Shaw, someone to which I am a massive fan. McGuire in his token apology in the morning made the comparison the banter he was a part of Queen’s Birthday with the broadcast at the same time on the 3AW.
Dwayne Russell was suggesting Wilson head down the slide next year where Shaw, eerily similar to McGuire and friends, too said that she should stay under.
Wilson would go on to say that “disgracefully, McGuire had attempted to compare his comments last Monday with a conversation of an entirely different kind held in the 3AW broadcast box involving Tony Shaw.
“I am so sorry that my colleague, who made a brief remark to my face and there it ended, has been compared with the bully boys.”
Listen to the audio. The intent may have been somewhat different but the content was either the same or we’re splitting hairs. The context was comparable though yet according to Wilson, “the difference here is I was there, it was shut down immediately after that comment, very different to the way the other conversation continued.“
If I’m sexist to your face, or insinuate violent behaviour in your presence, the offence is forfeited? Or is it because you publicly do not get along with McGuire and Brayshaw that the comments therefore hurt more and the outrage ensues?
But is Wilson offended personally, or are the comments offensive to the general public because they are seen as sexist?
She is as divisive as they come. Just like Mark Robinson, who happens to be a man, but the comparisons are there.
The vitriol between media people, such as Wilson and Robinson, are based on their egotistical positions of being the chief football writer for a Melbourne daily where they are brands upon themselves. Wilson, Robinson, McGuire especially, spit venom like it’s nothing, happy to send it out but not to cop it.
No-one is held to account because they are untouchable. McGuire has too much power, Wilson, because she’s female. Is she protected by sexism, or is that sexist to consider? Hopefully neither.
“As a journalist with strong opinions I fully expect strong feedback. Every time I write a column which might hurt someone I’m fully cognisant of how that subject will feel and respond,” she says.
Is that right though? James Hird is far from a Saint worthy of our sympathy but the campaign she had against him, how cognisant was she? She didn’t care one iota. She sacked him, got it wrong, and then refused to apologise.
“No journalist, no commentator, male or female, should have to put up with personal attacks,” she adds. Her continual, unsolicited campaign against Brayshaw’s chairmanship is nothing but utterly personal, get serious. Not as offensive as sexism or domestic violence, but a personal attack nonetheless.
Caroline Wilson will be fine. She had a right to be offended but her outrage intensifies because it was from her media enemies. If it was from someone she liked, namely a Collingwood premiership captain, it was a non-story.
Tony Shaw went on radio, he said he had done nothing wrong and was emotional because this was tarnishing his reputation. It has come to this now?! Get seriouser.
Those up in arms about this story, which has made something of it so many days after it occurred, do so because of the media battlefield, do so because of personalities and brands involved and because of a disdain for someone involved, possibly even with a media vehicle to air it.
Not because of a deep ceded disgust for the content that went to air or for a true and genuine empathy for the real victims.
Are the comments wrong? Yes. Is Wilson entitled to be offended by Triple M and not by Tony Shaw? Sure. Could Shaw’s comments be seen as awful as those on the FM dial? Bloody too right they could, and from there it’s no longer about Wilson, it’s about the true victims of this saga.
The voiceless sufferers of domestic violence who don’t get to pick and choose when they are offended by fellow media enemies, with brands to protect and reputations to maintain.
Domestic violence is not to be taken lightly and be paid lip service like that.
And finally, in this precise context the one I feel most sorry for isn’t Wilson at all; it’s the hard work of Neale Daniher. He is someone who is terminally ill, who is going above and beyond and is truly making a difference. His fundraising abilities are astonishing and have been shamefully hijacked by personalities who should know better.
His tireless work and stunning legacy will save lives – Wilson, McGuire, the lot of them couldn’t give a stuff about anyone other than themselves.