Kyle’s listeners the forgotten villains in this scandal
Last week’s on-air rape-fuelled Hindenberg disaster piloted by 2Day FM’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O has raised so many issues it’s like the Big Day Out of blame, where every act’s a red-hot headliner.
The national festival of finger-pointing opened with shots at the bumbling Sandilands, followed closely by jabs at the mother’s parenting skills, finishing up with blasts at the station for allowing such a suspect segment to air in the first place. All great acts and definitely worth a good moshing over.
But there’s one elusive and hard-to-pin party who haven’t had the lynch mob wield a flaming torch in their faces yet. They are the hardcore listeners who actively pander to the untouchable antics of Kyle and Jackie O by religiously setting the dial in their direction.
For all the outrage this event has generated, there’s absolutely no point tizzing up and screaming “Kyle needs to go!” or, “You’ve gone too far this time Sandilands!” or, “You’ve stooped to a new low!”
It’s not a new low. It’s an old low.
It’s a very old and very boring song still stuck on high rotation that refuses to relinquish its spot at the top of the pops, and I don’t know why we continue to listen to it.
The most recent Nielson stats have Kyle and Jackie O cornering an 11.4% Sydney market share, attracting a cumulative audience of just over half a million listeners, which makes them the number one FM breakfast radio show in town. And the reason they’re ruling the ratings is because they have a rabid fanbase who won’t and more importantly can’t hear a word against them.
Kyle and Jackie O are like the spoilt only-child of a yuppie inner city couple - brattish, attention seeking, unapologetic, and worshiped for it every step of the way. And we assume the role of doe-eyed parents, happily condoning our truculent toddlers’ unruly behaviour, stepping in only when they actually start punching other kids at the day-care centre.
Even then it’s merely a featherlight “tut-tut” followed by a feeble “sowwy mummy” and all is forgotten, as we wait to be enthralled with the next brain-dead stunt our kids dream up where men ejaculate in toilets to see who has the bigger sperm count, or half naked women drip themselves in honey and roll around in feathers and cash.
Seems like we’re due for a Benny Hill revival any tick of the clock.
Their appeal is perplexing at best. If you think there’s something amazingly witty about Kyle’s “shtick” such as calling an Australian Idol contestant a “mong”, or are fooled by Jackie O’s role of moral watchdog simply because she is the keeper of the “Oh Kyle, bad boy! He didn’t mean that everyone!” get out of jail free card, then you probably believe Jerry Springer is a counseling service and not an exploitation freak show.
Kyle’s clearly a fan of the former, as he postured on The Punch about the ethics of last week’s lie-detector test:
“Like a lot of mothers worried about their kid, she just wanted to find out what was going on.”
Absolutely. And like any good parent, she drove her straight to the nearest commercial FM radio station and strapped her to a polygraph machine. It’s not entertainment - it’s a vital community service.
Now why does everyone know this is complete baloney, yet we still flock to the airwaves confirming that our hosts can do no wrong, and that we can’t live without them? As if no one could replace the unique genius that only this pair possess?
Station mates Hamish and Andy must be scratching a pair of bald spots the size of Lake Michigan into their skulls.
Moreover, what does it say about an audience that the only reason a stunt where a 14-year-old girl was asked questions about sex and drugs has become a topic of controversy is because she just so happened to blurt out she’d been raped? Are we really that far gone?
Don’t remove yourself from this equation of outrage. We are not innocent bystanders in the rise of this deplorable duo.
King Kyle wasn’t sunning himself by the Andrew Boy Charlton pool when a naked goddess sprang forth from the shallow end, thrust a shimmering sword into his mits, and signified his divine right to wield almighty power over any subject in his God given kingdom.
From the lowly and vulnerable mud-stained serf, ripe to be exploited for cheap laughs, to the lords of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, powerless to do nothing but shake their heads and wait for the masses to revolt – we clearly know who the sovereign is in this realm.
Let’s not beat around the bush, we didn’t inherit these mundane monarchs - we chose them.
And as loyal subjects it seems we’re only too happy to keep them in power by offering up our taxes, just so another round of sparkling jewels can be encrusted on their golden crowns, and a few more shiny Porsches can clutter their driveways.
God save the King? Heaven help us all.
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