I have never heard so much mealy-mouthed, sanctimonious clap-trap, or seen so much self-righteous salivating, as that which has surrounded Mitchell Pearce and the so-called ‘lewd’ tape. What a load of unmitigated garbage! In case you are unaware, Mr. Pearce is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League.
The reporting surrounding his recent misdemeanour has been atrocious. One journalist was so overcome he was momentarily rendered himself linguistically concussed. In his judgemental enthusiasm to share the minutiae of the tale, and to wring every possible holier-than-thou moment from his story, he described Mr. Pearce as having behaved ‘abominacsiouly’. If the truth be known, I am much more offended by the linguistic solecism than I am by anything I saw in the vision. The incorrect grammar, and the litany of mispronounciations with which one is constantly bombarded, is more troubling and is indicative of a serious decline in etymological standards.
The young man – and Mr. Pearce is 26 – is not a zoophile. He was not seriously considering an act of bestiality with the dog. I am assured that he did not urinate on himself and the couch. He spilt a glass of water. True, he did try and plant a kiss on one of the females. When she told him to stop, he did. He was invited to the premises and when she ordered him to leave, he did. He apologised, and in his drunken, shambolic state, he departed, but not before one of the females managed to learn the phone number of one of the offending men.
Mr. Pearce’s antics were not offensive. They were stupid, and regrettable. He was behaving like a drunken yobbo. So much for the person who recorded the whole unfortunate incident. The two media outlets paid a total of $60,000 for the vision that has, possibly, marred this young man’s career. What we should have said was: Here is an athlete who has a drinking problem. Something needs to be done, immediately, to set him back on the straight and narrow. I have spent nigh-on 50-years in the entertainment industry – and that includes about 15-years in, and around, television and print newsrooms. I promise you, I could recount stories about journalists, some of whom are high-profile and still working in the industry, that would shock you – to the core! If you are easily shocked, that is. As it happens, I’m not, and, quite frankly, I could not give a fat rat’s clacker what other people do in their spare time – providing it is not a breach of the law. As my mother used to say: “If it’s gossip, I’m not interested!”
The peccadilloes and sexual shenanigans of journalists – men and women – are, in some cases, much more salacious than anything you saw in that footage of Mr. Pearce. There was saying in television: “If it happens more than 100-kilometres out of town it doesn’t count!” Some of the dalliances between journalists and cameramen are legendary, and definitely not apocryphal. It so happens, I believe it is none of your business. My stories will go with me to the grave. Sadly we live in a celebrity culture and gossip and innuendo now pass as news. I was livid when the ABC carried a story about Kim Kardashian, who, as far as I can make-out, is famous for a sex tape and a big bum!
There is no question. Mr. Pearce’s behaviour was inappropriate but certainly not a hanging offence. I am flabbergasted at the depth of the condemnation and the hypocrisy of the media. If they were to turn an honest spotlight on themselves, and their colleagues, past and present, and tell the truth about their own antics, it would be a very different story.
Mr. Pearce deserves our support.
I have not always agreed with Amanda Vanstone’s strident and implacable public opinions; however, her considered judgement of former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has found me falling-into-line with her.
The former Howard government minister delivered a searing assessment of Mr Abbott’s decision to remain in parliament after being rolled by Malcolm Turnbull in September. Ms Vanstone argued Mr Abbott should leave politics and avoid the temptation to mount a leadership challenge: “I don’t think Tony’s friends are necessarily doing him any good by suggesting he should stay because it’s going to end in tears for him,” she said. “I think with the effort he’s put in, he’s entitled to leave parliament with a good reputation and I think if he stays, he won’t be able to do that.” She argued, and many will agree, Mr Abbott’s continued presence will be a destabilising force for the Prime Minister. Ms Vanstone also called on veteran government MPs, Bronwyn Bishop and Philip Ruddock, to step aside: “If you don’t get rid of old stock, what they call dead wood, you can’t bring new stock in,” she said. Add Kevin Andrews to the list!
It seems a number of Mr. Abbott’s supporters are whispering that he is still young enough to have another crack at the top job. I think it was obvious from the polls – Australians do not want Tony Abbott as their Prime Minister. It is time for him to move-on.
Roland can be heard each MONDAY morning on 3BA at 10.30 with Edwin Cowlishaw.