The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Morons On Radio

Posted by caitlinate on July 29, 2009

I’m not really sure where to start with this one. There’s so little analysis need, it’s just fucked.

The rather odious team of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson host the 2DayFM radio breakfast show “The Kyle and Jackie O Show” out of Sydney. One on their segments on the show is a lie detector test, publicised on their website as:

“Cheating, drinking, lesbian marriage – we’ve revealed it all as we strap Sydney into the dreaded Lie Detector.”

A brief survey of the website also brings up other segments of, uh, interest. I won’t link to them but there is a photo gallery featuring shots of Sandliands’ wife – Tamara – from a recent Ralph magazine shoot, a segment where they scare their boss with a snake and he “screams like a girl” and a competition for ‘Sydneys smallest man’ where if you show the on-air duo your penis and it’s small they will give you money.

This morning for the well hyped lie detector segment a woman brought her daughter in to interrogate her about her experiences with sex and drugs. Before the interview even started the young woman said to Sandilands:

“I’m scared … it’s not fair.”

The interview should have stopped here. It didn’t.

After some initial questions about skipping school the conversation between the woman and her fourteen year old daughter went something like this:

Woman: Have you had sex?

Child: I’ve already told you the story of this… and don’t smile about this because it’s not funny… I was raped when I was twelve years old.

After a prolonged silence, Sandilands interjected to say:

“Right … And is that the only experience you have had?”

The woman then mentioned she only became aware of the rape “a few months ago”, despite stating earlier she wasn’t completely sure if her daughter engaged in intercourse. Her daughter replied:

“And yet you still asked me the question.”

According to ABC News the New South Wales Rape Crisis Centre manager Karen Willis stated the incident was managed appallingly by radio host Sandilands:

“Firstly he’s ignoring that there’s been a crime, but then calling it a sexual experience and then going ‘oh have you had any others?'”

I want to know why on earth the radio show at any point thought it appropriate to strap a fourteen year old into a polygraph and ask her about sex? It is totally inappropriate for anyone, let alone this ignorant and dimwitted duo, to ask a young woman about her sexual experiences in a situation where she is being forced to answer. It’s indescribably wrong and a fairly enormous invasion of privacy to then broadcast it to however many listeners they have. It’s completely abhorrent to then even try continuing to interview the girl after she’s revealed that she has been sexually assaulted.

The defense seems to be that the mother had requested the questioning. I don’t care. The young woman was clearly uncomfortable and clearly didn’t want to be there. Once this was clear, the interview shouldn’t have gone ahead, regardless of what the mother wished. Strangely enough, I don’t really think that the welfare of the young woman was high on 2DayFM’s list of priorities.

Karen Willis commented further, remarking on the mothers actions:

“I have serious concerns about [the] mum and her behaviour and I’m hoping there has been some sort of report. It sounds like she’s tried to tell [her] mum and she hasn’t taken it seriously. [Rape is] a serious crime that a little girl should not have to experience and, at 12, she is a little girl.”

On the topic of the mother, the Department of Child Services is apparently now getting involved. From The Daily Telegraph:

NSW Community Services spokeswoman Linda Burney said DOCS was seeking to speak with the girl’s mother. She said caseworkers wanted to provide urgent help to the girl to ensure she receives counselling. If police were not alerted at the time of the rape, the spokeswoman said DOCS would inform them now. The Minister’s office today also questioned the appropriateness of the segment for radio.

Further quotes from The Sydney Morning Herald have Burney criticising the segment as:

‘‘…in very poor taste and highly irresponsible… I have listened to the segment and I am appalled at what I’ve heard… it was apparent that the announcers were only interested in shock value and entertainment and weren’t at all concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of a 14 year old.’’

Why, if her daughter had told her she had been raped, did this woman allow her to go on a radio quiz show in which she would be asked about sex? The woman either doesn’t believe or doesn’t care about what her daughter has told her. Talk about neglectful. Who in their right mind forces their kid onto live commercial radio as a responsible parenting method?

You can lodge a complaint here.


12 Responses to “Morons On Radio”

  1. Clem Bastow said

    Thanks for covering this, Caitlin – I’m still struggling to get my head around it. Particularly the fact that, even if 2DayFM and co. really didn’t know about the girl’s past, as they claim – or the “mother” didn’t tell them), on what planet did they think it would be okay to hook a CHILD up to a lie-detector and ask her, live on radio, about sex and drugs? The whole thing is spectacularly awful.

  2. bri said

    Every adult involved in this has a hell of a lot to answer for.
    Poor kid.

  3. Ben Kirby said

    Grate work.. These people need to be stopped they are bad news for the youth of Austraila!!!

    Who bank roll’s this crap anyway what good can come out of putting a 14 yr old girl is that kind of Place!!!

  4. Nic Heath said

    News sites still carry links to the audio – it’s probably not to the girl’s benefit that half of Australia have now heard her disclosing that she had been raped (and I just heard it replayed on Lateline, voices distorted).

    I’m not surprised tho that Kyle and Jackie O (or their program) are responsible for this stunt.

  5. I thought you ladies would post something on this, and am glad that you have.

    I agree that the issue here is that they forced a minor, in an obvious position of disempowerment and without her consent, to answer questions about her sex life for the titillation of their audience. That she ended up revealing the information that she did is only a symptom of what was wrong with this segment, rather than the issue itself.

    Sadly, I imagine most of the media coverage of the issue will focus on the fact that they inadvertently harrassed a rape victim (and one that, due to her age, is free of the ambiguities our society usually lumps upon rape victims – I’m thinking Clare and Matthew Johns here), rather than that it is entirely inappropriate and unethical to be questioning minors about the sex lives, or indeed harrassing anyone at all.

  6. […] Said What Rachel Hills on Morons On RadioNic Heath on Morons On RadioBen Kirby on Morons On Radiobri on Morons On RadioClem […]

  7. Christine said

    Is there any chance that at least some of the people who listen to this radio programme might have their minds poked enough to actually consider what this sort of ‘entertainment’ is worth?

    And yeah, maybe the adults responsible for what happened too might get a bit of insight too?

    I’m hoping this is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and next time we hear of this young woman she is VERY rich with radio station compensation. That should be a pain they can understand.

  8. I find it scary that the girl says ” I’ve already told you the story of this… and don’t smile about this because it’s not funny… I was raped when I was twelve years old.”

    Don’t smile? Her Mother KNOWS she has been raped and is smiling about it as if its amusing!! WTF

  9. Sharon Byard said

    I’m writing up my complaint now and I’ll bet they use section 7.1 of the Codes to *try* to get themselves out of trouble. That section states that a failure to comply with the Codes will not be considered a breach if it was based on a reasonable mistake, or reasonable reliance on another person’s information, or basically, if they can find someone else to blame it on. That seems to be the way they’ve been arguing it in the media.

    My complaint states that breaches of the Codes occurred on multiple occasions:
    1) setting the segment up,
    2) when on air, in allowing the “interrogation” to begin after the girls expressed fear and objections about fairness,
    3) not using or not having available a dump button and other procedures for terminating unsuitable material in a live segment.
    I’m also maintaining that 2Day FM did NOT act reasonably, regardless of what information it may or may not have had about the girl’s history, given
    1) the nature of the segment and
    2) the mother’s stated proposed line of questioning and
    3) the age of the girl and
    4) the girl’s on-air statement that she was scared and that it was not fair.

    I’m trying to cover any holes they might use to wriggle through.

  10. femina said

    You know, Kyle and Jackie are idiots for hosting such garbage but really they are just the puppets. The people that should be held accountable are the producers- they come up with the putrid gimmicks and games. And their response to this fiasco has been less than impressive.

    I agree Miss Addict. The fact that a mother, who knew that her daughter had been raped, could do this is unforgiveable. It actually sounds like she was in denial about the whole thing which makes me think that maybe the young girl was raped by a family member? I just hope she has the right support and counselling in place to move on fairly intact.

  11. […] and she said she was, but she was visibly shaken. I’d been nursing deep, frustrated rage at 2day FM and Kyle Sandilands, so I was already on edge about the exploitation of teenagers, so the two events felt connected to […]

  12. I’m also sending in a written complaint, and to cover what Sharon Byard says at comment 9 about the radio station trying to wriggle out of responsibility, I’ve only focussed on the fact that a 14-year-old was to be asked questions about her sex life.

    They can’t wriggle out of that, it’s obvious, and it was deliberate on the radio station’s part. It also means they can’t whine about the mother not telling them everything she knew.

    You can read my letter at

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