Media Watch made a point of showing the way that K&J trade in humiliation to the point of cruelty as part of their exploitation of their audience’s voyeuristic side. You can watch the Media Watch segment, read the transcript or watch the full show over at the ABC website. They also have links to the questions they sent to Austereo, to ACMA, to sponsors Optus and QANTAS and the responses that they received.
Media Watch commentary after playing the lead-up to the inquisition:
She’s nervous. She doesn’t want to discuss her sex life. Even with her own mother. Chortle chortle.
So that makes it a great idea to force her to discuss it, strapped to a lie detector, in front of one of the biggest radio audiences in Australia. In fact, it’ll be fun.
She’s scared. Ho ho ho.
And so, despite all the flashing red lights and screaming alarms, Kyle and Jackie, and the mother, steam on towards the train wreck.
Yes, this episode of Lie Detector was always going to be about shaming the girl with respect to sexual activity. No matter what she answered, even if she had said she was a virgin and the polygraph “technician” pretended that his machine said she was telling the truth, she was still going to have been asked embarrassing questions about sex on a radio show with a national audience. That her rape revelation ending up stymieing the planned slut-shaming and bringing this habitual humiliation to the attention of people who don’t listen to the K&J show was not what the station had planned – what they had planned was to humiliate a young girl in public about her sex life. It was never going to be what normal people would find acceptable, even before the rape revelation.
Because that’s what K&J do – search out desperate people (such as this mother who felt that her daughter was out of control) and set them up via dangled prizes to be humiliated and then manipulated into even more humiliation, all for titillation and ratings. Real people with real problems and real feelings. K&J couldn’t give a rat’s arse.
Media Watch goes on to play footage from an episode they describe as “heartless exploitation” where the show’s stars, producers and staff indulge in calculated manipulation of the emotions of two relatives who haven’t seen each other since the family separated while fleeing the Pol Pot regime, flying one to Australia to meet the other and then threatening to put her straight back on the plane without a meeting unless some game-show style hoops are jumped through.
Just part of K&J’s routine humiliation and emotional manipulation.
All program content must meet contemporary standards of decency, having regard to the likely characteristics of the audience of the licensee’s service.
— Commercial Radio Codes of Practice & Guidelines, 23rd September, 2004 – clause 1.5(a)
Media Watch asks, as do we: does this repeated pattern of behaviour abide by clause 1.5(a)? Is this decent content for a broadcaster to push out over the airwaves? To an audience with a very large proportion of children?
Crossposted from Sack Kyle and Jackie O