‘Spider Baby’; Acceptable Broadcasting
Or Has Kyle Sandilands Gone Too Far?
have successfully removed
four extra limbs from a baby born with a rare genetic condition. Pakistan
This story, which for many of us was one of hope, has been turned into an offensive joke by repeat offender, shock jock Kyle Sandilands. Five minutes into Friday's program, with lights flashing and bells and whistles going off, Sandilands joked that ‘Spider Baby’ would be unbeatable in the Olympics as it scuttled past its competitors. http://debritz.net/audio/kjobaby.mp3
Despite being told repeatedly to stop, to turn his mike down, Kyle continued to joke about the fact that the lights were flashing, saying that babies would be writing letters of complaint. “Hello I am a baby who also has strange legs…”
Kyle’s disregard for, and indeed reluctance to adhere to the flashing lights, warning bells, whistles etc triggered by the radio producers suggests that his recently subdued style of broadcasting is fast approaching its use by date. This raises serious concerns for listeners, and should do likewise for his employers as to ignore the obvious tell tale signs could cost them their jobs and the radio network it's license.
Indeed under proposed licensing conditions handed down by the ACMA in March (http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_410318), Southern Cross Austereo have been warned that if they broadcast material which offends generally accepted standards of decency the network risks losing their licence. It is understood that SCA have appealed this decision arguing that the term ‘generally accepted standard of decency’ is broad and ambiguous and have labelled it unworkable. “Terms such as “decency”, “demeaning”, and “undue emphasis” are broad and ambiguous and mean different things to different people. In 2DAY FM’s view this makes the proposed licence condition unworkable.” http://southerncrossaustereo.com.au/pdf/SCA-ACMA-QA.pdf
Baby Umar Farooq before and after the successful surgery that removed his extra limbs. His father Imrain Shaikh said he was very grateful that his son was treated. “We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government and doctors for helping [sic] is successful operating my baby.” (http://www.thestandard.co.zw/home/71-health-a-fitness/34973-doctors-successfully-remove-extra-limbs-from-baby-born-with-six-legs.html)
We at the Sack Vile Kyle campaign believe that it is abundantly clear that the systems put in place by Austereo to keep Kyle's comments compliant to publicly acceptable standards of decency as set out by the ACMA are failing dismally. Kyle’s comments regarding baby Umar are far from ambiguous. It could be argued that Kyle has, in this instance, acted in a manner that offends the most lenient persons' standards of decency. It was not so long ago that the Australian community embraced conjoined twins Trishna and
Since Kyle’s November incident 150 days ago where he abused and demeaned journalist Alison Stephenson, 162 sponsors have withdrawn their financial backing of the show. It seems Austereo are struggling to attract new sponsors with only a handful of advertisements being played during the three hour long Kyle and Jackie O show. In order to entice new sponsors SCA have been sending out the abovementioned document explaining their interpretation of the ACMA investigation, its findings and their argument that the measures that they have put in place are enough to ensure that Kyle’s behaviour is compliant with generally accepted standards of decency. (Of particular interest are Q.2, 7 and 11 see link to SCA doc above.)
We are confident that the majority of Australians would find Kyle’s comments in relation to young baby Umar to be offensive in the extreme. Once again, Southern Cross Austereo have failed to rein in Kyle Sandilands. How much is too much?