Culture

The Nine Most Horrifying Quotes From Geoffrey Barker’s ‘TV Babes’ Piece

Now with added gifs!

If you’re feeling generous, you might want to assume that the poorly-executed intention behind Geoffrey Barker’s opinion piece in The Age this morning was to take the major commercial networks to task for offering up digestible, bite-sized news segments in place of traditional reportage.

But even if you’re feeling generous this morning, you can’t deny that what he pulled out of his butt instead was one of the most demeaning, belittling, misogynistic pieces of crap that’s ever been printed in a major newspaper.

Hello Geoffrey Barker. Have you met “Sharon or Tegan or whatever they are called”? It turns out they also are human, and also they can read.

1. When he describes what professional female journalists on commercial TV news look like:

“The hair, usually blonde, tumbles artfully onto the shoulders. The eyes, usually blue, sparkle brightly. The complexions are perfect. The teeth are arctic white.”

2. When he describes what the breasts of professional female journalists on commercial TV news look like:

“The breasts are pert and perky.”

3. When he describes what professional female journalists on commercial TV news sound like:

“Post-pubescent babes [filling] TV screens with their urgent and empty chatter … It does not much matter what the babes have to say about the mayhem and tragedy and whatever else attracts the attention of their newsrooms.”

4. When he refers to professional female journalists on commercial TV news by name: 

“Sharon or Tegan or whatever they are called”

5. When he describes the career paths of professional female journalists on commercial TV news:

“They pour out of undistinguished universities with mickey-mouse diplomas in media studies and communications and narcissistic personalities and egos bigger than Tokyo … They are fodder for TV newsrooms looking for eye-candy rather than durable journalistic talent that costs money.”

6. When he describes the motivations of professional female journalists on commercial TV news:

“The prospect, however distant, of public recognition, of celebrity, is their cocaine … [News] is not a stand-up routine to be performed by babes pursuing fame.”

7. When he describes professional female journalists on commercial TV news in the most patronising way possible:

“Cute naifs whose intellectual and emotional range is limited mainly to confected shock, horror and outrage when confronted by the pedestrian if awful events that they cover.”

8. When he tries to give professional female journalists on commercial TV news advice:

“Somebody needs to explain to them that the world is not created anew every day, that there is little that is new under the sun, and that restraint and curiosity can be useful journalistic tools.”

9. When he tries to counteract the sexism plastered over his column with the weakest disclaimer ever:

“(and many of the men)”

Correction: This post initially claimed Geoffrey Barker was responsible for only eight horrifying quotes. It turns out there was nine of them. (Actually, there was a whole lot more.)