Culture

White Ribbon Are Slamming Mark Latham’s New Podcast, As Triple M Face Fury For Giving Him Air

Poor form, Triple M.

This post discusses domestic violence.

If you’ve been trying to figure out the cause of that sudden wave of nausea which struck you around 4pm yesterday, Triple M has announced a new podcast with former Labor leader and noted overflowing trashcan caught in a storm Mark Latham. An 18-minute segment of the one-hour show, Lathamland, was released last night and the full thing went to air at midday today. I’ll save you the trouble of listening to it: it’s exactly what you think.

Through his work as a columnist at the Australian Financial Review, panelist on The Verdict, and infamous impression of your drunk granddad the family doesn’t talk to anymore at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Latham has successfully marketed himself as the human embodiment of “controversy” over the past couple of years. With a consistently vocal stand against “political correctness” and views on women, race, and mental illness which range from a little misguided to incredibly harmful, he’s become a mainstay for Australian producers in need of the wholly unnecessary Angry Old Man angle on matters of genuine public importance.

This is a reputation still firmly intact after his podcast premiere which featured a defence of his right to use racial slurs and a new attack on domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty. After last year harassing the Australian of the Year — at one point, he mocked her as a “great judge of male character” in reference to her husband’s murder of her 11-year-old son — he accused her of running a “campaign against all men”.

“I worry that in the demonisation of men that Rosie Batty is causing more harm than good,” he said. ” I don’t think it’s about how men look at women, it’s about how men look at themselves. They’ve lost their self-esteem, they’ve lost their job, they’re welfare dependent, they’ve got other troubles, drugs, alcohol in their life. It’s that loss of self-esteem where I think they use domestic violence as a coping mechanism to get over all the crap in their lives.”

For their denial of the urgency  and scope of the problem and malice towards those who don’t deserve it, his statements are bringing the inevitable backlash online. But, more interesting and useful than that, it’s resulting in a lot of trouble for Triple M as well. After not only giving Latham a dedicated platform to speak from but also conveying him in a positive light — “Is Mark Latham the wild nutbag of Australian politics, or could he be just what this country needs?” the intro asks — they’re facing a deluge of complaints online.

 

It’s a problem made worse by the fact the station is also an official ambassador to White Ribbon, dedicated campaigners on men’s violence against women.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the organisation itself either. Since the full show went live this afternoon, White Ribbon have been posting sternly worded statements on the epidemic of domestic violence in Australia, making sure to tag both the Sydney and Melbourne branches of the station.

To their credit, both accounts have retweeted each comment to their 25,000+ followers, but the damage may already be done. While each outrage cycle around Mark Latham is as hideous and exhausting as the last, this one shows that a new onus is being placed on media outlets; those who allow him a prominent or unquestioned voice on issues that he has little to no experience or knowledge on.

triplem

“NOTHING TO SEE HERE, PLEASE MOVE ALONG.”

Note: at this point Lathamland is being considered a one-off segment. It’s unclear if Triple M will be commissioning it again.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.