A reminder: Whenever you see a celebrity in the news for saying something ‘controversial’, it is a publicity stunt. There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- When the celebrity is genuinely involved with a charity and speaks out. Fair enough. (Doesn’t happen much, though.)
- When the celebrity genuinely mucks up and does something clearly career damaging (ie getting done for drink driving etc); a genuine outburst involving taboo words etc, that then kills their career for life. (Again, these are rare occurrences).
Everything else is a stunt. This is pretty much immediately obvious to anyone who’s worked even on the fringes of the media and knows how impossible it is to get publicity, or get anywhere without it.
So, when a radio announcer makes an ‘outrageous’ comment or claim and this ‘sparks debate’, the only thing its really sparking is the ratings. I suppose this is all quite benign when its commercial media engaging in a pointless publicity circus, but its particularly annoying when publicly funded media, like the ABC, get sucked in as well and start ‘discussing’ the ‘controversy’. Then you have public funds being spent so a radio star can keep their lucrative job, (instead of having to get a real one.)
Its also irritating because most of the time, the people making the ‘outrageous’ comments, don’t actually believe them anyway, it was just something cooked up between them and a producer.
Remember, next time a media personality says something ‘outrageous’ and you feel the urge to publicly condemn or comment, you’re being ‘played’ for ratings. Every time. It’s time journalists grew up about this.