The Kyle & Jackie O radio segement that went horribly wrong.

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kyle_jakieoIt’s not often I agree with, actually I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with Kyle Sandlilands or taken his side or sided with the ‘minority’ when the media are having a go at him, but yesterday that day came.

If you missed the story here’s some background. A mother bought her 14 year old daughter on the Kyle & Jackie O show to take a lie detector test because she was concerned about her taking drugs, partying and having sex.

From ninemsn: The teenager’s mother brought her onto the 2DayFM segment to be questioned about her drug use and whether she had been having sex after she ran away from home.

When asked if she had ever had sex, the girl said: “I’ve already told you the story about this … and don’t look at me and smile because it’s not funny.”

She then raised her voice, saying: “Oh okay … I got raped when I was 12 years old.”

There was silence for a few seconds before host Kyle Sandilands said: “Right … is that the only experience you’ve had?”

After Sandiland’s comment’s Jackie O went into damage control, saying she and her fellow host did not know about the girl’s past.

“I think we might actually abort this segment,” Jackie O said.

“That’s something we probably should have known before we started,” Sandilands said.

Jackie O continued, saying: “I had no idea you’d been through something like that so I’m really sorry and we’ll just let you off the hook I think … I think it’s best not to continue.”

She asked if the girl was “all right” before offering her help from a counsellor.

The girl’s mother said her daughter had only told her about the rape a month before and had not spoken to anyone about the rape.

“If you guys haven’t had any counselling then we’re happy to pick up the bill for that — we’ve got [counsellors] here,” Sandilands said.

“That might answer some of the questions you guys are having difficulty communicating with.”

SO everyone was up in arms for numerous reasons, some I agree with and some I don’t.

The situation as I see it:

The mother should never have taken her daughter onto the show in the first place. That’s the first problem. The second part of it, the mother especially shouldn’t have taken her daughter on the show already knowing that she had been raped as a 12 year old.

Kyle & Jackie never should have thought it was ok to hook up a 14 year old girl to a lie detector test and really the segment should never have happened.

I really think that what Kyle said “Right … is that the only experience you’ve had?” was a panicked reaction. This is what Kyle had to say yesterday from The Punch website:

“There have only been a few occasions in my whole career that I’ve been sideswiped by something. When faced with a situation like what happened today, when a girl revealed live on air that she had been raped when she was 12, you react like anyone else. I was horrified.

We have had the lie detector thing on regularly for about six years. It’s a semi-regular segment on the show. We check with the mother before hand, and go through the questions they want asked.

I’m in New Zealand this week and all I have is a microphone, a computer screen, and a camera that relays back to Jackie and the producers in the studio.

The mum hadn’t said anything about the rape. She was concerned that her daughter was on drugs or was sexually active. Like a lot of mothers worried about their kid, she just wanted to find out what was going on.

She put her on and at the second question the girl said she had been raped when she was 12.

We were stunned.

To tell you the truth I was floundering around, signalling to the producers and Jackie – down the camera – indicating that we had to get it off air.

I didn’t realise I had said “Have you had any other experiences?”

At the same time I was speaking I was signalling to Jackie that we had to terminate the segment. I went into a slight panic as how to get the thing off the air and I was more focused on making that happen than on what I said.

I’m sorry for her that it turned out like that. I’ve certainly pissed off a lot of journos over the years but I’m sad that they’re using the rape of a 12-year-old girl to have a go at me.

We muck around a lot on the radio but off the air there’s lots of different things we do with people. Contrary to popular belief, Jackie and I care a lot about people.

As for what I said, it wasn’t intended to hurt. If people have found it appalling or offensive I’m sorry for them that feel that way, but I would ask people to put themselves into the situation where someone says to you during a live radio show that they have been raped.”

2Day FM also released a statement:

“2Day FM were saddened by the turn of events this morning. In the normal course of preparing the segment all due care and consideration was given to the family and clearly we didn?t know anything about this traumatic incident. The moment we became aware of it was live on air and we brought it to an end as soon as we possibly could.
As is only appropriate, we are offering all the assistance we can to the family, including counselling, in what is of course an extraordinarily difficult situation.”

So for the first time in my life I am actually inclined to a) believe Kyle and Jackie when they say they didn’t know about the situation and b) believe that Kyle truly did panic and anything could have come out of his mouth at that point in time.

There has been a huge uproar to take Kyle and Jackie off the air and comparing them to the Chaser boys and their sick children’s skit when really it’s like comparing apples with pancakes, not even close to being similar. The radio ‘stunt’ was not intentional, unlike the Chaser stunt which is claimed not to have been intentional but the guys knew exactly what they were doing and weren’t faced with a shocking submission from a 14 year old girl live on air.

So who is the person that should be copping all the heat over this. The mother. Plain and simple. How could she force her daughter onto a radio show like that knowing what she knew, and not only did she know, she clearly didn’t do anything to help her daughter. Yes how Kyle handled the situation was terrible but how the mother has handled her daughter is horrific.

So everyone get off their sack Kyle and Jackie O bandwagon and take a look at the real problem. This poor child clearly doesn’t have a good relationship with her mother, and the mother clearly needs help just as much as her daughter. Let’s hope she gets that help.

This morning’s show: Unfortunately I didn’t hear the show this morning, but according to Mamamia:

“Much of the show was spent talking about the MEDIA reaction to what happened but they certainly didn’t shy away from the criticism. What disheartened – and infuriated – me, was the way the whole thing was somehow twisted into “isn’t it great that this girl and her family now have the help and support they need”. From DOCS. From the police. From counsellors.  The vast majority of callers seemed to agree with this.”

Let’s hope Kyle and Jackie O and their producers have learnt their lesson about what is appropriate and what is just a rating stunt. Unfortunately yes at the end of the day this has all been at the expense of a 14 year old girl.

If you would like to listen to the segment: Click Here.

1 Comment
  • Ben
    July 30, 2009

    Like you Ami i dont usually back Kyle up, but it seems like it was just a knee jerk reaction, and i think they both tried to diffuse the situation to the best of their ability. I think the entire blame should be placed on the mother.

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