This week we all learnt something new.

Who would have thought that our ruler and Prime Minister Clive Palmer was so skilled at the back-flip that he could have been an Olympic Gymnast?

Those in the Senate certainly learnt that this week when the Carbon Tax and the changes to financial advice legislation hit the agenda.

However there were a couple of other things that we were also reminded of this week.  It turns out the planet isn’t flat, the Abbott/Hockey budget isn’t fair, and that Ian Thorpe isn’t straight.

None of these came as any great surprise of course but that didn’t stop the media from beating one of these facts up as if it was the most startling revelation of the century.

The Ian Thorpe interview by Michael Parkinson was one of the most hyped up interviews I’ve ever seen. It was amazing how many people tuned in to hear someone asked a question they already knew the answer to and couldn’t really care what the answer was at any rate.

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Channel 10 would like you to think that its ratings win was because there is so much interest in Ian Thorpe’s sexuality.

I’m not quite so sure.

The reason I tuned in, and I suspect so many others tuned in is because there was nothing else on. It was the least nauseating of the programmes on the major commercial networks.

The two alternatives were both reality TV talent (I use the word lightly) shows involving B Grade musical celebrities who once had an ounce of credibility and are now making a living by displaying their lack of acting ability when faking enthusiasm for some poor kid with a dream on TV. These shows look and feel like reruns of reruns of reruns.

The question to me regarding the Thorpe interview is Why?

Why the enormous fuss?

Why now?

And why was this the most over-hyped event since Geoffrey Edelston’s last wedding?

Grandad was so proud

Grandad was so proud

If Ian Thorpe wanted to come out he could have done it on Sixty Minutes, A Current Affair, or if it had to be done on Channel 10 on The Project.

For that matter he could have done it on radio, in the printed press, or even via his Facebook page or by using Twitter.

Instead Channel 10 thought that Ian Thorpies coming out warranted a massive payment of around $400,000 to Thorpe and also warranted the  interview skills of Sir Michael Parkinson for a coming out that was completely pre-planned.

It is worth noting that Sir Michael Parkinson didn’t request an interview with Thorpe either, he was asked if he would interview Thorpe he told presenters on The Project.

Clearly given it was pretty much the first thing Parkinson asked Thorpe, his coming clean and coming out was the main reason for the interview. It certainly set the tone for the rest of the chat.

Not only that all of the promos on Channel 10 for the interview focused on nothing else but the question of whether or not Thorpe was gay.

Maybe it’s just me but it kind of felt like someone’s sexuality was being exploited by a television network.

I don’t blame Thorpie either, after all if I was looking to come out and there was any way of doing it that paid a king’s ransom and boosted my profile for possible sponsors of course I’d take it…

Some would call it progress that society has gotten to the point of acceptance where so many TV shows have a token gay or lesbian person on them.

Some would, but not me.

Having a token gay man or lesbian and highlighting their sexuality is not dissimilar to the token black guy we used to see on so many TV shows it was eventually spoofed by South Park.

South Parks Token

South Parks Token

Acceptance of someone’s sexuality should not be about singling them out and putting a label on them as we see so often these days, particularly on reality TV shows.

For me real progress will be when nobody cares if someone is gay or not, because you know what? Unless you are the one in a relationship with them it means nothing really.

Real progress will be when a massive chunk of a television shows cast is gay or lesbian and we are all blissfully unaware and none of them have to dress or talk in a way that makes it a focal point

I am curious what it has Channel 10 has planned for Ian Thorpe as it seems to me with the amount of money they have spent that they would be seeking more than a one night ratings spike and more than likely view their spending as an investment.

I just hope that whatever their plan it is not about further exploitation of his sexuality.

All this fuss begs the question, does Thorpe really need to be a gay swimming superstar to achieve ratings success?

Can’t he just be a swimming superstar?

Or isn’t that enough anymore?

 

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3 thoughts on “No News- Ian Thorpes coming out and exploitation

  1. Thanks Wixxy, in a nutshell basically that sums up the absurd hype, media frenzy over Thorpes’ confirmation of that which most of Australia knew and couldn’t give a stuff, well until the media circus.
    I couldn’t give a damn about Ian’s private life and sexual preferences. I didn’t and haven’t watched the i/v, it is none of my business.

    However I did find of more than passing interest your comment…”The reason I tuned in, and I suspect so many others tuned in is because there was nothing else on. It was the least nauseating of the programmes on the major commercial networks”.
    That is the reason I retain my Foxtel sub. I agree with all who say the majority of channels are junk, full of it. But the Sports channels offer far better coverage of National and particularly International Sport than anything the free to air channels come close to providing. Selection of Overseas News Channels are also excellent. So I subscribe for the service of those particular channels.

    Now I detest Murdoch and his dirty grubby influence on the MSM in this country, loathe him and his media outlets. they peddle lies and dirt.
    However until free to air channels, owned by multi millionaires get off their backsides and compete for the best programmes, sport, news and entertainment I will continue to pay the $55 a month for up to the minute News and Sport that doesn’t have the Murdoch influence.
    Yes Sky is in the News package (I rarely watch it) and its multi choice channels give coverage of all Parties media stops, PLUS both HOR and Senate Coverage, Royal Commissions, Senate Estimates and so on.
    if the choice was available elsewhere I would drop my Foxtel sub immediately.

    So this is not a plug or hand clap for Murdoch, far from it. It is an expression of paying for something that interests me and I enjoy, keeps me updated and knowledgeable, that is not available elsewhere.
    Until the free to air channels change their attitude and actually do their job for the entire population and start purchasing good decent dramas etc from the UK particularly, I will continue with Foxtel.

    I should add I have boycotted all Murdoch publications, plus shock jock radio since the disgusting attacks on former PM’s Rudd and Gillard.

  2. Seriously, I could not give a hoot if Ian Thorpe turned into an alien, let alone if he’s gay! This is just typical TV trash from the commercial stations. You summed it up perfectly.

  3. Hey David, sounds like you could do with a fully-functional FTTP NBN!

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