Shock jock 'horrified' by teen's radio rape admission

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The Independent Online

Few things sound more hollow than a shock jock professing to be shocked.

Shock is the currency of trade; it's what they peddle.

Kyle Sandilands said he was "horrified" when a 14-year-old girl blurted out, on the Sydney breakfast show that he co-hosts with Jackie O, that she had been raped.

Then why strap her to a lie detector machine, and allow her to be asked on live radio about her sexual experiences?

The girl was clearly uncomfortable.

She knew she was going to be asked about sex and drugs.

"She's not happy," reported co-host Jackie O before the grilling began.

"How are you?" Sandilands asked.

"I'm scared, it's not fair," she replied.

What a hoot.

The second most appalling thing about this segment, apart from it going to air at all, was that the questions were being asked by the girl's mother.

"Have you had sex?" the mother inquired.

"I've already told you the story about this," the daughter replied, "and don't look at me and smile because it's not funny."

After a pause, the daughter raised her voice in frustration: "OK, I got raped when I was 12 years old."

Sandilands was not too shocked to then ask: "Right, is that the only (sexual) experience you've had?"

Or perhaps it was because he was too shocked; he said later he was "floundering" so much he didn't realise what he had said.

The second most appalling thing about this question, apart from it being asked at all, was that it seemed to elevate rape to the realms of a sexual "experience".

And here were all those young listeners maybe thinking it was a brutal act of violence.

Difficult though it must have been to top this for insensitivity and tastelessness, the mother gave it her best shot.

She admitted she already knew about the rape.

"Yet you still asked me the question!" the daughter exclaimed.

The mother ploughed on: "The question was, have you had sex apart from that?"

Only then did Jackie O mercifully "abort" the segment and apologise, telling the girl it was best if they "just let you off the hook".

Both hosts apologised on-air on Thursday, saying the segment would not have been broadcast if they knew about the rape.

But this is live radio, for heaven's sake.

If you play with matches, how can you claim surprise when you light a fire?

The NSW Rape Crisis Centre got it right when it said: "Setting up a young woman like that is unethical in the extreme. The girl was just abused again."

Yet Sandilands, noting the family was going to get some counselling, maintained: "We have done everything that we can possibly do to help them."

Apart from being shocked, he was "sad" that a lot of journos he had "pissed off" over the years were now using the rape of a 12-year-old girl to "have a go at me".

Right. So it's his critics who were using the girl's predicament, not him.

When this row blows over he can turn his attention to his show's next promotion.

He's offering $5,000 cash to the man with Sydney's smallest penis.

* Source: The New Zealand Herald.