When does ‘blokey banter’ cross the line?


When does ‘blokey banter’ cross the line?

That’s the question Southern Cross Austereo executives are asking themselves, according to an opinion piece for Yahoo Sport by columnist Adam Lucius.

Lucius says he happened to be listening at the very point where Anthony Maroon – host of Triple M’s weekend NRL program in Sydney – walked off mid-show on Sunday after being bombarded with questions over allegedly taking cash jobs on the side.

He says he picked up that “Maroon was a little sensitive to the continual comments and attention.”

“But you found yourself wondering if it was all part of a gee-up and just the usual back-and-forwards between blokes who know each other well.”

“That’s the way it sounded.”

The article goes on to say “Amid much laughter, panellists Gorden Tallis, Paul Kent and James Hooper all took turns at firing pot shots at Maroon, who repeatedly threatened to divulge secrets about the trio’s off-air lives if they didn’t stop bringing up his alleged cash payments.”

“I don’t think it’s funny – it’s caused me a lot of grief,” Maroon said. “It’s not fair and it’s not legitimate and I’m not putting up with it anymore. We’re not all mates. I don’t like it.”

Lucius says “And then he was gone, leaving Kent in charge of the show.

These sort of radio shows have traded on this sort of banter for decades, starting with the Decibel Duo Peter Peters and Greg Hartley going at each other in the early 80s.

Peters, in particular, never missed an opportunity to give it to Hartley and the former referee gave as good as he got.

The Continuous Call team – known at times as the Continuous Brawl team – took it up a notch as Ray Hadley, Bob Fulton, Darryl Brohman, Peter Frilingos and Steve Roach squared off each Saturday and Sunday.

The show rated its head off, trading in putdowns and gee-ups amid the more serious rugby league chat.

There have been similar clashes in the AFL, with flying fried rice at the centre of one celebrated on-air clash on Triple M’s Sunday Rub many years ago.

Steve Quartermain was quizzing Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall, then a board member at the Hawks, over the fitness of Trent Croad amid rumours a foot injury could end the star player’s career.

Enraged by Quartermain’s line of questioning, the pair argued heatedly before Dunstall tipped a tray of rice on the host, who angrily walked out.

Again, a bit heavier than the Maroon exchange.

But in 2022, the difference between bullying and banter is in the eye of the beholder.”

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4 May 2022 - 12:08 pm

The real problem is because the banter of panellists like Gordon Tallis and James Hooper is never clever nor funny.


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