Akerman, appearing on ABC panel show Insiders yesterday morning shocked both his co-presenters and many in the public when he appeared to side with Sattler’s outrageous line of questioning, saying “a lot of people in the Canberra gallery have been saying the same thing [as Sattler]”.
Sattler, who has subsequently been sacked from Fairfax-owned Radio 6PR and his regular spot on the Seven Network’s Sunrise program, repeatedly asked the PM on-air in an interview last week whether or not her partner, Mr Mathieson, was gay, intimating he was because of his vocation.
Akerman’s comment was met with disgust and outrage by his fellow panelists on Insiders, most of whom the Daily Telegraph columnist and former vice-president of infamously right-wing FOX News network has subsequently written off in his latest blog post on the issue.
None more so than journalist Lenore Taylor a former Fairfax columnist who Akerman describes as now writing for “some Leftwing online site.”
Akermam’s comments were roundly denounced on-air. Insiders host Barrie Cassidy was particularly vehement, saying, “You’ve just done precisely what Howard Sattler did and passed on rumours, and that’s just as pathetic, quite frankly.”
Akerman initially denied the accusation, replying, “I passed on the same question that people said initially when she moved in. And nobody took it any further and that’s why I’m saying [Sattler] was wrong Barrie.”
While he later apologised, Akerman took to his column this morning to mock the furor his idiotic comments stirred up amongst what he describes as the “the sneering Left and the Twitterati”. He also claimed (rather humorously) not to “deal in tawdry topics” or in “rumour mongering”.
Akerman’s column is always a good thing to read first thing on a chilly, winter’s morning. It angers up the blood and is therefore a much cheaper alternative to an electronic heater.
He, like all conservatives, has rather missed the point. The very fact that homophobic slurs like this about the Prime Minister’s partner are said at all is a damning indication of just how far this country’s political discourse has fallen. Is nothing sacred anymore?
And although Akerman has labeled Sattler a “fool” over the incident, it’s clear that he holds the same offensive views as the shock-jock, he just isn’t stupid enough to come out and say them himself. He’s quite happy to hide behind “a lot of people” who have been saying it in Canberra for him.