Kyle Sandilands has come out swinging on this morning’s breakfast show in defence of Intern Pete’s Steve Smith gaffe, telling advertisers to “keep their money” as Cricket Australia swears it will no longer spend with the show.
His comments follow the lambasting of Kyle and Jackie O employee, known as 'Intern Pete', who has been on the receiving end of nationwide abuse after hijacking Steve Smith’s press conference in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
During the Steve Smith press conference, Intern Pete attempted to “lighten up” the mood, telling Smith that some Australians deemed the Married at First Sight drama between Dean and Tracey worse than ball-tampering.
The stunt was met with a swift backlash, slammed as “tasteless” and “disgraceful”, with some calling for advertisers to boycott the show. Intern Pete, whose real name is Pete Deppeler, is a producer for Kiis FM.
In response to the stunt, Cricket Australia announced it would not advertise with Australian Radio Network (ARN), the owners of Kyle and Jackie O show, in the future.
Cricket Australia confirmed the ARN boycott to AdNews, adding that Intern Pete's apology was not grounds for a review of its decision.
This morning, Sandilands said he was unaware Cricket Australia had advertised with the show in the past.
“I believe we will have fewer ads on the show now because Cricket Australia won’t be advertising, which I couldn’t care less about. Every thinks, ‘oh it’s a terrible thing’. Don’t care – keep your money. Don’t care,” Sandilands said.
“You keep your $25 worth of ads. I will live on.”
Jackie O added: “We didn’t shit can you when you were having a bad week… We were pretty much the only ones that didn’t shit can you guys when you were at your lowest but here you are, as soon as we make a mistake… We must be punished because we’ve done the world’s worst thing.”
ARN told AdNews it was yet to hear directly from Cricket Australia, but the network was “willing to talk through any concerns” the organisation may have.
Intern Pete also addressed the scandal on this morning’s program, apologising to Steve Smith and admitting his timing and judgement was off.
Sandilands defended Intern Pete, saying it “was not that big of a deal”.
“We didn’t know he was going to [ask the question], but I still support him. I couldn’t give a shit,” he said.
Shock jock Sandilands also used the opportunity to slam 2GB talkback radio host Ray Hadley, who called Intern Pete’s morals into questions on his own radio show, calling him “a piece of shit” and a “coward”.
Intern Pete's stunt was slammed on social media.
Hi @emirates. You might want to take a stand for basic human decency and reconsider your support of the disgraceful Kyle and Jackie O show? Tonight’s attempt to cash in on Steve Smith’s misery was beneath contempt.— TerryBrown (@TerryBrown) March 29, 2018
What if Kyle and Jackie O get suspended for a year and lose all their sponsorship deals and Steve Smith goes back to cricket next week. I think this would be a good outcome.— Matt Bevan 🎙 (@MatthewBevan) March 29, 2018
Did @kyleandjackieo seriously send someone to the Steve smith presser to ask a stunt question for a bit of publicity? What a joke. And people wonder why the media is hated at times. Honestly.— Sharnelle Vella (@SharnelleVella) March 29, 2018
That person, who I will not call a journalist, should be banned from ever going to a press conference again. I think it was from the @kyleandjackieo show - whoever you are, you are an idiot.— Rebecca Maddern (@RebeccaMaddern9) March 29, 2018
I’d like to see the @kyleandjackieo show go through the same public persecution for their own disgraceful act like the three @CricketAus players have the past few days.. to hijack a situation with someone in a fragile state is absolutely without class.— Ryan Phelan (@ryanphelan_tv) March 29, 2018
So far, ARN says that only Cricket Australia has pulled ad spend from the show.
“The ball tampering incident has evoked an extraordinary reaction from a broad range of Australian audiences, both those who follow cricket, and those who don’t know anything about the sport," an ARN spokesperson says.
“Obviously the majority of those asking questions at the airport tonight were sports journalists, unlike intern Pete, so Pete’s question was framed for those who don’t follow cricket.
“But as you can hear when you listen to the audio of the question, Pete genuinely felt for Steve, as he tried to inject some warmth and light to what was a difficult situation.”
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