This week on Getting Rooted: obnoxious weeds

“I’m Cec.” “I’m Cyril.” “And we’re Getting Rooted.”

Ah yes, the good old days of radio satire. All this talk of obnoxious weeds in the past few days has cast my mind back to a long-forgotten (and probably forgettable) skit on the ABC’s 2JJ in the mid-1970s, a spoof on gardening programs (and their octogenarian hosts) entitled “Getting Rooted”.

Three decades later, puerile humour has become the mainstream of Australian commercial radio. Which brings us to Triple M Brisbane’s brekky show, “The Cage”. Marto, Sully, Skip and Sami are the hosts. They are all real people and, as the Triple M website tells us:

“It’s funny, it’s informative and it’s so Brisbane you can almost hear the thongs.”

Enter The Cage, Matty Hayden. The greatest opening batsman ever to come out of Queensland, Hayden was, er, interviewed by the Cage personnel on Tuesday morning. In what must be a first in world media, an audio conversation on Australian commercial radio has been replayed ad infinitum by the Indian 24/7 TV news channels.

The IBN website has a transcript of Hayden’s appearance on The Cage.

In essence, The Cage crew egged Hayden on with a stack of outrageous comments about the Indian cricket team, until he told thousands of trafficjam-bound Brisbanites what he really thinks of Harbhajan Singh.

And the rest… well you know, word gets around. Haydo was charged with breaching the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct and was given a reprimand. The Cage will watch their ratings go up, Triple M’s owners Austereo will be laughing all the way to the bank.

My two bits worth on the whole affair: a wrap on the knuckles was the correct punishment for Hayden. In context, he made a distasteful remark on what is inherently a distasteful radio program. As a contracted player with Cricket Australia he should have known better than to say anything so stupid as calling Bhajju “bad boy” or “obnoxious weed”. While it’s probably unavoidable that he would be required to give interviews on all the leading radio shows, he got well and truly sucked in.

It would have been extremely heavy-handed if Hayden had been fined or suspended over this incident. If he’d made the comment in a less frivolous environment, such as a press conference or a slips cordon, then he would have deserved to have the book thrown at him.

I’m just upset at the role that Sami Lukis (the female member of The Cage) played in all this. I’ve been a fan of Sami’s ever since she was one of the original reporters on the Channel Ten kids’ show Totally Wild in the early 90s. How could she stoop so low? (Oh that’s right, money.)

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