Latham was known to be a thrower of bombs and Sky hired him anyway.
He was given a show that was obviously designed to allow him to do this. His controversial style was the lynchpin of the show. Its what attracted his audience and Sky knew this.
Latham called one of the lads in the preachy Sydney Boys High video promoting feminism “gay” and this was apparently what triggered his dismissal.
Watching the video at the start, it is easy to get the impression the speakers are homosexual. Its only after seeing it in full that the viewer is able to understand the speakers were adopting a feminist stance. Even then, its obvious the very first speaker is designed to produce shock and make viewers think he is homosexual.
There is every chance Latham, like many who watched the video, made a genuine mistake in thinking the speaker was homosexual. When the high school was clearly exploiting homosexuality for its shock value.
So that takes us to the obvious follow up questions.
Does Sky management regard the use of the term “gay” as an extremely insulting epithet? Does that apply if one is genuinely homosexual, or is it only an insult when one is not homosexual? CEO of Sky, Angelos Frangopoulos who tweeted yesterday that he had fired Latham, needs to explain his thinking here.
Its hard to see how using the word “gay ” in these circumstances can lead to the sack.
Let’s then address the age of those appearing in the video. They’re not really kids. They’re young men. However, if you’re reluctant to concede that point, there is the issue of the political content of the video.
Once one steps in to the political arena, one is due criticism. If their age was a limiter of that criticism, then the students should never have been permitted by their school to make such a highly charged political video in the first place.
Latham was already in hot water for perceived insults regarding his left wing colleagues Peter van Onselen and the always irritating Kristina Keneally. Surely this was only a matter of tit for tat. They both provoked Latham by attacking him on air and then complained when he responded. Van Onselen’s sister too put herself out there a a diversity advocate and therefore should not expect to be free from criticism, given the controversial nature of this subject.
As for Wendy Harmer, once again, she attacked Latham first with very nasty statements, and considering what she has said about other people over the years, can hardly pose as the offended victim today.
It seems unreasonable to have sacked Latham, given that he was a known provocateur and his perceived offenses don’t seem to have been so bad. One is then left to ponder the real reason he was fired.
Was it because he just told the real truth far too often?
Or was this designed to give the left a massive victory, and reinforce the message they are sending so vigorously these days, that free speech has limits, and they alone will decide what those limits are.
Only Angelos Frangopoulos knows the answer to those questions.