By Mehroz Siraj
Controversial radio shock jock, Howard Sattler, has been sacked from the Perth radio station 6PR two days after he asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard about the sexual orientation of her partner, Tim Matheson.
During a wide ranging interview that was broadcasted live on the station, Sattler asked the Prime Minister about the details of her visit to Western Australia and then quickly dabbled into the swirling rumours about her partner.
Although Sattler later apologized on air for asking those questions, he said that the Prime Minister’s own office had agreed for a candid and funny interview.
He was however in denial about any damage caused, saying that he apologized only because 6PR’s management asked him to do so.
He also said that any offence caused as a result of his crude attacks on Matheson should not be blamed on to him.
In a press release that was made public today, the 6PR management said that it had decided to sack Sattler because the top authorities at the station believed that editorial guidelines and journalistic ethics had been breached.
Sattler’s style of talking to the Prime Minister and his questions about Mathieson’s sexuality drew serious criticism from commentators and journalists from across Australia.
Renowned Melbourne based commentator and former 3AW radio host Darren Hinch called Sattler a ‘coward.’
Both Sattler and Gillard are not new to controversies.
Sattler, who became Perth’s talk-back king in the 1980s was heavily criticised in 1990 when he referred to the deaths of three indigenous young adults in a stolen car, ‘bad rubbish’.
Ten years after that he found himself embroiled in the famous ‘cash for comments’ scandal that also involved car company Mitsubishi, Optus and Qantas airways.
In 2007, it was alleged that he told a caller during a broadcast that he believed Islamic preachers in Australia should be shot dead.
He was later summoned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on charges of incitement of racial hatred and murder, but was however cleared.
Julia Gillard too had to cop abuse from radio broadcasters in the past as well.
Last year, shock-jock Alan Jones remarked while addressing a conference of young Liberal party members in Sydney in which he said that the prime minister’s father died because of he could not tolerate her lies on the economy and the carbon tax.
His comments drew a sharp rebuke from the prime minister herself who later condemned Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for not criticising Jones for making those comments.