Give Yumi and George a break

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I get very easily annoyed.

I get annoyed at waiters and waitresses who think they have super-human memory so don’t write down your order, no matter how big or complicated it may be.

 I get annoyed at people who are gluten free and their desire to tell everybody in whatever means possible that this is the case. You’re gluten free, we get it.


I get annoyed when I see young teenagers smoking and swearing, looking like trash on the side of the road.

 I get annoyed when two mothers find it necessary to stand at the end of the isle with their shopping trolleys having a great old chat, while nobody else can get past.

You get the picture.

 But something I get particularly annoyed about is when my own crowd – the media – make something out of a story that simply doesn’t exist.

 Now, we know in this day and age there’s pressure to pump out stories and to make them engaging and interesting, but seriously, the unbelievable media-created furore relating to Yumi Stynes and George Negus and “those comments” on ‘The Circle’ is way over the top.

In fact, it’s disgraceful.

For those who have been living under a rock, Stynes and Negus made some comments last week on ‘The Circle’ in relation to Ben Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient who has served Australia proudly.

The comments were in very bad taste, but not intentionally critical.

They were part of a light-hearted segment in which a photo of Ben Roberts-Smith without his shirt on was shown.

Ms Stynes said he was probably going to dive down to the bottom of the pool he was pictured in to “find his brain” while Mr Negus questioned what would happen if he wasn’t up to it “in the sack” given his remarkable body.

The comments were tasteless and remarkably unfunny.

But the way this story has been treated since is far worse.

‘Today Tonight’ ran the story for no apparent season, only showcasing the comments to a much larger audience than ‘The Circle’ attracts.

Newspapers keep running the story, also for no apparent reason. Perhaps they want Ms Stynes and Mr Negus sacked, I’m not quite sure.

What they are doing is fuelling the fire and creating almost a hate campaign against Ms Stynes and Mr Negus.

The irony is that those making disgusting and inappropriate comments against Ms Stynes and Mr Negus are saying far worse things than what sparked the outrage in the first place.

And, of course, most get to hide behind a keyboard and computer screen.

Sponsors are pulling out of ‘The Circle’, not really because of the comments that were made but because the media has created an imaginary flood of anger from the community.

Those writing the stories, those thinking that this is a story at all, should not throw rocks given they live in glass houses.

Nobody is denying that the comments were inappropriate, but had they not been exploited and blown up by the media, they would have only been seen by a very tiny percentage of the population that watches television at that time.

Yumi Stynes is young, and seemingly very talented.

She made a mistake, and we’ve all made plenty of them.

Negus has decades of experience and knows war zones and the work soldiers do, so give him some credit.

The comments made by Ms Stynes and Mr Negus are no different to comments that would have been thrown around a dinner table or the pub about the exact same photograph.

Because it happened on live TV, it’s apparently inappropriate.

And sure, maybe it is. But it is not a hanging offence.

But when you’re presenting a live television program, and your producers put up the photo, you’re expected to say something.

“Nice body, what a hero” wouldn’t have been enough in the cut-throat world of television.

Ben Roberts-Smith says he has moved on. So should we, and so should the mindless twits in the media who are pretending this is a story.

Apologies have been issued.

One day, the media might apologise to us for wasting our time.

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