Talkback radio host Howard Sattler has been suspended pending further investigation after he inexplicably deemed it appropriate to pursue a line questioning as to the sexuality of the Prime Minister’s boyfriend, Tim Mathieson, live on air.

The divisive host of Perth station 6PR was persistent in his condescending needling of Julia Gillard on this personal, wholly irrelevant subject and it represented a new low in the depressingly ubiquitous (and high-rating) category of “shock jock” broadcasting in Australia. Sattler suggested to Ms Gillard she must often get asked about Mr Mathieson’s sexual preferences because he’s a hairdresser and, as everyone knows, any man who’s a hairdresser is a flaming gaybo, right Howard?

6PR has released a statement detailing that Mr Sattler apologised later in the program for his line of questioning and that the station management also extends its sincere apologies to the Prime Minister and her partner… But what’s done is done. Surely the station will make an example of Sattler and permanently relieve him from broadcasting duties?

Ms Gillard somehow managed to handle the ridiculous exchange with
dignity, and credit to her for that. You can read the transcript of the
exchange below.

Howard Sattler: Myths, rumours, snide jokes and innuendos, you’ve been the butt of them many times.

Julia Gillard: Well I think that’s probably right. We’ve certainly seen that this week.

Howard Sattler: Can I test a few out?

Julia Gillard: In what way?

Howard Sattler: Tim’s gay.

Julia Gillard: Well…

Howard Sattler: …No, that’s not me saying it. It’s a myth.

Julia Gillard: Well that’s absurd.

Howard Sattler: But you hear it. He must be gay, he’s a hairdresser.

Julia Gillard: Oh, isn’t that…

Howard Sattler: But you’ve heard it? It’s not me saying it. It’s what people…

Julia Gillard: Well, I mean Howard, I don’t know whether every silly thing that gets said is going to be repeated to me now.

Howard Sattler: No, no, no…

Julia Gillard: But, you know, to all the hairdressers out there, including the men who are listening, I don’t think in life one can actually look at a whole profession full of different human beings and say ‘Gee we know something about every one of those human beings’, I mean, it’s absurd isn’t it?

Howard Sattler: You can confirm that he’s not?

Julia Gillard: Howard don’t be ridiculous. Of course not.

Howard Sattler: No, but in a heterosexual relationship. That’s all I’m asking.

Julia Gillard: Howard, you and I have just talked about that. So now that is bordering…

Via ABC News.