I don’t have the exact figures at hand, but it’s safe to say that at least 95% of the breakfast television viewing that happens in this country happens in waiting rooms. The majority of us are exposed to it in situations where we are powerless to stop it. For whatever reason, receptionists around the country have universally agreed that every sick person craves seeing four hours of infomercials disguised as regular segments and topical discussions from people with juuust enough charisma to appear on television but not enough to appear on TV at times that people actually watch it.
The function of breakfast TV (other than selling ShamWows or vacuum cleaners or whatever) seems to be reducing the news headlines of the previous day into a pleasant white noise that people can happily tune out while they wait for the doctor to tell them that they have Bones Disease. This is absolutely fine — pleasant white noise is, well, pleasant. But apparently breakfast TV in Australia can’t seem to do that without making abrupt turns towards the outrageously reactionary.
As you might have already seen, Kerri-Anne Kennerley is currently facing criticism for yesterday suggesting that no one involved in any Invasion Day marches has been to the Outback where, as she described it, “children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped” — claims for which she was quickly rebuked by fellow Studio 10 panellist Yumi Stynes:
Having a bunch of non-Indigenous people on breakfast television discussing Indigenous issues and how they actually know better is not unfamiliar territory for brekky TV. You might recall back in March of 2018 when an all-white panel on Sunrise had a shockingly light discussion about the possibility of enacting another stolen generation as a means of intervention in Indigenous communities. (Incidentally, this was largely coming from Prue MacSween, who stated on air that she wouldn’t mind hitting Yassmin Abdel-Magied with her car.)
Back in 2016, Sonia Kruger came under fire for suggesting on Today Extra that Australia should ban all Muslim immigration, a statement that she defended by saying that she had been speaking “as a mother“. Yeah, not really sure what that means either.
Once again, there is a complete lack of either experts or of someone with personal experience that speaks to the issue like, say, someone who is actually a Muslim.
And, of course, how we could forget that Sunrise regularly paid racist politician and serial fuckwit Pauline Hanson on the show?
If the hosts of these breakfast shows can’t be trusted to discuss issues in a meaningful way with people who are actually informed about them, then, for their own sake, these shows need to be banned until they can demonstrate that they can use them responsibly.