Before we condemn John Westacott, news chief of Channel 9, for allegedly requiring that that female presenters have “f—-ability”, should we not ask what those missing letters are?

No. Sorry. I’m drawing a blank. Where’s Anton “I’d like to buy a hard consonant” Enus when you need him?

I guess he means f*!#kability. Notwithstanding the technical impracticality of coupling with an array of phosphorescent dots – that way electrocution lies – it is hardly a revelation that people on television are expected to be attractive.

Who has not looked at Laurie Oakes and wondered how he’d be with his kit off? Is Kerry O’Brien a real redhead? What’s up Michael Brissenden that his eyes are almost popping out?

As someone who has spent much of my working life in the medium, may I say, I don’t make the rules. I’m just one of the lucky ones.

It has been suggested that the wearing of large breasts has some merit in the field of news reporting. This is an obvious oversimplification. Fleeing from a grenade attack, they would be an obvious encumbrance that would inhibit fleetness. Besides, there are many viewers who would not share a taste for the ample. My own perfect bulletin would be shot from under the desk with the presenter’s face distantly visible through the glass. I’m a leg and bottom man.

Christine Spiteri is currently on maternity leave from the network and has not had her contract renewed. It must be said that f*!#kability is a quality whose greatest value is in its potential and not in its realisation. By taking the concept to its fruition, Spiteri has effectively taken herself out of the game. Yes, she is f*!#kable, but not by the likes of you and me.

I should add that, since the job of a television news person is to robotically and dispassionately voice the autocue, the containing of emotions builds a pressure that necessitates relief. It is self-evident that the moment the news is finished, they rip their clothes off and go at it like weasels at a liver. They obviously work n-ked from the waist down. They’re gagging for it.

Westacott also suggested that Spiteri would, by virtue of her Maltese surname, be more effective at SBS. This is perfectly reasonable. Kin warms to kin. I’m sure Mr. Westacott, himself, would be best suited to a pig farming digest in Somerset.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey