Often they become the subject of rather futile stories just to sell magazines and newspapers or to get people clicking on stories. The media can hit out at someone with a wet fish just all driven by the agenda of having them in their column space.
One of those names is Samantha Armytage, who is frequently the subject of yarns penned by female journos, invariably interested in her personal life or something she said on Sunrise. It’s not uncommon terrain for breakfast TV hosts, male or female, but Armytage as the newer morning host is under additional scrutiny, particularly given she has a primetime show that isn’t faring so well.
Bringing Sexy Back has a terrible name and not especially good storytelling. I hope Seven is not Bringing Sexy Back next year.
But these are not Armytage’s fault. That said, you have to expect that if you’re fronting a style show, your own presentation comes under the spotlight.
But these should always be for you on-air rather than off-air presentation.
Today Armytage hit back at paparazzi shots in the Daily Telegraph which criticised her style, noting that they were all from her private life and more than 4 years old.
“I don’t understand this shaming. I don’t know whether it’s trying to bully me into an eating disorder,’’ she said today.
“The story is an excuse to cast an eye over my style when I’m not at work. They’ve pulled together paparazzi photographs taken many years ago.
“Maybe it is to shame me for being a size 12. But I don’t understand why newspapers need to dredge up old pictures which have absolutely no news value on such a big news day,’’ she said.
Natalie Barr described them as bullying while David Koch added, “None of us ever pretend to be supermodels.
“We’re not here to look like glamour pusses the whole time.”
They also criticised the article for having no journalist byline, but the current online edition notes Annette Sharp’s name. That didn’t stop stablemate publication The Australian from criticising it.
In my experience it is seems to be female journos who spend more time criticising the appearance of female presenters. Sadly, it is women eating their own. Lisa Wilkinson noted this in her most excellent Andrew Olle Lecture last year saying, “I despair when so many gossip magazines use ridicule of women as their stock in trade. How many times do we see female celebrities used as the mass bully targets, almost always based on their appearance?”
With specific regard to Armytage, I asked her at the Logies whether her name was being used as column space fodder, simply to attract clicks.
“A lot of it is rubbish, but there are so many pages to fill on the internet these days, if they don’t write rubbish, what else are they going to write about? But you know… that’s the beast that it is!” she said.
“We put ourselves out there and sometimes we get shot down.”