A primetime flop or just an excuse for women to eat their own?

2014-09-19_1253There are some people whose name in a headline seems to warrant unusual attention.

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.”


  1. Rarely watch morning tv but if i do I turn to sunrise because they are real people of different shapes, sizes and hairdos. Today is full of movie star looks.

  2. Ada Nicodemou tweeted that she wasn’t happy with an article Annette Sharp published saying she totally put the focus on the wrong part of the story.

  3. There’s always the argument about overproduced image fostering a more difficult environment for women (and men) to feel acceptable, but whether that’s even the case with her here, this obviously isn’t a good way to respond to it.

  4. Update to the story David. theaustralian.com.au/media/leaked-email-reveals-telegraphs-search-for-bad-scruffy-photos-of-sam-armytage/story-e6frg996-1227064060312

  5. Annette sharp seems to have a real vendetta against sunrise. Last year she wrote about sunrise and how they hate each other then she targeted Mel and now she is onto Sam.

    I mean her attack on Sam was unwarranted and awful and to dig up old pictures I just dont get it. also why write about bringing sexy back now. The show has been on air for awhile.

  6. Annette Sharp seems to have some sort of vendetta against Sam for some reason. This is just another in a list of absolute rubbish articles she has written about her since she took over hosting Sunrise.

  7. Sunrise should send a dozen photographers to stalk Annette Sharp for a few weeks, then publish a selection of the top 100 most embarrassing and humiliating on their website and all over the show for a week.

    Oh wait, that would be ‘harassment’.

  8. I agree that bringing sexy back is a really stupid name and the show is like a no budget version of the biggest looser i think sam is a great host cam the trainer is good to i would like to see a similar show come back next year but with a different name but the same host trainer and tweak the format a bit change the name

  9. it really amazes me how Annette sharp can get away with this type of bullying . to dig up photos from 2001 just to make Sam look bad is really low. news limited make it so hard to justify to pay for their online rubbish they call a newspaper when they write crap like this up. Sam is beautiful she is a breath of fresh air on tv .love her style always bubbly and fun to watch .sunrise is number one because of her .seven should consider a oprah winfrey style show for her at lunchtime .she is very talented and deserves her own show

  10. This could be a big misstep from the Telegraph.
    Given that Samantha Armytage is pretty much rusted on as the nation’s sweetheart I suspect that they may receive a bit of a backlash from this (which perhaps explains the criticism from another Murdoch paper – some form of damage limitation?).

    Judging by the reaction she elicits Ms Armytage appears to be popular for not only being quite a natural on screen presence, but for also not conforming to the standard waif-like look of every other female presenter/newsreader on commercial TV.
    There’s also (what I like to call) the Christina Hendricks effect, which seems to have won her a lot of male fans…

  11. All I can say is that Annette Sharp digs her own hole and has done so many times with these “dirty” articles about women in media. I have tussled on twitter with her a number of times, and one that was very personal over Charlotte. I suppose she has to justify her employment and put out something each week to keep her job,but between the two females gossip gals at the Telegraph, they love scraping the bottom of the barrel!

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