We’re going to be fence sitters again this week and not comment about the Gordon Ramsey vs Tracey Grimshaw battle. We will however draw parallels with another moment in Australian history, when Frank Sinatra called our female journalist ‘hookers’.


Now if you don’t know the story about Ole Blue Eyes, here it is:

In 1974, Frank Sinatra toured Australia and caused a sensational uproar when he called female journalists ‘hookers’. Sinatra’s “bums and hookers” insult came after “no one met his plane, he was driven into town in the wrong car, and at Festival Hall the singer had to push his way through the media throng to bash on the stage door before he was allowed inside“.


The Unions reacted quickly and demanded an apology. Sinatra’s silence was greeted by transport workers, waiters and journalists striking in retaliation.


So let’s compare the playing fields, shall we??


In the red corner, we have the big, bad ‘Celebrity’ oooohhhhhh



In the blue corner… The great & mighty ‘Media’ aahhhhhhhh


What’s interesting is how the media have bandied together once again. Some may argue it’s tall-poppy-syndrome. After all, Australians do ♥ that! Or simply, righting a wrong. Poor Trace! (he really did say some horribly inappropriate things) So what happened next all those years ago?

“The Australian Journalists’ Association (AJAA – the journalists’ union) called on other unions to see to it that Sinatra’s remaining concerts were cancelled and that he could not leave the country. Further, the hotel unions were asked not to give the Sinatra party food or drink, or to handle their bags. The second Melbourne concert was cancelled at once. Sinatra’s entourage had to carry their own bags as they left Melbourne for Sydney. The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), at the time, Bob Hawke, was quickly involved. He was reported to have told Sinatra, “You may not be able to leave Australia unless you walk on water. If you don’t apologise, your stay in this country could be indefinite.” Sinatra was told his plane would not get a drop of fuel until he apologised.” Now we doubt that our beloved former PM Hawke would have said anything that cocky… but if we had to choose one PM who could do it, it would be him, wouldn’t it?


Australia had a highly unionised work force so when the call to arms came…*chants* “the workers united, shall never be the defeated”… not even by Ole Blue Eyes.”


Then Hawke flew up to Sydney for a meeting with Sinatra where they worked out a compromise statement – I think it was the only time that Sinatra backed down in his life. He said he didn’t quite mean to call Australian women journalists hookers, that there was a bit of a misunderstanding.

How things have changed? Back in 1974, our former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, then head of the ACTU had to come to the defence of the honour of the country’s female journalists. How ironic that the hero of the story had a wild reputation himself… (hehehe we all ♥ PM Bob Hawke).

Three decades later and Grimshaw didn’t need no man to fight her battle. She successfully managed to take down a male ‘whinging Pom’ on her own? Not only that, she also pitted Channel 9’s A Current Affair against Channel 9’s Hell’s Kitchen… and won (Channel 9 V Channel 9 … fishy or not?). Either way, as a ‘journalist’ (being ACA we’re a little hard pressed to use that word seriously) it’s also an interesting observation that Ms Grimshaw became the headline story for her own program. Post Modernists are having a field day with this (yes BB, we’re referring to you).

I’m sure some overseas readers may be giggling at the goings-on of the Australian media. Well… so are we. Should we be grateful that it’s a slow news week? It has been quite funny to see this story pop up on my Perez Hilton feed and international media outlets. I wonder if they’ll make an awful movie about it 🙂

Enjoy the weekend folks.

the c word


Let’s remember Ole Blue Eyes fondly now…