The real story in 2009
For those who ask how I could criticise Andrew Denton for his Enough Rope TV interview with Wayne Carey in 2008, then be quoted in the media talking about ‘working with Carey’ on family violence, the answer is simple. Denton should have asked Carey whether he was a woman basher and whether he understood why people felt disdain for him. He emerged as a victim rather than a culprit. That's what annoyed me.
There are of course things to talk about. And given I've written and said some critical things about Wayne Carey from the luxury of the armchair it's only reasonable that I would listen to him. So when he chose to broach the subject with me at the Azumah Nelson luncheon on 6 March 2009 it seemed only appropriate that I do that in good faith. Wayne Carey is not a convicted rapist or murderer.
With Wayne Carey and Azumah Nelson at the luncheon.
Claims on the Channel Seven Sunrise program (Wednesday 11 March) that I have asked Carey to front an anti-violence program are insulting. I work independently and am not the convener of any such program. I have never made such a statement. Surely it is reasonable to say it would be a good thing if Wayne Carey spoke out about family violence? Surely it is reasonable for me to speak with Wayne Carey!
I’ve criticised Sam Newman over comments about women on the Footy Show. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t talk to him. I asked him about this very matter in an interview for the ABC – VFL broadcast – in 2007 and he admitted his derisive comments about a woman who'd accused an AFL footballer of violence were inappropriate.
My position on the case in 1995 where Carey grabbed a girl on the breasts in the city late at night and offered a disingenuous public apology outside court has not changed. He should have apologised unequivocally. Unfortunately, he was advised against offering such an apology.
If I were to learn that there's more to the story than the incidents in 1995 and 2008, then the lie of the land would change. At the moment we are simply talking. And, quite frankly, if he were to match words with actions, that would surely be a good thing.
AZUMAH THE CHAMP
It was a joy to interview Azumah Nelson at the luncheon and I'll be bringing further stories about him in the coming months.