How Eddie misuses his influence


Eddie McGuire needs to learn how to use his power wisely. Picture: AAP/Tracey Nearmy


ANY time I am in Melbourne it is like Moses parting the Red Sea as Eddie McGuire walks into a Melbourne room.

Organisers just about bow and bathe him in frankincense and myrrh as he enters a hallowed hall of a racing carnival marquee or a sporting fixture.

Eddie is a consummate salesman when it comes to flogging and placating sponsors.

He is also a man who is constantly trying to prove himself, having been bought up in humble circumstances in Melbourne’s burbs (something many of us can relate to).

But that doesn’t give him the right to make these kinds of old school, anger-masquerading-as-attempted-humour, boorish quips; whether they are about a woman or a man.

Eddie is pretty much everywhere.

He is on the leading radio station in Victoria, a Victorian produced game show on Channel 9 and president of AFL club Collingwood.

Yes, he is pretty much everywhere.

With that kind of mainstream reach can come a degree of smugness, arrogance and overt confidence.

I mean, as long as he is making a buck for them and he’s making the same for himself, which of those employers are ever going to call him out?

I have often wondered whether Eddie ever sits back and contemplates a life without being “on” 24/7.

Does he ever actually think about life without the adulation and the sycophants?

Power, money and having a “voice” can be extraordinary aphrodisiacs, but people need to know how to use them properly and not think they can get away with “quips” like his Caroline Wilson one without doing some kind of collateral damage.

Eddie McGuire is seen as a messiah in Melbourne. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Eddie McGuire is seen as a messiah in Melbourne. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Of course, many are blaming our PC culture as the “bad man” in this McGuire/Brayshaw/Wilson exchange, but it isn’t.

Put the wives or girlfriends names of the blokes involved in this banter (and not Caroline Wilson’s) and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have been as flippant and jolly about it all.

It has to be said, Eddie is an acquired taste — and that taste mainly exists in Victoria.

He was never comfortable when he momentarily took the reins of the Nine Network and had to spend time in Sydney.

See, he wasn’t seen as a messiah in Sydney.

We don’t treat people as gods and goddesses or as untouchable in Sydney.

We treat them how we see them, how we hear them and for what they do.

If that drowning “banter” we have now all heard had come from the mouth of Kyle Sandilands or Alan Jones, bam, the media would have been onto it straight away.

Instead, it took a blog post from a female sports writer to get it out there after it was ultimately picked up by the mainstream media and has now became a national as opposed to a parochial Victorian story.

References or inferences about drowning any human are incredibly rank.

Many high-profile blokes put themselves out there as supporters of the White Ribbon campaign while strongly declaring their opposition to domestic violence.

For the vast majority they mean every single word but for some others, they are just weasel words, just said because it is the “thing to do”.

In public, sure, there are some big men who are seen to be saying the right thing when it comes to countering domestic violence but once they are hanging around together, the matey, mate, mate culture kicks in.

And it is a seemingly innocuous quip like that, made last week by Eddie and his mates, that trivialises all the great work organisations like White Ribbon does to draw attention to the proliferation of domestic violence in our society.

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