Aussie media boxes itself into a racist Corner over Katie Taylor
NOT only did the Daily Telegraph (Aus) claim Irishboxing star Katie Taylor as one of their very own (see left) but journalist Peter Hanlon of Australian media group Fairfax produced a stunningly stereotypical piece on the success of the Olympian in the aftermath of her victory over Team GB’s Natasha Jones on Monday.
Hanlon’s article, which was run in the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Brisbane Times, practically jumped out at the reader dressed in a leprechaun’s outfit shouting “Bejaysus”.
Take the headline itself, which successfully covers the old drunken Irish stereotype –
“Punch Drunk: Ireland intoxicated as Taylor swings towards boxing gold”
However, Hanlon’s not done with the drunken angle yet. He then adds a few individual drinks into the mix for good measure.
“For centuries, Guinness and whiskey have sent the Irish off their heads. Now all it takes is a petite 26-year-old from Wicklow.”
Not satisfied with painting the Irish as a nation of feckless drunks, Hanlon then hits us with a one-two combination of a) fighting and b) potato-eating, in a sentence of epically stereotypical proportions.
“Dark-haired, deep-eyed and engaging, Taylor is not what you’d expect in a fighting Irishwoman, nor is she surrounded by people who’d prefer a punch to a potato.”
It will come as little surprise that Australia’s rather large Irish community got their shillelaghs in a twist over the awful dirge, with Noel White, Ireland’s ambassador down under, leading the protest (well, he wrote a letter of complaint anyway).
Fairfax duly changed the (very) offending article on their websites, (see the amended article and White’s original letter here) while Hanlon was apparently “deeply sorry” for the whole palaver.
“I can only apologise and say that I abhor racism. The references in the story’s introduction, and further down to Katie’s closest supporters, were poorly chosen; I wish I had my time over.”
He said, standing at the barbie whilst wearing a pair of budgie-smugglers, before taking a swig of Fosters as he watched his boomerang score a direct hit on an Aborigine.