Tag Archives: Lara Bingle

Daily Telegraph: We decide which girlfriend is better

This is one of the main stories on dailytelegraph.com.au today: Michael Clarke’s batting average is an advertisement for a happy home life:

MICHAEL Clarke is the best advertisement for marriage and a settled home life.

His batting average since marrying stunning model Kyly Boldy in May is an equally stunning 263.5

It’s a big improvement on the old soap opera days of the Lara Bingle relationship when he more often appeared in Sydney Confidential than these sporting pages.

This columnist spent Sydney’s glorious Sunday afternoon behind a computer searching cricket records for a Boldy v Bingle comparison.

Boldy bolted in with an average of 75.2 (since their relationship became public at Clarke’s 30th birthday in April 2011) compared with Bingle’s 54.4.

It’s by Phil Rothfield, the Tele‘s sports editor.

This is the photo inside:

Daily Telegraph image with Lara Bingle, Michael Clarke, Kyly Boldy

At the Daily Telegraph, we rank women on their usefulness to men.

Yes, it’s meant to be a bit of fun. I get that. And, yes, the figures are meaningless without indicating how they were calculated. But there’s something else going on here that should worry editors (more on that later).

There’s a weird quote in the piece:

“With Lara, it was all about her,” said one source. “With Kyly it’s all about him.”

One source what? Is it someone on the cricket team? Is it a quote from twitter that you haven’t attributed? Is it another sports journo? Is it the fashion editor? Seriously dude, some context please. I’m also a little worried about the person behind the quote. Any relationship between two people that’s “all about” one person isn’t healthy. No, I’m not saying Clarke’s relationships are unhealthy. What I am saying is that someone who thinks the focus in a relationship should be completely on one person is yet to understand that a relationship between two people involves two people. Gawd, can you imagine going out with someone who thinks like that?

One thing that seems to have escaped Rothfield is Clarke’s age. When he was with Lara Bingle, he was in his 20s. Now he’s in his 30s. From what I know about professional cricket – which, admittedly, isn’t much because boring – most players improve in their late 20s to early 30s, which is why they don’t give the captaincy to a teenager.

Another thing that’s escaped Rothfield is the role his newspaper played in creating that “soap opera”. If they hadn’t published the nude photo of Lara Bingle – the one taken without her consent – there wouldn’t have been a soap opera. If photographers hadn’t been hounding the couple, there wouldn’t have been a soap opera. If News Ltd and Fairfax didn’t publish those photos, the photographers wouldn’t have been hounding them and there wouldn’t have been a soap opera. If News Ltd and Fairfax weren’t publishing opinion pieces saying that she wasn’t good enough for him, there wouldn’t have been a soap opera. How on earth could a young couple function under that sort of intrusion and vitriol?

The rest of Rothfield’s article mentions a couple of other sportsmen who became better at their jobs once they grew up. Apparently this has nothing to do with getting older and realising that they can’t carry on like teenagers anymore because of the hangovers and because the MSM will tell everyone, and everything to do with finding a good woman. Ah, good women versus bad women, in a judgement that’s based purely on whether they make a man better at his job. Someone remind me, what year is it?

Like I said, I’m sure Rothfield’s article is meant to be a bit of fun. I can’t imagine that he actually believes that Clarke’s success is due to his relationship and not to his hard work at training in the almost-two years since he’s been captain. If the former was actually the case, then relationships would be a compulsory part of sporting contracts. “Sorry mate, you might be belting boundaries off every ball, but you can’t be on the team until you get married. Them’s the rules”.

There are a few steps between what was probably a comment at the pub, to spending a day researching something – spending White Ribbon Day working on an article about how women are pretty objects but their real value is in how quiet they are – to submitting it to your editor, who decides that it should be published. And then the person putting the website together overnight decided to put it somewhere prominent, and then the morning editor decided to keep it there, and so did the afternoon editor. At each of these steps, didn’t anyone say, “um, guys, don’t you think this is a little disrespectful?” Or, “don’t you think it’s a little weird to be writing about someone else’s personal life like this?”.

There are currently 41 sports stories on the dailytelegraph.com.au sports homepage (not counting results tables). One is about women’s sport. One. The very last story. And it’s only 206 words:

Only one story features a female athlete. And it’s the very last one, right at the bottom.

Yep, that’s right, a story about sprinklers going off in a game involving no Australian players is considered more important than a story about a female athlete. There’s no mention that an Australian team was in the top four of the International Women’s Club Championship. No mention of the W-League over the weekend. At least smh.com.au has a story, even if they didn’t bother sending a journo (it’s AAP copy).

When you think about why women’s sport doesn’t get a lot of media coverage, it couldn’t possibly be because sports editors and sports journos think women are there to look pretty and shut the fuck up, could it? Because while Rothfield and all those other decision-makers might have thought it was just a funny little article, that’s what it’s really about. Praising the woman who is seen and not heard. Even better if she’s “stunning”. It might be something to think about next time the editors sit down – and they do regularly – and try to find ways to attract more female readers.

In Lara Bingle vs the MSM, I am on Team Lara

The 697 people (so far) who’ve found my blog in the last 24 hours searching for “Lara Bingle nude on balcony” alerted me to the fact that someone has taken a photo of Lara Bingle nude on a balcony and told the MSM in order to drum up interest in the photo. I’m quick like that. It’s a shame the MSM isn’t so quick to realise how they’re being used, but why should entertainment reporters be any different to political reporters?

I’m going to pick on News.com.au because their story is the most ridiculous: Lara Bingle feels ‘violated’ by nude photos, by Chris Paine and Owen Vaughan. And no, I have no idea how it took two journalists to write 505 words about their Google searches, with just a single interview that resulted in one sentence making it into the story. Two journalists!

First, let me show you the bullet points at the start of the story. This will be important later:

News.com.au bullet points

The bullet points on the News.com.au Lara Bingle story.

And now the story:

LARA Bingle says she feels “violated” and “emabarrassed” by paparazzi photos of her naked on her balcony.

I’m embarrassed that neither journalist can spell “embarrassed”. But picking on typos is unfair, when there’s so much more to pick on about this story. Did I mention it took two journalists to write it?

I’d also like to point out that the photos aren’t of Lara Bingle on the balcony. She was inside her home and closing the balcony door. INSIDE HER HOME. The photos were first aired on A Current Affair (Channel 9) last night. Which means that no one in charge at ACA and no one in charge at News.com.au is bothered by the fact that it is a massive invasion of your privacy to have someone take photos of you inside your own home. Is that the kind of “journalism” they support? How many steps do you reckon it is from publishing photos of someone inside their home to hacking someone’s phone?

It is the fourth nude photo scandal to beset Bingle, and it has left her clearly upset.

Despite reporting that Bingle is “clearly upset” about these photos being plastered across news sites – as anyone would be – News.com.au is still running the photos and the story nice and large on the website. News Ltd sites love nothing more than sticking the boot into Lara Bingle while simultaneously using her as clickbait.

But what are these four nude photo scandals?

Photos of her topless in a field, taken seven years ago, appeared on websites in 2007.

You mean photos that were taken when she was possibly underaged and then sold overseas by the photographer and published in German GQ magazine and it would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the MSM yelling “CLICK HERE TO SEE NUDE BINGLE BOOBIES!”. It says a lot about the MSM’s attitude towards Lara Bingle that the person who made money from selling the photographs is believed, but the person in the photos is not.

A mobile-phone snap of her in a shower, allegedly taken by her then lover, former AFL player Brendan Fevola, when they had a brief fling in 2006, was first published in 2010. Those pics contributed to the breakdown of her relationship with cricketer Michael Clarke, to whom she was engaged.

A photo that News.com.au gleefully ran across their homepage ALL DAY. A photo that any idiot could see Bingle had not consented to. A photo that Fevola reportedly showed to all his mates and a bunch of sports journos, and despite him being married, the journos portrayed it as her scandal, not his. You tell me, what’s more scandalous: a young woman in a nude photo she doesn’t want taken, or a married man taking a nude photo of a woman without her consent and then showing it to his workmates and the media. It’s pretty embarrassing for journalists that they can’t even get the scandal right.

Sources said a different set of photos showing the bikini model sunbathing topless on Bondi Beach were offered to magazines several weeks ago, though apparently there were no takers.

“Sources said”? I call bullshit. That just sounds like someone wanting to have a go at her.

And now, wait for it… the single quote that it took two journalists to get:

“She’s really upset and embarrased about this invasion of privacy,” she told news.com.au.

That was really worth the wait, wasn’t it? Two journalists! And they still can’t spell “embarrassed”. (I really hope there are no typos in this post…)

While Bingle is believed to be upset about the most recent shots, the drama surrounding their taking and attempted sale will only focus more attention on her reality show, which is being made for Channel 10.

Remember those bullet points?

But some claim the whole thing is a stunt

With no reference to ANYONE who may be making that claim, we can only assume that it’s Paine or Vaughan making that claim. It’s not really journalism is it, to report your opinion as though it’s someone else’s?

Sure, it could be a stunt. But without a single piece of evidence in this story indicating that it could be a stunt, I’m inclined to believe that it’s just the journos making it up.

Whatever you do, don’t read the comments. Remember, these are the ones that a journalist read and thought “yes, that’s fine to publish”.

Like this one:
Brett of Perth Posted at 2:13 PM Today
Who hasn’t seen it all before anyway and if Fevola didnt want it, how hot can it be?

Clearly hot enough for Brett of Perth to click on the story in order to see naked photos of her. How stupid can Brett of Perth be?

Update May 14: Still don’t think News Ltd websites use the words “Lara Bingle nude” to increase traffic? Check out the links at the bottom of yesterday’s story. These links were manually added by a journalist:

Links in Daily Telegraph's Lara Bingle story

Dailytelegraph.com.au demonstrates just how much they rely on Lara Bingle for traffic

I am on Team Lara

Lara Bingle has been treated like shit by the Australian news media simply because her job once involved saying “bloody” in a tourism campaign that tanked (as if that was somehow her fault and not the fault of the people who came up with the campaign), and because her ex-boyfriend took a photo of her in the shower, showed it to his mates, and then gave it to a journalist. Fairfax even declared her not good enough to go out with a guy whose job involves hitting a ball and then running a few metres before trying to hit it again. It’s not rocket surgery.

But seriously, the MSM is obsessed with her. If you do a search for Lara Bingle on the Daily Telegraph website, you get things like this:

“See amazing new pictures of Lara Bingle and her new look in this beautiful photo shoot”
“MODEL Lara Bingle is more than just a pretty face – she’s get a smoking hot body too.”
“Lara Bingle on a balcony”
“Think you know everything about Lara Bingle? Take our quiz… and find out.”
“Check out the sexy Lara Bingle. She is engaged to Michael Clarke, she knows how to ice skate.”

Yes, you read that correctly. It does say “Lara Bingle on a balcony”.

On the SMH website, you get lots of stories about Brendan Fevola and the stolen Aston Martin, but you also get this piece by Andrew Hornery last last year: Why the bloody hell are they so mean to Lara Bingle?:

EXACTLY what heinous crime against the free world did Lara Bingle commit?

I don’t know Andrew Hornery, but perhaps you should start with your own meanness. Talk about being first in line for the bandwagon and to hell with the idea that maybe you should be consistent in your views. Ooh, that probably gets a Tony Abbott Award.

Any excuse to run a story about her, and even better if there’s an opportunity to be mean as well. In today’s story – Lara Bingle puts her foot down on Dancing With The Stars – we get a whole story about how she’s being a “diva” because she wants to use her own make-up artist. And then this quote from a Seven spokeswoman:

“Obviously we have hair and make-up people, who look after the contestants and hosts and judges, etc. Some people like to have their own, some use the in house team.”

So, what she’s saying is that this is a perfectly normal situation. You know, there’s celebrity journalism and then there’s desperately running something in the hope that the SEO headline will come up on Google.

When it’s Lara Bingle versus the MSM, I am on Team Lara.

Lara just can’t win

As far as the Sydney media is concerned, Lara Bingle just can’t win. In a bitchy little piece on the back of today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Andrew Hornery writes:

Bingle Bungle
Lara Bingle strikes again. The Bingle has been getting her texting skills in order for her gig as guest blogger for Harpers Bazaar during Australian Fashion Week, which kicks off on Monday. Yesterday morning she Tweeted: “Madonna’s love of Ed Hardy remains one of the great mysteries of our time.” PS pointed out to The Bingle that perhaps she should reconsider the Tweet, as it was her agent, Max Markson, who launched the Ed Hardy label in Australia several years ago, calling up reporters with lame sightings of D-grade celebrities pretending to buy T-shirts. The Bingle is yet to respond.

Oh, where to start? Lara gets called The Bingle (ooh, how clever of The Hornery, not to mention the headline, Bingle Bungle – gee, how original), then we have ableist language, and mocking her role as guest blogger for a respected fashion mag. Laughing at people who wear Ed Hardy t-shirts is a well-established meme, so it’s not even worth commenting on that. But had Lara said something positive about the brand, no doubt The Hornery would have given her shit over it, saying she only said that because of Markson. Gimme a fucking break.

(Yes, I’m ignoring the front page story about whether or not a woman in skinny jeans can be raped. Again, gimme a fucking break.)

The Sydney Morning Tabloid

Like many people my opinion of the Sydney Morning Herald is getting pretty low*. But this is just too fucking much:

This fucking offensive graphic is on the front page. I bet they thought they were being clever. And the stupid article – Psychologist to help Pup shrink his problems – is about the sports psychologist who always sees them before a game:

One CA official last night said Chapman’s arrival in New Zealand had been planned prior to Clarke’s split with Bingle, but there is no doubting his brief has changed dramatically in the wake of the past week’s media circus.

Oh, Sydney Morning Herald, how I used to love you so. What happened between us? Why are you being such a sexist gutter rag?

I am this close to cancelling my subscription.

* And I’ve just ensured I’ll never work for Fairfax.

This Bingle-hatred is ridiculous

Misogyny and ridiculousness is alive and well, just look at Peter Roebuck’s opinion piece on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today: Clarke’s choice: love or leadership:

Michael Clarke needs to choose between a fraught personal life and his career in cricket.

So Clarke has to choose between his job and his life? Yes, I understand cricket is important to a lot of people, and there’s a lot of advertising money tied up in it, but that’s just ridiculous.

So much of Roebuck’s piece is offensive and cliched (young people spending all their time online and playing with iGadgets), so I’ll just highlight a few bits:

Ordinarily, a player rushes home upon hearing some dreadful news of a family loss, impending or completed. Or else he has been informed of a devastating sickness. Now and then a player is allowed to attend a birth in the modern way.

Now and then a player is allowed to be there when their child is born? How very generous of Cricket Australia. And then this piece of offensive garbage:

Clarke’s problem is easy to state and hard to resolve. He seems to be locked into a love affair with a beautiful but possibly unstable young woman. Whatever the reality of her life, supposing reality makes an appearance now and then, Lara Bingle stumbles from public relations disaster to public relations calamity. Restaurateurs complain about her manners and the poor company she keeps. Fashionistas talk of her headstrong ways and strange customs. Moreover, she seems intent on boosting the sales of all those magazines bought by the female of the species. In short, she craves attention and courts controversy. Yet Clarke, the class act of the pairing, seems besotted. Beauty and danger have always been a potent combination. Look in the mirror and find another fool to that folly.

Ah, Roebuck doesn’t think Lara Bingle is good enough, is worthy enough, and by calling Clarke the “class act” he’s saying that Bingle has no class. He also manages to disparage women as just being interested in gossip mags. Nice one. Bingle and Clarke are engaged, yet Roebuck calls it a “schoolboy crush”.

He then goes on to write that the wives of sportsmen “understood their role” and “did not make any extra demands” because they were mature women who made sure their cricket superstar husbands didn’t have to think about trivial things like family and the importance of keeping their relationship strong.

It doesn’t matter what we think of Lara Bingle. It doesn’t matter what we think of the pathetic act of showing people a nude photo of her and giving it to the media who then published it. What matters is what Lara Bingle thinks of it, and by extension, what Michael Clarke thinks of it. What sort of arsehole wouldn’t be concerned when their partner is distressed?

Sorry Peter Roebuck, this piece is just not cricket. (Boom tish)

Update: Man Friend just showed me an opinion piece by Richard Hinds: Just do what comes naturally as Pup tails the WAG: laugh. The first half is bad, but then he ends up somewhere completely different:

Laugh about how sporting bodies who preach ”respect and responsibility” towards women also encourage players to parade wives and girlfriend on the red carpet wearing not much more than Bingle in the infamous photograph. Thus a woman’s role as status symbols, attachment and the rightful reward for athletic achievement has been endorsed and ”WAG”, once a derisive term for a spendaholic ditz, has become an official office.

When to shoot the messenger

Lara Bingle is suing former lover Brendan Fevola for allegedly distributing a nude photo of her, yet Fairfax and News Limited (and commercial tv, but I don’t watch the news on Seven, Nine and Ten so I can only guess they’ve been running it too) are also responsible for this photo getting out. Both news organisations have been running prominent stories about it, and both have run the damn photo – with pink bits blurred, of course, because somehow that makes it ok.

It’s blatantly obvious that Bingle did not want that photo taken, so I hope there was at least some debate in newsrooms about running it. Or did no one give a shit because she’s “fair game”? How newsworthy is it really that there’s a nude photo of Lara Bingle? If you argued that Fevola showing it to team mates is newsworthy, then why not – at the very least – include a photo of Fevola in the story? Hmm?

A few weeks ago, a random commenter (he/she has never been back) said I was bitter and “sniping from the stands”. I’m not bitter at all. I’m fascinated by journalism. But I’m not a very good journalist because I believe that, with a few exceptions*, someone’s private life is none of our business. Or perhaps that makes me a good journalist, it’s hard to tell these days.

* For example, a public figure who opines about the sanctity of marriage, yet is having an affair.