with John Butler
Exhibit A: In 2001, a prominent media commentator - then a cricket coach - was convicted of common assault in England, after being found guilty of caning three young men on the buttocks.
This convicted criminal continues to be employed by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Exhibit B: In 2002, a prominent (and married) media commentator - then a rugby league player - was investigated, after being involved in group sex with a woman in New Zealand. While this affair was no doubt extremely tawdry, the players claimed it was consensual, and there was not sufficient proof for charges to be laid.
Exhibit B has been sacked and the television show he works for is in major peril of closing prematurely as a result. Around two-thirds of those polled at the Sydney Morning Herald agree that this man - despite not being charged with anything - should have been sacked.
Exhibit A continues to pontificate from his newspaper column at the Sydney Morning Herald. No polls have been taken about his employment, and he has even used the event as fodder for his book.
Now I'm not here to defend either one of these people - just to point out that the Sydney Morning Herald's standards appear to be far lower than those they expect of others. What's particularly galling about this is a particular middle class disdain for rugby league players, who usually have working class backgrounds.
The Age newspaper found itself in a similar situation last year, and once again, it turns out it was a moral dilemma that they felt did not apply to them.
An aside - overheard at a cafe today - "I hear that these days the Cronulla Sharks can get more people to a gang-bang than to a game."