A petition calling for the sacking of Sky News journalist Kay Burley has gathered more than 53,000 signatures. The petition follows around 1,100 complaints submitted to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom over Burley’s confrontational interview with Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainment, the company that owns Alton Towers.
Burley grilled Varney on Sky News over the safety of the park’s attractions, after four people were seriously injured on the Smiler rollercoaster last week. She told him she was “sure [the families of the injured] are not interested in your sympathy at this stage” after he apologised for the accident.
The petition says Burley was “rude and patronising” to the CEO during the interview. Gareth Pugh, the person who started the petition, calls on Sky News to “act professional” and “issue an apology and sack Kay Burley.”
What is interesting about this whole affair is that if the interviewer had been Jeremy Paxman, John Humphreys or Adam Boulton they would have been lauded for being “tough and uncompromising” with the interviewee and not letting him off the hook. But because the interviewer was a woman it is a matter of “throw up your hands in horror” that she should have had the audacity to take such a hard and uncompromising line with the CEO of the company.
We all remember Paxman asking Michael Howard the government minister the same question TWELVE times during the infamous Newsnight interview and he was lauded and praised for it. God forbid that a female interviewer had done the same thing.
It is no wonder that women in general and particularly in the media, have to work twice as hard, be twice as good simply to be considered equal to a male interviewer. Misogyny is alive and well in the broadcasting world…………..as it would also seem to be with the general public.