Mark Latham labeled a bully for questioning school boys sexuality

Mark Latham Sky News Outsiders

Sky News presenter Mark Latham has been labeled a bully by current Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Latham, who was leader of the Labor party from 2003 to 2005, is under fire after he questioned the sexuality of a schoolboy on live TV.

Alongside Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean, the retired MP hosts Outsiders, a new right wing show on Sky News on Sunday mornings. The show is a response to the ABC’s long running political program Insiders.

On the March 12 edition of the program, Latham commented on a video made by students at Sydney Boys School. The video shows the teenagers support for feminism. The school boys collected quotes from women in their lives and then read them out on camera.

Latham singled out one of the students and said he thought the student looked gay.

“The boys at the boys school look like d***heads doing their video, total d***heads,” he said on air, adding, “I thought the first guy was gay.”

Today current Labor leader Bill Shorten described Latham’s comments as; “sad, attention seeking behaviour by attacking other people”.

“He’s behaving like a bully and he should apologise,” Shorten told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek, who as the member for Sydney has the school within her electorate, said the boys in the video were; “better men than Mark Latham has ever been.”

“Mark Latham should be ashamed of attacking teenagers trying to make the world a better place,” Plibersek said.

Plibersek she had known the young man targeted by Latham for several years and described him as a “particularly impressive person.”

Criticism of Latham’s comments have been criticised by people from both sides of the political spectrum. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has also condemned Latham’s remark.

“He should pick on people his own size rather than having a juvenile go at the sexuality of school ­children on national TV.” Birmingham said.

NSW Education Minister Education Minister Rob Stokes said the comments were “unacceptable” and ‘bullying”.

“Adults in privileged high-profile commentating roles need to be mindful of the example they set for the community. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable.” Stokes said.

On Tuesday Latham said he stood by his comments. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph he said, “Who wouldn’t think that?”

Defending his comments, Latham said when you first start watching the video it is not obvious that the students are reading quotes from women.  Since the school boy was talking about having sex with a man, it was reasonable to assume the boy was gay.

Speaking to journalist Shari Markson Latham pulled out a Seinfeld quote and dismissed the controversy.

“Maybe you haven’t seen the video, Sharri, so I should say, the student pretended to be a woman by talking about sex with a man — so yes, one would assume he was gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

The comments about the schoolboy are just one of several criticisms levelled at the Outsiders host in recent weeks. ABC radio host Wendy Harmer has reportedly threatened legal action over comments Latham made on Sunday mornings program.

Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, who is also a host on the news network, is also said to be considering legal action against her own employer in relation to comments Latham made on air.

OUTinPerth has reached out to SKY News for comment.

OIP Staff



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