This is hardly the first time I’ve found myself thinking, “Thank God for Hamish and Andy”.
In news that you most definitely did not manage to miss this week, 19-year-old Paris Jackson arrived in Australia as Myer’s ambassador for the Melbourne Cup.
It is rumoured that the model, actress, activist and daughter of the late Michael Jackson, was paid $100,000 to attend as a VIP guest, and from the moment she stepped foot into Flemington Racecourse, she was the perfect prey for the Australian news media.
It all began with Fairfax reporting that Jackson “wasn’t a fan” of the Alex Perry dress she was expected to wear, instead wearing a Morrison piece (also a Myer brand) and she even (would you believe it) wore her own boots.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and I debrief on the media coverage of Paris Jackson. Post continues below.
Never mind that the source of the story was unidentified and simply described as someone ‘close to Myer’. And never mind that both Alex Perry and Paris Jackson denied that any such conflict occurred.
None of that mattered. Because the Australian media were only just getting started.
News Corp had a field day. “What was Myer thinking choosing Paris Jackson for face of Melbourne Cup?” they asked. And then it was “Melbourne Cup VIP guests photographed a little worse for wear”. And then it was an extensive list, with an implicit eye roll, of all the things they were told they couldn’t ask the celebrity, including about the death of her father, and her mental health issues as an adolescent.
That… that sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Oh. And then The Daily Mail decided to run close up pictures of Jackson flaunting her “unshaven legs”, branding her Melbourne Cup appearance a “nightmare”.
But the real "Welcome to Australia!" came on Wednesday morning, when the Herald Sun ran with the headline, both in print and online (it was just that... good) "Wacko Jacko 2.0" accompanied by an image of the young woman poking her tongue out.
Nothing screams "please come back!" like making fun of someone's deceased father, and calling someone who has been open about their crippling depression and anxiety, as well as their multiple suicide attempts, "wacko".
As we watched this unfold, many of us were left with the question; What the hell is wrong with everyone?