Instead, he said this:
“If you want to be equal and treated equally, the point is, don’t complain when it’s too equal,” he said, addressing Wilson through the camera.
“The jig’s up Caro, honestly and truly. You’re becoming an embarrassment. And even if you were underwater, you’d still be talking.”
The AFL Footy Show host was responding to the fallout from controversial comments made by Collingwood CEO Eddie McGuire about the The Big Freeze, a charity event in which celebrities slide into a pool of icy water to raise money for motor neurone disease.
“In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson,” McGuire said on Triple M on June 12. “And I’ll put in ten grand straight away. Make it twenty. And if she stays under, fifty.”
During last night’s lengthy editorial, Newman not only slammed Caro but also the press, who he claimed were carrying out a “vendetta” against McGuire and the other men involved in the incident.
“If you search for a cause to fit a narrative, eventually you’ll convince yourself that you’ve stumbled onto something, as most of the cowardly excrement have,” he said.
“Those excrement who have weighed into this — I’d like to mention their names, but as nobody reads or listens to them because they’re on second tier media outlets I won’t bother. But if you spray excrement with perfume or put aftershave on a piece of excrement, at the end of the day, it’s still a piece of excrement.”
While the audience applauded Newman’s comments, his Footy Show co-hosts weren’t so enthusiastic.
James Brayshaw, who was one of the Triple M hosts embroiled in the initial controversy, distanced himself from Newman’s ‘talking underwater’ statement.
“You are entitled to your opinion Sam. I don’t agree with, certainly, that last bit,” he said.
“Some of the language used in that 30-second [radio] segment was off the pace, and for that reason, it was absolutely appropriate that we apologise. Offence was taken and I can understand why.”
Rebecca Maddern agreed, saying that McGuire’s comments had made her uncomfortable.
“I think in the media, we have to be reminded that we are in a very privileged position. We have a voice. That voice is listened to by many people, and people absorb what we say. And in turn, because of that, we have a power to change the conversation and shape the public perception about certain issues,” she said.
“I believe the first step towards that is actually about language … because the spoken word really is very, very powerful.”