Forget Obama’s heroic efforts on gun-control in the US, forget the ‘earthquake’ in North Korea that might in fact be a nuclear explosion, forget even the news that there’s now a men’s cologne that can make you smell like Vladimir Putin — no, the biggest news story coming out of Oz this week is West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle ‘propositioning’ Channel 10 reporter Melanie McMaughlin by saying in a post-match interview that she has pretty eyes.

My instinct is to just ignore this as symptomatic of a slow news week.  The guy deserves every cent of the $10,000 fine he received for inappropriate behaviour, but he’s the third-highest paid cricketer in the world ($7.5+ million) so this is pocket change, and will affect his future behaviour not at all.  It’s not his first faux pas and won’t be his last, especially in a world conditioned to tolerate the grotesque behaviours of elite athletes.  In fact, Gayle’s laddish behaviour is so well-known that it should surprise no-one, particularly McLaughlin.  So why all the confected outrage?  I think I may have the answer.  Here’s a sampling of current female Australian sports reporters — see if you can spot a common theme:

Sarah Jones (Fox Sports reporter)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14th 2014;Fox Sports on air talent pose for portraits on the 14th of January 2014 at Fox Sports Studio in Melbourne Australia. (Photo by Martin Philbey) *** Local Caption ***Fox Sports on air Talent

Lara Pitt (Fox Sports reporter)

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Tara Ruston (Fox Sports reporter)

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Neroli Meadows (Fox Sports reporter)

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Jessica Yates (Fox Sports reporter)

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and of course Mel McLaughlin (former Fox Sports, now Channel 10 reporter)

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That’s right, they’re all absolutely hideous.  I don’t know what the hell is going on at Fox Sports recruiting, but somebody need to be held to account for inflicting this cavalcade of fuglies upon the sports-addicted public of Australia. So, in the spirit of justice, I went hunting for answers — who is to blame for letting these troglodytes out into the light?  Couldn’t they find jobs in radio?  For god’s sake, we still have mines in Australia don’t we, shouldn’t they be kept underground?

Well, after much investigation, I rejected the recruitment lead for Fox Sports in Sydney, poor guy, he’s just a stooge.  The rot goes deeper than that, it’s an international conspiracy that has its origin in the dark corporate heart of Manhattan.  From his slough of despond at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, an old man gazes angrily west out over the Hudson River, brow furrowed at a distant island-nation of former convicts with the temerity to contradict his political will.  To punish us, the sly old fox plagues us not with a storm of biblical locusts, but with a skeletal army of ex-models and WAGs. Revenge is sweet, isn’t it Rupert. You’ve managed to distract an entire nation from the things that actually matter, and at the same time indulged yourself in the ongoing fantasy that only the richest old men can afford, that girls like this are still attracted to you for something other than your money.