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"Even if you were under water you'd still be talking": Newman berates Wilson

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Eddie McGuire will sit out tonight’s Fox Footy AFL coverage, citing emotional exhaustion, as his mate and former colleague Sam Newman last night turned the blowtorch on the victim of last week’s verbal barrage, journalist Caroline Wilson.

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High-profile AFL identity Newman defended McGuire over the controversy, using his Footy Show vehicle to speculate that it amounted to a “personality clash between two radio stations”.

McGuire works for Triple M while Wilson, a leading football reporter for The Age, appears on 3AW.

Newman said McGuire was a friend of his, but the controversy over a joke about holding Wilson under water had gone too far.

“This started out as a shore break, it’s developed into a fully blown tsunami,” he said.

He said if Wilson wanted to be treated equally, she shouldn’t complain “when it’s too equal”.

“The jig’s up Caro, honestly and truly. You are becoming an embarrassment,” he said.

“Even if you were under water you’d still be talking.”

A supplied photo of Sam Newman, contributing to the first on air broadcast of radio show Breakfast with Steve Price on MTR radio station, on Monday, April 19, 2010. MTR is a new Melbourne radio station on the broadcast frequency on 1377 AM, with radio veteran Steve Price's Breakfast show running from from 6am until 10am on weekdays. (AAP Image/Map and Page) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Sam Newman says the furore boils down to a radio station standoff. AAP Image.

McGuire reportedly rang Wilson yesterday to apologise for the saga and she accepted.

He is said to be emotionally and physically drained by the week’s events.

The Collingwood president, who was supposed to be part of the commentary team for tonight’s Adelaide v North Melbourne match, has scheduled holidays from next week with his family.

Also on Wednesday, deputy commissioner Wendy Steendham referred to the controversy in an internal Victoria Police memo.

“Recent comments by Eddie McGuire and others have made me think about the parallels with our own organisation when it comes to the impact and harm words and inappropriate behaviour can have on others,” she said.

“Here we have an example of where humiliation and a lack of respect are played out in public… where a group of men laughing about drowning a female colleague, along with other name calling is somehow framed as a ‘joke’.

“What they didn’t understand is that intention is not what matters, but rather the impact of the behaviour.”

Triple M belatedly apologised for the controversy after the AFL expressed support for a boycott of the radio station by Richmond players.

The radio station says it will donate its on-field digital signage space from this weekend’s games to anti-violence against women charity White Ribbon as it looks to make amends.

The apology and pledge came after a public outcry which has lasted all week in the wake of McGuire, James Brayshaw and Danny Frawley’s disparaging on-air remarks about Wilson.

“Triple M acknowledges the widespread public condemnation of comments made on Triple M Football last week,” a statement released on Wednesday read.

“The comments were inappropriate and unacceptable, disrespectful to Caroline Wilson and to women in general.

“We recognise that continued and further education is necessary to ensure that all staff understand what is acceptable and what won’t be tolerated.”

All Triple M staff will receive training from White Ribbon but the high-profile trio will not face disciplinary action over the controversial exchange that happened ahead of the Queen’s Birthday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood.

Richmond players will refuse to appear on Triple M this weekend in response to the affair – an action supported by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan.

“That’s their voice. This is what happens when you give the opportunity for issues like this to be talked about and for people to take positions,” McLachlan said before the apology was issued.

Crows captain Taylor Walker yesterday deleted some of the tweets he had posted about the controversy, in which he called a supporter a “peanut” for taking him to task after he declared he was “sick” of hearing about the McGuire issue.

-with AAP

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