Intern Pete receives death threats

Comment from Peter Saxon

In an ironic twist Pete Deppeler’s tone deaf stunt at the Steve Smith media conference has backfired to the extent that he’s now getting a small taste of what Steve Smith is going through.

Deppeler, a producer on the Kyle and Jackie O show, like Smith is an experienced professional who should’ve known better but for some sort of brain snap. Now both are paying a price for it except the bill for Smith is way, way higher.

While Smith has been stripped of his livelihood for at least a year along with the monumental prestige of his position, Deppeler is unlikely to suffer more than a mild rebuke from his employer.

But neither deserve death threats from the trolls who just love to put an anonymous boot in when anyone better than themselves (which is just about everyone) stumbles or falls by the wayside.

On the way to the airport to intercept Smith and hit him with a question, Deppeler must have felt he had the makings of great piece of radio. 

What he expected was to have to follow Smith and his retinue as he was hurried through the terminal and call out a question on the run. Instead he and all the other media were bundled into a room for a sit-down press conference.

When Deppeler’s turn to ask his question came, he said he wanted to take a change of tack.“I want to let you know from the perspective (of the) non-sports community of Australians, to see you upset tonight is very sad.

“Mate I’ve got to tell you, hold your head high for what you have done because what’s actually been worse is what Davina and Dean did on Married At First Sight,” said Deppeler.

The affect on the funereal atmosphere in the room was immediate and chilling.

“As everyone watching at home saw, the solemnness of the moment was extraordinary,” Deppeler told

“To many, it held a lot more intensity than one would expect for a sporting incident. Steve was so upset which surprised everyone in the room and I just wanted to let him know that it truly wasn’t the end of the world.

“It wasn’t my intention to make light of his personal situation, but to show him that the millions of Australians who aren’t obsessed with cricket empathise with him. But timing is everything and, on reflection, it wasn’t the best time to ask that.”

No it bloody well wasn’t, Pete. 

Okay, the idea had some merit. Deppeler’s immediate boss, Kyle Sandilands like Clive Roberson (left) before him is an inveterate non-sporting type with little or no interest in sports stars unless they join a pop band or the cast of a reality show. His audience knows it and accepts it as part of his rich and compelling personality. So, in keeping with the vibe of the show, it makes sense that Intern Pete should ask a question on behalf of Kyle and his listeners, many of whom aren’t cricket tragics.

What Pete seems to have missed at the time was that the press conference had gone way beyond mere sport. Anyone entering that room, even if they’d never heard of cricket and had no idea who Steve Smith was, could see a young man choking back tears as his world crumbled around him. Most of us could not bear the humiliation of having to publicly confess to transgressions unbecoming an Australian Captain… whether ship’s, A380 or Socceroo’s. 

Smith, however, gave what was perhaps one of the most heroic performances of his career as he took on all the blame for letting down his team, the game of cricket and its fans as well as all Australians who uphold the ethos of a fair go. But mostly he was ashamed of himself for letting his parents down by doing something that was against everything they had instilled in him from childhood.

It wasn’t cricket. It was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. The last thing Smith needed was a clown car driving through his “To be or not to be” soliloquy.

Given about a minute and half to listen to Smith and to asses the situation in the room before he asked his question, Deppeler had ample time to sense the mood and either ask something more suitable to the occasion or abandon the question altogether.


Peter Saxon





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