Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax
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General Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Message claims that Australia’s General Peter Cosgrove made a remark about a female interviewer being “equipped to be a prostitute” during an interview on ABC radio.




Brief Analysis:
The claim in the message is untrue. General Cosgrove has never made any such remark in any interview. The message is a recycled version of earlier US and UK based versions that have circulated for a number of years.

Example:
Subject: FW: Worth thinking about Peter Cosgrove interview

For those that don’t know him, Major General Peter Cosgrove is an “Australian treasure!”

General Cosgrove was interviewed on the radio recently. You’ll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of an ABC interview between a female broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military headquarters.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL COSGROVE:
We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?

GENERAL COSGROVE:
I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL COSGROVE:
I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL COSGROVE:
Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.





Detailed Analysis:
This message supposedly includes a transcript of an interview featuring General Peter Cosgrove broadcast on an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) radio program. When taken to task by the female interviewer for plans to allow a group of visiting Scouts to participate in a shooting exercise, General Cosgrove supposedly delivers a caustically sexist comeback line that silences her criticism and terminates the interview.

In reality, no such interview ever took place nor did Cosgrove ever make such a remark.

The story is an Australianized version of an earlier US based story that had a certain “General Reinwald” of the US Marines as the one delivering the killer line. The US version (example included below) claimed that General Reinwald made the remark during an interview with a female reporter broadcast on NPR (National Public Radio). However, NPR has denied that any such interview was ever broadcast and there are no records of a General Reinwald serving in the US armed forces. “General Reinwald” is nothing more than a fictional character invented to give an American orientation to an even older version of the story.

Well before the “General Reinwald” story began circulating, a Welsh based version had already been posted online. The Welsh version (example included below) simply featured “Mr. Jones”, a leader of a youth club, as the one who delivered the sexist remark and made no mention of Generals or Scouts. In fact, incarnations of this old joke have been posted on innumerable websites, blogs and forums in several countries for a number of years. Some versions mention other youth groups such as the Devil Pups rather than Scouts.
Unlike earlier versions of the joke, the Australian variant names a real person. By falsely claiming that Peter Cosgrove made such an overtly sexist and inflammatory remark, the joke unfairly tarnishes the reputation of a highly respected and honourable man. General Peter Cosgrove is a high-profile and much-admired member of the Australian community who had a distinguished army career that culminated in his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force in 2002. Cosgrove retired from the army in 2005 but has certainly not disappeared from public life. He played a pivotal role as leader of the aid and recovery effort after Cyclone Larry devastated areas of far north Queensland in March 2006. And, he is the current Governor-General of Australia.

US “General Reinwald” Version:

Subject: Greatest comeback line

Marine Corp’s General Reinwald was interviewed on the radio the other day and you have to read his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this!!!! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD:
We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?

GENERAL REINWALD:
I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD:
I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:
But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD:
Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

You gotta love the Marines!

Welsh youth club leader version:

Excerpt from a recent live radio interview on one of the regional Welsh stations:

A female newscaster is interviewing the leader of a Youth club:
Interviewer:- So, Mr. Jones, what are you going to do with these children on this adventure holiday?

Jones:- We’re going to teach them climbing, abseiling, canoeing, archery, shooting…

Interviewer:- Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible isn’t it?

Jones:- I don’t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the range.

Interviewer:- Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

Jones:- I don’t see how, we will be teaching them proper range discipline before they even touch a firearm.

Interviewer:- But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

Jones:- Well, you’re equipped to be a prostitute but you’re not one are you?

Needless to say, the interview was terminated almost immediately……




Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax

Last updated: January 20, 2017
First published: January 3, 2008
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
About NPR: The Mythical General Reinwald
General Cosgrove
NPR Interview of USMC General – Email Is Not True

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