The media will often do this. However, in this case, it was already a race issue before it was reported. The player appeared to perceive it as racial, and it appears that the clubs did too. I can't imagine that they would have apologised if it had just been a general insult that was hurled.
I understand the idea that calling someone an "ape" could be referring to them as an intellectually-challenged primate. But when it's said to a aborigine (or African, etc...) it carries clear racial connotations. The 'offender' being 13 years old is some basis for mitigation. Not sure what Eddie McGuire's excuse could be. After dealing with the situation well, he self-destructed spectacularly.
Nobody's got a big enough hand for a face-palm of that magnitude.