Some serious stupidity from the Herald Sun in this vacuous smear on the ABC, attacking it for private tweets by two contributors.
How it twists the tweets into an attack is just classic News Ltd.
The first, from Paul Verhoeven, was
Boo you whore
The Herald Sun version?
Triple J presenters label Julia Gillard a ‘whore’, Tim Mathieson ‘gay’
ONE broadcaster called Julia Gillard a “whore”… [Verhoeven] later deleted it, claiming it was merely a reference to a popular movie.
The Triple J presenter later tweeted that the original tweet had been taken down “because the ABC were copping complaints from people who clearly haven’t seen Mean Girls”.
“Claiming”? It’s not like they couldn’t check whether it was a reference or not.
Well, that took two seconds of typing “Boo you whore” into Google. (I suspect that the context of that scene clarifies that the character – and thus the PM – isn’t actually being accused of being a prostitute.)
Why didn’t the Hun journo check whether Verhoeven’s defence stacked up? Why did he leave it as the doubt-inspiring “claimed”? I don’t know, but I’m sure it was for some legitimate reason.
Meanwhile if News Ltd wants to complain about people calling Julia nasty names, perhaps it might consider reviewing the supposedly “moderated” comments it regularly publishes about her and her colleagues. They’ve published much worse about her than “whore”. Maybe the next story will be:
Herald Sun moderators publish comments labelling Gillard a “dictator”, a “shape-changing vampire”, a “trollop and a shrew”, a “mongrel”, a “bitch”, “slitty-eyed”, a “fungal growth” who has “given up all attributes of what it means to be a human being”, “Australia’s very own Jezebel”, a “compulsive liar” whose “milk is sour”, “pure evil”, a “slimy con-artist”, a “slag of the lowest order”, “a disgusting, lying slag without one ounce of integrity or decency”.
Yeah, I know, that headline is too long. But they could pick two and give it the same prominence as their ABC bash – if they wanted to be consistent.
Meanwhile, there was a second tweet, this from Brendan McLean:
Just because you don’t want to marry your gay boyfriend doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to marry mine.
[McLean] accused [Gillard’s] partner Tim Mathieson of being gay in blistering Twitter attack… as the Prime Minister prepared to open the ALP national conference.
The attacks underlined the heat being generated by Labor’s debate this weekend on same-sex marriage.
McLean is gay. He clearly doesn’t consider being gay an insult. To interpret it as an attack on Mathieson requires concluding that being gay is something to be ashamed of, rather than equivalent to accusing Mathieson of liking blondes.
Anyway, it was all naturally grist to the silly mill of Southbank’s regular self-parodist, Andrew Bolt:
Why must taxpayers pay people so vicious?
We pay the salaries of such barbarians? And isn’t gay marriage meant to be pushed by people motivated by compassion and tolerance?
It’s strange that the Left gets a pass for brutality that conservatives never do.
It’s also strange that grown men still haven’t figured that tweeting is for morons.
Well, taxpayers pay the two in question because, I suppose, they’re good at their jobs and their private Twitter accounts have nothing to do with it.
And, as we’ve regularly seen, if tweets that are crude or insulting to the Prime Minister render the posters “barbarians”, then Andrew’s audience is largely comprised of “barbarians”.
Ironically, Andrew’s link under “the Left gets a pass for brutality” is to a story describing how Catherine Deveny was sacked by The Age for a personal tweet, which hardly sounds like “getting a pass”.
(And I don’t think “brutality” means what Andrew thinks it means.)
Meanwhile, here are some of Andrew’s colleagues with active Twitter accounts who he’s therefore just called “morons”:
Malcolm Farr, Caroline Overington, Miranda Devine, Sally Bennett, James Campbell, Mark Stevens, Matt Johnston, … the journos whose stories were at the top of the Herald Sun website when I looked, Shelley Hadfield, Jessica Craven, Phillip Hudson…
Ah well, at least now they know what he thinks of them.