Miranda’s remarks were *worse*

I don’t think Miranda Devine should be sacked for her offensive tweet – but, unlike News Ltd commenters, that’s entirely consistent with the view I expressed last week on the Deveny sacking. Twitter feeds are not newspaper columns, and the whole point of opinion writers is that they’re pushing their own opinions, not those of the newspapers for which they write. I fundamentally disagree with Devine’s sanctimonious (and now amusingly hypocritical) claim, stated before she did just that herself, that sacking Deveny was fine because “not trashing the brand is more important than ever” – opinion writers represent themselves, not “the brand”.

That said, I think Devine’s tweet was clearly far MORE offensive than Deveny’s.

Just as the level of menace in their previous articles is completely disparate, the same applies to the tweets. Where Deveny’s previous columns have merely been childishly derisive of suburbanites, Devine’s have in contrast called for people with whose politics she doesn’t agree to be “hanging from lamp-posts”. And where Deveny made sarcastic but tasteless remarks about two celebrities, Devine maligned an entire community that presently is discriminated against – to a large extent because of bigoted attitudes like the one she displayed in her tweet (and which she’d endorsed in the article to which her interlocutor was originally objecting). Deveny went after the powerful and prominent; Devine went after the powerless and maligned.

Does any rational person think Deveny was actually calling for a child to be raped, as anonymous online commenters have charged? Seriously? In contrast, does anyone NOT think Devine was putting gay people down and suggesting that they’re perverted in her tweet?

They both crossed a line, but their choice of targets is fairly significant. This isn’t a right-left thing, either – Bindi Irwin and Rove McManus are not “leftist targets”, although obviously gays are targets for one particular subset of rightwingers. Instead, what makes the difference is that where one is a comedienne tastelessly having a go at well-paid figures in the media industry, the other is a professional journalist indulging in a nasty prejudice about a subjugated community – while she writes columns in a major newspaper smearing their campaign for equal rights.

I know which one I think is more disturbing and which does more damage.

UPDATE: Chris Deal has a breakdown on Punch“To err is Deveny, to be a hypocrite Devine”:

To generalise that all gay men have sex with gerbils is nothing but homophobia. It’s a derogatory comment designed to deride not only the man Devine was “engaging in robust debate” with, but also the entire gay lifestyle, and exposes a nasty little nugget of what deeply held opinion Devine might really have about the gay community.

And, by the way, I’d have thought the “joke” of Deveny’s tweet about Rove was fairly obvious – it was the disconnect between what someone might think quietly to themselves, quite sympathetically (not because they want Rove’s wife to die, but because it occurs to them just how ridiculously cruel it would be if the Universe did that twice), and how badly it would be taken if said aloud. It’s a joke about saying things in bad taste. I don’t think it worked, obviously, but I doubt Rove or his family would have been “devastated” by it either.

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53 responses to “Miranda’s remarks were *worse*

  1. Splatterbottom

    Does any rational person think Deveny was actually calling for a child to be raped,

    It’s probably perfectly normal in leftist circles, but what do you call sex with an 11 year old girl? Please let me know the exact circumstances an 11 year old needs to get laid?

    Deveny is so utterly stupid that she can’t think of a better insult to a kid she finds irritating. She is clearly demented.

    Devine’s response was unremarkable. It wasn’t attacking a child. It was an appropriate response to a fool who attacked her first. I would like to know where Patrick got the gerbils from. I’m pretty sure they would have Deveny’s faeces matted into their fur.

  2. Jeremy,
    I’m not sure I can agree that Devine’s comments were “worse” but I would agree that they have both crossed the line and brought into the public arena the problems that new technologies can bring. In essence, they’ve both come across as reasonably immature schoolgirls.

    @ Splatterbottom; interesting response…

  3. Wisdom Like Silence

    Jerey, dude, no. Doesn’t matter that it was Bindi, you just don’t say stupid shit like that.

    I for one am not upset that they’re firing retards from cloumns! One step closer to having opinon columns being written by people with half a brain.

  4. Wisdom, as far as I can tell she was trying to satirise the sexualisation and objectification in celebrity culture. Of course, as I understand Bindi was dressed fairly normally, which puts Deveny in the same place as Clive Hamilton…

    SB, do you think if you got in an arguement with an Asian it would be appropriate to make jokes about dog-eating? Or

  5. Splatterbottom

    Broggly, it has long been my ambition to eat spit-roasted black dog. I wouldn’t joke about it.

    I don’t see the connection between gerbil fucking and gay marriage. It seems like the sort of insult you would sling at any pest that was annoying you, much as I would call EvShow a ‘dog-fucking leftist’ when he insults me – not particularly witty, but not reasonable reply to an insult.

    Jeremy said: “Deveny went after the powerful and prominent”. This just plain ridiculous. In fact a dissipated aging comic went after an 11 year old girl. Deveny needs a good seeing to by a 300 pound bull-dyke wearing a serrated double-pronged strap-on.

  6. onelastleftthought

    Editors should be able to make decisions on who and what to print but I don’t think tweets are a reasonable ground to fire someone.

    Use the new median as a springboard. Devine is offensive in her normal articles but following that tweet complaint print responses and start a dialogue how infantile responses (like splatterbottoms) are not just a big joke to the people who get teased and threaten on a regular basis.

    I have more of a problem with Deveny’s response than the original offensive tweets. She said the Bindi joke was a comment on Raunch Culture but I think she was buying into that very thing. It’s not funny to joke about a child’s sex but this regularly happens (think Miley, Britney and Nicki Webster underage… even think Justin Bieber).

    Deveny should have gone “Sorry, it was wrong and it feeds into a culture which is all kinds of nasty. I have sunk to the level of Two and a Half Men. Gross.”

  7. baldrickjones

    Deveny spouted rubbish unprompted, and totally out of the view – she considers it mature humour. She found out that a lot of people found it offensive. It was not the first instance of this type of behaviour. I agree with the post on New Matilda – that was the most succinct summary of the situation that I have seen. Miranda was goaded by an idiot over a period of time. This is not a left/right, progressive/conservative issue – it is about understanding that free speech has consequences, and somebody decided that they didn’t want her on their payroll – which is also their right in a free society.

    If you don’t think something was wrong with Deveny’s comments and that they were offensive, then I don’t think that you should act as anybody’s moral compass.

  8. baldrickjones

    *out of the blue

  9. “They both crossed a line”

    …when processed through baldrick’s brain becomes…

    “you don’t think something was wrong with Deveny’s comments and that they were offensive”

    Clearly that’s not what I said. I don’t think they were an “endorsement of child rape” or whatever exaggeration the nutbags are using to misrepresent it, but I didn’t suggest that someone mightn’t “find them offensive”.

    Don’t you think there’s anything wrong with accusing a gay man of bestiality just because he’s gay, Baldrick? Maybe there’s something wrong with YOUR “moral compass”.

  10. zaratoothbrush

    All this leftist vindictiveness began back in the 70s, when Randy Newman said those horrible, horrible things about short people.

    Then there was the infamous Chaser sketch, remember?. A deliberate and PSYCHOPATHIC attack on DYING CHILDREN, no less. They even said, IIRC, that they hoped the kids would die, just like Deveny said about Rove’s new woman. And then all these uni-educated bedwetters came out of their mum’s back room to cry: “it’s ironic satire – they’re only portraying that mentality in order to deride it; comedians have been doing that for decades!”.

    Sure they are… Sure they are…

  11. “Then there was the infamous Chaser sketch, remember?. A deliberate and PSYCHOPATHIC attack on DYING CHILDREN, no less. “

    LOL. Oh, wait, you’re serious.

  12. Actually, in retrospect, people did arguably go overboard being offended by Deveny’s remarks, but that is probably because she is so objectionable in general. Indeed, she is almost like a one-woman sub-genre in being professionally unpleasant. I suspect that Ramadge used the twitter affair as an excuse to dump her column. After all, he had already bumped her from the Opinion page to the Fluffy back page badlands.

    And the characterization of Devine’ ‘rogering gerbils’ remark as an anti-gay slur seems like a case of projection to me. What have the two got in common? We dig dudes, not rodents.

  13. Why don’t you think he was serious?

    SB, maybe a better example would be joking about Jews poisoning wells, or about an Aboriginal guy sniffing petrol and raping kids. If you don’t get the point I was making then I’m afraid I can’t help you, as I doubt Jeremy will let me feed his local troll enough to turn this thread into an offensive stereotype brainstorm.

  14. “Why don’t you think he was serious?”

    I forgot that there were people who actually did take that Chaser skit seriously as an actual attack on sick children.

  15. Splatterbottom

    Tempting, broggly. But even I have limits.

  16. zaratoothbrush

    Wait, I was serious? What about the line “they’re only portraying that mentality in order to deride it”? How meta can you get?

    Actually, there seem to have been thousands of, folks who took that skit as an attack on kids, just as (mostly) the same people now swear that Deveny’s crack was an attack on Bindi Irwin personally, rather than the culture Deveny thinks she’s caught up in.

    I suspect that their comprehension fail is deliberate; it gives them one more chance to demonise someone on teh left, an action that lies at the core of their political “philosophy”.

  17. Irony reading fail! Sorry.

  18. You know who should be sacked.

    Mark fucking McClure.

    What a piece of shit.

  19. Splatterbottom

    Talk about an underhanded tactic – attributing to words their real meaning!

    “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid” is an expression of personal venom by a vituperative bitch. Deveny is hoping her smug elite audience will titter and giggle at her heroic act of talking truth to the power of an 11 year old child. Deveny needs to settle down. Maybe a clitorectomy would help.

    To say that Deveny was commenting on celebrity culture is about as honest as saying that calling Michelle Obama the ‘First Ho’ is a comment on Gangsta culture.

  20. zaratoothbrush

    an expression of venom by a vituperative bitch … Maybe a clitorectomy [sic] would help

    Ah, the magical power of projection.

  21. To a certain extent all governments are by definition gangster (Tho maybe not gangsta ones) enterprises. Especially the US.

    As for deveny’s comment. Really who gives a fuck. Sure it was tasteless, but it wasn’t calling for a rape. (If Bindi and her (hypothetical) 11 year old boyfriend do get a bit rude who is the rapist? Him or her?) I don’t read her column or follow her tweets yet I can’t escape hearing about it.

    “And the characterization of Devine’ ‘rogering gerbils’ remark as an anti-gay slur seems like a case of projection to me. What have the two got in common? We dig dudes, not rodents.”

    Exactly.

    But the only time we hear about it is when kinky gay dudes (supposedly) decide to do it. No one ever says it about straight people.

    Only about pet shop boys.

    And really, given she was having an argument with someone and that was her personal response – BFD. I’ll bet if someone hassled her with some offensive sexist comment tho she’d be up in arms.

    Especially considering she’s probably only writing that stuff to find a rich husband anyway.

  22. zaratoothbrush

    Of course splattybum is only joking, isn’t he.

    He isn’t seriously calling for Ms Deveny’s genital mutilation – only a vituperative, er… bitch would do something like that.

    A bitch like Cath D, who we now know, more than ever, was seriously calling for poor liddle miss Bindi’s forced defloration.

    That there are such terrible people in the world, ’tis indeed a mortification.

  23. Wisdom Like Silence

    I dont mind satire, she wasn’t being satirical she was being a douche bag.

  24. zaratoothbrush

    False dichotomy; surely she can be both.

  25. Splatterbottom

    Characterising Deveny’s comment as ‘personal venom’ is about as accurate as you can get.

    Creating a false dichotomy by suggesting that the only available choices are social comment on celebrity culture or a call for underage sex is as deceptive as the rest of your comments, zara.

    The real meaning of Deveny’s comments is that they are the nasty words of a jaded hack provoking outrage to satisfy her craving for attention, at the expense of an 11 year old child. Of course you can’t exclude the possibility that Deveny was getting off on the prospect of doing Bindi herself.

    My comments are best understood as using this occasion as a teachable moment for Deveny.

  26. WLS both these tweet cases are simply people being fuckheads in a public forum.

    I do find the whole Bindi Irwin thing a bit weird tho.

    Sure 11 is too young for sex, but right now there are kids as young as 11 experimenting. Some will be rooting within a year or two.

    Honestly, I’d assume that if a kid is gonna get laid its with another kid. The idea that the only people Deveny could have been referring to as potential partners for Bindi are adults …

    To my mind thats truly sick and says some pretty damning things about our culture.

    Assuming an 11 year old is gonna have sex with an adult is worse in my mind than suggesting they might have sex. When I started high school there were kids who were sexually active, not with adults, but with other kids.

    Not many but some, and I don’t think its actually a healthy thing at that age. After 15 maybe.

    So really suggesting this is a call for her to get raped … its just bollocks. If you really think that you are spending too much time thinking about inappropriate sex and probably need therapy. (Not referring to you with that, wls – but to the hysteria in the media.)

    I’m not justifying the comment either. It was just a dumbfuck one, like Devine’s comment about Lemmikins and mine about her husband hunting.

    But I find the reaction truly disturbing.

  27. “The real meaning of Deveny’s comments is that they are the nasty words of a jaded hack provoking outrage to satisfy her craving for attention, at the expense of an 11 year old child.”

    Thats about the sum of it really.

    And we sure have fed it, haven’t we.

  28. Splatterbottom

    Satsifying Deveny’s cravings is a nasty thought, jules. I have this image of being sucked into her gargantuan twat. The more I struggle to get out, the more stimulated she becomes until finally I am expelled by the devastating force of her climactic explosion, covered in the rancid slime of her diseased secretions.

  29. Well, if she was looking for evidence of misogyny…

  30. zaratoothbrush

    Wow, just wow.

    I suppose that’s another ‘teachable moment’

    We have much to learn…

  31. Wisdom Like Silence

    I’m sorry misogyny is when you just hate all women all the time for everything. Not when you hate a specific fuckwitted trollumist or comedian etc for being offensive, retarded and just plain un-intelligent all in the space of 140 characters. SB’s summation of the situation is horrifyingly accurate.

  32. Writing a comment like SB’s last is misogynist, not criticising Deveny.

  33. Splatterbottom

    Not so, Jeremy. Such an episode is usually a pleasant fantasy. The diseased secretions are specific to Deveny. They are a symptom of her diseased mind.

  34. zaratoothbrush

    I think your argument (let’s just call it that) would carry more weight if you closed with:

    so nyah nyah nyah nyah noo

    she’s a big stinkypants too

  35. Wisdom Like Silence

    It was specific to her intellectual excreta and hers alone.

  36. Splatterbottom

    I am trying parody Deveny by arguing in her style. That is far to cerebral.

  37. Ha, diseased secretions – funny.

    I think this argument can be settled with the observation that the salient difference between La Deveny and the Devine Ms M is that D2’s (borderline) obnoxious tweets were somewhat out of charcater but D1’s tackiness is par for the course. Actually, it’s her thing.

  38. zaratoothbrush

    What a cowardly, lying, projecting imbecile you are.

  39. zaratoothbrush

    Why are little boys so amused by bodily fluids?

  40. Blast Tyrant

    I’ve never read anything by the two D’s before but Devines response is part of the homophobic stereotype of gays.
    I remember back in the 90’s kids at school saying the keyboardist from Faith No More was a dirty gay that stuffed gerbils up his ass.
    And there was the South Park episode where the gerbil went through Mr Slave backwards.
    To to try and write it off as just an insult with no connection to the demonisation of gays as SB has tried to is naive at best but more likely dishonest.

    Also SB getting up in arms and taking Deveny’s response as meaning she literally was hoping for child rape and then trying to pass
    “Deveny needs a good seeing to by a 300 pound bull-dyke wearing a serrated double-pronged strap-on.” and “Maybe a clitorectomy would help.” as just a sense of humor seems slightly hypocritical.
    I don’t think this is the first time SB has projected either – I think he may well be quite the misogynist.

  41. Blast Tyrant

    Note also SB – when i criticize or insult you i give a reason, like the above as to why i think you are a misogynist.

    Which is different to your MO of just calling anybody you disagree with a dog-fucker, without actually debate the comment with logic or prove it inaccurate.

  42. Splatterbottom

    BT, Richard Gere, a legendary gerbileer, is not (so far as anyone knows) gay. Gerbils are for everyone.

    Some of those comments were more than an attempt at humour – they were an attempt to show by example the repulsiveness of Deveny’s tweet. Sadly, they fell short because Deveny is not an 11 year old. The fact that she targeted a child with her vile comment is a large part of its repugnance.

  43. zaratoothbrush

    SB, why don’t you show, by example, how to be a decent human being?

    Please?

  44. Splatterbottom

    Zara, I am not the one defending Deveny, or diminishing by false comparison the turpitude of her comment.

  45. zaratoothbrush

    I’m not trying to defend Deveny, just the truth about what she said. You can’t tell the difference between the two, can you.

    You don’t have the courage or the maturity to see truthfully the comparison between her behaviour and yours.

  46. Wisdom Like Silence

    Why can’t we hate Devine and Deveny? Is it really so hard to believe that someone could?

  47. zaratoothbrush

    Why would you hate anybody? Wouldn’t you rather understand them? I’ve always thought that understanding and hatred were mutually exclusive. Would you rather hurt someone for doing something bad, or help them to do something good?

    Wouldn’t you rather set an example of human decency such that nobody would ever compare you to people like that?

    Do you really believe that if somebody else behaves like an offensive twat, that you’re somehow entitled to behave likewise just to balance the ledger?

  48. zaratoothbrush

    I’d just like to add that understanding someone is so much more relaxing than hating them 🙂

  49. Splatterbottom

    Zara: You don’t have the courage or the maturity to see truthfully the comparison between her behaviour and yours.

    I didn’t gratuitously attack and 11 year old as Deveny did. I merely made a few comments that someone of Deveny’s sensibilities would surely appreciate, and given your understanding personality, I’m mystified that they didn’t also find favour with you.

  50. Blast Tyrant

    Zara: “Why would you hate anybody? Wouldn’t you rather understand them? I’ve always thought that understanding and hatred were mutually exclusive. ”
    I think that’s very noble but also wrong.
    Once I understand certain people then it’s very easy to hate them.
    It seems your view of this is based on an assumption that all people are inherently good, and when they do bad things it’s counter to their nature and can be explained by some other factors.
    I don’t think this is actually the case.

    For example:
    Bush, Cheney – easy to understand. They believe that dead Iraqis and US soldiers is not a bad price to pay for oil money and rebuilding & security contracts for them and their pals.
    There is nothing deeper to it than that, and they are worth hating for it.
    And shit, I’m not even an Iraqi or relative or a dead soldier!

  51. zaratoothbrush

    It seems your view of this is based on an assumption that all people are inherently good, and when they do bad things it’s counter to their nature and can be explained by some other factors.

    Your view of my view seems to be based on your own assumptions: I don’t believe this at all. I don’t believe people are inherently good OR bad – I believe they’re inherently problematic, especially given the limits of our knowledge, and that solving the problems they present involves some serious investigating by cool-headed and educated people.

    Bush, Cheney – easy to understand. They believe that dead Iraqis and US soldiers is not a bad price to pay for oil money and rebuilding & security contracts for them and their pals.
There is nothing deeper to it than that

    Are you really so sure?

    This isn’t understanding, It’s a simple description of their behaviour and its moral character; you haven’t even scratched the surface of why they behave like that.

    No offense, but, Jayzus, a twelve-year-old could come up with stuff like that. It simply doesn’t explain how this behaviour comes into being, what makes it possible, and so on. It’s easy and proper to be sickened and saddened by what they do, but leaving your understanding at such a primitive level, and using it as justification of a potentionally uncontrollable, irrational impulse is quite, quite stupid.

    One of the assumptions you might be making is that individuals are the sole origin of their behaviours – that history, culture, etc etc are not part of the picture. Do you hate Julius Caesar? Ghengis Khan? Napoleon? Tojo? Is all you can say about human history is that a lot of it is made by assholes? That’s it?

  52. Blast Tyrant

    Zara: “Your view of my view seems to be based on your own assumptions”.
    Nah, I’ve found it’s a commonly held view in general and so applied it to you.
    Although it’s hardly a biting insult I apologise for jumping to that conclusion if I was wrong.

    “you haven’t even scratched the surface of why they behave like that.
    No offense, but, Jayzus, a twelve-year-old could come up with stuff like that. ”

    Possibly, but why bother going deeper? Do you think that having some deeper understanding of these people will prevent the next war?
    If not, then who cares that Georgie Jnr might have daddy issues.

    “One of the assumptions you might be making is that individuals are the sole origin of their behaviours – that history, culture, etc etc are not part of the picture.”
    No, i agree that history, culture etc ARE part of the picture.
    However, it’s not an excuse for being an asshole.

    “shit, didn’t close italics properly” – no, you certainly didn’t!

  53. “I don’t think Miranda Devine should be sacked for her offensive tweet…”

    No, seriously. Sack her. Maybe not for her tweets, but just for mere divisive existence.

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