Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tim's pre-Christmas Tirade

I’ve been pondering over the past couple of months on whether to go public on this. But after reading so much drama-queen nonsense from some newspaper editors, I thought I might as well.

I’ve only been involved in writing op-eds for mainstream media outlets since April 2005. On that occasion, I had a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald criticising a Sydney sheik who made imbecilic comments about women’s dress and rape.

The week after that article appeared, I received a call from the opinion editor of the Daily Telegraph inviting me to contribute. Over the next year or so, I submitted a few pieces here and there. I found that opinion editor to be most professional and courteous.

One Monday afternoon in late-December, I received an interesting phone call from the newly-appointed opinion editor of the Daily Telegraph. Tim Blair’s message was quite simple. As I had criticised him on my blog, accusing him of defaming me and of using hate-speech, he would no longer run my pieces on the Daily Telegraph’s opinion page. Here’s an excerpt from his tirade:

I spent much of the weekend going through your blog. I mean, f#cking hell. Put yourself in my f*cking shoes, mate. Why the f+ck should I run your stuff? Why should I do you any favours when you write that f^cking bullsh!t on your blog?


Him? Doing me favours? I’ve now had stuff appearing in 12 papers on either side of the Tasman, not to mention a gig in NewMatilda.com. Virtually all of these are paid writing gigs. The Tele, however, generally doesn’t pay. It's all gratis stuff, and writing for the Tele is an exercise that benefits both me and the newspaper.

After hearing this barrage of abuse from Blair, I checked my blog and found that the last time I had mentioned him was in August 2006, well before he had joined the Tele. I also checked Tim’s blog and found that on at least one occasion he had in fact defamed me by referring to me as an “egomaniac”.

Well, that’s life. Blair and I are both ideological warriors who fight our battles using the blogosphere. Things can get rather Middle Eastern out there in cyberspace. But Blair’s performance in his official capacity of opinion editor is grossly unprofessional and reflects poorly on his paper.

Allegedly conservative columnists from both News Limited and Fairfax often accuse Muslims of adopting a victim mentality. Yet my experiences in recent days have shown that some editors at News Limited are prepared to adopt the same posture of victimhood when facing even the slightest criticism.

And so my message to Tim Blair and anyone else of this ilk (and no, I'm certainly not including the Tele's editor-in-chief David Penberthy who has made genuine attempts to reach out to as wide an audience as possible) is quite simple: If you can’t stand the heat of criticism, perhaps you should consider exiting the editorial kitchen. If the mild rebukes of a humble blogger lead to your making abusive phone calls or writing racist editorials, perhaps you might consider a change of career path.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim Blair didn't even insult you except to say your blog was bullshit. It was very polite of him not to point out the truth that you are an Australian-hating, fat smelly black Paki failed lawyer with a chip on your shoulder against every other muslim and every Christian especially devout ones. Furthermore your blind anti-Howard anti-Australian fanaticism is similiar to Margo Kingston which has turned her into an ugly hating witch and turned you into a boorish morbidly obese imitation of Jabba the Hutt. You have never kept a confidence nor ever resisted the chance to gossip and rumour-monger. The fact that you seek to attack everyone you have ever had any contact with suggests that you cannot be trusted, that you are not a team-player, that you are unreliable and mentally unbalanced. There is no need for the DT to alienate it's readers with the patronising insulting rewrites of history and fact which you habitually indulge in as an expression of your pathological hate of John Howard and honesty in government and public life. Australian society would be far better off without your hate and your denigration of everyone who is worthwhile and honest. You represent no-one. Your friends are all Nazis and muslim islamo-fascists. You are incapable of saying anything of interest to ordinary Australians except that you hate them for being normal. No-one else as useless as you has ever worn a wallabies jersey. Ultimately you are just a waste of space who merely focuses ordinary Australians on hating muslims by giving them a fat lying Paki to identify with the muslim cause. If other papers print your work it is only because they are lazy and can't be bothered finding real representative muslims.

Anonymous said...

Spot On!

leftvegdrunk said...

Blair's true colours, even when in "professional" mode. He thinks this is larrikinism or something.