Thursday, June 02, 2011

LOONWATCH: For the week ending 2 June 2011

I don't get much time to blog these days. Or to write. Lots of work. Lots of travel. But there's still so much to write about, so much lunacy to laugh at.

So here's an experiment. I'll cover the best bits of lunacy from Thursday to Thursday. The lunacy can take various forms - imbecilic politics, hypocritical comment, whatever. Let's start.

[01] A small cabal of twits at that American-owned newspaper that likes to call itself The Australian have become obsessed with the twittering activities of a single Sydney academic. I mean, seriously obsessed. I don't know what Larissa Behrendt has done, but it seems hardly a day goes by without some mention of her allegedly scandalous tweet about something appearing on Q&A. Today they're still going on about how Behrendt is being paid $641 a day by Ms Gillard's government to review indigenous higher education.

The headline describes Behrendt as "[d]ivisive" (which makes you wonder why she hasn't been given a regular column at The Oz) and says he was

... embroiled in a Twitter slur scandal ...

Um, what scandal? The only publications making a big deal about it are the even more divisive Quadrant and The Amer ... woops ... Australian. And it all happened back in April. And she said sorry. What more can she do?

Senator Evans yesterday again rejected criticism that she was not suitable for the role; he revealed he had met her once since the incident. "(I said) that I regarded the comments as inappropriate and offensive," he told the hearing. "She told me she had apologised and she was highly regretful of the incident."

But that isn't good enough. All kinds of dirt is being whipped up about this poor woman. What on earth do Chris Mitchell's minions expect her to do? Apologise to Andrew Bolt? Tweet some undying love for Irish Republican terrorism? Join Alan Jones' Galileo Movement? Still a photo of John Santamaria on her office wall? Support the extension of the Federal indigenous intervention to New Zealand and the Solomon Islands?

Behrendt may well have opposition. She may well be divisive. But so what? Why hassle someone because of one tweet? Especially when you are a newspaper that has spent so much of its space printing divisive tripe about a host of minorities.

[02] My old factional partner Peter Phelps has come along way since he used to edit his far-Right newsletter The Atlas. In those days he called for Medicare to be dismantled. Now as a member of the NSW Upper House, Phelps is comparing climate scientists to Nazis. What the f#ck??

Phelps, of course, is an expert on climate science. He has a PhD from the University of Sydney. In history.

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