Monday, May 10, 2010

When two tribes go to war over rogered gerbils

Catherine Deveny
Sad news as the columnist Catherine Deveny is fired from The Age, the Fairfax newspaper which is one of the oldest broadsheets in the world and was once considered one of the finest. Her crime was to 'tweet' a message from the interminably boring Logies, Australia's version of the Oscars.

Included in the list of the 100 most influential people in Melbourne, Deveny was twittering amusing messages on 'celebrities' as they arrived on the red carpet for the glitzy night of yawns at Melbourne's ghastly Packer owned Crown Casino (Gordon Ramsey has just opened his first Oz restaurant there which says it all !).

 Her crime-one on the daughter of the late Steve Irwin : "I do so hope Bindi ( Irwin) gets laid". In these days of pedo hysteria and the fear that there is a perve behind every bush or newsdesk any such talk is verboten. After a day of  the rampaging shock jock Neil Mitchell and phone calls from "shocked" listeners The Age's editor Paul Ramadge finally caved in and sacked Deveny. There is a lesson here. In the legendary rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, it hasn't dawned on those in power in the southern city that the day of shock jocks is well and truly over.

It's been nearly five years since NSW's ruling Labor Party finally realised that the supposed king of shock jocks Alan Jones who they pandered to, really only had a listening audience at best, of around 50,000 people in a city of 4.5 million and a state of nearly 8 million. And most of them were either living on the leafy North Shore or the redneck Southern Suburbs now famous for the Cronulla riots. They were conservative voting strongholds. Why appease the pink shirted parrot ?(as his co-workers call him behind his back). From the day they decided to deny Jones interviews and concentrated on the government run Triple J yoof station with the highest audience listernership, their stocks began to rise.

And now a delightful piece of schadenfreude has come back to bite someone on the bum. The fragrant right-winger Miranda Devine of the Age sister publication the Sydney Morning Herald who castigated Deveny (they are are about as opposite on the political spectrum as possible) on her shocking Bindi tweet, Miranda has been caught out herself.

After Devine's series of anti-Deveny tweets and a column devoted to attacking Deveny, 20 year old reader Justin Barber tweeted Miranda :" you've had enough of attacking gays for now I see. Great, Thanks" . And Miranda's replied : "you've had enough of rogering gerbils now I see. Great thanks". Unfortunately for Devine, the tweet went out to 2500 people and she was forced into an humble apology to Barber.
Anyone who knows Miranda will know she would rather eat broken glass than apologise. The tale hasn't ended there. A new topic is raging amongst thousand of twitterers under the tag #rogeringgerbils.
# Prediction : Fairfax Publications will wait a suitable time-say 6 months and re-employ Catherine, one of the best writers they have ever had, just as they had to re-employ the superb Mike Carlton who was sacked in similar circumstances. Deveny has said "I'm sure I'll be back. But in the meantime, could someone write me a CV!"