Yumi Stynes had the right to parp out her little brain fart about Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith. We have the right to criticise and belittle her for it. But should people have the right to make physical threats against her? What about her children?
In the wake of the Finkelstein review, Left and Right are busily and furiously agreeing with each other. Free speech good! Censorship bad!
It’s nice to know some issues can bring everyone together.
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When Rod Stewart rocked Adelaide last month, he dedicated Rhythm of My Heart to the servicemen and women of Australia and Britain. I remember it distinctly for two reasons: 1) in Australia, we might ‘well up’ once a year as veterans march on ANZAC Day, but we most definitely don’t fawn over serving troops; and 2) someone shouted “THANKYOU” in a way that implied “FINALLY, some bloody recognition”.
I’ve been musing on the incident this week in the wake of those inane comments uttered on Channel Ten’s morning chat show The Circle.
In the unlikely event you missed the subsequent outpouring of wrath, hosts Yumi Stynes and George Negus ‘joked’ about the intelligence and sexual prowess of Australia’s newest Victoria Cross recipient, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith. Tacky at best, disgusting at worst, and the social networks went into meltdown.
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Here’s a tip for Yumi Stynes and George Negus. When you stuff up by calling a Victoria Cross winner a brainless dud root - it’s best to say “I’m terribly sorry.” Then stop. Right there.
Don’t crap on about the reaction to your lighthearted slur making you “feel sick”. Don’t use the old “If I’ve offended anyone…” caveat, and never, ever pull the “you should know us all better to think we would ever deliberately try to hurt people” cop out. Because here’s the thing - it’s not about how you feel.
We all get things wrong sometimes. We all need to apologise sometimes. But people seem to have forgotten how to do it.
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