Monday, August 18, 2008

'Oh, Shit. Did We Help Drive Her Crazy?'

We already know Andrew Bolt, The Professional Idiot, has no real sense of humour. He will join in with those who want to give "two fingers" to the Professionally Outraged, while his irony meter registers nothing. They're talking about Professionally Outraged people like you, you moron.

One of The Professional Idiot's favourite targets of his Professional Outrage, for at least two years, has been former stand-up comedian and professional comedy writer Catherine Deveny.

The Professional Idiot's not simply happy enough in feeding the paranoid 'Green Nazi' fantasies of his some of his most dedicated readers. He isn't content to merely dabble in blindingly obvious psychological media warfare tactics, with his constant sprinkling of the reaction words "rage", "hate" and "violence" all over stories he scratches out on his favoured targets. It's not enough to be the most prolific mainstream media distributor of fear and bigotry, as only the Professionally Outraged can do, Andrew Bolt now wants one of his favourite targets fired from her job, on the basis of unconfirmed gossip, when she may need that gig more than ever before :
"An unhappy columnist who writes what seems to me a plea for help, and who confesses she is indeed in trouble, should not be kept in harness by a newspaper hoping to win extra sales from her growing despair."
"Help Her, Don't Exploit Her" The Professional Idiot writes...Andrew Bolt is so sympathetic.

The spreading of mainstream media claims that a columnist for The Age is suffering bipolar disorder begins, of course, with "the equally sympathetic Tim Blair."

This is how sympathetic Tim's been towards Catherine Denevy, a writer whose work he has been stuffing his blogs with for years :

"Deveny’s tiring brain sometimes suggests that she relocate to where stupid people dwell..."

"For just one week every year, the high-pitched shrieking noise coming out of Melbourne is produced by something other than Catherine Deveny:"

"Catherine Deveny is an idea-resistant bigot."

"Catherine seems unbalanced enough to seek Keating-resembling facial modifications."

"The woman is insane."

A light sampling of the dozens of times Blair has used Catherine Deveny columns as the litter tray upon which his readers shit comments about her politics, her weight, her sex life, her face, her vagina. There's less of that kind of thing now Blair is blogging for the Daily Telegraph. His readers can't even swear at her, not like the old days when Blair was an independent blogger.

The Professional Idiot, naturally, has been just as enthusiastic as Blair in unloading general nastiness and twisted interpretations of what the 'possibly bipolar' columnist has had to say :

"It turns out that what impresses her most is abuse."

Here's The Professional Idiot suggesting Deveny be prosecuted for writing about Catholicism. And that was back in February, 2007. Andrew Bolt has been on his Fire Catherine Deveny mission ever since.

In April, The Professional Idiot devoted much space to how "Hateful" Catherine Deveny is, thoroughly proving how embarrassingly simple his concept of satire actually is, and ensuring that when anyone enters Catherine Denevy's name into Google, the second or third thing they see is Bolt's headline "Hateful Columnist". Whose children wouldn't love to see that kind of branding on their mother's search engine results?

Did Blair and Andrew Bolt not ever wonder if Catherine Deveny, a professional comedy writer, was taking the piss? Or are only blokes supposed to be that clever, or able to do that kind of thing so well that they could be fooled so monumnetally?

Now, just in case the already malicious gossip he and The Professional Idiot are spreading about Catherine Deveny, through the the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, turns out to be actually true - neither 'journalist' used the miracles of e-mail or the telephone to confirm the claims they've published - Blair announces he will lay off :
Deveny’s columns...are a frequent target here. No more. Assuming the above account is accurate...
Why just assume?

A commenter at Blair's nearly gags on the hypocrisy :
A day late and a dollar short Tim. Your contribution to Australian public life has been to make it more vicious, personal and psychologically destructive than it otherwise would have been.

You go beyond the forthright criticism or satire of other people’s ideas or points of view to burrow into their soul. The strategy got you back in the game after no-one would hire you, and it’s served you well.

But these mealy-mouthed declarations of ceasefire are hypocritical in the extreme - as hypocritical as your apparent shock that adversaries could take delight in your recent cancer.

How do you know which of your targets is dealing with problems or issues as bad or worse? Not everyone is as eager to share their diagnoses with the reading public as you are.

Has it ever occurred to you that if you have to stop a certain way of writing about someone because they’re ill, then the attacks were unwarrantedly vicious and destructive in the first place?

So thanks for the late fit of decency pal - maybe your illness has made you think a little more reflective about how you’ll be remembered. But maybe we’d all be a little better off if you found another outlet for whatever’s inside you that propelled you in this direction in the first place.

Of course, you’ll throw in stuff about no-holds-barred comment and free thinking etc, but everyone knows that your selling point is the infliction of pain.
Blair and Bolt use hypocrisy for their own special hysteria.

Tim Blair and The Professional Idiot are having deep thoughts about whether they might have added to Deveny's mental load, or far worse, instigated some, or many, of the problems they seem to believe she is struggling through, with their tag-teaming, often personal attacks, in the blogs and the pages of two of Australia's biggest selling newspapers. Plus all those regularly vicious and downright nasty comments that their readers seem to be so fluent in.

What did they think would happen?

Can people be driven mad by being the target of a co-ordinated campaign of vilification and abuse through blogs and newspapers?

Of course they can. Isn't that the whole point of choosing a target and then going at it, week after week? To play with minds? Some disappointed readers of Blair and Bolt will wonder why they are now backing off, instead of finishing what they started.

The Professional Idiot thinks having an unconfirmed mental disorder is worthy of being fired from what could ultimately prove to be a most vital, important part of recovery. A job, a means of writing her way out of, or through, whatever is troubling her, if the unconfirmed claims from a blog comment that both Bolt and Blair are relying on turns out to be true.

Mental health issues rarely get the sort of coverage they deserve in the media, considering how widespread apparent depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviour is now in Australia.

More so-called mentally ill people should be writing for the mainstream media.

What happened to a diversity of views?

Why do only the apparently sane get to control debate in Australia?


The reason why the mainstream media that Blair and Andrew Bolt cling to is dying is because it can't compete anymore for entertainment value with the full-blooded rants and spectacular raves that can be found in the comments of hundreds of thousands of blogs every day. Theirs is a mostly Confected Outrage. And made safe for mainstream public consumption. Lawyers hover over everything Blair and Bolt now write. They are restrained, caged in, by their real, or professionally necessary, conservatism.

Writers like Catherine Deveny go further than Blair or Bolt would dare to, being easily frightened lads, and she manages to flare up the kind of devotion and blinding anger in her readers that Blair and Bolt long for, try so hard to inflame, but very rarely get.

Deveny is an original, perhaps that is what pains them both the most of all.

That and the lingering fear that she may have been having them both on, for years.

* I've posted the chunk I've deleted in comments below due to extreme verbosity.