An astonishingly bile-ridden attack piece by John Birmingham in today's Australian savaging Germaine Greer for daring to suggest Steve Irwin was something other than a national hero.
The reaction to Greer's article in Australia has been fascinating if for no other reason than it serves to highlight the state of hysterical partisan hackery that exists in the mainstream media. Published in The Guardian the day after Steve Irwin was killed by the now infamous stingray, Greer's piece (which can be read in full here) is neither particularly controversial, nor noticeably 'left'. That those on the right have reacted the way they have is just extraordinary.
Take this selection of quotes from Birmingham's rant:
"...expat Germaine Greer pulled on her redundant fright mask and charged into print to bitchslap and rake at the dead father of two..."
"For the childless former Celebrity Big Brother contestant..."
"Less a harridan than a poorly sketched caricature of a harridan, she would be easy to dismiss as some unwashed and wretched bag lady who had somehow stumbled on to the opinion pages of The Guardian, were it not for the fact this feral hag does actually speak for a significant minority."
"...she probably wouldn't like to think of herself as having anything to do with those three guys at the breakfast buffet, as they were grown men rather than hairless boys, and thus deserving only of her contempt rather than any creepy sexual consideration."
"...Greer has condensed the ill feelings of a whole class of Australian sophisticates..."
"...a barking maddie such as Greer.
In just over a thousand words, Birmingham steers entirely clear of the content of Germaine Greer's comments and charges headlong into personal abuse and underhanded insults.
Let's look at Birmingham's checklist:
Well I hope that makes him feel better.
This is the feature opinion piece in the country's only national newspaper.
It makes me wonder how such a supposedly reputable publication could allow such writing to be published.
Well apparently it's because even the death of a famous animal wrangler has been turned into a battle of left versus right.
Why is it Birmingham feels so threatened by a "childless former Celebrity Big Brother contestant"? Because, as he grudgingly admits, "this feral hag does speak for a significant minority" of "inner urban elite(s)".
Do you see - the inner urban elites hate Steve Erwin, hate him - and why? BECAUSE THEY'RE INNER. AND URBAN. AND ELITE. (!!!).
So what most of us thought was just an unfortunate event that has devastated a family and ruined the viewing pleasure of millions around the world, has now turned into "us" (the right), versus "them" (the left urban inner city elite). And Birmingham's best response to the fact that a "significant minority" of people don't believe "Steve Irwin's death may become our very own Kennedy moment", is an extraordinary personal attack on the one commentator who has been brave enough to suggest this alternative view. How very Andrew Bolt of him.
How Germaine Greer's appearance, sexual preferences or fertility have anything to do WITH ANYTHING, I'm not quite sure, but John Birmingham sure reckons he's hit on a winner.
Congratulations John. Aren't you just a charming clever-clogs.