Crikey's media writer Margaret Simons has been live tweeting (@margaretsimons) the proceedings from the media inquiry in Sydney this week. Yesterday she appeared before inquiry head Ray Finkelstein after lodging her own personal submission. In an interesting exchange, Finkelstein questioned Simons on a number of subjects, including the capacity of the internet to significantly contribute to investigative journalism. The Daily Telegraph's Miranda Devine subsequently described Simons -- an award-winning author, freelance reporter and Director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism at Melbourne University amongst other things -- as "sandal-wearing freelance journalist and prolific tweeter Margaret Simons". To which several people replied, what does that even mean? Of course the real victim here is innocent footwear. Why slander sandals? But Devine would not back down. This is clearly an issue she's passionate about:
@mirandadevine No @MargaretSimons! Journalists. Do. Not. Wear. Sandals! We are suffering enough in #mediainquiry without completely trashing our reputation
Yes, it is an ill advised choice of shoe that's doing the real damage to the rep of hard working journalists everywhere. This is not the first time fashion has been defamed by someone from the News Limited stable (see The Age's account of Crook, Le Grand and the flannel shirt smear. For the record, it was cotton check.) Typically, Twitter has united behind our prolific tweeter and posted photos of their own maligned shoes (ed: me included). And in a gesture of goodwill, Simons has tweeted:

@MargaretSimons: #mediainquiry okay, the sandals are up for sale. Proceeds to Amnesty International. Taking bids... #mediainquiry

The strappy shoe in question: