Where is the apology from Rundle?
Dimity Paul writes: Re. “A reader note: we screwed up royally and we’re sorry”
As we all well now know Guy Rundle, was trailing Greens Leader, Richard Di Natale, on the Thursday June 30 before the July 2 poll. It was journalistic heaven being in the seat of Batman where the Labor candidate, David Feeney, was having a less than ideal campaign with blunders that caught national headlines in the first two weeks. Fair cop that journalists were having a go at Feeney’s forgetfulness but the words penned by Rundle show a deep hatred, not analysis, of the MP and the Labor Party. However, what got everyone’s attention was Rundle’s sexual objectification of Feeney’s wife.
Here is the widely derided excerpt of what he published on Crikey’s site on July 1:
“Another car pulls up, a flash of blond hair and Liberty Sanger, Mrs David Feeney, gets out, in red T-shirt, ready to deputise. I’ve got the jokes ready: ‘Which of your houses will you be retiring to?’ ‘Did David fall in love with you because your name means ‘free sausages’ in Latin, and he had a Pavolovian reaction?’ — but ahhhh Liberty is too nice a person for that. I stand behind the spruikers and try to crack them up.
“‘David and Liberty — I mean, what can that be? What the hell can that be? It’s gotta be tongue, right? It’s always tongue in these cases. I bet that fat man has a tongue like a big wet flesh carpet. I bet it’s like Oscars night …’ The spruikers are wavering. Di Natale hears it, is trying not to laugh.”
Sanger is a partner at a major law firm, an active political commentator on ABC24 and ABC radio and has sat on various boards. Women participating in politics either as the partner of a politician or as a political participant in their own right should not have to endure these kinds of comments.
Crikey’s Editor has since apologised.
But where is the apology from Rundle himself? Perhaps the reason he has not apologised is because he does not see any issue with his sexualised language about women. I have done a little research through Rundle’s past columns and he goes after women (politically connected to the centre-left) in particular, using sex as his weapon of choice.
- On Nurses: “Also, I mean, it’s nurses, man. They like to paaaa-aaarty. And it’s a conference. What happens in Launceston stays in Launceston — mainly because the telegraph hasn’t been hooked up yet.”
- On Jacqui Lambie: “Lambie has a perpetually embattled hard done-by look, that of a small unremarkable woman, repeatedly passed over, and having to be twice as loud and angry to make her presence known at all.”
- On Julia Gillard: “then does not seem absurd that a childless spinster, ex of the Eurocommunist group “Socialist Forum”, should claim that others lack a commitment to “family and nation”.
- On Hillary Clinton: “I was pretty convinced early on that no way in hell would she take the position of being subject to another big egoed male in the White House. But power is the ultimate anaesthetic I guess. Having committed to the game, you’ll do whatever to stay close to the action. Given reports that Bill has been partying with Gina Gershon (which the moment you see her is so obviously true — if you were going to design a Clinton candytrap in a lab, she’d come out looking like Gina) what else is she going to do? It’s run Save The Children or join a motherf-cking book group.”
If I could find these comments in just a few minutes of desktop research, imagine what else is out there.
Rundle’s “rare talent” is not so rare. There are many men given opportunities to write when and as they like — often with women as their chief target of ridicule and puerile content. Mark Latham comes to mind, too.
Women rarely get the same opportunity. On the extremely rare occasions they do get to write with abandon, they pay a price. Compare Rundle’s comments to those of Catherine Deveny.
Rundle writes on. Deveny teaches masterclasses. Double standards.
Rundle, for all his pandering and propagandising for the Greens is clearly in need of some gender bias counselling.
Party like it’s 1917
Joe Boswell writes: Re. “It’s Cory”s party and he’ll cry if he wants to”
Cory Bernardi is no doubt aware the name for his potential new party organisation, Australian Majority, has fascinating historical resonance. Majority in Russian is Bolshevik, the name chosen by V. I. Lenin for his faction within a larger party, despite it being more often a minority until it was able to seize power and eliminate its rivals. There are striking similarities between Lenin’s role and tactics at the start of the 20th century, as described here, and Bernardi’s. As our PM recently said, these are exciting times to be Australian.
Getting it “right”
Jackie French writes: Re. “How to write about survivors of domestic violence”
As someone who’s life has been deeply affected by domestic violence (not, it must be stressed, from my husband) I doubt you can ever “get it right”. A full account of the aggression leaves the author open to defamation action. Making a family’s private tragedy public will always leave the innocent hurt, having to experience the pain yet again, each time someone reads the account or comments on it.
No, you can’t “get it right”. Just be aware of the pain and legalities, and do your best, because leaving domestic violence hidden behind the lace curtains is far worse.