“Some are born to outrage. Others have it thrust upon them.”
Introducing a new series from Crikey‘s provocateur-in-chief Helen Razer, including these “Three essential Up Yours questions”, which Razer will ask of every rat-bag, scallywag, larrikin and maverick she interviews for the series.
Have you ever been a joiner?
Not much. But I did play ice hockey, which I enjoyed until the point of injury. However, I found that I was unable to confine sporting aggression to the ice alone. It sometimes found its way into the locker room.
What is ‘the line’ for you?
At New Matilda I have a lot of lines. The first and most important test for a story is whether there is a public interest. If there is, all bets are off. If there isn’t, we’re not interested. We always punch up, rather than down. I’m definitely not risk averse. If you’re not living on the edge, you’re wasting space. This has made me a lot of enemies. But friends, too. I stay in touch with most of the people who contribute to our major stories. All of these might make me a shitty journalist, but a better human.
My personal line: try to do no harm. Or at least, try to limit the harm I do, because we all cause wreckage in our own ways. I think, despite what I do for a living, I’m fundamentally gentle.
Would you say you’ve not been a ‘go with the consensus’ person from quite a young age?
I¹m an ex ward of the state, and adopted, so I was pretty terrified when I was a kid. I was basically scared of everything. I also happened to be tiny, bright, very skinny, and I wore glasses, so I got bullied mercilessly. But, I just kept growing, and ended up quite a big bastard. I very rarely get threatened in any serious way, because big white guys never really do. But I try to use that privilege to balance the scales a bit. I think if I were to be honest, some of the people who end up in my sights are probably paying a little for my upbringing. I hate bullies, and I hate people who abuse their power, particularly journalists and politicians. And nothing makes me happier than to pursue them, relentlessly.
Read Helen Razer’s full account of her interview with Chris Graham here.