Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath (Image: AAP/Albert Perez)

Mini-Clown of the Week The truncated work week robs us of crowning a proper Clown of the Week, despite there being many worthy contenders. And given we’ve already roasted the most obvious candidate, Andrew Laming, like the royal spud he is, we decided to give a little nod to someone who may have escaped your notice: Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath.

D’Ath was unapologetic after spreading a false story about a party supposedly held by a man awaiting his (ultimately positive) COVID-19 test results. This story had to potential to ruin this man’s life — although the media were careful to protect his identity in a way they hadn’t previously been towards alleged “COVIDiots”, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. And yet D’Ath met the aftermath with a shrug.

“That was the information I was briefed on at the time,” she said. And that was that.

Of course no one apologises for anything anymore, and we know from bitter experience that it takes a lot more than something like this to cause any government real damage. But it’s just one more thing wounding public trust (regarding the management of a national health crisis, no less), another small but eminently avoidable degradation of standards. And for that, Yvette D’Ath is our inaugural Easter weekend mini-Clown of the Week.

Always a tweet Well, here’s another reminder that politicians should never engage in whacky “I get the joke!” posting. Republican representative and “this person does not exist” photo Matt Gaetz recently responded to Elon Musk’s tweet that he wished any scandal involving him to be called “Elongate” with “Deal. I want Gaetzgate“.

If that is indeed what he wanted, we have some good news for him. By which of course we mean career-ending news.

What makes the above all the more baffling is that at the time, Gaetz already knew he was the subject of a year-long investigation over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz denies any criminal wrongdoing.

SA no more I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but we can’t let this pass without comment. Who the hell in South Australia came up with the following slogan? SA Tourism were awful quick to deny any involvement.

The ad’s primary achievement — beyond making everyone vaguely uncomfortable — is the delicate story it prompted the ABC to write. The national broadcaster found potential links to the guys who came up with “CU in the NT” campaign but didn’t once explain what made either ad “tongue in cheek”.

In defense of the algorithm After several years of, let’s say, bad press, Facebook is attempting to improve the reputation of its algorithms. The platform is lightly revamping the news feed and their spin doctor Nick Clegg is going on charm offensive.

On top of a long interview with The Verge, the former UK deputy prime minister has written a 5000-word essay, published on Medium and elsewhere, outlining the changes and conceding that people need greater transparency and control over what the algorithm delivers them. He also argues that Facebook users are not helpless or passive, comparing the news feed to a meal your partner cooks you based on ingredients you bought.

That may be true, but given the platform has become such a hotbed of misinformation, hate speech and extremism in recent years, it perhaps doesn’t betray a huge amount of faith in one’s users.

Note: Private Media, the publisher of Crikey, is negotiating to join Facebook’s new licensing agreement for news media publishers.