Is this a storm in a teacup? Absolutely. But it’s funny to see one of Australia’s largest media organisations take a hold of something and run with it, no matter how much they might be clutching at straws.
The Australian Twitterverse has exploded with activity this morning after it was discovered that numerous triple j on-air identities had published a number of messages on their personal Twitter accounts that attack Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her partner Tim Mathieson.
Referring to the ALP Conferences debate that is scheduled for tomorrow on whether to support gay marriage as a national platform, presenter Brendan Maclean jumped on Twitter and said:
Dear @juliagillard, just because you don’t want to marry your gay boyfriend doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to marry mine.
— Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) December 1, 2011
Fellow presenter Paul Verhoeven also jumped on Twitter to express his dismay at Gillard posturing to have the gay marriage issue decided by a conscience vote, a move that all but guarantees its failure in Parliament. Verhoeven originally posted a tweet directed at the Prime Minister saying ‘boo you whore’.
The tweet was promptly removed after numerous complaints to triple j parent ABC forced the national broadcaster to take action against the presenter.
Verhoeven later clarified his position and attempted to calm things down by explaining that his tweet was simply a reference to the film ‘Mean Girls’.
I deleted my tweet saying ‘boo you whore’ to Gillard because the ABC was copping complaints from people who clearly haven’t seen Mean Girls.
— Paul Verhoeven (@paulverhoeven) December 1, 2011
News Limited have taken the story and run with it appearing as the feature story on the Herald Sun’s website as well as on their national news website News.com.au . The incident will no doubt ignite some debate on the blurring lines between journalists and their work and personal activities online, and some feminists will no doubt be outraged at what they see as the growing misogynistic culture that exists online.
We probably could explore all those issues, but really we’ve all got better things to do than worry about a silly 140 character remarks. Don’t we?