Monday, March 04, 2013

Talking of dangerous sub-cultures, is the mainstream media there yet?

(Above: bringing news of the dangerous conspiratorial knitting sub-culture that threatens to take over the world. Click to enlarge).

Generally grumpy Paul Sheehan can generally never hold two discordant thoughts in his head at any one time, and so it is with Gay hate: the shameful crime wave.

Sheehan spends his time charting assaults on gay men in Sydney, the apathy of authorities, and the ineptness of the police in a number of matters.

Yet during the very same period Sheehan himself has been active in bashing the notion of gay marriage.

In Gay marriage the least of Labor woes, for example, he dragged Kevin Rudd's elder sister out out of the closet to have a go at it, while giving himself plenty of space to insist on its irrelevance.

Here's how that bit of dog whistling rolled out:

This is the issue that dominated the ALP national conference. It generates passionate support within sections of the party and the electorate. It is a defining issue for the Greens. It is a debate where personal denigration is routine - ''bigot'' is a default term for many - by people claiming to espouse the cause of tolerance.

Because it's your right to be bigoted about gay rights, and in particular gay marriage, and claiming to espouse the cause of tolerance is a particularly insidious thing to do ...

In Labor now practises what Greens preach, he even saw it as part of the general Green conspiracy, the general Green drive to turn the Labor party into a monstrous touchy feely greenie thingie (hint: being green in Sheehan's Lord Monckton-inflected eyes is roughly equivalent to being an old-school communist):

The week began with another shift to Greens policy with the formal endorsement by the Labor Party of support for gay marriage. 
Another core Gillard policy was set aside by her party, if not by its leader, as Labor moved ground on the issue that probably matters more to the Greens than any other.

Oh those perverted demented conspiratorial Greens, ruining a core Labor party policy ...

Over the years Sheehan has loved to bash prevailing orthodoxies about gay rights, as he did when mulling over the Bill Henson fuss in Artists crying out for martyrdom, where he proposed that the electric jolt of public unease about Henson and his work was justified:

Why? Because pederasts and child sexploiters have had a dream run in our society. A subculture of pedophilia among gays, an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the Aboriginal community, and a multimillion-dollar porn industry on the internet have all been protected variously by privacy laws, artistic licence, freedom of expression, and Aboriginal rights. What these rights have done is mask, exacerbate or even rationalise a significant and growing problem. 
 Where has the arts community been on the issue of adolescent sexploitation? The same as it has been on every issue that is morally difficult: a claustrophobic, reactionary one-party state. Artists, writers and the film industry have all been consistently gutless and censorious on difficult moral issues for fear of offending prevailing orthodoxies about gay rights, artistic freedom or moral apartheid for Aborigines.

At the time, Sheehan copped a few outraged letters. One took to task his casual defaming of John Marsden in an earlier par in the piece:

Paul Sheehan says there is a "world of difference" between "gay culture" and "gay subculture" in any assessment of whether he suggested pedophilia and homosexuality were synonymous ("For the defence, after the judge has declared", June 2). As they say in the courts, the same defamatory imputation (read "slur") is conveyed. If there is a world of difference, I would like to know what it is. As evidence, Sheehan cites a file of named sources describing "the activities of John Marsden … and some in his circle, who brazenly procured young men for sex, sometimes very young men". I knew John Marsden for 50 years and to my knowledge the only under-age person who made child sex allegations against him was Paul Fraser. These were dealt with in Marsden's book I Am What I Am. No doubt Sheehan's file is more reliable than the one relied on by Channel Seven when it defamed Marsden - otherwise a slur is a slur, and a factual error as well. (Peter Breen Woolloomooloo)

Jane Marsden also chimed in with a defence of her brother:

Let's put the record straight once again. The NSW Police and the Wood Royal Commission were not able to establish a prima facie case against my brother, John Marsden, with respect to pedophilia or any other criminal matter. The only chance John had to clear his reputation was through the civil case in which he sued the Seven network for defamation - and won. So by both criminal and civil standards of proof, there was no case. 
 At no time before, during or after those dreadful years from the mid-1990s until his death in 2006 did I hear John say anything about anyone "in his circle" procuring children for sex, which is what Sheehan implies. John did admit, and it is no secret, that he had sex with young men. The operative word here is "men". 
 Let John's reputation stand on its merits, let history be the judge, and allow me and my family some peace. 

And Cliff Bernard of Sydenham took a view:

Jane Marsden Enmore Paul Sheehan's points about anonymous criticism are well-founded, but his response raises other questions. Since the Henson images that generated most of the controversy are of girls, why mention the so-called "subculture of gay pedophilia" at all? Why not the "subculture of straight pedophilia", or both? Sheehan's argument that he neglected for reasons of "compression" to flesh out the context that would have made his motives clear is hard to take seriously. If space was so important, why waste it with an irrelevant throw-away line about gay pedophiles? 

While Jo Morgan of Newtown felt the need to provide some actual factual insights:

Research repeatedly confirms boys are molested mostly by men who identify as heterosexual (Spencer and Dunklee 1986; Abel et al. 1987; Jenny et al. 1994; Holmes & Slap 1998). Many are or have been in long relationships with women. As Brown and Brown (1997) affirm, "contrary to popular myth, men who molest male children are not homosexual in the traditional sense, and are rarely attracted to adult males". May I suggest we stop using the words gay or homosexual in debates on boy-oriented pedophilia? It does not reflect reality. (all these letters here at the bottom of the page).

In the end begrudgingly and defiantly, Sheehan went so far as to admit he'd walked on the dark side:

Given that I was not specific about my reasons for including the phrase (gay subculture) - for reasons of compression - I accept it would have been better to have left it out altogether or been more exact or inclusive in my terms. I take your concern and admonition seriously, and admit error on my part.

Happily having given an inch, the generally grumpy Sheehan then proceeded to reclaim the mile by denouncing one complainant as "shrill" (it seems gays are always "shrill"):

Which leads to another troubling aspect of your complaint - your language. You rely on the shrill terms "loaded", "outrageous", "malicious", "ill-informed", "vilification", "offensive", "slur", "demand", "apologise" and "withdraw", all while failing to point out a single error of fact. Or do you actually contend that there is no subculture of pedophilia among homosexuals? If not, your entire argument is based on mere supposition. 
 Given that you chose to invoke your position as a judge while seeking to privately pressure the Herald, an objective reader of your complaint would be entitled to ponder your capacity for rigorous impartiality when confronted with a perceived affront to gay culture.

A righteous Paul Sheehan talking about the need for rigorous impartiality?

Yes, it's always a laugh a day at the pond ...

We could of course spend days and days tripping down memory lane, quoting Sheehan blathering on about gay culture, the intolerance of the tolerance, the Green presumption that gays might be entitled to marry, and huge chunks from the works of others, in the Sheehan style, getting indignant about the way the insidious Sheehan insinuated all sorts of things about gays.

But why bother.

Sheehan has always been notorious as a dog whistler about gay rights and gay cultures, sub and otherwise (why perhaps top, too).

Somehow - perhaps it was the Mardi Gras, perhaps something in the water supply - it seems that today the gay community has suddenly acquired Paul Sheehan as a friend writing sagely about gay hate crimes ...

Oh yes, it's always a laugh a day at the pond ...

And now as the blog of record of desperate media madness, the pond would like to record the momentous changes being made in the flailing, failing world of newspapers.

The pond is the proud owner - until it turns into cocky cage liner - of the first Sunday edition of the weekend Australian in yonks.

And what is the key story? (Click to enlarge)

Why right under "making history" is a plug for the increasing madness of Bernard Tomic ... as the rag goes back to calling itself the heart of the nation. What a sick, sorry heart it must be ...

But perhaps you're having an anxiety attack, wondering did the pond pay for the rag, lured on by the desire to read about the madness of Bernard Tomic? Rest easy, of course not, the rag is flung around Sydney airport like confetti at a Paul Sheehan approved gay marriage ...

So when the rag boasts how it turned out the edition for its many home subscribers, the pond had a second hearty laugh of the day. How many home subscribers live at Sydney airport? A bucketload, to judge by the confetti ...

And today sharp eyed observers will have noted that Granny Fairfax has put on some lippy and thrown away the flat heels.

Here it is, just shortly after it strutted out in style yesterday:

Naturally the pond was intrigued by the wondrous makeover, and clicked for more details, and ye ancient cats and lowland dogs, what did it find?

The invincible ignorance of its resident prattling Polonius presented as a selling point, and providing an in depth understanding of Canberra no less (his routine misinterpretation of, and factual errors in relation to, Australian history might now be a thing of the past?).

Talk about jumping the shark and nuking the fridge.

It turns out that the Sunday Weekend Australian is just a one-off, as the rag goes about the business of gloating at the way it's the last broadsheet standing, seeming to confuse size with quality (no doubt the angry old white male crusading culture that saturates the paper still has penis anxiety issues). And seeming not to understand that it's a loss-making rag only kept alive by the sales of its wretched gutter-crawling tabloid brethren in the Murdoch empire.

And for all the jibber jabber, the Fairfax makeover is more cosmetic than inspirational, because format usually has little to do with content, and online Fairfax has long been tabloid in its dirty little heart (and soon enough will expect to be paid for its flirting with the pits). 

Size is no indicator of quality - the AFR tries to instil a sense of quality even as it fails the task - but Fairfax has already given the game away in its online edition, which is where the future lies, and where the only way to be able to charge will be the perceived ability to deliver quality to consumers ...

If they think Gerard Henderson is a selling point, a quality offering that will deliver them an online revenue stream, not even the long absent lord can save them ...

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