(15th June: Just realised that I may not have ever actually published this. Whoops. Must learn to control 'publish' and 'save as draft' buttons more effectively.)
As a (possibly disturbing) aside, I'm starting to find that I really quite like Derryn Hinch. This impression is from two or three recent events. First, his broadcasting the other week, against the tide of "Scapelle Corby is innocent, Corby must come home" that was around just prior to her judgement being pronounced, that he thinks she has received preferential treatment in the Australian media largely (though not entirely) because she is "easy on the eye" (which prompted Chris and Craig to opine rather hilariously on JJJ
's Today Today
that what David Hicks needs to do in order to get Australian pressure on the US government to release him from Guantanamo Bay is a boob job). Sure, Hinch's was a fairly common sensical statement to make, but it went so against the mass of media comment and coverage at the time that it seemed controversial
Secondly, there was his speaking out about the 'forgotten' person after the death of David Hookes: his girlfriend, Christine Padfield. After the subsequent Australian Story coverage
of this, Hinch's announcement seemed rather noble.
But the other thing I've marvelled at in passing a few times now is the popular/media reaction to Hinch's "outing" of Graham Kennedy, and his claim that Kennedy died of AIDS (see Crikey article
on the claim; Age
article on the response; Sydney Morning Herald review
of Graham Kennedy biography). Though it sounds as though the AIDS claim may be somewhat spurious, the 'outing' itself has engendered some serious ripples of dissent from many in the entertainment industry - all along the lines of statements that 'outing' someone involves being disrespectful to the dead. Just check out this quote from an angry reader of the Crikey
The gutless prick announced that Kennedy was gay, almost with glee, I couldn't see any reason why he'd do this. But after a bit of thought I began wondering how many years he'd been waiting for Kennedy to die, so it could be him – no one else but him – to announce that Kennedy was a poofter. I'd be willing to bet that he's been planning this for years... what a lowlife bastard. I'm not writing this because I'm gay, I'm not, but no-one deserves this disrespect after death. As I send this he's still carrying on about it, he's now moved on to exposing his lovers...
Incredible, no? Just listen to the language: 'Exposing', 'why would you do this' (yes, 'gay', such an insult
), etc... It's such a primitive attitude, isn't it? "It's a private matter, why make it public, why make a song and dance about it?", quoth the indignant as they defend their memories of a sexless, innocent Graham Kennedy. Not that I like using the term much, but I really do feel inclined to pronounce about these pious twits: homophobes
[It's such a crap and yucky word, isn't it? It just screams out "gay marriage now! Let us have boring domestic relationships and kids at the local primary school too! Science
that gay brains are hard-wired from birth!" Ack, what conciliatory, cult-of-science-fetishist rubbish.]
I am glad that Hinch was able to prompt the revelation of that ever-present underbelly - it reminds us that however you may sidestep and paper over bigotry, it's still there
Not that I am proposing to start a Derryn Hinch fan club or anything. But in sum: Derryn Hinch: 1; Other dickheads: 0.