Flat White

Mia Freedman: preening poseur

27 October 2016

7:06 PM

27 October 2016

7:06 PM

CaptureDear Mia

I was interested to read the report published in the Grind coffee society magazine in relation to online bullying, in particular the following passages:

As a high-profile media personality, Mia is keenly aware of her responsibilities as a social commentator and the effect she can have on others.

“I think that’s why we’re grappling to cope with this avalanche of feedback and the type of negative feedback that it often is. The different hook with social media is now there’s an audience for it, so it’s not just saying something to someone’s face or writing them a nasty letter. It’s actually ‘watch me be clever and be horrible about this person’ or ‘watch me create my identity out of abusing someone who I disagree with.’

“The stuff they come out with… people would never say to your face. Never! It’s back to that basically what you do unto others. That doesn’t get old.”

Mia encourages people to remember that everyone is a human being and to respect those who share your environment.

“I think you have to look at what you say and how you say it.”

The reason I found this so interesting and, frankly, quite baffling is because it appears completely contrary to your own behaviour on social media towards people who don’t agree with your position on marriage.

For instance, when referring to me on Twitter on 13 October 2016, you said, “It was so bizarre to see a gay staffer in @SenatorAbetz ‘s office interviewed on the ABC. Internalised homophobia? Baffling.” Indeed, now two weeks on from that initial Tweet – and following widespread coverage – you have not said a word in response to my calling our your outrageous slur. In fact the Tweet is still on your profile!

Is this an example of you being “keenly aware” of your responsibilities? Or just an example of you “being clever and horrible”? Or are you seeking to create an “identity out of abusing someone” who you disagree with?

I also wonder why you don’t – as you have recommended to others – “play the ball, not the person”?

I am genuinely interested in how you reconcile your public statements in the Grind interview with your own behaviour? Or is this just another case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

I must say, your constant hectoring on tolerance including in circumstances where you cannot find it within yourself to accept views contrary to your own – and to suggest that I have a form of mental illness for doing so – says all anyone needs to know.

Yours sincerely

Josh Manuatu


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