The Ellen De Generes I saw in the public eye was never really my cup of tea.
Then again, it is only through her syndicated TV talkshow ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and previous TV appearance in the popular sitcom ‘Ellen’ from 1994-1998 that I and millions of others can only ever have known her.
Now, I finally have something in common with Ellen.
My politics and her politics have always been at opposite ends of the spectrum. Our sexual orientations remain poles apart. She is a blonde, I am a brunette. The list could go on.
Regardless though, I always admired the fact she was evidently a person with strong views and was prepared to stand up for what she believed in. Then and now, you rarely find anyone who does.
And so, finally on my mum’s 85th birthday, October 10, 2019, Ellen and I were in sync in a sisterhood of sorts — 25 years after I made the decision to respect the fact she was a talented actor, talkshow host and model but, as her humour and viewpoints were not the same as mine, not to engage with her following.
Enter stage right. The Intolerable Left whacked one of their so-called own!
Ellen De Generes is now 60 years old. She doesn’t look it, but having been honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, making the Forbes’ list of “The World’s Highest Paid Celebrities with a worth of around $360 million, she has been crucified.
And all because she sat next to President George W Bush at a baseball game and had a chat.
Ellen nailed it. “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way as you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
As we say in Australia, “Onya, Ellen!”
The problem is, I have always espoused this, yet I copped my own viral vortex as a columnist for the then Fairfax Media in 2015-2016 from the woke inclined keyboard warriors.
I lasted around 18 months. Truth be known, I had initially thought if I lasted six months in the role it would have been amazing.
The irony is that I was hired precisely because I was a conservative columnist and management wanted a more balanced viewpoint in their columns across the mastheads to counter the ever-present left-leaning bias in the mainstream media.
The vitriol began slowly.
First was the by-line. My by-line, given my long surname to begin with, got longer and longer and longer and longer as the weeks went by, some weeks it was nearly three sentences itself as people panicked about covering all bases for disclosure.
When the trolls could not find anything to argue with sensibly regarding the issue I was writing about, the old discriminatory stuff came out.
Relentless comments in the comment section about, ‘why wasn’t it disclosed that her husband is a Liberal MP’.
Of course, I knew then, that when the keyboard warriors pushed on various weeks, I was hitting the mark with my column topics.
A professional woman, yet a mum and a stepmother able to write a column on her own, well, that didn’t seem at all possible in their eyes.
Instead, the most important thing they saw was that I was the wife of a Liberal politician!
I never saw Chris Uhlman, then with the ABC, needing to give a disclaimer about his wife, Gail Brodtmann being a federal Labor parliamentarian each time he did a story? Truth be known, only the political classes even knew they were married.
Eventually, the trolls wore the editors down and in a bid to ‘keep the peace’, ‘the wife of a Liberal politician’ was tagged onto my surname, along with radio commentator, mother of three, journalist etc.
One set of rules for one, one for the other.
The New Zealand-Australian TV personality Charlotte Dawson committed suicide in 2014.
Ms Dawson had been cyberbullied by Twitter trolls and ended up in hospital in 2012.
Back then, like many, I had thought, just switch off the Twitter, switch off Facebook, switch off the trolls.
It is now fair to say, that until you have had a Twitter account, built and then rebuilt, deactivated and then reactivated after relentless trolls, you cannot really understand how dreadful these people really are.
So, Ellen, I applaud you for standing strong and putting the normal back into the normal.
As Rita Panahi said in her column on the Ellen brouhaha:
Mainstream conservatives are subjected to activists who feel entitled to bully and intimidate not only them but their audience. Andrew Bolt, Australia’s most-read columnist had his book launch cancelled due to the threat posed by Leftist protestors. When was the last time someone from the Left had to cancel their event because of credible fears of violence from conservatives?
The answer, is they have never had to.
Just like Ellen, if you believe strongly in something, it does not mean you cannot hold a conversation, or indeed hear other people’s views. But, if the person with the differing view is that intimidated with the fact you may be demonstrating more reasoning than them, then that is their problem.
I rarely Tweet, I minimise my social media platform interaction because the echo chamber is not real life and frankly losing jobs because an army of trolls say someone should, is not how I want to live.
Been there, done that, but unlike the lovely Charlotte Dawson, I am still here on radio, television and here in print and, anytime someone wants to hold a proper, respectful conversation with me, please let me know
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