It’s no secret, that I generally prefer news commentary I see on Sky News, in the Daily Telegraph, The Australian, and Quadrant—and naturally, I find The Spectator very informative. The reason I like these sources is because I believe they are more reliable when it comes to truth telling, especially in regard to Indigenous issues, which is where I spend a lot of my time. Of course, these sources are often dismissed as ‘Right-winged trash’ by those who typically follow The Guardian, SBS, ABC, and similar media. I will avoid using the term ‘Left’ for the followers of these publications given that the term is somewhat limited and misleading. Instead, I will refer to them as the ‘offendarati’ (a term my mate Bill Leak coined). The offendarati comprise the politically correct, the snowflakes, the woke, and social justice warriors. When you hear someone say “I’m offended” or “I’m outraged” it is a good chance they are part of the offendarati crowd.
I am not totally one-sided where I get my news from. I sometimes read good articles in the Sydney Morning Herald (rarely in The Guardian) and am grateful for them; I have no trouble acknowledging this. Also, there are times when I strongly disagree with my favourite commentators on some topics. Sometimes these commentators get it wrong because it is a genuine mistake or maybe I’m wrong. Sometimes it is their own, or my, personal bias showing. Commentators from all sides of the political divide get it wrong sometimes, but generally speaking, conservatives and the offendarati get it wrong for different reasons. In this article I wish to focus on when the conservatives get it wrong and how the offedarati respond.
Generally, no news commentator, journalist, shock jock, or political cartoonist gets it right 100% of the time; or even close. When the offendarati get it wrong, the conservatives generally have a laugh. But I’ve noticed that when a conservative commentator does make a mistake—that is, they genuinely get it wrong—the offendarati go on a rampage. Even if an apology is offered, the offendarati will not forgive, preferring to remain outraged for all the world to see.
Ostensibly, they are outraged because they are passionate about the topic being discussed, feel there has been some huge injustice done, feel the conservative commentator needs to be corrected and chastised, and of course, their outrage is evidence that they are the great moral gatekeepers of society. Most of the time when the offendarati are outraged, I question their motives. I believe they go into outrage mode in an attempt to discredit the conservative commentator for their past ‘sins’ of showing the offendarati what hypocritical fools they are. For the offendarati, when the conservative commentator gets it wrong, all of his or her other views are now considered null and void. Rather than debate on issues where conservatives have clobbered them in the past, the offendarati can simply point to their latest true mistake and use it to make the generalisation that the conservative is wrong about everything.
When conservatives get it wrong, it’s probably because they are discussing complex and sensitive issues where all the facts are not known, and therefore, speculation and theorising is required in order to anticipate consequences, and think strategically towards solutions. When dealing with these topics, the conservative commentator is like a skilled surgeon who needs to remove a tumour from a vital organ; sometimes he or she will cut a nerve—a mistake is made. Any surgeon going to remove a tumour has to take risks and sometimes make mistakes. And so it is when discussing important and sensitive topics.
We are all different and can make our own choices as to which ‘voice’ we listen to most keenly. I like to hear about stories from commentators who try to make it highly relevant to me, even if that means they get close to the nerve and sometimes get it wrong.
Dr Anthony Dillon is a part-Aboriginal Australian, social scientist, and commentator on Indigenous affairs. More of his work can be seen at Australians All at the Crossroads.
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