Conservative columnist Miranda Devine has found herself at the centre of a new Twitter controversy, affectionately dubbed Gerbilgate.
It comes, ironically, after she published a column in the Sydney Morning Herald this week about comedian Catherine Deveny and her firing from Melbourne’s The Age newspaper after her Logies tweets. Divine called Deveny’s jokes “vile, as were so many of her stream-of-consciousness screechings on Twitter.”
It all began when Miranda wrote an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald last month about the upcoming Sex and the City 2 movie, which included the following paragraph: “Marriage increasingly is under threat, from sky-high divorce rates and de facto unions to a push for same-sex marriage, which confuses legitimate gay rights with the undermining of a battered institution maligned as misogynistic and fostering intolerance.
This prompted Griffith University student Justin Barbour to have a brief and public Twitter argument with Devine where he called her “homophobic and offensive” and she accused him of being dishonest.
When Justin sent Miranda a public tweet that said “@mirandadevine had enough of attacking the gays for now I see. great, thanks”, Miranda tweeted back “you’ve had enough of rogering gerbils I see. great. thanks.”
“That is a really disgusting comment, Miranda,” said Barbour, “you have a right to your views but that is just reprehensible.”
The offensive post between being gay and about rogering gerbils has since been removed by Devine, but not before it caused a minor stir and created a new Twitter hash tag (#rogeringgerbils). Yesterday Crikey.com.au commented, “It will be interesting to see what action, if any, Fairfax take over this twitspit… Will a journalist be held to the same standards as a comedian?”
Is Miranda a hypocrite? Or is it all a storm in a Tweetcup?