Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shame, McMenamin, Shame!

From today's Australian:

Ms McMenamin was equally critical of the past weekend's protests and the DLC's plans for future action.

"Let the 300 people march on Canberra because it looks pathetic," he [sic] said. "It looks pathetic and shameful because most of these people are not fully aware of the facts and secondly, those who are aware are, in effect, advocating child pornography."

[An image of a cowering Bernadette McMenamin. She really has nothing to fear. The person on the otherside of the door is a photographer whose job it is to help sell her vision of moral panic.]

A woman who has to violate the Conroy Rule in her every utterance on this subject is in no position to describe others as pathetic.

Bernadette McMenamin is a living, breathing disgrace to the Order of Australia of which she is a member. If she can't put her case without accusing others of being supporters of child pornography, her case must be exceedingly weak indeed.

We already know exactly how loose McMenamin is with facts and statistics. We know how clueless her grip is on the technical details. But even with this poor grip, she admits that the proposed filter will do almost nothing to stop hard core consumers of child pornography. She fails to consider the unintended consequences and is willing to pay any price in support of a solution that can never attain the objectives set for it.

Bernadette McMenamin's business is moral panic. She has a vested interest in it. From her point of view, an ineffective filter is actually a very good thing, because it means the oxygen that sustains the flames of moral panic, and her organization ChildWise, will never disappear.

Perhaps this is uncharitable. Perhaps McMenamin and ChildWise have done worthy work in the past. Perhaps they do some now. But why should anyone continue to be charitable about a person who unapologeticly accuses her opponents of being witting or unwitting supporters of child pornography. That is a completely despicable accusation as McMenamin herself should well know - if her tears about the plight of abused children mean anything at all.

Bernadette McMenanim, AO, is a scoundrel. Australians who are outraged that she continues to slander her political opponents as supporters of child pornography should use every opportunity they have to remind her how despicable that is.

Oh, and don't forget the March on Canberra in March 2009.

Update:Link to her e-mail address removed. I do encourage people to write to her and express their contempt. But please, try to do it without excessive vitriol since that will not, in the end, help our case. Point out we have tried to reason with her in the past but that we are dismayed that she continues to use the same slander. Remind her that her slander denigrates "Save The Children" as much as it does anonymous targets of her contempt.

Updated 28/2: I recently drew Bernadette's attention to this post. In response she pointed out that she does not herself make a habit of personal attacks against opponents of the filter and that I only gave one example of where she has made use of the slander that upset me so much. To the extent that I implied that she makes a habit of doing so, I retract that implication and apologise for generalizing from but one example. The fact remains, however, that the Australian reported her as making the remark on this occasion and she has yet to publicly deny that this was an accurate record of her remarks.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Letter writen

Jinjirrie said...

Irate email sent to McMenamin - this purulent 'new puritanism' with its sickening rhetorical payload revolts me as much as child abuse does.

Fitzroyalty said...

Speaking of moral panic, I'm surprised to see your approval of The Porn Report. It's a tepid, inaccurate and methodologically challenged work that deserves no support. I think it's actually part of the moral panic as it's full of dubious moral judgements. Read my review for a detailed critique.

Jon Seymour said...

Fitzroyalty - thanks for your comment. I'll admit that you have thought about it more than I. I'll update the link with a reference to your review so that others can make up their own minds.

Syd Walker said...

Nice one Jon.

I wrote to Ms McMenamin last week. We'll see if she cares enough about rationality to answer our emails.

Fitzroyalty - great review. I haven't read the book - but after your review, I feel I have.

It's all too easily imaginable.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I still haven't heard anything back :)

On the subject of the Porn Report, I think the book is important in that it provides a starting point.

Fitz stated that it was useful for the naive and uninformed - which to my mind is the Australian public at large.

As to contibuting to the moral panic I don't see it?