This comment made on Q&A Monday night is causing a kerfuffle:
You’re more right likely to be killed by a refrigerator, in the United States, falling on you.
As Rowan Dean pointed out on Tuesday – within hours 22 refrigerators fell on some teenage girls and their parents and friends in Manchester.
Then we had this testable hypothesis from Tony Jones:
… I suppose, if you’re a young black American, you’re more likely to be killed by policeman (sic).
So according to the ABC refrigerators and policemen are the real menace to society.
Actually, no. According to the ABC, refrigerators, policemen and, our very good friend, Roger Franklin are the real menace to society.
As everyone now knows Roger wrote a rather impassioned response to the refrigerator menace.
It’s a monstrously absurd and obscene self-evident untruth to claim that refrigerators are more dangerous than terrorists, but it fits with the approved narrative, so not a peep from the man who is paid by the national broadcaster to promote fair, free, frank and factual debate on matters of national importance.
Now before we proceed I do want to point to a factual error Roger made. The ABC does not “promote fair, free, frank and factual debate on matters of national importance”. This is the organisation that claimed that Islam is the world’s most feminist religion, that people who question climate warming are paedophiles, that Australian navy personal tortured asylum seekers, that live exports to Indonesia were being mistreated before slaughter, that greyhound trainers were systematically abusing animals. I’m sure the list will be expanded in the thread.
Now I agree that the risk of being killed in a terrorist attack is somewhat slight. The risk of being killed in an aeroplane crash is very slight too – yet nobody ever argues that aeroplane maintenance is unimportant.
It is all a matter of perspective. As Roger then demonstrated:
What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.
Well. What a blast it was. The bed wetters are beside themselves in outrage. Twitter is in meltdown. Our friends in the fifth
column estate are expressing more outrage over a thought experiment and value judgement as to their contribution to humanity than they did over a murderous terrorist attack on teenyboppers. It didn’t take an actual explosion for the luvvies to see the errors of their ways but the mere thought of an explosion. According to the Guardian:
In a strongly worded letter to the editor of Quadrant, the ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie, said ABC staff had to be reassured of their safety and safety experts had to be called in to assess if there had been any damage to security from the inflammatory words.
The ABC called in a safety expert! Why? They have Lawrence Krauss on hand. A man who just on Monday night assured Australians – and presumably the ABC – that people were more likely to be killed by a refrigerator falling on them than in a terrorist attack. Do ABC employees not believe the statistics they peddle on our taxpayer funded ABC? You are perfectly safe people. Just watch for those refrigerators.
Confected outrage – and the scream test at work.
The other interesting thing is Chris Kenny’s experience – himself a victim of ABC bullying. Last night on Sky he gave a nuanced appraisal of Roger’s op-ed. He thought the idea of a bomb blast at Ultimo over the top. Today he wrote a column in The Australian making the same point:
So the argument, and indeed the anger, evident in a comment piece published yesterday by Quadrant online editor Roger Franklin was understandable. But he went way too far — he crossed a line in public debate that should never be crossed and can never be condoned.
Franklin dared to wish such violence upon the ABC — apparently to teach them a lesson — and in doing so he not only destroyed his own argument but diminished public debate in this nation.
Hmmmmmm – publishing photoshoped images of people fornicating with dogs doesn’t diminish public debate? Calling global warming sceptics paedophiles doesn’t diminish public debate? I digress. For his troubles Chris Kenny is now being accused of condoning violence against the ABC.
In the meantime I can I suggest that if you are not already a subscriber to Quadrant that you become one.