Chris Dore, editor-in-chief of The Australian, is either really fucking stupid, or he thinks the readers of Super Rupe’s increasingly fash-forward white pride fanzine are.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think Chris Dore is stupid, even though his email in defense of Johannes Leak’s latest racist colouring-in assignment is truly, madly, you-gotta-be-fist-fucking-me stupid in both its general air of lumpencluelessness and its very particular idiopathy of butthurt victimhood.
Let us recap, even though we’ve all been here before with this newspaper, this editor and this cartoonist.
Johannes Leak drew a racist cartoon about US Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris. (Sexist too, for what it’s worth).
Everyone not living on Rupe’s dollar, called it out as abject racism.
Chris Dore pulled on his faithful hip-waders and descended into the sewage system of Castle Murdoch with a hi-dee-hey-ho and a big rubber plunger to clear out yet another huge, unflushable content turd threatening to block up the septic flueworks of his master’s antipodean citadel. We were trying to fight racism, not do racism, said the guy who published the racist cartoon.
“It should go without saying, but certainly needs to be clearly enunciated, that each of us at The Australian utterly opposes racism in all its guises,” Dore wrote to staff in a confidential email that was immediately leaked.
And look, he’s right.
It should go without saying.
But it doesn’t, because racism in all its guises is what The Australian has instead of a functioning business model these days. It’s not their only line of business, of course. There’s also the lucrative mercenary work undertaken on behalf of client conservative parties in return for political indulgences on friendly regulation and a get-out-of-jail-free card for massive multinational tax avoidance.
But the racism is pure guava.
It’s what they’d do even if it wasn’t madly profitable.
And it does have its compensations for the rest of us. How sweet the taste of roflberry pwncakes reading Dore’s cri de coeur on Leak’s behalf—“when one of our own, who we dearly love and value, faces such vile, personal and unwarranted attacks, as Johannes Leak has today, it’s important that we rally around him and show him support,”—coming as it does from the editor-in-chief of a newspaper that had to build an extra wing to hold their unrivalled collection of Walkley Awards for “vile, personal and unwarranted attacks” on anybody they didn’t like the look of.
To be fair to the Oz, that can be anyone who gets in between Rupe and a tax free pay day. Just ask Bill Shorten.
Or it can be anyone from the ABC. Just ask Emma Alberici.
But to be fair to reality, you’re much likelier to suffer one of their really savage and sustained beatdowns if your skin colour lies somewhere past Rivergum Biege on the Dulux Colour Chart.
Just ask Ben Law, Adam Goodes, Bruce Pascoe, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Osman Faruqi, Tim Soutphommasane, Larissa Behrendt, Waleed Aly, or anyone, like literally anyone from the small but growing African-Australian community.
Friday’s ignominious shit show felt especially grubby because they played the bank shot off of a moment of genuine grace - the first nomination of a woman of colour to a US presidential ticket. But really, it was unusual only in seeping out beyond the diminishing readership pool of the Oz and into the view of a horrified public. In terms of precedent it just wasn’t that special. It was a bit like walking around the corner on an otherwise pleasant day to be confronted by the sight of a terrifying circus clown caught masturbating into a hessian sack full of yowling kittens.
Admittedly, it would put you right off your stride.
But when you thought about it later, over a third or forth schooner of hospital whisky, you’d have to admit it was probably always going to happen. After all, circus clowns are a real thing, just like The Australian, and they are both terrifying. They have needs and they will see to those needs no matter what you think about them. As for the kittens, look it’s worrying. It’s really worrying.
But some things just aren’t explicable.