I'm not much of a Twitterer. I could, at best, be described as an inconsistent flirt, only following a select few and being followed by even less. My tweets are minimal; few and far between. So you could imagine my surprise when Zigsma messaged me to ask if I was aware that one of my Tweets appeared in a recent article on the ABCs Hungry Beast program. The article in question was about hate following; that is, following someone on a social media platform merely to keep the fires of outrage burning in your belly. My curiosity aroused, I logged onto the show's website and proceeded to watch the article in question.
Monique Shafter, one of the show's painfully gen y presenters was investigating her and (presumably) millions of others, compulsion to follow the social media musings of some of the worlds most irritating people (think Andrew Bolt, Justin Beiber, Germain Greer, Charlie Sheen and other anger mongers of this ilk.) The article included interviews with comedian and social commentator Catherine Deveny and shock jock Steve Price. This is where it gets interesting (at least to me).
Monique began by interviewing Catherine about the trend of 'Hate Following' and the example quickly centered on the public outrage towards Catherine's tweet during the 2010 logies that declared her desire for the (then) 11 year-old Bindy Irwin to get laid - a tweet that consequently showed Catherine the door from both The Age and (presumably) Australia Zoo. To illustrate this concept of 'Hate Following' towards Catherine they presented a selection of tweets (including mine) and encouraged the viewer to form an opinion.
Now I cannot speak for the legitimacy of the other tweet, but I felt the @CURBSIDESTYLE tweet was distressingly brief, though very much too the point. Unfortunately the point was lost as the viewer was not presented with the name of the intended target of my brilliant (if pointed) wit, but was instead only shown the screen name of one @catherinedeveney.
My tweet "@Uberclit @catherinedeveny Bitch please, at least attempt to google that shit before you get mouthy." was aimed at one Ms. (presumably) Uberclit who demanded in a most impolite fashion to know why I didn't just "f''ing" say "Fresh Cream" instead of "Creme Fraiche". My response, as published on Twitter, links to the original comment in which Catherine requests a recipe for scalloped potatoes. I provided my own take on this culinary classic (having just cooked it to rave reviews) and declared that it would be much improved through the use of a cultured cream, rather than normal cream. (Creme Fraiche - Fresh Cream. You have to love contranyms, except when they're not.)
By dropping the crucial "@Uberclit" and then juxtaposing the doctored tweet against the infamous "Bindi Irwin" tweet, gave the viewer the impression that my tweet was related through time and intent to the one that saw Catherine wave adieu to her hallowed broadsheet. This deliberate manipulation of my tweet was clearly done to make me appear to be one of Catherine's 'hate followers', simply not the case.
So, should I be surprised that a television show that started before it's first episode by launching a study by the fictional 'Levitt Institute' as an example of how the Media fail to fact check and merely report the news as it appears in the press release, can so misrepresent a recent Tweet because they can't be bothered to press the down arrow a few thousand times to find some real outrage? Probably not. Or perhaps I think that someone at Hungry Beast should have stuck a pile of coins on their "Page Down" key, brushed off the Kettle Chips crumbs, and then left for lunch.
I'm waiting on a response from the ABC.