March 03, 2004

'GRAHAM THORN' LOCATED

The Chicago Tribuneís Don Wycliff solves the Uli Schmetzer quote mystery:

Dear Mr. Blair,

It grieves me to have to say that your suspicion was justified. It turns out that, while there really is a psychiatrist and he did make that remark (representing his own views and, Uli Schmetzer says, those of most white Australians), his name was made up to protect his identity and spare him the anger of his fellow countrymen. Schmetzer says the man, a personal acquaintance of his who lives in a place called Geelong, Victoria, asked him to use his mother's maiden name as his last name if Schmetzer used his quote. Of course, that is strictly forbidden--a violation of the most fundamental rule of journalism.

His editors had no reason to question the name, so they didn't and it went into the paper as written by the correspondent.

We will be publishing a correction of this in tomorrow's paper. I don't know at this point what sort of discipline will be levied on Mr. Schmetzer. But I would like to thank you for having the persistence and the faith in us to keep plugging away until you got someone's attention.

Warm regards,

Don Wycliff
Public Editor

Next: we seek clarification on Schmetzerís claim that Australians carpet their homes with kangaroo fur ...

Posted by Tim Blair at March 3, 2004 11:06 AM
Comments

Tenderfield in northern NSW, is he sure?

Posted by: kae at March 3, 2004 at 11:20 AM

So you're going to get this guy in trouble by exposing him to his pinko dumbass phycologist friends? Oh no!

I actually agree with his statements.

Posted by: Amos at March 3, 2004 at 11:20 AM

If his view is representative, why does he need to hide himself from the anger of his countrymen?

Posted by: Sortelli at March 3, 2004 at 11:21 AM

Oh... *reads Amos* Nevermind. -_-

Posted by: Sortelli at March 3, 2004 at 11:22 AM

Ooo-ooh, discipline! Don't hold back Mister Wycliff, I've been a naughty, naughty boy.

Tingling With Anticipation,

Uli Schmetzer

Posted by: iowahawk at March 3, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Seems odd that a right-thinking journalist like Schmetzer would have formed an acquaintanceship with the racist Dr. "Thorn." I still don't buy it. I wonder how thoroughly the Tribune checked out this story.

Posted by: David at March 3, 2004 at 11:43 AM

You should fling this one across to slattery - he lives in Geelong doesnt he?

Posted by: Paul Dub at March 3, 2004 at 11:59 AM

Question is: will Tim carpet his home with the scalps of stupid journalists?

Posted by: a at March 3, 2004 at 11:59 AM

What's the victory here? For truth in journalism?
The guy he quoted really exists. Isn't that the point?

This is the guy who said, on the record, Aboriginals "want to live in our society and be respected, yet they won't work. They steal, they rob and they get drunk. And they don't respect the laws."

I mean these are all views you share, aren't they? Aboriginals are among your whipping boys no? So why the feigned umbrage that such views could be repeated overseas, tarnishing "our" reputation as a really bonza holiday destination?

You're all a bunch of cowards AND racists. Fanning the flames of intolerance while pretending you're all for, what? Journalistic integrity? What a load of absolute bullshit!

You can uncross your fingers behind your backs now.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 3, 2004 at 12:12 PM

Now, take a downer.

Posted by: Screamapiller at March 3, 2004 at 12:43 PM

Miranda - the point is that this person still hasnt been proved to exist. The defence given is extremely suspicious. Making somebody up, and claiming that they said something, is very bad 'journalism'. The fact that you can't see anything wrong with what Schmetzer did is rather disturbing, but not surprising.

Posted by: Paul Dub at March 3, 2004 at 12:51 PM

Oh, he exists, maaaaaaaate! Just go down the pub and ask around. Or for that matter, check the trading floor of ASX while you're at it.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 3, 2004 at 01:10 PM

"Oh, he exists, maaaaaaaate! "

Wow, first time I have ever seen an actual screech in a post....

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at March 3, 2004 at 01:15 PM

I thought this was a small victory, Miranda.
Surely a sign of more informed comment on this site in the future.
Roo tail stew anyone?

Posted by: Sincerity Slips at March 3, 2004 at 01:21 PM

The only reason you'd go to the pub, Miranda, is to sniff the seats in the ladies lounge.

Posted by: superboot at March 3, 2004 at 01:21 PM

Well, Miranda, the whole reason this was brought up was that Mr. "Thorn" was voicing some pretty crappy sentiments that were being passed off as representative (even though they weren't representative enough to be said openly and fearlessly). You're stupid enough to believe it only because that's what you already want to believe, but with the exception of Amos no one has defended what this Mr. Thorn said. I wouldn't want to be associated with that guy either, nor would I want this Uli dude citing a person with a fictional name to tar me by association.

And for all your self-righteousness, you're the person who tried to defend Kalle's "Why Won't Anyone Say They're Jewish" article, and you're the anonymous troll.

Racist coward.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 3, 2004 at 01:32 PM

Geelong, eh? Has Bernie Slattery been moonlighting?

Posted by: Habib at March 3, 2004 at 01:39 PM

It's a fine line between carpet and rug. Still, if you want to split hairs, go for it.

Posted by: Robert at March 3, 2004 at 01:59 PM

That cat has a better rug than the one he's sitting on.

Posted by: ilibcc at March 3, 2004 at 02:08 PM

Hey Habib, I'm a bit nutty, but I'm no shrink. But really, I can't imagine a psychiatrist in Victoria's oh-so-politically correct health system speaking like that. The whole thing's whiffy as it's not as if there is a big population of Aborigines in Geelong, and they work, drink and steal in the same proportion as any other ethnic group. In fact, the local Koorie community is trail blazing in decorative arts. Using the Ann Summers process of elimination, I found 10 psychotherapists listed in the Geelong Yellow Pages and seven of them are women, two are centres and one is named Kim.

Posted by: slatts at March 3, 2004 at 02:09 PM

So I can claim that anyone said anything I want them to say, and that I changed the name simply to protect them. cool.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at March 3, 2004 at 02:56 PM

You Miranda Divide, are the type that exploits Aboriginals.

Posted by: Gary at March 3, 2004 at 03:07 PM

That roo rug is hell of tacky. Bonzer! Do they ship to Arizona?

Posted by: Screamapiller at March 3, 2004 at 03:39 PM

Screamapiller, you're a 'zonie too? Excellent. We are taking over.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 3, 2004 at 03:40 PM

Oh, he exists, maaaaaaaate!

Yep, and he's posting on this site under the tag 'Miranda Divide'.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 3, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Harry Tuttle:

Yeah? Well I just interviewed a feckless, cloth-eared, closed-minded, ignorant bedflute named Miranda... er... DEVICE (yeah, that'll do), and she said "Tim Blair hands me my ass, regularly."

So there.

Posted by: fidens at March 3, 2004 at 05:14 PM

Hey Slatts, I think that Kim bloke might be a bit cross if you bust his cover!

Posted by: Bushy at March 3, 2004 at 05:16 PM

If I understood Miranda correctly, the point was that finding someone in Australia who harboured a view of Aboriginals stocked solely with negative stereotype was easier than finding a Protopak of kangaroo meat in the local supermarket freezer.

It made my day to see the positive attitude displayed toward Aboriginal people on this site today (seriously, I'm grinning.I love being this wrong), but you have no idea how amazed I would be if this respectful sentiment was common in all Australians.

Posted by: Sincerity Slips at March 3, 2004 at 06:22 PM

Hallo sincerity slips. i have experience with aboriginal people and i have to say that they are as a whole untrustworthy, lazy and are a general waste of space. is that ok with you? it's just MY opinion tho...

Posted by: Bilal Skarf at March 3, 2004 at 06:57 PM

I'd find it easier to transend my narrow, bigoted predjudices towards Aboriginals if evey single one I've ever met had not only conformed those predjudices, but massivly and inventivly expanded them.

Posted by: Amos at March 3, 2004 at 07:37 PM

If I understood Miranda correctly, the point was that finding someone in Australia who harboured a view of Aboriginals stocked solely with negative stereotype was easier than finding a Protopak of kangaroo meat in the local supermarket freezer.

Perhaps, but this article goes further, and claims it to be a "psychologist" not any random yokel in a pub.
Should I look at the dribble Ms Divide spurts here and conclude all people named Miranda are dribbling morons?

Posted by: Quentin Divide at March 3, 2004 at 07:59 PM

You know, I'd say that in general most people of any race can be said to be "untrustworthy, lazy and are a general waste of space." I'd say I was a misanthrope if alleged people like Miranda and her ilk didn't display these characteristics so vividly.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 3, 2004 at 08:12 PM

Maybe John Ray has moved to Geelong?

Posted by: Robert at March 3, 2004 at 10:29 PM

I wouldn't call any race untrustworthy, lazy and are a general waste of space. But I'd sure call some cultures that.

Aboriginal culture today is poison, and it's killing it's host, unfortunatly not faster than it can breed. Okay, I'm going to hell for saying that, but when the fuck is ANYBODY going to try to hold aboriginals accountable to the same basic standards we hold everyone else to? Is is just too difficult to weather the shrill hysteria of the PC left?

Maybe we need another 80 welfare groups in Redfern. Or, shit I know! A GOVERNMENT INQUIRY.

Posted by: Amos at March 4, 2004 at 12:04 AM

Want proof that some Australians have carpeted their homes with Kangaroo hides? Look no further than a government report from the country's Department of Environment and Heritage.

"Red kangaroo furred hides are sometimes used in fashion garments, while others may end up as floor rugs and souvenirs."

The same report also mentions the use of Kangaroo in food, both for people and animals.

Posted by: Todd at March 4, 2004 at 03:53 AM

a very good day for Tim blair. A very bad day for Miranda, who it seems, may be in need of the psychiatric consultation that lies at the heart of Mr. Schmeltzer's fabrication.

Im a journo here in NYC, scribbling for a daily and am really proud of tim and people like him who nail the fabricators in the midst.

If you prick the core of the structural left, you get this aversion to absolute truth in favor of supposition, construct and narrative. This is how you get to be Margo Kinston, i guess.

Posted by: rod at March 4, 2004 at 04:14 AM

Tim,

This is the hour of pride and power,
Talon and tush and claw.
Oh, hear the call! Good hunting all.
That keep the Jungle Law.

Posted by: Carl H. at March 4, 2004 at 07:53 AM

Todd

Re Kangaroo hides.

Roo shooting is big business to supply roos for both Human Consumption & petfood.

Since approx 1997 stricter regulations were brought in by the NSW Govt to enforce hygeine & "animal welfare"(for want of a better term.

In western NSW in particular where roos are a major nuisance, the farmers who feed us and the outside world, regularly employ Licensed shooters to cull the roos.

Please note - all shooters must have passed a TAFE level course and meet Shooting accuracy requirements before a license is issued, along with the necessary Gun License & purchase paperwork which is a separate matter again.

And not all farmers like to see shooters on their property.

By the way, roo skins are quite pleasant as a decorative item if treated correctly.

Posted by: Tom at March 4, 2004 at 02:44 PM

How the hell did I get pulled into this blog and why do I care? Oh, well. Here goes...

Are Roo's any different from the deer that live in Princeton NJ?

Are the "blacks" of Australia any different from the "blacks" of America?

Seems people lump annoying animals and annoying human populations into similar groups and apply similar emotional "triggers" to them.

I'm quite sure that an aboriginal's skin can be quite plesent as a decorative item if treated correctly.

I'm also quite sure that if an unknown white guy in a suit driving a mercedes tried to kill my dog to make a decorative pelt for his wife I'd kill him without any remorse.

Yet if a black friend needed my dog's liver so that his child could live I'd surrender the dog gladly.

My point is, treat each "event" in one's experience as unique.

If 100 black people all treated me the exact same way each time I met them I'd begin to question if they weren't responding to something I did or some way I acted.

If 100 deer kept invading my back yard and destroying my property I'd shoot them till they went away and sell the meat.

Yet, get to know one deer, one black person, one dishonest reporter and the issue becomes much more complex.

The lack of rational thought in the string of blogs above is awesome.

A black man kills your pet deer. You hate the black man. You are justified. You hate all black men because one killed your pet. You are a racist.

Irish people like to drink. Racism. You have not met all Irish people. Some cultures are lazy. Racism. You have not met all the people in all cultures.

So, let's apply rational logic to rip up this blog site.

Tom: not racist, very rational.
Carl: patronizing jerk, could be racist. Likes poetry.
Rod: not very rational, full of himself. Probably racist.
Todd: rational. probably not racist.
Amos: Racist. Irrational. Unaware of irony of his name.
Andrea: Well educated racist. Bore. I'll take Amos.
Quentin: Rational. NOT racist. kind of dull. I'll take Amos.
Bilal: racist, irrational, minority himself, way to go.
Sincerity: not racist, good use of sentance structure, probably very rational, I'd enjoy a drink with Sincerity and Amos. I'm still very upset with Bilal...
Fidens: good sense of humor, probably very rational and very racist in a very funny way.
Gary: Rational, has issues with women
Sorttelli: good drinking buddy
The rest of you lot are a bunch of fuck offs

Posted by: pete at March 5, 2004 at 01:38 AM

ME included.

Posted by: pete at March 5, 2004 at 01:41 AM

A phycologist studies phytoplankton.

Posted by: jesse at March 5, 2004 at 01:58 AM

Autralian Aboriginal society is in the shit that it's in because we colonials put them there.

History shows that indigenous cultures pretty much always suffer under their colonial masters. Yes, at the time we arrived in Australia colonial society wasn't sufficiently advanced enough to recognise its responsibilities, but in 2004 we have no excuse.

Time and again we've made gestures towards a fragile Aboriginal culture that range from the insincere (just lobbing money/housing at them) to the downright dangerous (stolen generation). So, by now, we've largely blown it. An inner suburban riot in Sydney is perfect evidence of this, although disportionately high rates of depression, suicide, alcoholism, incarceration, etc... should all have made the trend abundantly clear by now.

Aboriginals are a miniscule fraction of Australia's total population, but some fearful and ill-informed citizens, emboldened by our government's softness on racism, take any opportunity to whinge loud and long about all the advantages that Aboriginals are afforded over "ordinary" Australians due to their minority status. Challenged, they'll inevitably give you the old "Well, a friend of mine's daughter is a school where this Aboriginal student apparently..." or similar, developing into some loosely connected anecdote which inadequately supports their opinion. I always ask for (and never get) the hard evidence.

It's also interesting, while living in and travelling to many countries with indigeonous minorities, how often I hear the same racist stories and arguments re-used by colonial decendents. In the UK (my current home), they're recycled to attack 'asylum-seekers' (the group compound noun used by UK racists to include any foreign person they don't feel comfortable living alongside).

The truth is, black folks scare lots of Euro/Asian-Auzzies because they are either ignorant of the irrelevance of skin colour or don't know/understand Aboriginal history and the relentless misery that colonialism's generally given them. That's because Australian society doesn't appear to value decent efforts to bridge the perceived cultural divide. I say 'perceived' because most aboriginies I've known, while respecting their ancestral cultures, aren't interested trying to live by them and would much rather be accepted as "ordinary" people in the culture than the one they're immersed in - 21st century Australia.

The bottom line is that all human beings, regardless of race, have the potential to exist harmoniously in any society. That society just has to be up for making the effort to support a sincere and generous cultural forum for that.

All it'll cost any of us is a little time and compassion.

-J

Posted by: justin at March 9, 2004 at 05:39 AM

CORRECTION:
"I say 'perceived' because most aboriginies I've known, while respecting their ancestral cultures, aren't interested trying to live by them and would much rather be accepted as "ordinary" people in the culture than the one they're immersed in - 21st century Australia."

should have read:
"I say 'perceived' because most aboriginies I've known, while respecting their ancestral cultures, aren't interested trying to live by them and would much rather be accepted as "ordinary" people in the culture they're immersed in - 21st century Australia."

Removed: "than the one"

Apols, J.

Posted by: justin at March 9, 2004 at 06:16 AM