An example of very poor “journalism” occurred yesterday when the Daily Mail Australia published a photo of Grace Tame near a large bong.
Generally speaking, Australians are not scandalised by someone smoking pot in their youth. However, it is arguably very scandalous to have a major news website publishing old irrelevant photos of a sexual assault survivor based on such an irrelevant peccadillo. After all, smoking pot doesn’t disqualify you from becoming Prime Minister, because nobody sensible cares about it.
While this kind of reporting may have been relevant if it exposed hypocrisy, Grace Tame is no anti-drug activist. Rather, her focus has been on calling out the systems and behaviours that enable sexual abuse. And good on her for it.
In fact, she had already disclosed that she had used drugs, alongside more than one third of the Aussie population who admit to having (at least) sampled marijuana. Posting this picture of her with a bong in public does little to damage her reputation amongst right thinking people, but it is still disgusting in its intent.
One small positive was that Wentworth MP Dave Sharma actually voiced his disapproval of the Daily Mail hit piece. This is notable given the well documented animosity between the Prime Minister (his boss) and the enormously popular Ms Tame.
In any event, it is safe to say that in our book Ms Tame remains one of the most memorable and effective Australians of the Year and she has done a great service to us all in bravely trying to make our society safer for women and girls. More power to her.
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