Originally posted on jrhennessy.com. This is part of a continuing series on Australian media hacks.
Piers Akerman is the worst person. He is a toad in a wig, granted the power of speech by a wizard. His utter contempt for the slice of humanity who aren’t Piers Akerman is unrivalled. He grovels like a monstrous pig at the feet of the rich and powerful. He treats the poor, the hungry and the marginalised with the emotion they so richly deserve: disinterest. The magnitude of his awfulness should be self-evident to all. The fact that I’m writing about this flaccid, gelatinous man with even the barest modicum of seriousness reflects poorly on my own character. Yesterday I mentioned his name in passing to an acquaintance, to which they replied “Who is Piers Akerman?” It was then I realised my destiny was set in stone. The people must know.
Akerman, a former journalist and Fox News vice president, has settled comfortably into the life of the Daily Telegraph columnist. His poison screeds are ingrained into the morning read of Sydney’s petit bourgeoise to the point of institutionalisation. He takes on the voice of the conservative grump – perpetually under imagined attack by insidious leftist media and laid low by the rising tide of progressivism in this once-great nation. Unlike writers like Miranda Devine or Andrew Bolt, who conceal bigotry under a metric ton of weasel words and false questions, Akerman lays his base prejudices out and leaves them to fester.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, most of those who oppose it take great pains to prove that they are not opposed to homosexuality per se. Not Akerman. He writes, on the rainbow crossing on Sydney’s Oxford Street:
The minister’s gesture of a painted crosswalk for the month culminating in Mardi Gras, on top of the street closures and the taxpayer-funding, was never going to satisfy those who try and foist a philosophy of homosexual exceptionalism on the public. But the rainbow display is at the lighter end of the activist spectrum. Homosexual marriage is at the darker end, along with a rapidly accelerating assault on the language and traditional culture and society.
Akerman, who once said gay marriage was as wrong as “letting a man marry his goat”, hasn’t the capacity for emotional function beyond vague, directionless anger. In another column, as part of the same tired crusade, he lurches between flagrant use of the word “demonic” and absurd conspiracies about gay men, blood donations and AIDS. However, in another post he claims that the AIDS scare of the “1970′s” (it wasn’t identified until 1981) was overblown. Which is it, Piers? It’s a rant which wouldn’t be out of place nailed to a church door during the Middle Ages. Why are we taking lectures in moral purity from a man who looks like the unfortunate marriage of a permanent marker and a cabbage? The mind boggles.
As with the rest of the News Limited rogue’s gallery, Akerman is a ferventclimate change denier. And, unsurprisingly, he’s extremely disingenuous. He frequently refers to Melbourne University professor and fellow denier Ian Plimer, despite the fact that Plimer is not a climatologist. In 2006, Akerman quoted prominent scientist John Houghton as saying “Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen”. Ever since he wrote it, it has entered the screaming vortex of recyclable climate change denial soundbites – every idiot from Christopher Monckton to Christopher Booker has repeated it verbatim as proof of the Machiavellian evil of scientists worldwide. The only problem here is that Houghton never said it. Akerman fabricated the quote and lied when confronted about it – most spectacularly in a 2010 blog, which is best accompanied by R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts played at half-speed.
Akerman is also a racist. He aids and abets the myth of Australia as being “under siege by Muslims” who “do not accept the culture of their chosen country”. It’s surprising that anyone would want to accept the culture of a society which produced Piers Akerman. His base race-baiting culminated in a2009 column which hinged on the phonetic similarity between “Wong” and “wrong”. Get it? Get it? Given Australia’s rich history with that particular rhyme, it’s disappointing he couldn’t work with something more original. Akerman’s unbelievable word-crimes rose again after the Boston bombings this year, when he criticised the media for not using the word ‘jihad’ during coverage of the event. The opening line of this execrable piece:
The usual bleeding hearts and moral poseurs can’t see terror until they’re blown sky high.
Are you joking, Piers? There’s no response to such callous smugness. Andrew Bolt’s rhetorical strategy is to throw out so many misleading statistics, figures and quotes that even the most resourceful critic can’t begin to pick them apart. Akerman’s is to publish statements so reprehensible and loathsome that all opponents are reduced to shivering, sweating blobs of meat.
Piers Akerman is the worst person. After all the civilisations have crumbled and our cities are ash, he will still be writing. As the oceans rise and boil under the unbearable heat of our toxic, poisoned atmosphere and humankind perishes, he will bleat out a final sentence: “I TOLD YOU ALL ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE”.
Go away, Piers.