We don't want to give that dim bulb Miranda Devine any more publicity for her vile-spew at the cyclone-shattered people of Innisfail (in the Sydney Sun Herald last weekend), but the reaction from people in North Queensland has been strong and bloody passionate, and they deserve to have their voices heard here.
It's a damn shame the Sun Herald won't give the people of Innisfail the same right of reply.
From John Andersen editor of the Townsville Bulletin :
Next up, some reaction from Cardwell Shire Mayor Joe Galeano :
"Miranda is really peeved that people complained about their predicament. She says that 'five minutes after the cyclone hit, locals were whingeing that 'they' hadn't arrived' to fix their broken homes.
"I think this a sad generalisation. I've seen people complain on the telly, which is where Miranda is getting most of her info, but I didn't come across any A-grade whingers during the five days I spent covering the cyclone and its aftermath.
But, if they wanted to complain, so what? They'd just been through hell. They were despairing. They were in varying degrees of shock, but not one of them played the blame game. They were just glad to be alive. Maybe if Miranda had gone to Innisfail and spoken to some of the people who had been 'Larried' she might have taken a different view.
But, gee, why would you leave Cremorne (Miranda's hometown) where you can sip on Moet and watch it on the telly?"
Go here to read the rest of what Mayor Galeano told the Townsville Bulletin.
"If anything ever happened to the agriculture industry, there would be a lot of hardship in (Sydney) as well. A seven-hour cyclone changed people's lives forever. But people still need some support. The farmers are producing for the masses in Sydney.
He said anyone who thought North Queenslanders were whingeing about the damage from the cyclone should take a visit to the disaster zone.
"These people who make these accusations should visit Johnstone Shire, our neighbouring shire, and our beachfront at Mission Beach. If they visit that, they can see the destruction and the suffering. It's surreal. The only reason we didn't have any loss of life was because of the preparation. If people down south realised how important this was, they wouldn't say those kind of things."
And here's just a few of the barrage of letters recieved by the Townsville Bulletin reacting to Devine's column :
Michael Hawkins : "...this despicable load of lies and insults concocked by a lonely insignificant low life, attention-seeking journalist from Sydney. Just forget that she ever existed. These wonderful people of the north are truly an inspiration to us all, so just keep giving us the good stories about them and forget about this poor lonely sole of sorrow from Sydney. Her thoughts amount to nothing up here in the North."
Leesa Farley : "I would call her a stuck-up snob. Not all Far North Queensland people are `whinging', just a few. Doesn't that happen in every society? Or should we call all Sydney people stuck-up snobs just because she is one? I'd like to see her go through Larry and find some food and shelter where there is none."
Jim Goodin : "Sydney columnist Miranda Devine does not speak for all southerners. I for one have been amazed at the stoicism and resilience of the people of North Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Larry. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers. Forget the Mirandas of the world, her words will be blow away by the gentlest of breezes."
Kellie Prince : "I'm disgusted at what Miranda has written. How dare she sit in her little office and comment. Miranda get off your lazy arse and go and help Innisfail and see how you can handle everything. Sydney are a bunch of snobby bastards. Get out of your little city and see how the real country has to live."
David Rennie : "(Miranda) probably wrote this article over a nicely chilled glass or two of Moet with her nose pointed upwards. Who cares about the little people? The people who battle on day after day to provide produce around the country so ignorant people such as Miranda can enjoy the fruits of this productive and generous region of Far North Queensland. Miranda is one person who next time she bites into a piece of fruit or sips a latte should think twice before writing such garbage about fellow Australians. Times like this a majority of decent Australians rally together to help others when they are down, whether they can afford it or not - they dig deep. The Sydney Sun-Herald should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of negative fiction to be written and printed by their columnist."
Go here to read the original Miranda Devine column 'This Is No New Orleans, So Enough With The Whingeing' and this is her e-mail address if you'd like to tell her what you think : firstname.lastname@example.org
Miranda Devine : warm, safe and dry.
If you do send Madranter Devine an e-mail message, try and keep your reactions as civil as you can. No doubt she will take the abusive e-mails and use them to say how right she was or some such nonsense. You don't have to sink to her level to make your point. And feel free to post your reactions in the 'Comments' section below.