Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rules of engagement


It's surely a sign of Giovanni Tiso's overweening self-regard that he assumes I remember every detail of his interview by Kim Hill earlier this year, in which reference was apparently made to his intellectually disabled daughter (see his comment in response to Planet Tiso on Friday). As it happens, I don't remember that detail - or much else from the interview, for that matter. Tiso's just not that interesting. I simply recall thinking that he sounded surprisingly normal. 

For the record, then, my comment about Tiso's medication had nothing whatsoever to do with his daughter. I feel very sorry for anyone with a disabled child. I'm not insensitive to mental disability or illness, as I think I've demonstrated in newspaper columns here and here. But if Tiso thinks he can dish out bile with impunity while  somehow being protected against retaliation because of his unfortunate personal circumstances, he's dreaming.

4 comments:

Janta said...
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Laurie Fleming said...

But if du Fresne thinks he can dish out bile with impunity, protected against retaliation, he's dreaming.

Karl du Fresne said...

I was out mowing the lawns this afternoon (a pleasant activity, by the way - I recommend it to those tormented souls who spend all their time huddled over a keyboard) when I suddenly thought: hang on, I don't even know the identity of some of the people attacking me on this blog. That hardly seems fair when everyone knows who I am. It's a basic principle of the law, after all, that you should know who your accusers are. So I've decided to revert to a rule that I adopted when I started this blog. If you don't have the guts to state your name, expect to be deleted.

Dougal said...

It was a spiteful and empty post. Your petulant comments since - and the way you needed to resort to attacks on the person rather than his arguments - show Giovanni's hit something of a sore spot. You're a very experienced journalist and you know full well what you're doing when you encourage this kind of rubbishing of a person.

Denigrating the man rather than the message makes sense here, though, of course, because well-written and thoughtful blogs (from right- and left-wing perspectives) offer us the chance of more of the free speech you claim to care so much about. It's a nice change from the days when the opinion and analysis easily available was limited to the pieces picked out for us by Dominion Post editors, such as your own lazy curmudgeoning.

Attack ideas you disagree with, or ignore someone you think beneath your notice. But you can't dish out abuse (dose him up with his meds!) and then act the patrician gardener above the fray.

Dougal McNeill