Long-time radio personality Derryn Hinch said on Twitter that Abbott’s visit to Cardinal Pell on Monday was a “disgrace and a cruel insult to his victims”. Before looking at this irrational outburst, typical of Hinch, let me review the character of Derryn Hinch as I have observed him through the years.
Like me, Hinch is a baby-boomer, born in 1944. He is two years older. A more significant tag, though, is that Hinch is a 60s-generation-sexual-revolution lad. Evidence of the 60s-generation mentality is his five marriages without issue. Being a lad of the 1960s, one would expect a string of carefree sexual encounters – certainly expected of someone in a media power position. Was there sexual impropriety in any of those encounters? The following appears in Wikepedia’s entry about Hinch.
In his 2004 book The Fall and Rise of Derryn Hinch, and in a radio editorial in March 2005, Hinch admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old female when he was in his early thirties, although he stated he “thought she was about 25”. Following his on-air admission, Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt called for his prosecution. In 2013 Hinch wrote that after 30 years the woman had contacted him and said he was wrong about her age. She said she was born in 1961 and they met shortly after he joined 3AW in 1979. That made her 17 at the time of the liaison (which is above the age of consent in Australia).
The 2013 news was a fortuitous adjustment to the 2004 admission.
What would the #metoo ladies think of Hinch’s record? Would further investigation make him open to the treatment actor Craig McLachlan is enduring. Somehow, I think with his reach in the media he would escape the close scrutiny.
Hinch has a lot to say about child sexual abuse (very brave of him) which makes him a disgusting hypocrite.
Hinch’s irrational outburst about Tony Abbott’s visit to Cardinal Pell is motivated in the first place by his highly visible unrestrained anti-Catholic bigotry. In the second place, it is tactical. Hinch is a full-paid member of the Pell lynch mob that must keep Pell at all costs hanging from the gibbet. A tactic to keep him hanging there is the overworked fiction that any positive mention of Cardinal Pell causes undifferentiated trauma to all those who have suffered clerical sexual abuse.
Hinch and the rest of the lynch mob have made a rule in claiming any positive mention or treatment of Pell, any lessening of his guilt, any gesture from friends, is traumatic to victims of clerical sexual abuse. The rule would apply logically to anyone who has suffered some crime or another. That would mean a large section of the community would be in a permanent state of trauma.
But there’s no empirical evidence to support such a constant undifferentiated response. It is observable that people react differently to the same circumstances, for a start. The claim that Pell causes trauma to all victims of clerical sexual abuse in the same way and in the same proportion is preposterous.
A second logical point is that if society were to act on this rule, there would no mercy to any criminal, no visits to prisoners, and no prospect of rehabilitation in the community, Commission of a crime makes one a criminal for life. But society rejects such a rule. Fortunately. And fortunately for Hinch who has had a stint in jail for giving the finger to Victoria’s legal system. Hinch asserts the law when it suits him.
Hinch has a lot to say about discrimination. As a loudmouth permanently fired up with anti-Catholic bigotry that also makes him a disgusting hypocrite. He’s not yet up to the level of Phillip Adams, Australia’s foremost professional bigot and hypocrite, but he’s getting there.
There is one mystery about Hinch – at least for me. How can this prejudiced alcohol-addled overrated radio personality with limited analytical skills maintain such a high profile place in the media which, it seems, pays him heaps of money for his mouth?