Image courtesy of the Governor General
From Crikey's sealed section today:
Blogger brawl in Pandagate putsch
Andrew Bolt and the granddaughter of one of Australia’s most unrepentant old Coms battling it out online? Sounds speccie. Welcome to Pandagate.
Federal politics is in a lacunae, but a spectacular brawl has erupted in the Australian blogosphere, mainly among the new political blogs that flourished like Mao’s hundred flowers in the lead up to the election.
It's been dubbed Pandagate – and started with a somewhat sophomoric article in the Age by Misha Schubert that mentioned Young Lib Miranda Airey-Branson's blog. (Airey-Branson is sometimes known as Miranda Panda, hence the tag.)
Soon other bloggers pounced – and things got very messy very quickly. Threats against employment were made, more dirt was excavated than in the heyday of the Whitehouse Plumbers and an interesting range of accusations against Labor MP for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby – along with photos of his partner – appeared online.
Eventually, they conscripted Andrew Bolt to their cause, who wrote this column about it.
Bolt was later asked about where the idea for his column came from, and he denied knowing the Liberals concerned. However, he was called on that one because he was interviewed by Miranda Airey-Branson for the Melbourne University newspaper, Farrago. After that, he stopped answering emails about the column.
But some of his emails turned up. It seems that the Liberals had been sourcing their information from two fictional characters - one of whom Bolt had an email conversation with before writing his column.
A Labor blogger has put the trail up here. Leftie Fitzroy bore Marieke Hardy, granddaughter of Stalin fan and Power Without Glory author Frank Hardy, scriptwriter and proprietor of the rather bemusing “Joan Kirner is the new Betty Page” Polichicks fashion label www.polichicks.org has got in on the fun, too.
Readers can follow the whole saga by starting at the bottom of this page and working your way up. Still, it’s very odd that Bolt saw fit to involve himself in such a spat. Isn’t it below him?
Links didn't appear, but for anyone who hasn't been watching go to Kick & Scream and Darp for historical excitement.
Happy bonobos. Sad panda.