Herald hires columnist who threatens violence

I blogged last month about how former Fairfax columnist Rachel Stewart tweeted on how she want to meet me in a dark alley and break my legs. She even emphasized she was in no way joking.

At the time I blogged I described her as a Fairfax columnist as she had been, and there had been no public notification of any change of status. I had a senior staffer at Fairfax ring me up and tell me she’d done her last column three days earlier, and no longer worked for them. I got the strong impression that if she was still a columnist for them, they would find her threats of violence incompatible. They were very keen for me to emphasize that she was a former columnist.

So what happens two weeks after I have highlighted how Stewart publicly made violent threats towards me. The fucking NZ Herald hires her as a columnist.  It is fair to say I am disgusted with the Herald and God help me if they ever get sanctimonious about threats of violence again. I’m someone who has had death threats against me, has had to go the Police previously about them, and in one case even seek a non-contact order through the courts. Threats of violence do do damage – even if not carried out.

To make it absolutely clear I have absolutely no problem with the Herald hiring Stewart because of her views. The media should have a diversity of opinion in their columns. My objection is purely that just two weeks after she threatens violence, they hire her – knowing what she has done, and knowing she has been totally unapologetic about it.

And no I am not calling for the Herald to sack her. The damage is already done – mainly to their reputation. I don’t want people to contact the Herald and complain. I just want people to remember their hypocrisy.