ED’S DESK: Fears, Queers And Katherine Deves


We’ve nothing to fear but fear itself. Well… fear, and Queers of course. Really anything in the whole LGBTQ sphere to be honest. Which explains why they’re the most valuable commodities in the media today. Ed’s Desk* delves into the magical, mystical world of failed political candidate and ‘captain’s pick’ Katherine Deves, where Trans people have all the power, where no-one ever stops to think of the children, and where media outlets gobble it all up regardless of whether or not it’s newsworthy. * (Ed’s Desk is an occasional New Matilda column that gives readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that should never have been published, but somehow was).

HEADLINE: Former Liberal candidate Katherine Deves makes horrifying tweet about Roe v Wade ruling

BYLINE: Stefanie Costi | news.com.au

ED’S DESK: Kudos for constructing a headline that – in line with our editorial policy – is overly dramatic and wildly inaccurate. But on this occasion, you’ve gone too far. Returning home to find your whole family slaughtered is ‘horrifying’. Finding out your boyfriend drowned a bag full of puppies is ‘horrifying’. But a tweet from an attention-seeking God-botherer* is not ‘horrifying’. At best, it can be described as ‘annoying’ or ‘stupid’. I would even accept ‘bone-jarringly moronic’ or ‘frustratingly ignorant’. But not ‘horrifying’. Tone down please.

INTRO: Reeling from her hellish loss at the federal election, the former Liberal candidate turned her attention to the US abortion chaos.

ED’S DESK: Holy shit. Okay firstly… Deves’ whole election campaign was focussed on things that had zero relevance to her electorate, so from the outset I’m wondering if this is even news, quite frankly. Having said that, it does stoke and promote hatred and anger, so okay… yeah, it’s a story. But let’s not overcook this cake. You need to chill a little. ‘Hellish’ describes a mythical place where people ‘burn in the fires of Satan for all eternity’. Not what happens when you fail to win a seat at an Australian election. Tone this down as well please.

Former Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves has copped backlash on Twitter after she waded into the chaos around the US Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Triggered by the court’s decision on Saturday local time, ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas tweeted: “My heart breaks for the women of America. #RoeVWade”.

ED’S DESK: Okay, have you ever actually met Patricia Karvelas? She was the chief assassin for The Australian newspaper on their Indigenous affairs round for years, perpetrating more reporting outrages than ‘Vladimir Putin’. She gets even. She gets attention. But she doesn’t get ‘triggered’. Amend please.

In response to Ms Karvelas’ tweet, Deves said: “Don’t you mean “womb-havers”, “people-with-vaginas” or “birthing bodies?”

ED’S DESK: Okay, that’s actually pretty funny. But unfortunately the phrase ‘womb-havers’ was invented by anti-Trans activists pretending to be supporters. Please correct Deves by linking in story.

Deves’ comment to Karvelas did not go unnoticed with several people taking the time to call her out for pushing her own agenda on a devastating day for many in the US.

ED’S DESK: Deves’ comment to Karvelas was not supposed to go unnoticed. That’s the point of Twitter. Attention-seeking. Also, it takes five seconds to send a tweet. So remove ‘taking the time’. And Deves’ would hardly be pushing someone else’s agenda, so delete that as well. Also… you know what? Just delete the whole par.

Karvelas responded: “Imagine using this moment in the US to push your own agenda on something affecting a minority of vulnerable people”.

ED’S DESK: You’ve got to be fucking kidding me? Karvelas just used it to push her agenda. It might be an agenda most reasonable people agree with, but it’s still a fucking agenda. Get a quote from someone pointing that out. Also, there’s about 5 million more women than men in America. They won’t all give birth, and they won’t all have abortions, but the issue doesn’t affect a “minority of vulnerable people”. Get a quote from someone pointing that out as well. Karvelas is with the ABC now. You know the rules.

But, the criticism towards Deves did not stop there. “She should be ashamed of herself”, another Twitter user offered.

ED’S DESK: Well obviously it didn’t stop there. Apart from attention-seeking, that’s what Twitter is for – attacking other people. Delete please.

A second person said: “Deves’ comments always deplorable, damaging, intentionally traumatising, reckless — representative of increasingly powerful voice in USA, an alarming one here. Today my thoughts are for those directly affected and those of us who work tirelessly to ensure safe choices.”

“From political aspiratiant to petty troll. Time to get a hobby Catherine. You have too much time in your hands”, a fourth said.

ED’S DESK: It’s been convention for quite some time now that, numerically speaking, we go ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ etc etc. I.e. what happened to the tweet from the ‘third person’? Please find someone to slot between two and four, or simply make the ‘fourth person’ the ‘third person’. Also, ‘aspiratiant’ is not a real word. Please correct or include a (sic) if it’s a direct quote. Also it’s Katherine with a K. And it’s ‘too much time ON your hands’. Two more (sic)’s please.

After copping the backlash, Deves’ account disappeared from the platform. It is not the first time that Deves has felt the need to delete her tweets after making controversial comments.

ED’S DESK :Wait… wtf. Is that it? ‘Four’ tweets (actually three)? That’s not a “backlash” Stefanie. It’s not even a “squabble” or a “fracas” by Twitter standards. At best it’s a “quarrel” and even then, it’s a pretty fucking mild one. Either count the number of actual critical responses and include it in the fucking story, or remove the word ‘backlash’ entirely (thereby rendering the story worthless… i.e. what I’m saying is stop being fucking lazy and go through and actually count the number of critical responses… you know… do your fucking job).

News.com.au revealed earlier this year that Deves suggested that the “transabled” — people pretending to be disabled — “is a thing” on Twitter.

ED’S DESK: Oh Sweet Jesus, we’re not going to regurgitate all of Deves’ ‘greatest hits’ are we? Is this story really that weak?

“Didn’t (serial killer) Ted Bundy pretend to be injured to garner sympathy,’’ Ms Deves wrote on September 4, 2021.

ED’S DESK: Fucking hell… we are. Okay, off you go….

Just 24 hours after the tweet, Deves suggested there was a link between cross-dressing and being a serial killer“Transvestism is very common amongst sexual predators, even serial killers,” she said. “So how are we women supposed to tell the difference between the ones who are a threat and the ones who aren’t? Easier for women to exclude all males from spaces where we are vulnerable.”

ED’S DESK: Right, you done? Oh, no, you’re not. Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt, by all means keep going.

On another occasion, Deves – who has previously stated that she has family members who are gay – described openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his partner, Chasten, having a baby as a “vanity project” on Twitter. “Surrogacy is a human rights violation,’’ she wrote in response to Mr Buttigieg and his husband announcing that they had welcomed twins, Penelope Rose and Joseph August. “Women’s bodies are not vehicles for a vanity project.”

ED’S DESK: Right, well at least we didn’t mention the Holocaust… oh wait, sorry… my mistake.

In a reference to the Holocaust, Deves previously suggested on Twitter that those that fail to fight the move towards gender fluidity are no different to those that watched the trains go past with Jews to concentration camps. “I have no doubt these people would imagine themselves to be part of the French Resistance in WWII – but no, they are the villagers who watched the trains go by, ignored the clouds of soot and smoke and joined the Party to get good jobs. They are complicit,’’ she said.

ED’S DESK: Okay, you done…?

Former broadcaster Mike Carlton tweeted after discovering Deves’ account had been deactivated. “A tragedy. La Deves has cut and run, abandoning her trusty 1,538 followers with nary a backward glance,” he wrote.

ED’S DESK: Yeah okay, props. Good ending. In fact… keep the first and last pars and delete everything in between. And please stop by my office before you leave this evening. It’s the third door (in between the second and fourth) from the person with a vagina sitting at reception. Just ask someone if you get lost.

* ED’S DESK is an occasional column where we give readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that should never have been published, but somehow was.

* After publication, Ms Deves contacted New Matilda seeking a correction, claiming that contrary to popular belief, perpetuated by media mis-reporting, she is not, in fact, a religious person. New Matilda apologises for describing Ms Deves as a ‘God-botherer’. She is, rather, a garden variety bigot. – Ed.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.