Everyone makes mistakes. Hell, I have! Every writer, editor, and media personality in the world has fucked up at some point, tried to learn as much as possible from the mistake, and applied those lessons to the rest of their writing career.
But one of the best parts about being a writer is having an experienced editor above you to learn from. It’s a ruddy difficult business; they end up being a necessary mentor who guides you, especially through those first tricky years. Mistakes will still be made and the overwhelming sting of backlash will still be felt, but they’ll mentor you through that, too.
They are not, however, supposed to see a bus coming down the street, then proceed to shove you under it.
Since the New Matilda debacle – in which a young male writer wrote an article which ‘mansplained’ why Clementine Ford was doing feminism incorrectly – the usually-progressive website’s published a range of follow-up pieces in order to cover every angle, as well as explain why they published it.
Editor Chris Graham published one this morning, titled ‘This is not an apology, but…‘. It explains that he knows he made an error by publishing the article, and it also explains that 22-year-old writer Jack Kilbride is dealing okay with the backlash (which Graham requests everyone moves on from).
However, a screenshot of a Facebook comment has appeared today, in which Graham gives two very different reasons as to why he published the original article. Firstly, ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion’ – that’s fine. But then, his second reason is this:
“I was mostly just interested to see how much abuse he cops…”
Hey Justin Shaw – check this out. New Matilda editor threw the 22yo writer to the wolves ‘to see how much abuse he cops’. Nice.
The original Facebook thread is also still up and available to view – safe to say, Graham did not receive a lot of positive feedback for the comment.
Look… there’s no more words that need to be said by us. He’s publicly admitted it was a mistake. But this truly was a mistake worthy of someone brand spankin’ new to the industry; not a senior editor.
Image: New Matilda.