Australia ought to be a little bit embarrassed by Tim Blair

He has put up a poll to choose which Australian women ought to be demonized. The primary criterion for inclusion seems to be that they are a) women, and b) not as stupid as he is, and apparently women who are smarter than Blair are to be called “frightbats”.


Who is Australia’s craziest left-wing frightbat?

Clementine Ford  21.11%
Elizabeth Farrelly  4.23%
Marieke Hardy  6.24%
Catherine Deveny  12.11%
Vanessa Badham  14.9% 
Margo Kingston  14.07%
Anne Summers  11.32% 
Clem Bastow  3.29%
Jenna Price  6.24%
Jane Caro  6.48%

I only know Catherine Deveny and Jane Caro on the list; they both seem nice, and since Caro was behind, I voted for her (sorry, Catherine). Some of them have even been promoting the poll.

Can we just forget about the poll and declare every one of them too scary for Tim Blair?


  1. dianne says

    I can’t vote for any of them because I’m in love with all of them now. Must move to Australia soon, if only for the political comedy. US politicians just aren’t up to this standard.

  2. ramases says


    Well as an Australian I know of nearly all of them, and I have even met a couple.

    While I do not agree with all of them on all issues (sorry PZ but this is the same for even you!) there is not one who I do not respect for their moral and intellectual integrity.

    This is a list of the best not the worst.

    It is also an own goal for Tim Blair and the Telegraph who have revealed themselves as the extreme backward reactionaries they are.

  3. dianne says

    May I suggest that we have a nominee for “dumbest goofball attempting to be a political commentator in Australia”? Tim Blair. He should be a shoe in, but then again I haven’t yet seen his competition.

  4. gardengnome says

    I live in Australia but my only reaction to this nonsense is “Tim who…?

  5. palmettobug says

    Not fair! What about the menz? Why can’t we be frightbats too? What am I supposed to do with all my male circumcision butthurt?

  6. gussnarp says

    Well done. Turn the tables on that fool. I am Team Frightbat! Or whatever it is the kids say…

  7. dianne says

    What about the menz? Why can’t we be frightbats too?

    Of course you can, dear. (Pats palmettobug on the head.)

  8. mildlymagnificent says

    Australia should be embarrassed?

    Let’s say that with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister and George Pell representing us at the Vatican, we’re developing a chronically embarrassed, head down, shuffle our feet approach to the rest of the world.

    Good to see the frightbats giving better than they get. That’s what frightbats are for.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    He has put up a poll to choose which Australian women ought to be demonized.

    I get it, it’s the Blair Witch project. The lengths some people will go to for a pun.

  10. moarscienceplz says

    Who the fuck is Tim Blair? Is he, in the tradition of many American presidents, the bat-shit crazy brother of Tony Blair? Or is he yet another dude in the internets who needs a more productive outlet for his “talents”?

  11. playonwords says

    What about nominating Mr Blair for Slimiest Australian Blobfish – OK he’s got fierce competition but who knows he could still win.

  12. jefferylanam says

    I knew Australia had a lot of poisonous creatures, but I didn’t know one of them had a column in the Telegraph.

  13. Tethys says

    The #frightbats feed is full of even more hilarity. The two that made me really laugh are

    “that’s all #frightbats are good for…making rabies.”


    “Aerodynamically, #frighbats shouldn’t be able to fly w/ both wings on the left hand side, but the #frightbat doesn’t care…”

  14. says

    Frightbat fistbump for Xanthë’s #15 – bewdiful mate!

    I’m finding new and interesting tweeps to follow as I read though the #frightbat timeline. Between rolling my eyes at seeing some of last decade’s RWDB handles popping up there who I haven’t seen on blogs for years – so that’s where they went.

  15. Lofty says

    Poor widdle Timmy, afwaid of outspoken wimmen. Anyways, I’ve never heard of him before. What use is a timblair? A variety of tumbril?

  16. says

    Strewth Timmy, which sheila shat in your weetbix?

    I’ve never heard of this flamin’ arseclown before, but two words sum this typically hamfisted attempt at Tory humour up: Daily Telegraph. Its best usage is at the bottom of a budgie cage.

  17. Suido says

    Van Badham is my pick of the list, her columns in the Grauniad never fail to deliver, and her appearance on Q&A was sublime. Van Badass.

    I’ve never heard of the man in question, so I’ve got that going for me. Oh, he writes for Murdoch? Quelle surprise.

  18. beardymcviking says

    I live in Australia and I’m just ashamed to only know a couple of these names – but at least I have no idea who this Tim bloke is.

    A great own-goal here, as I now have a list of people I know I should read up on :)

  19. bassmanpete says

    With the current government, Australia is more than a little embarrassed without taking Tim Blair into account. Like others, I’d never heard of him before today.

  20. RobertL says

    I live in Australia and I know of all of these women and enjoy their work. I have just realised that there are a couple on this list that I don’t follow on twitter so I am going there right now to rectify that.

  21. says

    Tim Blair used to be a big wheel in the #auspol blogosphere last decade because his blog was a haven for bigoted arseclowns to parade their freeze peach displays. Then he got a commercial gig blogging for a Murdoch rag, and he still had a great time proudly not moderating the arseclowns in his comment section there either. Then a few years ago he and his commentors stepped over some line or other that got a lot of negative publicity and the newspaper started moderating his comments to remove the worst arseclown bile, and his sitecounter went down drastically. This has been for him a temporarily successful clickbaiting exercise to blip his sitecounter up for a few days (contract being renegotiated, perhaps?)

    The awesome response from the nominees of basically feeding his clickbait until it explodes in his face may well be giving him a case of the “be careful what you wish for”s.

  22. gardengnome says

    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Tim Blair = a wannabe third-rate Andrew Bolt, just another pundit who has a blog on the Daily Telegraph at Rupert Murdoch’s pleasure.”

    Ah, that explains all, thank you. Speaking of the Big Man’s pleasure, whatever happened to Alan Howe? Looks like the Herald-Sun still has a Bolt but the nut’s missing…

  23. Gerard O says

    It’s about time ‘The Daily Telegraph’ started demonizing someone other than…the disabled. Yes, you read it right, the disabled. The good news is that its circulation is in freefall; the bad news is that Rupert’s billions continue to prop it up.

  24. photon says

    moarscienceplz @ 19

    Who the fuck is Tim Blair?”

    To quote the man himself (last time I saw him, at a friend’s birthday party last century):

    “I’m a pornographer!”

    That was back when he was running the “The Truth” (a tits-on-page-3 scandal sheet) in Melbourne, before it went under & he moved to Sydney to work for a well-known American newspaper owner, spouting right-wing talking points for money.

  25. diego says

    Most of my Australian friends *are* deeply embarrassed by him. I have some sampling bias in my friends.

  26. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Tim Blair = a wannabe third-rate Andrew Bolt…

    How is that even possible?
    That is pathetic gone fractal…

  27. thecalmone says

    Meanwhile, in GOOD news from Australia, the federal funding of the school’s chaplains program has been successfully challenged in the High Court

    I suspect that “frightbat” might have something to do with “fruitbat” (the giant bats we have flying around our major cities at night dining out on our fruit trees).

  28. gardengnome says

    Good news on the face of it thecalmone, but there’s also this quote from the article;

    “Sydney University constitutional law professor Anne Twomey said on Wednesday that the federal government would be able to continue the chaplaincy program by providing grants to state governments rather than directly to schools.

    ”This is the only real option. They can do that and they probably will,” she said.”

    Considering the clout the sly xtian lobby has in Australian politics I suspect no polly, especially conservative, is going to move to dismantle the scheme.