Right-leaning columnist Miranda Devine was abused by colleagues who did not share her political views when she worked at the Sydney Morning, she has claimed.
In a column for The Sunday Telegraph, Devine said she was sent “poison messages” on the company’s internal email system when she was on deadline. After she publicly challenged one of her colleagues, she says she was asked by the editor whether she needed to see the HR department.
Fairfax has given short shrift to her claims – pointing out that she is now a columnist for rival News Limited.
Devine left the Fairfax paper in 2010 to write a column syndicated to News Limited’s metro Sunday papers.
In today’s column she claims that the Herald “was controlled by a handful of hard-Left enforcers who dictated how issues were covered, and undermined management at every turn”. She adds:
“Their tactics against me included bombarding my screen at deadline with poison messages about previous columns, or recruiting friends to lodge complaints about my work.”
There was eventually a newsroom confrontation, Devine claims. She said:
“Fellow columnist Paul Sheehan once advised me to use the word “harass” against a particularly vexatious colleague.
“A touchstone word of the PC brigade, it didn’t spring naturally to my lips, but the effect was electric. The newsroom stopped. My tormentor rose in his acid-washed jeans and swore at me, which only made it more delicious for the audience.
“I repeated the magic word several times in the vigorous exchange that ensued and returned to my desk with the little thrill of knowing I’d used the enemy’s weapon against them.
“A few days later the editor sidled up and asked if I needed to see HR. I didn’t, but acid-wash man didn’t trouble me overtly from then on.”
She said in her column that the majority of her colleagues were professional.
A Fairfax Media spokesman said “Are you joking? We have no comments to make on a now News Limited employee’s recollections.”