De mortuis nil nisi bonum?
The traditional Latin piece of advice above translates as: "Speak only good of the dead". But is it not absurd? Should we speak only good of Hitler?
Absurd or not, it seems widely regarded as good manners. So when an Australian Senator made a perfectly factual comment about a dead person that alluded to something unpopular about that person, that was widely condemned.
The person concerned was a popular media personality and she was being very fulsomely praised in something of a media frenzy. I infer that the Senator was only trying to restore some balance to the commentary about her. I don't see that he has anything to apologize for. An alternative point of view is often unpopular but is all the more important for that
A senator has been slammed on social media and faces calls to resign after a 'horrid, dreadful' tweet about sports journalist Rebecca Wilson.
The 54-year-old broadcast and print veteran died at home on Friday after a 'long' battle with breast cancer she had kept very private.
Just hours after the Daily and Sunday Telegraph columnist's death, Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjlem tweeted: 'Doubt there'll be many #WSW (Western Sydney Wanderers) fans at Rebecca Wilson's funeral #innocentlivesdamaged.'
He quickly came under attack for the post - a reference to Ms Wilson naming and shaming fans allegedly on Football Federation Australia's banned list, nearly half who were fans of the western Sydney club.
Fairfax investigative journalist Kate McClymont said: 'Shame on you, Senator @DavidLeyonhjelm. 'You mightn't have agreed with Rebecca Wilson but with her death so fresh show some human decency.'
'That's a pretty horrid thing to say so close to her death,' tweeted TV critic Steve Molk.
Victorian state Attorney-General Martin Pakula said: 'Resign from the Senate @DavidLeyonhjelm'.
Punter Steven Milburn said: 'Just dreadful mate, time to get out the full-length mirror.'
Christopher Brereton said: 'Just find something better to do than have a go at someone who's passing was reported mere hours ago.'