Look. Lily, I hate to break it to you, but if a professor engaged to do a curriculum review, when said curriculum has been controversial because of the extent to which it attempts to incorporate indigenous issues, turns out to refer in private to the PM as an "abo lover", it's pretty damn clear to (I would say) 95% of Australians that he is not an appropriate person for the job. As such, New Matilda does have public interest on its side.
I was interested to note in Lily's article, though, that he is apparently supportive of, or active in, some religious group. I thought one comment in his emails indicated he might be Catholic, but it is not clear.
I would not be surprised if he turned out to be a conservative, latin loving, Catholic of the kind who turn up at Catallaxy, with their ugly lack of charity.
And by the way, doesn't The Australian ever get tired of defending jerks?
Update: on the matter of the way New Matilda got the emails, I thought it was interesting to note this from a recent post there:
One more time, for the record. The information technology policy of the University of Sydney – of which all staff are explicitly warned – is that their university emails are not private. It is a public institution.
Generally speaking, New Matilda does not comment on issues related to sources and leaked documents. However, Ms Markson’s story – and the allegations leveled within it - are demonstrably false, and the public record requires correction.
The first error is a suggestion that Professor Spurr’s email account was ‘hacked’. This is false. It did not occur. Neither New Matilda nor the source in the story hacked Professor Spurr’s account.
The second error relates to a suggestion in Ms Markson’s article that the source was motivated by “payback” for Professor Spurr’s involvement in the National School Curriculum review. This is also false.
While the source was broadly aware of Professor Spurr’s involvement in the review, the source was unaware of the contents of Professor Spurr’s submissions. What motivated the source to come forward was two specific email exchanges.The email exchange regarding the apparent sexual assault of the woman is, in my view, the worst by far of what is in the emails. It presents an extraordinary challenge for the University as to how to respond.
One of those exchanges relates to Professor Spurr’s views about a matter of substantial public importance. At this stage, New Matilda has decided not to divulge the contents of this email. The comments, however, are extreme and reinforced the view of the source that Professor Spurr’s involvement in the National Curriculum Review was a matter of substantial public interest.
The second email, which also reinforced this view related to Professor Spurr’s comments in relation to the sexual assault of a woman.
Update 2: even Andrew Bolt concedes the seriousness of the matter, although he does not discuss the sexual assault email:
But those emails are now public, like it or not, and the racist abuse is deeply unpleasant. I do think this badly damages Spurr’s credibility when pontificating on how the curriculum deals with Indigenous issues, and could damage the credibility of his teaching at university, too, depending on the subjects taught and, indeed, the ethnic and religious background of his students.I actually think that, despite what a female Chinese fan may say, the matter is probably going to be resolved by enough students (especially female ones) saying that they cannot in good conscience engage with the Professor given his disclosed private views.