My name is Luke Girgis and I’m the CEO of The Brag Media.
We publish this site (thebrag.com), as well as Rolling Stone Australia, Tone Deaf, The Industry Observer, Don’t Bore Us and represent Variety in Australia and New Zealand.
At The Brag offices there are many fans of Friendlyjordies here. Personally, I’m probably his biggest advocate. However we also have many staff who can’t stand him.
Is this surprising? Absolutely not.
His comedy and takes on culture and politics are as polarising as it gets. The fact that we have some staff that love him, and some staff that don’t is actually bang on for his brand, he has built a business and persona which thrives in controversy.
Some of the articles we have published about him include;
- A interview feature with Rolling Stone Australia
- Friendlyjordies is the comedian scaring your local politician
- YouTuber FriendlyJordies accused of racism by NSW Deputy Premier
- Friendlyjordies interviewed Kevin Rudd about media bias and Warhammer 40k
Why am I personally such a big fan of him? Is it because he is the funniest comedian in the world? Nope. Is it because I agree with everything he says? Absolutely not.
I am a fan because he is an intelligent, thoughtful political commentator who is doing some incredible work exposing deep corruption and hypocrisy in politics.
I don’t have to agree with someone to think they are brilliant and respect them. For example, I am a Christian and absolutely love Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais whose public persona borderlines on: “HAHAHA HOW DUMB ARE CHRISTIANS”.
I don’t agree with them, but I think they’re brilliant.
Now at The Brag Media we hire many different people of diverse political, religious and cultural backgrounds, it’s something we pride ourselves on. Diversity of thought and beliefs are important to The Brag Media.
This means, not everything we publish is the view of every Bragger. That is impossible in a workplace with true diversity.
I certainly don’t personally agree with the view of everything we publish (you can thank God for that), and our writers are given license (within the scope of our core topics) to give their own views / takes on things where appropriate. In saying that, we do always try to come back to being as balanced as we can, and this is reflected mostly in each article we publish.
While it’s not always the case, and writers’ opinions and preferences can come across in their work, so we make a conscious effort to balance out opinion across the entire body of work we put out.
Most publications globally (including CNN) claim to be balanced, fair and without bias. I personally don’t think that is possible. Humans are writing these stories, humans are biased. As a reporter you can try as hard as you can, but avoiding all bias from your writing is impossible.
And also as humans, we make mistakes. In the video where Jordan Shanks called us out, he was apologising for an insensitive mistake he made. Some don’t think it was a sincere apology, I believe it is, but I am not one to judge someone’s intent. If we go down that slippery slope of acting God then no one’s good actions will ever be thanked, encouraged or supported.
In our experience, when Jordan has apologised for offending people in the past, like this time, he has meant it. I believe him this time too.
While the 25 minute video was dedicated to apologising for his mistake, a portion was reserved for calling for us to fire one of our writers, attacking Pedestrian’s hypocrisy, and mocking cancel culture.
Mocking cancel culture yet calling for a writer to be fired? This is my gripe with the video.
Yes, our writer on this article (which we have since removed her name from to protect her) did make an editorial misstep where she didn’t hyperlink to the example of one particular claim. But that is senior management’s fault, not hers, and we have since corrected the article to reflect that. Calling for her to be fired over either a mistake in referencing or her view that Friendlyjordie’s comments about the sacred Djab Wurrung trees were racist, is a cry of the ultimate cancel culture capital punishment from Jordan himself.
More than that, Jordan used terms such as “mendacious idiot” and “c*nt,” and attacked her physical appearance in his video. He also expressed his disgust that people were attacking his girlfriend, yet here he made assumptions about our writer’s own character in his attack on her.
How can Friendlyjordies, as a comedian who is anti-cancel culture, ask someone to be fired over either a mistake or her own personal view on something? This to me is the ultimate sign of hypocrisy. Not only is this a call to “cancel” her, but it’s a call asking her to lose her livelihood. He called for our writer to be cancelled by the harshest means possible.
However, this does give me pause. All humans are walking hypocrites.
We do it either intentionally and maliciously, or simply by accident. Differentiating between the two can be hard to identify, especially through isolated incidents, and the implications and differences are enormous.
This is why over the last 12 months at The Brag Media we have tried our very best to be anti-cancel culture. For example, when Amy Shark did something a bit silly on Tik Tok, we both published the news story as we should have done, then followed up with a piece that said ‘Amy Shark (and everyone) deserves a second chance’.
Our writer said:
Cancel culture teaches us that there are no second chances, that missteps are in fact a fall into a grave you’ve dug for yourself. It says the public is the judge of all that is well and good in the world, with no context needed.
Life just simply isn’t like that. And as we navigate through it, using knowledge gained to tread more lightly, shouldn’t those who lose their footing under a spotlight be given pause? Shouldn’t they be given a second chance? I believe they should. I believe everyone deserves a second chance.
I’m still a huge fan of Friendlyjordies, and I genuinely think he is one of the few free thinkers left in the media. He is staunchly a Labor supporter, but won’t hold back his views on certain topics even if it means the left will attack him for it. If you’re after “truth at all costs”, mixed with deep thought and research, he might be as good as it gets.
You don’t have to agree with everything he says – I definitely don’t – but free thought unbound by political tribalism is the only way democracy can stay alive, and our politicians can be held to account.
To The Bragger who published the article that got Friendlyjordies so upset: I got your back, and so does the whole team here.
Here’s to comedy, to deep free thought, and the end of cancel culture.