The summary of the story (you can search Twitter if you need a long version) is:
Ian Thorpe: Yes, I'm gay*
*There's a long footnote to this that isn't germane right now.
Joe Hildebrand: We already knew you were, hur hur hur.
Joe Hildebrand: But seriously folks...
Think on this: Ian Thorpe is popular, admired, successful, well-off, and he believed in post-millennial Australia he had to stay in the closet.
Think on this: the first reaction, before his “oh, shit, wrong call”, of one of those shit-scrapers that Murdochia thinks represents anything but the views of other shit-scrapers, is to make a joke about Ian Thorpe being gay.
He then tries to dig himself out of the shit-scraper world, with lines like these:
“In all seriousness, Ian Thorpe coming out might actually be the biggest breakthrough for gay acceptance Australia has ever seen.” (Me: bollocks, with all respect to Thorpie: Ian Roberts had to break a bigger taboo. I still think well of Ian Thorpe for doing so).
“APOLOGY: I am so sorry that apparently everyone on Twitter didn't know Thorpey was gay. Best wishes to your home planet.” (You lame coward, Hildebrand)
The reality: Someone well-known, popular and successful makes his “I'm gay” statement, and the lowest-rent arse-worm of a cohort of low-rent arse-worms called “News Limited Columnists” immediately makes a gay joke. It's his first response. The foot rises as soon as the “gay” hammer hits the nerve near the knee.
For stool-samples like Joe, the only excuse to be gay and get an apology for the kind of joke that makes 17-year-olds laugh is that you are successful, popular, and well-known. Any other gay – the ones that aren't Ian Thorpe – is still fair game for this pond scum.
The only reason Hildebrand backed down even to the lame degree he did is obvious: the damn fool managed to find a target that even the most Neanderthal of his knuckle-dragging followers liked.
“Stick it to those ABC lefties, but leave Thorpie alone” scared him when “leave gays alone” wouldn't.
The lame school bully turned around, and none of his muscle were standing behind him, so he ran. The very pith and essence of “coward”.
In 1977, I got a kicking in Katoomba Street at 4pm in the afternoon. Because I'm gay? No, I'm not. Because I had gay friends. That taught me a certain degree of solidarity, and gave me (yet another) lesson in the gang-behaviour of the bully.
What a lame, weak, small man is Joe Hildebrand.