The Worst Takes On Australia's Bushfire Crisis (That Aren't Conspiracy Theories)
Some things are better left unsaid, but the likes of Sam Newman and Israel Folau seem to always miss that memo.
Social media means everyone has an opinion. Conspiracy theories and faux images tend to spread like wildfire -- or bushfires -- and so do senseless comments.
Like have you heard about how our firefighters should abandon rescue efforts and let the blaze run its course leaving flattened homes and businesses in its wake?
And there's plenty more where that came from. Here are some of the worst takes on Australia's bushfire crisis.
After calling bushfire victims "miserable pr**ks" for refusing to shake Prime Minister Scott Morrison's hand, the former footy great has gone public with a controversial theory on how the nation should tackle the blaze -- or, rather, how it shouldn't.
Instead, the former Footy Show co-host suggests we should allow the fires to run their course.
He pointed to recent fire activity in America's Yellowstone National Park, saying Australia’s firefighters should simply let uncontained fires burn and firefighters should get out of the way.
“Survey done when Yellowstone National Park caught fire. It determined all the resources deployed to fight the blaze stopped it NOT 1 minute before it went out naturally,” Newman posted on Twitter.
“WE must take note and get out of its way.”
When one Twitter user challenged Newman, asking if we should let people's homes burn to the ground, he simply replied: "Yes".
The 74-year-old previously said Australians should research the real reason the country is on fire and stop blaming Morrison.
“What about the miserable pr**ks who won’t shake Scott Morrison’s hand, or acknowledge him because they think he’s responsible for Australia being on fire. Research the REAL reason,” Newman said on Twitter.
"I've suspected for some time that God didn't want people to live in Australia."
That's how British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson opened his latest column for Britain's The Sun newspaper, deeming it "God's Laboratory" and not designed for human habitation.
He then points to the variety of deadly creatures that our nation is home to, before suggesting "God is embarrassed by Australia" so he decided to set it on fire.
"It’s been argued the fires raging across the country were caused by global warming or out-of-control barbies. But when you look at the footage, you know something biblical is going on."
As predicted, his crass attempt at humour fell on deaf ears with many taking to Twitter to blast the former Top Gear host.
"So Australia is God's laboratory? Yes, it tends to happen to narcissistic ego inflated global media knobs who make big mistakes, lose their jobs and end up being irrelevant on the world stage. They tend to scream for attention @JeremyClarkson @TheSun #Shitforbrains," one Twitter user responded.
Israel Folau managed to make an insensitive connection between the devastating bushfires and the same-sex marriage bill our nation passed last year.
In November the disgraced ex-Wallaby said fires were part of God's plan to punish us for the legislation of abortion and same-sex marriage.
"Look how rapid these bushfires, these droughts, all these things have come, in a short period of time. You think it's a coincidence or not? God is speaking to you guys. Australia, you need to repent," he told members of the church.
The devoted Christian then offered his condolences to those affected by fires, in what could be seen as an attempt to override any previous insensitive comments he made.
“In saying that, my thoughts and prayers do go out to the people affected. It’s horrible to see and you never want anyone to go through that sort of stuff but, as a Christian, you are always praying for people," he said.
“You see the droughts today, you pray for rain and things to be restored, and that’s ultimately, as Christians, what we’re driven by and what we’re bound by is God’s love.”
It's a blunder the locals on Kangaroo Island won't forget any time soon.
The Prime Minister was corrected by Kangaroo Island locals earlier this week after telling the residents of the fire-ravaged island that he was thankful no one died.
"Well thankfully, we've had no loss of life."
But one resident was quick to respond: "Two. We've had two."
Morrison tried to backtrack from his obvious mistake, looking to another person for confirmation before claiming he was thinking about first responders such as the firefighters, not locals.
He might have grilled Israel for his intensive comments in relation to the bushfire, but Joyce has proven he's just as out of touch.
The backbencher proposed two people who died in the NSW bushfires "most likely" voted for the Greens.
"I acknowledge that the two people who died were most likely people who voted for the Green party, so I am not going to start attacking them," he told Sky News.
"That's the last thing I want to do. What I wanted to concentrate on is the policies that we can mitigate these tragedies happening again in the future," he added, after defending his criticism of Greens councils for an apparent lack of hazard-reduction burns.
Later on, he tried to defend his comments by demanding politicians be more respectful of the communities where bush fire victims live. But the damage had been done.