I thought we might've reached peak offence by now, but apparently not. There's still plenty to be offended about.

In just the last 24 hours we've seen outrage in action: in the US over the comedian at the White House Correspondents' dinner, and here at home over Deborah Hill Cone's column on Clarke Gayford.

The latest person to be outraged by that column was the writer herself. She wrote another column, deriding herself for the first one. I'd read it as a satirical piece about the PM's partner, a bit of a stream of consciousness thing. It certainly didn't offend me.

Why didn't it? Because I saw it for what it was: her thoughts, not to be taken personally or to be up in arms over, just her thoughts. But ironically the person who did take it personally in the end was the writer.


Hill Cone said when she saw it in print she "grimaced" and then "hit herself in the face". She apologised for how she came across. I understand wanting to apologise for how you come across, but actually, that would be a never ending task.

How you come across is actually more to do with other people's perceptions and preconceived bias than it is you.

Some would've read her column ready to get offended right from the first word. I don't know Deborah Hill Cone, but I've been in her shoes. By and large columnists don't write to be malicious, or unkind.

I write a chat piece editorial for my radio show which I regard as a cosy little before-dawn chat between me and my audience. In my first few days in my new job, when I did a tongue in cheek chat piece which was a piss-take around my thoughts on Meghan Markle.

When I saw it printed in the Herald a couple of hours later, I had a Hill Cone reaction. Grimace, face punch. The feedback on that 'chat' is still coming at me, months later.

I hadn't intended for it to be read and then boom there it was. It offended people, people who'd never met Markle of course, but were offended on her behalf.

In the confines of our own environments, in our own contexts, (in my case my radio show or my Instagram stories) the people following it get it. They know me, my humour, know that I take the piss out of my husband, my dog, my work, and most of all, myself. But when you take something out of that context, put it into the mainstream to a wider audience and give it a sizzling headline, that's when the rubber hits the road.

But I don't believe you need to apologise for it.

Comedian Ricky Gervais talks about our current penchant for moral outrage in his Netflix stand up show "Humanity". Yesterday, amid the fallout from the White House Correspondents' dinner, he posted a quote by Christopher Hitchens: "Those who are determined to be offended, will discover provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt."

As you were, Deborah.