Mark Textor’s Twitter account appears to have been closed today. That’s probably a good thing for diplomacy.
Just a day ago, his comparison of the Indonesian Foreign Minister to a 1970s Filipino porn star caused Australian-Indonesian relations to deteriorate further, forcing the Australian political adviser to eat humble pie and say sorry.
“I think I went too far this time and I unreservedly apologize,” he told Australian broadcaster SBS, after also tweeting his remorse to “Indonesian friends” and followers.
But just who is Mark Textor? And why — as many people have been surprised to discover — is he an adviser to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott?
Textor has been described as one of the most influential people in Australia, and the most domineering, divisive pollster the country has ever seen. For 25 years, he has made a living out of taking the pulse of public sentiment. His skills have helped secure election victories for top international politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, as well as heads of government in Australia and New Zealand. So it was a surprise to many that the experienced communicator made such a faux pas at a time when relations between his country and Indonesia are so frayed.
Textor has admitted he slipped up. ”Twenty-five years in politics, one or two mistakes, this is certainly one of them,” he said Thursday.
As we ponder what the other mistake of his career could be, here are some of his mud-slinging tweets preserved for posterity.
The one where he brought up the 2005 suicide attack in Bali and linked to a photo of the bombers
The one where he slammed Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s propensity to use Twitter
The one where he gave tips for saving on apparently alcoholic beverages to the leader of the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world
The one where he predicted journalists would find Indonesia’s relationship with Australia sexually arousing…
… but that anyone who mattered didn’t care if Indonesians were offended
The one where he described Indonesia’s ambassador to Australia as a chess piece
The one where he implied the Indonesian President was senile
The one where he re-tweeted a political reporter’s response to his porn star slur
When he reacted to the controversy over his porn star slur
The time he claimed Indonesia’s reaction to the spying controversy was fake
The one where he demanded Indonesia apologize for spying in 2004
The one where he took a dig at Australia’s public broadcaster and gossip columnists