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The ABC’s Q&A apologises to Andrew Bolt for ‘racist’ slur

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The ABC are to be congratulated for apologising but they also deserve to be admonished for not pulling Langton up for making such a vile and unwarranted slur in the first place. I put that down to the rather common view that anyone who is not white can not possibly be racist themselves.  The simple  fact is that accusations of racism are an a to common resort of  scoundrels who don’t want to burrow  down and explore the deeper ethical questions about public identity, especially when some of those identities offer the qualification for particular government largess.

Cheers Comrades

11472-Stirring-Coffee

 

 

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75 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    I put that down to the rather common view that anyone who is not white can not possibly be racist themselves

    Iain, that’s a rather strange thing to say. How was Langton being “racist” by saying Bolt had racially abused someone? As for the ABC (ie Tony Jones) not “pulling her up” at the time, isn’t it a contradiction to suggest (as you have) that Bolt should be free to express his opinion on ‘white aborigines cashing in on their race’ but the ABC should pull up anyone who dares criticise him for that?

    The bottom line here is that Bolt had a big sook and was making noises about being ‘hurt’ and ‘defamed’ … which is why the ABC apologised in case they were joined in any action (as they surely would be for being the publisher). And the irony is that Bolt could have diffused this a long time ago by simply apologising himself to those aborigines he was found to have vilified. It’s because he didn’t that he still gets called on it. The man’s a real piece-of-work.

  2. Richard Ryan says:

    Andrew Bolt—the man with the racist smirk. Was his mother sympathetic to the Nazi cause?——just asking. Plenty of Nazi’s in Australia,——– some in the Liberal Party.

  3. richard ryan says:

    ONE Question for Andrew Bolt, Is Zionism Racist?.

  4. Jeff G. says:

    Oh give over. Bolt is just a bottomless pit of self pity. “Woe is me, I’ve been called a racist!” “Oh no, my freedom of speech is under attack!” “I’m so butt hurt I needed to take the day off (to write 14 blog posts and go on the radio to say how butt hurt I am)”.

    Q&A should not have apologized. For a start, it’s questionable whether Langton actually called him a racist. Also, there have been plenty of dodgy things said on TV shows by guests over the years. “We are not responsible for the views of our panellists” is the standard disclaimer. Langton has apologized, which is her choice. Why the ABC feels the need to do so is beyond me.

    The Guardian had Bolt bang to rights yesterday when it cited a Fox News slogan from The Simpsons: “Not racist but Number One with racists”.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Did you see what she said?
    Or read the transcript?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. For the Attorney-General, as you just alluded to, there is section 18D, which provides exceptions for legitimate political comment or legitimate artwork. Why do you think that 18C, as it currently stands with those exceptions in 18D, isn’t sufficient?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Because section 18C, as it’s currently written and, you know, I understand the sentiment that the other panellists have expressed, but just realise what that means. What it means is that we are going to, if we don’t repeal section 18C in its current form, we are going to say in this country that political censorship is okay, because that’s the necessary consequence of the argument that is being made against me. It’s not the case that just because somebody says something outrageous or somebody says something that is offensive to community standards, that there should be a law against it, that they should be able to be dragged off to court or prosecuted or fined or even thrown in jail because they say something that community standards – that is at variance – at variance from community standards.

    SHARRI MARKSON: Well, hold on, it’s civil. It’s civil legislation not criminal so you won’t end up in jail.

    CHRIS BOWEN: George, it’s not…

    SHARRI MARKSON: It’s civil legislation.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: I didn’t interrupt you, Chris.

    CHRIS BOWEN: Well, it’s not…

    SHARRI MARKSON: I interrupted you.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: If I may finish, please. Bolt could, as a matter of fact, if Bolt had repeated what he said then he would have been in contempt of the Federal Court.

    CHRIS BOWEN: But let’s not characterise it as a criminal offence when you know, Attorney, that it’s not.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: But you’re missing the point, Chris.

    CHRIS BOWEN: Well, I don’t think we are.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: If Bolt had not abided by the order that was made against him, he would have been in contempt of court, so it’s not just a criminal matter.

    TONY JONES: Okay.

    CHRIS BOWEN: (Indistinct)

    TONY JONES: Let’s hear from Marcia Langton, who was politely waiting to get in.

    MARCIA LANGTON: Well, this Bolt case is being depicted now as if it were a matter of high politics. In my opinion, the articles that Bolt wrote about several Aboriginal people were far from the subject of politics and simply abusive. Now, just to take one instance, there was a young woman who was the victim of his abuse and she is now a world renowned immunologist, Dr Misty Jenkins. Now, she is very fair-skinned, like my children, and I’ve known her since she was a young science student at the University of Melbourne. She later went on to do a PhD under Professor Peter Doherty. Then she went to Oxford and Cambridge and she has worked hard all of her life and she is a dedicated scientist. Has never particularly benefitted from her identity as an Aboriginal person. She has more than earned her way in life on the merits of her work and yet she was the victim of foul abuse from Bolt and she, as a result of that case, withdrew from public life. She used to speak to students. Now, nothing that he said about her was political. It was simply racial abuse. He argued that she had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal and, like most fools who put this argument in public, we are expected to deny our parents and our grandparents because somebody believes in race theories. So, I absolutely refute…

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I don’t think Andrew Bolt believes in race…

    MARCIA LANGTON: ..that this has to do with political debate and suppression of political debate. This is about preventing victims of abuse from being racially abused. Now, he could say something about me that had nothing to do with my race and that would not offend 18C. He could say all sorts of terrible things about me and so long as they were not defamatory or in breach of 18C, that would be legitimate debate and I welcome him to do so. I’m perfectly capable of defending myself. But very often people who are the victims of this kind of abuse are not capable of defending themselves.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: But…

    TONY JONES: George Brandis, if I understand you – if I understand you correctly, you’re not in any way defending what Andrew Bolt said. Is that correct? Did you find it offensive?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: I didn’t agree with it but I would – I don’t agree at all with what Professor Langton said a moment ago. I think – know Andrew Bolt. Andrew Bolt is not a racist, and to accuse – Andrew Bolt is not a racist and to accuse him of being a racist is itself a form of vile abuse of the man. He expressed an opinion – he expressed an opinion which you and some people in this audience tonight found offensive. Fair enough. I think he has the same right to express opinions that other people find offensive, as you have the right to express opinions that he might find offensive.

    TONY JONES: Just very briefly…

    GEORGE BRANDIS: That’s what a free society means.

    TONY JONES: Just if I could just get you to address what Marcia Langton specifically said about that woman who has withdrawn from public life, because of the depth of the offence that she took from those comments, are you sympathetic with people who are so deeply offended that they withdraw from public life?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I don’t know anything about the facts of that lady’s particular case.

    TONY JONES: But aren’t those sort of facts at the heart of the case?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: No, I don’t think they are. At the heart of the case, to my way of thinking, is this question, Tony: in a free country, should people have the right to say things that other people find insulting or offensive or wounding and I think they should.

    LISA WILKINSON: Do you think part of the reason why you can’t sympathise or recognise what’s…

    GEORGE BRANDIS: No, I didn’t say I didn’t sympathise.

    LISA WILKINSON: But you can’t seem to understand how that would cause enormous discomfort for somebody and they would withdraw from public life. Do you think that’s because you are a white, able-bodied, heterosexual male?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: No, I don’t think – I don’t think that – I don’t think so at all. I don’t think so at all. I – I think that – that you have to be very careful what you wish for here because…

    LISA WILKINSON: I think what people wish for…

    GEORGE BRANDIS: No. No.

    LISA WILKINSON: ..is a civilised society

    GEORGE BRANDIS: They do. Of course they do. Of course they do but how do we achieve a civilised society? Do we achieve a civilised society by having a civic culture in which those sort of offensive, racist remarks or wrongful allegations of racism against other people, for that matter, are disapproved of by the society or do we have a society in which every time somebody says something unpopular or offensive to a majority of opinion the Parliament passes a law to say, well, you are prohibited. You are censored from saying that? I don’t want a society like that.

    TONY JONES: Okay. I just want to go just go back to this side of the panel and, Sharri Markson, you were listening to this. You came out with a perhaps surprising personal view, which differs from your newspaper’s editorial line. Are you swayed at all listening to the Attorney-General’s argument?

    SHARRI MARKSON: Not at all, especially when he just said – when he used the words “offensive.” I mean, this isn’t just people expressing unpopular and offensive statements. These are statements that would humiliate someone based on their race. It’s very, very different.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, it all depends what the test is. Now, you know, section 18C defines four different tests: offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate. Do you really think that we can have a free exchange of ideas in this country if people don’t have the right to say things that might offend or insult or even humiliate their antagonists in an argument?

    SHARRI MARKSON: But as Chris…

    LISA WILKINSON: But all of that can add up to vilification.

    SHARRI MARKSON: And this is the only…

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, no, I don’t agree. That’s, in a sense, the very point. I don’t think that is vilification. It may be.

    LISA WILKINSON: Why not? Why not?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: But I think – I think vilification…

    SHARRI MARKSON: This is the only law that deals with racial vilification.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: I think vilification is better defined in other terms and you – we haven’t addressed the other side of this argument, Tony, and that is that, as I said at the start, we can have free speech and we can have proper laws against racial vilification. What I’m concerned to defend is freedom of opinion. If somebody, for example, incites racial violence, that’s not the expression of opinion and nobody is suggesting we would do away with laws like that.

    SHARRI MARKSON: So I’ll just say there is a law for inciting racial violence.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: That’s right.

    SHARRI MARKSON: But 18C and 18D are the only laws that deal with racial vilification and that’s why it is so important that they remain.

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, that’s not right actually. There are state laws.

    TONY JONES: Well, I tell you what, I’m sorry to – we could probably argue this all night but we do have other issues to get onto. So, we may come back to this during the course of the program but it is time to move along. You’re watching Q&A. The next question comes from Glenn Radford.


    Source

    I saw the show and she was quite vile about Bolt, she was factually incorrect about the effect that Bolt’s piece had on one of the women mentioned,her tone was harsh and her intention was to deride and attack him personally. Had both she and the ABC not been willing to apologise Bolt would have been entirely justified in issueing a writ for defamation.
    Oh and finally saying “because somebody believes in race theories” is to call them a racist

  6. Jeff G. says:

    If Q&A should apologize for things said by another party on its show, why hasn’t Bolt apologized for this, which appeared on his blog?

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Thanks for the screen grab Jeff but a link to its origin would be required before I can comment further.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    Yeah, I kew all of the relevant words that upset little sooky Andrew, Iain. I don’t like her attack on him but I’d say it was borderline that she actually defamed him or called him a racist. My point to you was, why do you think it’s “racist” of her to criticise Bolt for his race remarks and/or views on aborigines? That doesn’t make any sense.

    This seems to be very politically based and designed to give justification to the Govt changing the RV Act to allow people (as Brandis actually said) to say things about someone’s race that those people find insulting or offensive or wounding. It’s a license to incite. He’s a real tool, Iain.

  9. Jeff G. says:

    It was posted on Bolt’s blog last year and stayed there for several hours until being deleted. I can’t give you a link to something that has been deleted. It was discussed on Twitter, e.g.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff
    You are citing a rogue comment that slipped through moderation only to be removed as soon it was discovered are you seriously claiming that this proves anything of substance?

  11. Jeff G. says:

    It proves that both you and Andrew Bolt operate under an enormous double standard.

    You expect the Q&A to be answerable and sorry for an ambiguous comment made by an independent guest on its show. Yet an overtly racist comment about African Americans is published on Bolt’s blog. Bolt says nothing and you say “oh it’s just a slip”.

    It wasn’t “removed as soon as it was discovered”, it stayed on his site for several hours (at least five hours). Not that it matters, as it should never have been let through in the first place. Bolt is just as responsible for that as Tony Jones is for what is said on his show.

    I was wondering how you’d twist this into irrelevance. Frankly I thought you’d do better.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Tony Jones could not possibly control (or admonish) Langton for what she said. He’s not there as a ‘moderator’ and has to deal with the comments as best he can. To jump on her (as you suggest he should have, Iain) would not be appropriate. He ‘moved it on’, as he should have. Bolt is a sook and a fake one at that. He’s also a hypocrite to demand an apology because that is exactly what he failed to do himself, after a court found he had gone too far.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff
    I have been writing a blog for close to a decade and that has taught me about just how hard moderation of comments, Y simply miss things sometimes that said I know nowt about the hoo har about this comment and frankly I don’t care too much either.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Jones is the debate moderator who runs the show, he has pulled other people on many occasions I think that Langton is by nature a sanctimonious bully and Jones is scared of her so she could get away with defaming Bolt

  15. Jeff G. says:

    You don’t care about anything that makes you or your idol Bolt look like flaming hypocrites, Iain. That much is obvious.

    Tony Jones = incompetent and/or biased for not telling Marcia Langton to shut up and get back in her box.

    Andrew Bolt = lets through a racist comment of the worst kind, “oh well moderating a blog is so hard… and anyway I don’t care.”

    Pull the other one mate, it sports bells.

  16. GD says:

    “oh well moderating a blog is so hard… and anyway I don’t care.”

    Did he write that or are you just making it up?

    A diatribe on national television denouncing Bolt as a racist is far worse than a comment on a blog that was later removed voluntarily.

    The ABC had to be dragged kicking and screaming to apologise to Bolt on Q&A. Even then it was an apology of sorts to prevent legal action. It wasn’t a true apology.

  17. GD says:

    Kudos to Tony Abbott for standing by his pre-election promise to rescind the evil Section 18C legislation that says it’s unlawful for anyone to offend anyone else by mentioning their race.

    Mr Abbott said, ‘Everybody in this room is against racism’, and he said, ‘Everybody in this room thinks Andrew Bolt should not have been prosecuted.

  18. Jeff G. says:

    A diatribe on national television denouncing Bolt as a racist is far worse than a comment on a blog that was later removed voluntarily.

    Bolt is always bragging about his blog is “the most read political blog in Australia” and gets millions of hits. And you reckon that publishing a comment there calling the US president a “porch monkey” (i.e. lazy ape) than some ambiguous comments on Q&A?

    Bolt didn’t deserve an apology. He bangs on about free speech, uses it to attack people then squeals like a stuck pig when someone uses it against him. And his thoughtless minions (get a mirror GD) rally round him and jack up his ego and say “You’re our hero Andrew, they’re so mean to you”. From what I can tell, he reaps what he sows.

    the evil Section 18C legislation that says it’s unlawful for anyone to offend anyone else by mentioning their race.

    Section 18C doesn’t say that at all. And while it might be flawed law, to say it is “evil” is hilarious.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    the evil Section 18C legislation that says it’s unlawful for anyone to offend anyone else by mentioning their race.

    That’s not what it says, GD. Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person on racial or ethnic grounds”, which is a lot different to just “mentioning” their race.

    And Bolt was not “prosecuted” as you and Abbott claim. He was sued (for racial vilification) in the Federal Court by nine Aboriginal people. It was a private action – he was not charged or prosecuted. He should have accepted the finding and apologised. Moved on. I think you need to read this extract from the ABC:

    Bolt argued his articles were fair and were within the laws of free speech provisions.

    The Federal Court found Bolt had breached the Act because the articles were not written in good faith and contained factual errors.

    It said the articles would have offended a reasonable member of the Aboriginal community.

    “Not written in good faith”
    “Contained factual errors”
    “Would have offended a reasonable (aborigine)”

    Sound familiar? Hint – It’s what I’ve been saying about your comment on the other thread.

  20. GD says:

    Section 18C doesn’t say that at all. And while it might be flawed law, to say it is “evil” is hilarious.

    Denying freedom of speech, as Labor attempted to do, is always evil. Keating introduced Section 18C. Under the Rudd/Gillard government it was used wrongly to stifle criticism of people rorting a welfare program designed to help needy Aborigines.

    While on the topic of free speech, NBN genius Stephen Conroy tried to muzzle Australia’s access to the internet.

    Yes, evil is the correct word.

  21. GD says:

    ambiguous comments on Q&A

    Come on, Jeff. Marcia Langton’s comments on Q&A weren’t ambiguous.

    Now you are showing your lefty colours.

  22. GD says:

    Ray, Bolt was sued because the whingers had no recourse in law via the defamation laws. On the other hand, Bolt would have won hands down in a defamation case against the ABC, ergo their forced apology.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Wrong, GD. Some of the individuals he named could well have sued for defamation . The problem being that Bolt would be backed by the legal might and deep pockets of News Ltd and they’d go broke trying to get it to court. So they took the other course as a way of getting some kind of remedy, albeit with no chance of receiving damages. He should have apologised for his remarks. As should you.

  24. GD says:

    Ray, News Ltd wasn’t backing Bolt. Clearly, if you read his posts you’d see that Bolt is only supported by News Ltd with minimal moderation and as a result he can’t take the risk of saying anything that might invite looney litigation, yet his blog continues to garner thousands, many thousands of supportive comments.

    As Maxwell Smart used to say, ‘ah the old News Ltd conspiracy of controlling the media trick’. Get a grip Ray. People only read News Ltd, of which the Australian is far more balanced than Fairfax or the ABC, because they want to, not because they are coerced to.

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    I did not say “News Ltd controls the media’ or anything like that. You’re obfuscating and deliberately misinterpreting my words (again). Why don’t you cut that out? It’s so time wasting. Going off at a tangent might be your way of deflecting but it’s a pathetic way of arguing.

    Of course News Ltd would have backed Bolt if he’d been sued for something he wrote on THEIR website under THEIR mast. Because they’d be sued too. You’re the one who needs to “get a grip”. Sheez, your lack of understanding about the law (and why it’s there) is astounding.

  26. GD says:

    Yes Ray, keep going in your support of curtailing freedom of speech, or in your version, curtailing the ‘tone’ of my comments. It’s funny how you don’t demand the march of morons curtail their hate speech and murderous threats against Tony Abbott.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh geezus, GD, are you sleep deprived or something? That doesn’t make any sense and I now feel like I’m arguing with a clown.

    Look, let’s change the topic: Why aren’t you over in Perth auditioning for Jagger’s spot so the Stones show can go ahead?

  28. GD says:

    Some of the individuals he named could well have sued for defamation

    And your proof of that? I doubt you’ve got any. That’s once again, merely your opinion.

  29. Iain Hall says:

    As GD suggests the problem with 18c is that the trigger point for litigation is far too low and if it was the same as it is for a defamation action there would be very few people who would object to its continued existence the “hurt feelings” test is utterly subjective and in a robust democracy should not be enough to trigger or succeed in litigation. Essentially it functions as a “shut up” writ that stifles free speech and any exploration of ethic identity.

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    Proof of what, GD? That he named individuals and said they were wrongly using their aboriginality for personal gain? The proof of that is in the blog article that he wrote. Didn’t you read it? That’s a serious allegation and clearly actionable. Of course it’s my “opinion” (and that’s how I expressed it).

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, far more people are sued for defamation than for racial vilification. The “trigger point” is not low at all, as it’s hardly ever used. That’s the mark of a good law. It encourages better behaviour.

  32. GD says:

    Here’s a perspicacious quote from a far more well-spoken person than myself:

    ‘This debate is about is the maintenance of victim-hood. Those of us in the community who want to rise above discrimination can do so. Those who want to remain victims and look for sympathy for every “wrong” perpetrated against them want to air those grievances in public and to do that they need 18C and 18D to remain intact.’

  33. Ray Dixon says:

    From whom?

  34. GD says:

    It encourages better behaviour

    Shades of Big Brother…

    encourages or forces and frightens people into not expressing an opinion..

  35. GD says:

    It doesn’t matter who wrote it, it makes bloody common sense. Can’t you see that?

  36. GD says:

    The “trigger point” is not low at all, as it’s hardly ever used.

    The reason it’s not used is that it’s the resort of cowards who’ve had their feelings hurt. They don’t have enough evidence to sue for defamation, so they resort to this perverted law that your mate Keating brought in. Of course if there are grounds for a defamation case that would be the preferred option. This law is for cowards who’ve had their feelings hurt.

  37. GD says:

    He should have apologised for his remarks. As should you.

    Ray, if you feel so strongly about this, report me to the Section 18C department. I’m sure you’ll get a sympathetic hearing. However, as you know my identity, sue me, for offending your sensibilities.

  38. Ray Dixon says:

    Shades of Big Brother … (it) encourages or forces and frightens people into not expressing an opinion

    Don’t be ridiculous. When will you get it through your head that you do not have a “right” to go around unfairly denigrating people? That’s the test, GD. The expession of opinion is fine, it just cannot be expressed in a way that unfairly denigrates someone’s character. That’s a simple & basic easy-to-understand principle, is it not? Quite frankly, it speaks volumes about those who want to repeal this law or severely water it down. Why? So people can be more offensive to others about their race or ethnicity? So people can be more easily put down? How the hell are you worse off for the existance of this law? How is anyone worse off? It’s a good law because it encourages a more harmonious and respectful society.

    It doesn’t matter who wrote it, it makes bloody common sense. Can’t you see that?

    So you quote an anonymous person (probably from Bolt’s comment thread) and hold it up as some kind of beacon-of-truth? Sheez. No, it does not encompass the whole debate. Yes, there are some people who crave victimhood, but that is only from a small sector. A wider and less blinkered view of the RVA is that it protects people from becoming victims in the first place. The suggestion that “Those of us in the community who want to rise above discrimination can do so”, says it all. Why should anyone in the community be discriminated against?

  39. GD says:

    The expession of opinion is fine, it just cannot be expressed in a way that unfairly denigrates someone’s character.

    And who is to be the judge of that?

    As far as I see, our defamation laws are sufficient. Anything more is censorship.

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    If you want to comment on the law, GD, you should at least try to know something about it. Firstly, the Judge will be the judge of what constitutes defamation. But defamation can only be used when an individual is unfairly denigrated. So, “as far as (you) see” it’s okay to unfairly denigrate a whole race, is it? I think you can’t “see” past your nose. And certainly not to the sides, as you’re blinkered. That’ll do – I’m arguing with ignorance here.

  41. Iain Hall says:

    Ray its not “denigrating a whole race” to suggest that most blackfellas prefer to eat food from the shop than insect larvae as their ancestors did the empirical evidence is that GD is correct.

  42. Ray Dixon says:

    Wrong thread, Iain.

  43. GD says:

    defamation can only be used when an individual is unfairly denigrated

    Yes, which is why the fair-skinned, privileged Aborigines who have taken advantage of benefits designed to help needy Aborigines, as Noel Pearson said, need to butt out of the program and stand on their own two feet, rather than crying that they’ve been ‘unfairly denigrated’.

  44. Ray Dixon says:

    As I said, some of them, if not all, could have sued Bolt individually for defamation but they chose a less punitive means of obtaining a remedy. They went easier on him (and on themselves, financially speaking) and, in the end, all that happened was Bolt was told he was a naughty boy. What’s wrong with that? Whether those people should “butt out of the program” (of obtaining benefits for aborigines) is another matter.

    The point you’re missing is that if the law is repealed it’s open slather to denigrate whole races and ethnicities (as long as individuals aren’t named) thereby causing widespread social disharmony, unrest and possibly inciting hatred and ultimately causing riot and violence. All reactions are started with words.

  45. Ray Dixon says:

    if you feel so strongly about this, report me to the Section 18C department. I’m sure you’ll get a sympathetic hearing. However, as you know my identity, sue me, for offending your sensibilities.

    Oh, I missed this gem of yours from earlier, GD (one of 4 consecutive comments you made in rapid succession on the same topic).

    Firstly, there is no “Section 18C department”. There is just the law and no one gets “reported”. To access and use that law against someone you need to (a) be the person who was racially vilified (b) make application via the courts, usually involving the services of a lawyer. It’s a private action and not one that I’d have any grounds to instigate. You’re not vilifying me.

    Secondly, I cannot sue you for “offending my sensibilities”. I can only sue you for defaming me, which you haven’t done.

    As I said, if you want to comment on the law, at least try to know something about it. Your ignorance is astounding and you’re undermining all your credibility with your ridiculous take on this. Go to bed – you’ve obviously been up all night.

  46. Iain Hall says:

    Ray they chose to use 18c because it has a far lower threshold of proof and that low threshold of proof is the real problem with 18c

  47. Ray Dixon says:

    It has far lower consequences, Iain, so what’s the problem? I don’t really care about the Bolt case and you can’t hold that up as a reason for repealing the Act – it’s just one case that, quite frankly, doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things. Are you seriously suggesting that journalists and the like should be allowed to publish material that denigrates different races and ethnicities? Because that is what will happen if it’s ditched.

  48. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Both defamation law and 18c have an effect on our freedom of speech, the former has to demonstrate real harm from publication 18c just has to demonstrate hurt feelings, both are expensive to defend in the courts. the former has merit because it seeks to redress REAL harm the latter has far less merit because it seeks to vindicate subjective feelings only.
    As it happens there was nothing in Bolt’s original piece ” denigrates(d) different races and ethnicities” he simply questioned individuals identifying as indigenous when the majority of their heritage is European and asked it they were doing so for personal enrichment.

  49. Jeff G. says:

    Come on, Jeff. Marcia Langton’s comments on Q&A weren’t ambiguous. Now you are showing your lefty colours.

    And yet again you resort to using left/right labels as insults. Lazy, immature and boring.

    Ray, News Ltd wasn’t backing Bolt.

    More baloney. News Ltd provided Bolt with legal representation. They did the same when he was sued for defamation by Popovic several years ago. He lost that one too and it cost them a motza.

    This law is for cowards who’ve had their feelings hurt.

    So anyone who “has their feelings hurt” is a coward. I guess that makes Andrew Bolt one, after his phenomenal hissy fit this week.

  50. Ray Dixon says:

    He made “factual errors” (read told porkies) about the people he named. As I said, I’m not really interested in his case because I don’t think it represents in itself anywhere near the whole purpose and value of The Act, which is designed to avoid inflaming different races & groups leading to social disharmony and other consequences such as civil unrest, riots, etc. That’s why we have laws, Iain, to keep the peace.

    And so what if they used the RVA instead of suing for defamation? They could have sued for defamation too (or instead), in my opinion, because their reputations were brought into disrepute. Storm. Tea. Cup.

    The upshot is that Bolt copped a slap on the wrist. He likes to dish it out, Iain, but sooks when he’s taken to task over it. But again, so what? He’s done pretty well out of this and kept his name in the news (deliberately I’d say) and thereby increased his earning capacity, profile and career. Got his own TV show even! Good for him – everyone is entitled to enrich themmselves and that’s exactly his MO in my opinion, ie be controversial and make money out of it. I don’t have a problem with that.

    The bottom line is that Bolt’s case was just one case that doesn’t alter the whole intent of The Act, no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds. There is simply nothing to be really gained by repealing the RVA but plenty to lose.

  51. Iain Hall says:

    He made “factual errors” (read told porkies) about the people he named. As I said, I’m not really interested in his case because I don’t think it represents in itself anywhere near the whole purpose and value of The Act, which is designed to avoid inflaming different races & groups leading to social disharmony and other consequences such as civil unrest, riots, etc. That’s why we have laws, Iain, to keep the peace.

    Its a bit OTT to say that Bolt’s factual errors were deliberate In fact its counter-intuitive to suggest That bolt would want to publish any thing that he knew was untrue. My opinion of the act itself is that its well intentioned but misguided, essentially its trying to legislate for civility and that can certainly be encouraged but laws to madate are bound to fail.

    And so what if they used the RVA instead of suing for defamation? They could have sued for defamation too (or instead), in my opinion, because their reputations were brought into disrepute. Storm. Tea. Cup.

    The point is all about the very important test for a breach and 18c has too low a bar that fails to properly balance free speech implications against actual harm

    The upshot is that Bolt copped a slap on the wrist. He likes to dish it out, Iain, but sooks when he’s taken to task over it. But again, so what? He’s done pretty well out of this and kept his name in the news (deliberately I’d say) and thereby increased his earning capacity, profile and career. Got his own TV show even! Good for him – everyone is entitled to enrich themmselves and that’s exactly his MO in my opinion, ie be controversial and make money out of it. I don’t have a problem with that.

    You seem to be suggesti9ng that its OK to play the man because the man is Andrew Bolt, sigh.

    The bottom line is that Bolt’s case was just one case that doesn’t alter the whole intent of The Act, no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds. There is simply nothing to be really gained by repealing the RVA but plenty to lose.

    You do realise that the intention is to change one clause of the act rather than repealing the whole thing don’t you Ray?

  52. GD says:

    no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds

    So you agree 18C was used against Bolt even though the grounds for doing so were dubious.

    Own goal.

    Here’s what Jonathon Holmes and your ABC had to say about the matter.

    In my view, he should have been able to succeed with a fair comment defence against defamation. The court doesn’t have to have liked his opinions, or thought them reasonable, or in any other way approved of them. It’s enough that Bolt honestly held the views he outlined, and they are based on true facts.

    The subjects of Bolt’s columns, as we know, chose not to sue for defamation. Instead they took him to court under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful to do an act in public (and that includes publishing an article in a popular newspaper) that “is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” and which is done “because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group”.

    …As I’ve argued before, the act sets a disturbingly low bar. It’s very easy to cause offence, and quite plainly Bolt’s columns were likely to do so; and they were all about race, colour and ethnicity.

    So it never seemed to most observers likely that a court wouldn’t find that the columns were unlawful under section 18C. In my view, that’s why section 18C shouldn’t be in a part of the act which claims in its heading to be about the “Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred”.

    Whatever you think of Bolt’s columns, they were clearly not based on or motivated by racial hatred.

  53. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m not going to argue the merits of the case against Bolt, Iain (and GD). I’ve already explained why I think it’s no big deal and it beats me why you two want to do his bidding for him. I think AB can look after himself and has done so quite well but, according to you two, the action and the finding was something akin to murder. Bigger issues to discuss.

    Btw, GD, I said “no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds”. That is not agreeing they were. Learn to read and comprehend what someone says. You seem to have difficulty with that.

  54. GD says:

    I said “no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds”. That is not agreeing they were

    Geez, Ray, you’re slicing the onion very thin there.

    I agree with Iain’s comment:

    You seem to be suggesting that its OK to play the man because the man is Andrew Bolt, sigh.

    You said:

    I’m not going to argue the merits of the case against Bolt,

    Well, you have many times on this and other threads.

  55. GD says:

    btw, I bet our friends over at Stalker Central or whatever it’s called these days are having a ball reading our banter. Hi guys!

  56. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s not “slicing the onion very thin”, GD. Don’t you understand English and context? The meaning of the word “if” is clear, even to a 12 year old. As for context, Iain put the proposition that the grounds of action were dubious. I responded that, even if they were, the action does not change the intent of the law. This is the FULL context, which you omitted from my comment:

    The bottom line is that Bolt’s case was just one case that doesn’t alter the whole intent of The Act, no matter if the 9 taking action against him were doing so on dubious grounds.

    That is by no means “agreeing” the grounds were dubious. Only a dunce would not understand that. Stop misinterpreting and/or taking my comments out of context please.

    And yes, I’ve previously commented on the merits of the case against Bolt and its findings. And there’s nothing left to add. Done to death. It’s not a big deal and has had no consequences to be concerned about. Unless you want to go full throttle with racial and ethnic abuse. Maybe you do?

  57. Ray Dixon says:

    Stalker Central no longer exists, GD. Keep up.

  58. GD says:

    That’s a relief, but don’t be so naive that it hasn’t surfaced elsewhere.

  59. Ray Dixon says:

    It wouldn’t want to, because Iain and I have a shitload of evidence on who was running it. Hopefully those days are gone. There wouldn’t be any grounds for a new one either. Not that there were grounds for the old one(s), but agreements were made and they’ve been honoured.

  60. Iain Hall says:

    Actually GD I think that they have largely decided that we are too good at biting back with sharper teeth.

  61. GD says:

    Thanks for your reassurance, Iain and Ray.

  62. richard ryan says:

    Can Can we have a “Sorry Day” for our sensitive Andrew Bolt, say on a Tuesday, to mark the day he had a “sickie” to write his 14 blog posts. Give us a brake—this Dutch clown needs a good f*cking.

  63. GD says:

    Give us a brake

    The rest of your obscene, unnecessary spray doesn’t deserve comment, but really ‘give us a brake’?

    “A brake”? oh come on, RR, you can do better than that.

    Time for English lessons, Richard old son. BTW, when are you gonna post pics of your participation in the march for morons, or were you even too cowardly for that?

  64. Ray Dixon says:

    So GD admonishes Richard for saying about Bolt “this Dutch clown needs a good f*cking” and calls it “obscene”, but thinks it’s perfectly okay for Bolt (and GD) to racially vilify Aborigines. Double standards?

  65. richard ryan says:

    GD, you give me your next gig appearence, and I will be there, and I will make it a night to remember, now give us a ‘break’ is that better—– speaking of morons, you are as ignorant as a sack of arses—–then you would know all about arse-holes. Bolt is a racist turd. Shalom.

  66. GD says:

    Bolt (and GD) to racially vilify Aborigines

    Ray, neither Bolt or I have villified Aborigines. If you have proof we have, please post the links.

  67. Ray Dixon says:

    neither Bolt or I have villified Aborigines. If you have proof we have, please post the links

    Oh please, GD, you know full well what the Court found on Bolt. As for you, I have ALLEGED that you racially vilified aborigines right here on this blog. On the other thread, or have you forgotten? Do you still need a link?

  68. Iain Hall says:

    I listen to the ABC all night, every night and as you suggest Delroy is a very good example of balance I love “The nightly challenge” because I am a bit of a trivia buff.The way that he handled callers who were quite extreme in their views of how to treat kiddie fiddlers should be an example to all radio talk-back hosts; he was non confrontational and he put no one down even when it was obvious he did not endorse what they were saying. THE ABC is mostly pretty good in my humble opinion but it could just be so much better with a few tweeks.

  69. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    To “racially vilify” aborigines one would have to argue that by merely being an aborigine makes some one a lesser human being. Neither Bolt not our own GD have done this AT ALL Even in the case that was brought against him under 18c Bolt was not arguing that there was anything inferior about being an aborigine. Nor was GD arguing that there is anything inherently bad/inferior about being an aborigine. You seem to be suggesting that to criticise any individual who happens to have some tiny speck of indigenous ancestry is to vilify all aboriginal people. That is a nonsense argument mate. Likewise you seem to think that just because one criticises some aspect of cultural practice that equals racism. It doesn’t.

  70. Ray Dixon says:

    To “racially vilify” aborigines one would have to argue that by merely being an aborigine makes some one a lesser human being

    That’d certainly be vilification but it’s not the only way to vilify, Iain.

    You seem to be suggesting that to criticise any individual who happens to have some tiny speck of indigenous ancestry is to vilify all aboriginal people

    No, I’m arguing that it’s vilification to criticise (or mock or denigrate) any individual or group BECAUSE they happen to be of a certain race. That’s exactly what Bolt & GD did. Please, Iain, can’t you see the difference?

  71. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    No, I’m arguing that it’s vilification to criticise (or mock or denigrate) any individual or group BECAUSE they happen to be of a certain race. That’s exactly what Bolt & GD did. Please, Iain, can’t you see the difference?

    In Bolt’s articles in question that was NOT what he did, he suggested that the choosing to identify as “aboriginal” was done for personal advantage. His suggestion was that the claimants in the litigation were more European than they were indigenous. They took offence at their self identification being queried. In no part of Bolt’s pieces did he suggest that there was anything inferior about being an aborigine.
    GD has likewise never suggested that being a blackfella is anything bad or shameful, Heck he has been far less critical of the contemporary indigenous subculture than I have in this blog over the years yet you would not call me a racist would you?
    Engaging diplomacy mode:

    Look it really pains me to see members of the Sandpit family at odds with each other over something like this so I’m asking you to accept that GD has just as much good will towards all Australians as You and I do and its our mutual love of this country that inspires us all to be critical of the various elements that make up the diverse totality. I very much appreciate your desire to go into bat for what you see as “oppressed minorities” but I also appreciate the need to be critical of the culture and individuals from those minorities when they are acting against the mainstream values and expectations that we all respect. What it boils down to is that you want to protect those who you see as “oppressed” by excluding them from any criticism. GD on the other hand has an instinct to call a spade a spade rather than a manual digging implement or some other euphemism and you see this in the worst possible light when it does not have to be a point of conflict between you two at all because you are both fundamentally decent blokes who just need to accept the decency of each other when you disagree about something.

  72. Ray Dixon says:

    Not interested in the Bolt case anymore, Iain. I’ve told you why. And I’m not trying to “protect” anyone. I pointed out that GD’s language was unacceptable (not his opinion, the way he colours it and presents it) and I will continue to point that out whenever (and if) he does it again. The bottom line is that GD’s comment unfairly denigrated the character of a whole race, and you just can’t go around denigrating a person’s or persons’ character full stop – you know that. And basing it on their race is even worse. Read his comment again if you like and imagine you’re aboriginal – how would that make you feel? That’s the test. It’s inflammatory. Anyway, I accept GD is a ‘good bloke’ but I believe he goes too far with his criticisms/opinions on aborigines – and on muslims – by adding unnecessary rhetoric, generalisations, sarcasm, mockery, untruths & put downs. I will always call him on that, as I have. He’s had his reply (and then some) and I’m happy to leave that particular incident behind. But if he keeps moaning and sooking about it …….

  73. Ray Dixon says:

    So you laud the ABC whenever they appear to give a tick to your beloved Coalition lack-of-vision nerds, Iain? Well, ABC ‘Fact Check’ is in fact a very bland and dry analysis of issues, based on theoretical models. It doesn’t think outside any squares, and it’s just like a computer. Even so, they still said this:

    Mr Hockey’s comments on growth in spending and debt compared check out, although he fails to mention the fact that Australia’s overall debt as a proportion of GDP remains at comparatively low levels

    You see, Hockey and the Coalition are not great managers of our economy, Iain. They just want to slash and burn areas that don’t suit their ‘the top end must benefit’ model. This is like a school teacher giving someone a pass on economics because, you know, they theoretically get *some* aspects right. But the reality is that your lot, if they go along this trail, will drive most people into hardship. And they don’t give a shit about that.

  74. GD says:

    Baloney, Ray. Anyway, here’s a sensible press release by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

    Clearly the LNP are in for the long haul rather than quick fixes as forced through by Rudd Labor, ie uncosted back of a napkin NBN, murderous pink batts and then Gillard’s overly rushed and unfunded NDIS.

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