18c, Andrew Bolt doesn’t know a thing!
There are worthy legal and academic discussions to be had about the proposed repeal of section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act. You will not find such discussions here, Bolt’s law as it has become known is not about the law, policy or protecting freedom of speech. It is the public vehicle with which the acts of racial arsonists like Bolt are not only being defended but encouraged.
When now Senator for the State of Minnesota and three time Emmy winning Comedian Al Franken was asked in 2004 by commercial backers why it was important to start a politically left wing radio station he paused for a moment… Those backers had come with their cheque books open and ready to support the radio venture and expected Franken, a Harvard Graduate and Saturday Night Live performer and writer, to convince them with one of his famous light hearted comedic lines. Instead the pause ended and Franken angrily exclaimed…. “It’s about answering these fuckheads that have been on the air, and lying, and delivering this simplistic black-and-white babble about how the world works. As if they know something. Sean Hannity does not know a thing. Rush Limbaugh does not know a thing.”
Andrew Bolt does not know a thing, Piers Akerman does not know a thing, Alan Jones does not know a thing. And together along with their many friends in the Government and Media they have been delivering simplistic Black and White babble about how the world works and it’s about time someone answered these fuckheads!
We are told by Attorney General Brandis that this is about protecting free speech and that Andrew Bolt was unfairly silenced by the courts. Was this the silencing that took place in 2002 when Bolt was successfully sued by Magistrate Jelena Popovic for defamation? When a jury found Bolt’s article was ” not true, that it was not a faithful and accurate record of judicial proceedings”, after which Bolt threw a tantrum on the court steps which contained comments that were “misleading” and “disingenuous” according to Justice Bongiorno and the Court of Appeal found to be “at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless”. Is this the sort of behaviour Bolt’s law will protect? No, of course not! Magistrates will still be able to sue Andrew Bolt for defamation and good luck to them, but this immediately points out the hypocrisy of Brandis and Co., who seem comfortable with this check on free speech but not so if it prevents racial bigotry.
Because that it seems is the court case that matters, when in Bolt v Eatock Andrew Bolt was found to have contravened section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act. And once again a court was not at all flattering in its criticism of his journalism. “Distorting the truth, not acting in objective good faith, inflammatory, selective misrepresentation, cynical, derisive” and so on. Andrew Bolt has form, how many other journalists hold the distinction of twice having courts find their work to be not only defamatory or racist, but just plain old untruthful. And it is not just in the courts, Bolt who does not believe in the Stolen Generation (See his book “Still Not Sorry) famously challenged Professor Robert Manne to “name just 10” Aboriginal children who had been stolen. Manne named 50…, this of course was not good enough for Bolt.
An important point to remember here is that Manne is a Professor, educated at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. Bolt is not. Bolt is also not a climate scientist and does not believe in either climate change or it being a result of human activity while 97% of climate scientists “agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities”. My source for this quote? NASA! Is it any wonder a court has on more than one occasion found Bolt to be untruthful, misleading, disingenuous, dishonest and very importantly in this debate “inflammatory”. Because that is what he does, he sets fires, he is a racial arsonist who uses falsehoods to stir fear and hatred in the community. He divides people with his “Black and White Babble” on race, climate change and multiculturalism and just like his American counter part named by Franken, Sean Hannity, he works for Rupert Murdoch. All of whom profit from the many fires of community upheaval these men start.
And when the flames get a little out of control and Mr Bolt gets singed he once again throws one of his famous tantrums. Either on the steps of a court house, by refusing to go to work as he did just weeks ago or claiming that he is being silenced. This is a man with a TV Show, a Radio Show, a Blog and the most read Newspaper column in the country. Silenced? Based on court findings alone this man is lucky to have a job that doesn’t include scrubbing toilets and yet with all that he has we need a change to the law to protect him according to the current Government.
Bolt, a denier of the genocide committed against the Indigenous people of this land, holds something in common with another man who is a genocide denier. Gerald Toben has also been found to have contravened section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act. Toben, another racial arsonist, makes his money denying the catastrophic genocide that is the Holocaust. And just like Bolt he too throws a tantrum every time he is found to be on the wrong side of the law. Twice he has served time in prison for his offences, he has been found in contempt of court and along with a group of other holocaust deniers including a former Ku Klux Klan leader attended an event in Iran that sought to wash the Holocaust from history books.
And despite the findings of a court , the Adelaide Institute founded by Toben, has stated “‘What Andrew Bolt said was basically true and factual” and supports the repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and other laws on racial vilification that stifle ”legitimate” historical debate.
That’s what this repeal is about, protecting bigots like Bolt and Toben. Senator Brandis admitted as much when he stated people have “a right to be bigots”. That is to say that the likes of Bolt and Toben have a right to be racial arsonists, setting off fires wherever they like with no view to the very real world consequences that result. The Foundation for Young Australians conducted extensive research which found “the experience of racism has serious impacts on health and wellbeing”, the current and historical impacts of anti-Semitism are undeniable and the racist policies perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Peoples is the cancer that still eats at this nation. Indian students are beaten in the streets, Islamphobia is an everyday experience for the Muslim Community and “70% of secondary school students experience at least one form of racism” and yet for the sake of untruthful, inflammatory, convicted racists we will repeal a section of law that seeks to tackle racism in our society…
You must be fucking joking!
What happened to victims rights? Not one of the victims of Bolt or Toben support the repeal of 18c, not a single community group made up of those effected by 18c support its repeal. From Aboriginal leaders like Marcia Langton, to a cross section of Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups to just about every Human Rights organisation there has been condemnation. About the only person who does not oppose the repeal is new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, who before being personally appointed to the six figure salary by George Brandis himself worked at the IPA championing the rights of Bolt above all others.
We can get easily caught up in overly academic and legal discussions on this issue or we can accept in a world far more complex than the black and white babble sold to us by Bolt, that ethnically diverse communities like ours need some basic rules in place that uphold the dignity of all. Andrew Bolt doesn’t know a thing, but if the repeal of 18c goes ahead he will be free to use his untruths and dishonesty to set off racial fires around the land. If he is silenced now on his blog, radio show, TV show and newspaper column imagine the carnage he will sow when he is freed from the shackles of decency. And the fallout will be on the heads of the Government and anyone else who thought 21st century Australia should return to the laws of the jungle.