The Pickering Post
Friday, 14th December 2018

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Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


Mike Carlton too far Left even for Fairfax? It seems so, as the hoary old chestnut of “he decided to resign” was trotted out today by Fairfax management. 

Carlton has been fossicking around in the far Left wastebin of likely news stories for years since his radio listeners were whittled down to relatives, Tim Flannery and his idol, Julia Gillard. 

Ray Hadley this morning let fly with a blistering attack on Carlton’s flawed character with some angry innuendo, suggesting he was mostly inebriated and expressing an irrepressible urge to, “hang one on his chin”.

Now I never read Carlton but it’s clear his recent anti-Semitic article was the catalyst for his demise. The article (accompanied with a cartoon) had prompted a hail of email abuse from readers and, I suggest after a half bottle of Scotch, Carleton ripped into the complainants telling them all individually to “get fucked”.

Carlton in his blind rage had forgotten that his long suffering readers were busily forwarding his responses to Fairfax management.

When Carlton was carpeted this morning he agreed that he had overstepped the mark, but that feeble explanation was all too late, Sean Aylmer, Fairfax Media's group director (God knows what he does) had a pink slip ready in his drawer.

Carlton’s departure will dismay few and delight many... he really is a bitter old grub. But the cartoon that management apologised for needed no apology! It was well drafted and epitomised a point that many agree with... the disproportionate military response to Hamas rockets by Israel. 

I thought, although vehemently disagreeing with it, that it was an excellent cartoon. The cartoonist, who I have never heard of, seems somewhere Left of Carlton, but so what! 

He signed it, so let it run, cop the flak and enjoy the plaudits, isn’t that what newspapers' opinion pieces are all about?

But hang on, this is Fairfax we are talking about here.


The article is dead on correct and the picture but it's the only sensible thing Carlton ever wrote.

Australian journalist forced to resign following criticism of Israel

“What hasn’t come out in all of this is the torrent of filth I was exposed to myself,” Carlton said.

“I got a fortnight of abuse, of threats of violence. ‘You filthy piece of Jew-hating Nazi slime’, ‘people like you started World War II’, ‘Catholic Jew-baiter’ and so on.

“And once or twice I snapped and hit back.”

Former Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton says he resigned from the paper because he was “sick of being stuffed around” over his angry response to critics of one of his articles.

Carlton’s column, which was published more than a week ago, was critical of Israel‘s actions in the conflict with Gaza.

He resigned last night after being told by Fairfax’s director of news and business media, Sean Aylmer, that he would be suspended because of inappropriate comments he made to critics of the column.

Carlton told 702 ABC Sydney the comments were “probably foolish” and said he was prepared to apologise after discussing the issue with editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir.

“I thought I’d come to an arrangement whereby I would apologise to offended readers and I would continue to write for the paper,” he said.

“And then I got a call later at night from someone higher up the Fairfax food chain just stating quite blandly ‘we are going to suspend you for four to six weeks to consider’, [and] at that point I interrupted and said ‘don’t go to any trouble, I’ve resigned’ and hung up.”

Carlton said he believed the paper “buckled” to pressure from News Corporation newspapers and pro-Israel campaigners.

“There’s the organized what I call Likud lobby which stands up for Israel right or wrong come hell or high water and is crushing in its campaigns to get people they don’t agree with,” he said.

“The other one of course was the News Limited thing. They hate me at News Limited for all the usual reasons and they wanted a scalp and I think the sad thing about this is the Herald just gave them mine on a plate.”

But Carlton conceded he was “probably foolish” to respond to the criticisms in the manner he had.

“What hasn’t come out in all of this is the torrent of filth I was exposed to myself,” Carlton said.

“I got a fortnight of abuse, of threats of violence. ‘You filthy piece of Jew-hating Nazi slime’, ‘people like you started World War II’, ‘Catholic Jew-baiter’ and so on.

“And once or twice I snapped and hit back.”

Mr Aylmer said the issue was not with the column itself but the way Carlton responded to readers in emails and on social media.

“[The column] attracted a lot of criticism. Many readers wrote to Mike – what got him into trouble was the way he responded to those readers,” he said.

“It was totally inappropriate, using inappropriate language.”

Mr Goodsir echoed those comments, saying: “This is an issue, not about the substance of Mike Carlton’s columns, or the editorial independence of The Sydney Morning Herald, but in terms of the dealing of Mike Carlton over what I see as an HR issue, in his inappropriate dealings with some of the readers.”

One of the tweets sent by Carlton read: “After a fortnight of being called Nazi, Jew-hating slime, I told a few people to f*** off. We do that in this country occasionally.”

Mr Aylmer said Mr Goodsir rang Carlton yesterday and urged him to apologise.

“As the afternoon rolled on, and more of these emails emerged, we spoke to him last night,” he said.

“In effect, we said we would suspend him and he resigned on the spot.”

Zeddy Lawrence, the editor of Jewish News, is pleased Carlton has resigned.

“I am pleased as I think many readers of the SMH and The Age are, that somebody who is abusive, and uses vile language when readers try to engage with him in dialogue, has left his position,” she said.

“I certainly think that his initial column was offensive and inappropriate, and bereft of certain facts. I thought it was unbalanced.

“Columnists, of course, are entitled to their opinions, and we’re not saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to express their opinions.

“But I think opinions have to be based on fact and should, and columns have to reflect a certain balance, they shouldn’t be inflammatory.”


Also see:

•The Guardian: Sydney Morning Herald’s Mike Carlton resigns over Gaza column reaction
•Israel paying students to spread propaganda online

•More on the Occupation: ?Israel is already an Apartheid State — Abby Martin
?Paul Findley: The Tyranny of Collective Punishment
?CrossTalk: Target-Gaza — Norman Finkelstein
?Save Gaza Today; Tomorrow May Be Too Late!
?Anthony Lawson: The Blood of Palestine is on the Hands of the Bribe-Takers
?Tens of thousands march on the W

Brian Richard Allen says it beautifully. Christians and decent men have been fighting the barbarians for centuries. They throw a rocket at me and my family whose philosophy is "Live and let live", you can expect to be squashed like the maggot you are with whatever it takes.

Thank you BRA, for the comment ,well said ! couldn't understand larry's objections to the Qld bikie crack down, now this vilification of the jewish nation for protecting itself. Carlton might not be the only one sucking on the scotch bottle !

The SMH tried running French cartoons in 2008 with Plantu. It was so pathetic the SMH dropped it after just one day. Now they've run another French cartoon and suffered the consequences. Won't they ever learn?

Boycott Israel.

Don't agree Larry the cartoon certainly did need an apology and quite rightly got one. The idea there might be a disproportionate response is nothing more than terrorist propaganda. Surprised you fell for it.

Deadshit Mike has dun good for the conservatives.

He has nothing to worry about, will probably get a job at the ABC.

well Larry that'd be ok to put that cartoon up''
but how about another one
of the mosos blowing up there kids

Good Riddance Carlton Hip Hip Hurray!!! This bastard has encouraged more of these demonstrations especially the latest one at the Jewish school where firstly I cannot understand how can 15-17 year olds be under the influence of alcohol? Isn't that illegal for a start? Shouldn't these teenagers be firstly charged with illegal consumption of alcohol and also investigated which irresponsible 18 year old gave them the alcohol or where did they obtain alcohol from and from which liquor shop did they obtain alcohol from because they were underage, that liquor shop should have their liquor licence cancelled and be charged. And secondly these teenagers should be charged and every law that is appropriate to their unacceptable behaviour be thrown at them, the STA bus driver is at fault

I never read Carltons columns because I know what his view is on politics (far left) but he put his job on the line by expressing his view on the Gaza massacre, unlike all other spineless journos watching a military superpower murdering and destroying civilians just because they fired fire crackers at them. The solution is simple, Israel give them the land that you stole back and leave them alone!

the cartoon (circa 1934) had nothing to do with Hamas and Israel, it was commenting on the German and French ( remember they too are anti-Semitic) perception of the role of Zionism in Europe.

Carlton's seems to have joined up will Mel Gibson in his rantings against the Jews. Both intoxicated at the time. It seems ones true colours come out under the influence.

Carlton/ABC? Perish the thought

one down and gone - how many more of these lunatic lefty journalists can we get rid of?

Did he do an interview on the 7:30 report? To paraphrase The Joker in the first Batman film, "You're a vicious bastard Carlton, and I'm glad you're dead". Followed by much laughter.

The only good thing about Mike Carlton---is his last name, a beer, (sorry about the plagiarism), I haven't bought the Herald since I read about four of five of Carlton's columns, what a load of poorly thought out and unsubstantiated comments, but very apt for the SMH. BTW, I do not watch the ABC anymore either.

You can imagine how stunned I was when Lenore Taylor left SMH and went to the red rag that is The Guardian. Gee, never saw that coming...

The only good thing about Mike Carlton---is his last name------what a fine football club,theyrve been for the last 150 years.