FREE SPEECH IS QUITE EXPENSIVE
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.
As the media had taken over my joint yesterday I was unable to get back here to talk with you guys. Instead I tried to get through to some yobbos out there just how important freedom of speech really is.
SKY, as usual got the story all wrong (the police certainly did not tell me to "tone it down") the other networks and most radio stations got it right and the ABC, after wasting a good two hours of my time and a good few thousand of our dollars, decided to drop the story all together.
But here’s the guts of it; freedom of speech is a cornerstone of Australia's way of life but it is a two way street and no-one should have the right to pick and choose who has the freedom to speak! I treasure that right and, unless others are allowed that same right, then the term “freedom of speech” becomes absurdly meaningless and a contradiction in terms.
Hizb ut-Tahrir’s aesthetically challenged spokesman, Uthman Badar, was prevented from delivering a lecture in the Sydney Opera House on the virtues of honour killings.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in many countries but not here, so he should have been afforded the right to speak. (He is pictured here during a discussion on how radicalised Australians could best get to join the ISIS without coming under the notice of authorities.)
I would have taken down the number plates and taken photos of everyone who attended the Opera House lecture and discovered more about what they were up to rather than force them further underground.
Failing that, Abbott should do what he promised to do and ban the bastards. But as long as they remain a legal entity, then their rights should be no different to my rights.
The Charlie Hebdo cartoons I find unfunny, amateurish and lack creativity and impact but that’s just me! The arbiter of whether that is true or not, as it is with every other newspaper, is the circulation figures.
There were 60,000 French people out of a population of 67 million prepared to buy the magazine. In Australia it would have failed.
The print run of three million this week is a one-off anomaly.
Fairfax circulations have plummeted because readers have decided its news dissemination is appalling and have gone elsewhere.
Television and radio networks have to play by the same rules. But really, there are no rules except for financial viability! It’s self-regulating, with the only medium allowed to escape the rule of viability being the ABC.
If you aren't satisfying enough of at least what one sector of the public wants, you will fail. My readership at the SMH was different to that of The Australian. My readers now are different again, I must paint with a broader brush because you are everyone and I lose some and win some.
Those who wish to rid the net of “hate speech” are really saying they don’t want anything published that they disagree with. My success or otherwise has always depended on you the readers not on those who want to stifle debate and destroy forums.
The "Hate Speech" website gloats over who they have been able to close down this week.
Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, said yesterday that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons could not be legally published in Australia under 18C. That is incorrect, the magazine is highly critical of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, it is devoid of racial slurs and could easily and legally (albeit unprofitably) be published here.
I have never felt I was in violation of the Racial Discrimination Act simply because I don’t attack people on the basis of their race.
Islam is not a race, it is a belief system, there are Russian, Japanese and Chinese Muslims. Islam is a highly destructive faith-based dogma that exhorts and excites people of all races to commit atrocities on others.
If I am ever prevented from discussing that, then they’re welcome to shoot me, I will be of no use to anyone.