Sky News apologises for airing interview with far-right nationalist Blair Cottrell

Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane

An Australian TV network has said it was "wrong" to interview a far-right figure with a criminal past, after the segment set off a widespread backlash. "His views do not reflect ours".

Sky News has moved Greg Byrnes from news director to the newly-created position of acting program director, and Kaycie Bradford as acting news director, to oversee the guests and content of weekend programs.

Mr Cottrell, who once suggested a picture of Adolf Hitler should be hung in every Australian classroom, attacked Sky's "pathetic" backdown and accused the Murdoch-owned station of "caving in" to "Leftist abuse".

Former Labor politician Craig Emerson quit as a Sky News commentator in the wake of the scandal, telling the public his father fought Nazis in World War II and was interred in a German prisoner of war camp. The interview, conducted by former chief minister of the Northern Territory Adam Giles, has been deleted from all the network's platforms after sparking social media outrage.

Sky News launched "The Adam Giles Show" in May, touting it as bringing viewers "robust discussion" on news and events taking place in regional Australia.

Sky News' political editor David Speers has also criticised the broadcaster's decision to have Cottrell on air.

Sky News had already scrubbed the footage from its website and social media channels, while a news executive conceded airing the interview was "wrong".

Mauricio Pochettino ready to leave NINE Tottenham players out against Newcastle
However, Pochettino is reluctant to field those players, including Harry Kane , who went to this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation .

"The decision to allow Cottrell onto the channel was another step in a journey to normalising racism and bigotry in our country", Emerson said. "He's boasted about using "violence and terror" to manipulate women", tweeted one host, Laura Jayes.

Mr Cottrell was convicted past year of inciting contempt and ridicule of Muslims.

Greens MP David Shoebridge lodged a formal complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), citing "offensive and risky content", and demanding an investigation into how Cottrell was booked in the first place.

Writer Benjamin Law has also called on airlines Virgin and Qantas to stop playing Sky News in their passenger lounges after Cottrell's appearance saying: 'Your customers shouldn't have to watch this'.

"Blair Cottrell is a far right-wing fascist who's a self confessed Hitler fan".

Had Bolt argued this anytime up to, say, the late 1980s, the argument could have been described as merely "nativist", arguing for the preservation of a dominant monocultural society, and, if nothing else, a coherent point of view. He said he would not appear on the network again. He also has convictions for other matters, including arson. "I suppose my ideas are so irrefutable, that the only recourse is to silence me".

Recommended News

  • Last partial solar eclipse of the year on August 11

    Last partial solar eclipse of the year on August 11

    Coming up on January 21, 2019, a third consecutive total lunar eclipse will also be off center and find the Moon near perigee. While this period is for the total 2018, the duration of the eclipse - including the partial phases - will be over 6 hours.
    Dallas County announces first West Nile Virus death of 2018

    Dallas County announces first West Nile Virus death of 2018

    In an outbreak in 2012, more than 1,000 people were infected and 36 people died across four North Texas counties. The Health Department wants to remind the public that the virus is present and has been around for many years.
    Agent of Arsenal striker Lucas Perez: West Ham a great option

    Agent of Arsenal striker Lucas Perez: West Ham a great option

    Arsenal have accepted a bid from Sporting Lisbon to sign Lucas Perez this summer, according to reports in the Portuguese media. . Should Perez leave Arsenal, he'll do so with a record of seven goals in 21 games.
  • Pro-Assad media blames Israel's Mossad for assassination of chemical weapons chief

    Pro-Assad media blames Israel's Mossad for assassination of chemical weapons chief

    The scientific center, run by Azbar, was the target of at least two Israeli aerial assaults over the past months. The group has previously claimed attacks targeting officials and militia commanders inside government territory.
    Elections test Trump clout in Ohio, other battlegrounds

    Elections test Trump clout in Ohio, other battlegrounds

    President Donald Trump's leadership and a chance to gauge Democratic strength ahead of November's midterm elections. Joe Crowley, progressives hope to demonstrate that their policies can win over voters in the middle of the country.
    Walmart cashier steps in to paint disabled woman's nails after salon refuses

    Walmart cashier steps in to paint disabled woman's nails after salon refuses

    Harris said after she found out, she wanted to create a special day for Angela. "I've helped her shop a couple of times". Harris said: "No matter the person, who they are, what color they are, disability, whatever, they're people, too".
  • Pink cancels third show but Dunedin event still on

    Pink cancels third show but Dunedin event still on

    The mum of two went on to thank her fans for their support and praise the hospital staff "for getting me home to my kids". Her Beautiful Trauma world tour was due to hit Sydney on Friday but she cancelled that first show on doctor's orders.
    Alexander Zverev reaches Citi Open final

    Alexander Zverev reaches Citi Open final

    Zverev joined a list of back-to-back Washington champions that includes Andre Agassi , Michael Chang and Juan Martin del Potro . Rublev beat local product Denis Kudla, a Junior Tennis Champions Center, 6-1, 6-4 before losing in three sets to de Minaur.
    Rand Paul, in Moscow, invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

    Rand Paul, in Moscow, invites Russian lawmakers to Washington

    The "main aim of the trip" was to "create a dialogue" and "improve relations" between Moscow and Washington, Paul added. It added that "special attention was given to the possibility of developing inter-parliamentary contacts".
  • Salman Khan reacts to Priyanka Chopra quitting Bharat

    Salman Khan reacts to Priyanka Chopra quitting Bharat

    As Salman says, 'it's okay.' At the Loveratri event, Salman also thanked actress Katrina Kaif for filling the vacancy . Speculations were rife that Priyanka left the movie as she is planning to tie the knot with her beau Nick Jonas .
    China says no to Winnie the Pooh film over comparisons with president

    China says no to Winnie the Pooh film over comparisons with president

    The film tells the story of Robin reuniting with Pooh and the gang as an adult and rediscovering his playful imagination. Disney's " A Wrinkle in Time ", which debuted around the world in March, has not been released in China.
    Hail at Colorado Springs Zoo Injures 8 People, Kills 3 Animals

    Hail at Colorado Springs Zoo Injures 8 People, Kills 3 Animals

    Fire officials were asking that everyone at the zoo remain in place until they can be taken to a reunification center. Power line collisions and farmers poisoning animal carcasses to kill predators have largely eradicated the population.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.