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

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

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

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".

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"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".

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