By Darryl Mason
A headline on the front page of the Herald Sun online invites you to read Andrew Bolt's latest column :
Except the link doesn't take you to Andrew Bolt's latest column, it takes you to this Herald Sun news story :
Minister rejects call to alter race laws
by Staff Writer
Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has rejected Coalition calls to alter racial discrimination laws after the Andrew Bolt case.
Maybe Herald Sun editors have finally had enough of Bolt's bullshit as well.
Last week shadow attorney-general George Brandis said the laws were flawed and should be altered because they could impinge on freedom of expression.
He made the comments after Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act in two columns about light-skinned Aborigines.
Mr O'Connor told the ABC's Insiders program he had a different interpretation to Mr Brandis.
"I think the conclusion that one would draw from reading the judgment is that this was an issue about ... omitting quite relevant facts," Mr O'Connor said.
Or perhaps not.
The full O'Conner quote the last paragraph of the story was drawn from :
But I think the judgment should be read by people and read properly, because I think we don't want to see people racially vilified and I think the conclusion that one would draw from reading the judgment is that this was an issue about not sticking to some facts, or in fact omitting quite relevant facts, which I think led the respondent to be in some difficulty with the articles that he wrote.More from O'Connor :
There's no doubt that if you're going to attribute improper motives about someone, you should get your facts right. And in terms of any chilling effect that's supposed to have happened as a result of the decision, I've seen more of Andrew Bolt since the decision on the front pages of the largest circulated papers, even during footy week.That's no exaggeration. Via Pure Poison :
Imagine being a Herald Sun journalist and having your front page story bumped to make way for that heaping pile of absolute absurdity? This is why there is much grumbling amongst Murdoch journalists and editors at their city papers right now. They find Andrew Bolt to be an embarrassment and a growing stain on their craft and their credibility.
It's very simple. Andrew Bolt knew claiming people raised as Aboriginals were pretending to be Aborigines for profit and personal gain would probably lead to legal action. He wanted this lawsuit. He wanted to be a martyr. And, apparently, Herald Sun lawyers didn't mind either. How else to explain why they let him publish two columns filled with flat-out lies, not merely deceptive language, nearly all of it unreliably sourced?
The Age explains the facts under this headline :
The question mark is superfluous :
Andrew Bolt conceded he made errors in two columns found to be unlawful under the Racial Discrimination Act last week but claimed that ''none seemed to me to be of consequence''. Justice Mordecai Bromberg disagreed, finding Bolt's writings were ''grossly incorrect'', and contained ''significant distortion of the facts''. This was critical to why his defence failed. Here is a sample:
BOLT: ''For many of these fair Aborigines, the choice to be Aboriginal can be considered almost arbitrary and intensely political, given how many of their ancestors are in fact Caucasian.''
BROMBERG: ''In relation to most of the individuals concerned, the assertion in the newspaper articles that the people dealt with chose to identify as Aboriginal have been substantially proven to be untrue. Nine of the 18 named … gave evidence. Each of them had been raised to identify as Aboriginal and had identified as such since childhood. None of them made a conscious or deliberate choice to identify as Aboriginal.''
BOLT: ''[Associate Professor Anita] Heiss … won plum jobs reserved for Aborigines at Koori Radio, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and Macquarie University's Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies.''BROMBERG: ''Each of those assertions was erroneous. Mr Bolt accepted that they were wrong because they were exaggerated. One of the positions that Mr Bolt claimed Ms Heiss had won as a 'plum job' was a voluntary unpaid position. The other two positions were not reserved for Aboriginal people but were positions for which Aboriginal people were encouraged to apply.''
BOLT: ''[Ms] Eatock only started to identify as Aboriginal when she was 19, after attending a political rally.''
BROMBERG: ''This statement is untrue. Ms Eatock recognised herself to be an Aboriginal person from when she was eight years old whilst still at school and did not do so for political reasons.''
BOLT: ''Acclaimed St Kilda artist Bindi Cole… was raised by her English-Jewish mother yet calls herself 'Aboriginal but white'.''
BROMBERG: ''That statement is factually inaccurate because Ms Cole's Aboriginal grandmother also raised Ms Cole and was highly influential in Ms Cole's identification as an Aboriginal.''BOLT: ''The very pale Professor Larissa Behrendt, who may have been raised by her white mother but today, as a professional Aborigine, is chairman of our biggest taxpayer-funded Aboriginal television service.''
BROMBERG: ''The factual assertions made were erroneous. Professor Behrendt's Aboriginal father did not separate from her mother until Professor Behrendt was about 15 years old. Her father was always part of the family during her upbringing, even after that separation.''
BOLT: ''Larissa Behrendt has also worked as a professional Aborigine ever since leaving Harvard Law School, despite looking almost as German as her father … But which people are 'yours', exactly, mein liebchen? And isn't it bizarre to demand laws to give you more rights as a white Aborigine than your own white dad?''
BROMBERG: ''To her knowledge, there is no German descent on either her father or mother's side of the family although she assumes that because of her father's Germanic surname, there may have been some German descent.
Her paternal grandfather came to Australia from England. Mr Bolt also referred to her father as being white. Her father had dark skin.''
BOLT: ''Take the most prominent Yorta Yorta leaders - Melbourne University academic Wayne Atkinson and Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group co-chair Graham Atkinson. Both are Aboriginal because their Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman.
''How can Graham Atkinson be co-chair of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group when his right to call himself Aboriginal rests on little more than the fact that his Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman?''
BROMBERG: ''The facts given by Mr Bolt and the comment made upon them are grossly incorrect. The Atkinsons' parents are both Aboriginal as are all four of their grandparents and all of their great grandparents other than one who is the Indian great-grandfather that Mr Bolt referred to in the article.''