Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HATEWATCH: Tim Blair denies responsibility for his wacky friends ...

Tim Blair, opinion editor and blogger for the Daily Telegraph, has suddenly decided that he'd better disown the racist and xenophobic attitudes of some of his pals congregating around his bog ... woops ... blog. How so?

Blair is now claiming that persons from that nebulous monolithic group known as “the Left” are deliberately posting racist and hate-filled comments on his blogs. Why? To make Blair look like a nasty racist.

Try not to laugh.

Of course, all this raises some interesting questions – how did these comments make their way onto Blair's blogs in the first place? Doesn’t News Limited have a policy on comments?

Indeed it does. You can read it here. For those with the literacy levels of Blair's fans, I'll simplify the policy for you.

The policy states ...
We can only accept your content though if you comply with the terms and conditions set out below.
Among these conditions is that ...
News will determine, at its discretion, whether to publish (or remove from a site) any of your content ...
... and that ...
News may edit your content in its discretion.
Further, comment must ...
... not breach any law (including laws relating to privacy, intellectual property and defamation) or the rights of any person.
And that presumably includes breaches of laws forbidding racial and other prejudice and vilification.

Now let’s have a look at some comments moderated on Tim Blair’s blog. At 4:04pm on Friday 13 February, Blair allowed this comment through concerning the understandably angry responses of locals to a person arrested for deliberately lighting one of the recent Victorian bushfires:
Just tell the mob he’s a Palestinian. That’ll justify any amount of murder.
It took almost 8 hours for a further comment to be posted condemning this racist and anti-Semitic remark. But why was it allowed on the Tele blog in the first place? And why is it still there?

Of course, racist, murderous, xenophobic and defamatory comments are nothing new to Blair’s Tele blog. On 17 May 2008, Blair awoke at 4:59am to write this blogpost. He then moderated a comment by one “El Cid” at 12:36pm which suggested a ...
... compost solution ...
... would be a good way of dealing with Muslims. The comment is still there on Blair's blog on the Tele website to this day.

The Oz went on the rampage when The Age published an allegedly racist article by Michael Backman. Yet its sister papers are quite happy to host blogs that moderate murderous and racist remarks. The Age suspended Backman’s contributions. Will News Limited suspend or terminate the services of Tim Blair? Or will it wait until it’s hauled before the Australian Communications & Media Authority or the Australian Human Rights Commission? Or until its advertisers decide that supporting a newspaper that promotes racism, bigotry and genocidal thinking may not be such a good idea? And if advertisers desert Sydney's biggest selling newspaper, what impact will this have on News Limited's share price?

But the Tele doesn't seem to care about such factors. hence it actively promotes Blair's blog, encouraging readers to "join the debate". The Tele's editors and owners are clearly quite happy hosting a blog that moderates comments calling for certain groups to be transformed into compost, for others to be murdered, etc etc.

And the in-house lawyers at Nationwide News don't seem too perturbed either. All legal practitioners in New South Wales are required under Clause 176 of the Legal Profession Regulations to complete at least 1 CLE unit on discrimination or OH&S each three years. You'd think at least the lawyers would have advised their client/employer of the importance of establishing a workplace where discrimination is not promoted, let alone fostered.

Still, even Tele readers aren't that stupid. They don't seem to be getting the message. Little wonder most of those congregating at Blair's blog are the same crazy far-Right neo-Nazi crowd (largely outside Australia) that he has attracted all along.

UPDATE I: Tim Blair telephoned me on the evening of 24 February 2009 at around 7:50pm to advise me that I had made an error in my post. he said that the anonymous lefties were leaving nasty comments not on his blog but rather on Andrew Bolt's blog. Which, of course, makes a huge difference to this entire issue, doesn't it. When I asked about the comment moderated on his blog regarding the murder of Palestinians, Blair said:
I suspect that was left by a leftwing troll.
So it seems Bolt isn't the only one who has suddenly discovered that sometimes his regular fans mysteriously morph into "leftwing trolls". Blair also refused to advise on who actually moderated the comments appearing on his blog.


1 comment:

dov said...

Did you vomit when Blair phoned you?

You should've hung up on him.