Last night, Media Watch went in hard against newspapers letting their readers run riot online. The Daily Telegraph in particular was targeted for reader comments it had allowed through, including vitriol like this:

In 32 years I’m yet to meet a good Leb, whether they be drunk sober or doped.

— The Daily Telegraph online, Racist pub bans Arabs, Islanders, Readers’ comments, 3rd May, 2007

But when it came to assessing that other Rupert tabloid, Media Watch went all gooey:

It’s unlikely that Melbourne’s Herald Sun would be one of them. It moderates reader comments stringently. The paper’s online editor showed us comments sent to The Herald Sun online that he’s refused to publish for their explicit homophobic and racist content. Some of those The Herald Sun rejected were similar to comments published on The Daily Telegraph site.

Did they suck up too soon?

Online editor told MW:We encourage readers to express their views, and we publish a wide range of comments. But we draw the line at using derogatory terms about people’s gender, race or sexual orientation.”

Which no doubt explains why Herald Sun readers’ online reaction to yesterday’s CBD shooting in Melbourne was so measured:

Without a doubt the gunman was likely to be a foreigner but this detail is not being released so as not to upset so called minority groups. It is about time Australia did something about all these people living in our country and not following our laws. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the taxi driver himself that was the gunman, there are some terrible taxi drivers in Melbourne.

— Posted by: Andrew Sewell of Melbourne 11:05am June 18, 2007 

Catch him…….then hang him. What a DISGUSTING COWARD….what normal person carries a handgun and uses it in such a callous way.You are a SCUMBAG that does not deserve one extra second of life.

— Posted by: Doug S of Mt Eliza Vic 6:07pm June 18, 2007

Hate to say it & I’m no racist but come on… Andrew Sewell has a valid point. This country is going down – hard! It’s up to the true Australian’s to take action on these people. Let’s see who the gunman is but I’ll put $100 grand that it’s no Aussie!!!

— Posted by: Chris of Melbourne 11:57am June 18, 2007

There is nothing wrong with immigration when it is done right which, while Australia has a far better policy than other countries, is still not working. I just get annoyed when people living in mainly white neighbourhoods call people who have a problem with foreigners committing hate crimes against Australians ignorant. It’s okay to disagree but i hate when the ignorant and less intelligent call people who are a bit more cluey ignorant. Have a valid argument (not directed towards Meena of Melbourne) Anyway yes this is shocking and probably not race related but don’t argue someone opinion without any grounds but what the fancy politicians and tv presenters say.

— Posted by: Johnson of Mentone 2:08pm June 18, 2007

The problem with this situation is the amount of DEADSET GUTLESS WONDERS who think it’s okay to sit back and do nothing! Debbie of Cranbourne, you are simply a DISGRACE. How dare you have a go at Mary for using a ‘gutter mouth’ and for being passionate about this issue! I bet it’d be a different story if nobody helped your screaming daughter as she was being pulled from a car by her hair! Are you actually serious? You are a selfish individual like so many others, and you should be ashamed of yourself. As for DJ the dead-shit, well mate let me tell you that I’ll forever intervene when I think a female is being mistreated in ANY way by a male. Gutless wonders like you wouldn’t dare, because you don’t have the balls, and your probably the sort who beats up on females, judging by your tone that is. Any MAN who sees a woman being pulled from a car by her hair, and then DOESN’T go to intervene, CANNOT call themselves a MAN, because to not help in that situation is COWARDLY and PISSWEAK, and nothing short of that! The victim who has lost his life should be honoured and admired for his bravery, how dare ANYONE suggest that he shouldn’t of intervened, and that he had ulterior motives for wanting to help. What sort of a scumbag would even suggest that? You people really make me sick!

— Posted by: Jarrad Granieri of Bundoora 2:31pm June 18, 2007

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