ACMA not monkeying around on Sam. So Sam Newman likened a Malaysian man to a monkey. The latest ACMA settlement with Nine means if the footy boofhead stuffs up again, he and Nine will have to pay whatever cost agreed to in the deal with ACMA; in this case the payment of $200,000 to an agreed charity by Nine. It is the first time such a deal has been struck by the regulator with one of the groups it regulates over breaches to the TV Code of Practice.

As ‘noble’ as this deal is (donation to charity), it really is a recognition that the Nine Network should have sacked him by now, along with his protectors at GTV 9 in Melbourne, led by CEO Jeff Browne. Newman is a liability in all meanings of the word and in all contexts. He has held the Nine Network up to ridicule and abuse, along with himself, The Footy Show and people who work on the program. That behaviour has again been excused in this arrangement with ACMA. The sanction isn’t potent at all.

In this respect the Nine Network is taking the same attitude that Austereo management took to the appalling behaviour and comments by Kyle Sandilands on 2DAY FM in Sydney last year. Pay the fine, do what the regulator orders, but keep the star on air because it means the stream of viewers/listeners and advertising revenues will continue. It’s putting commercial considerations ahead of community standards and the self respect of Nine and its employees.

It is of course not the first time Newman has been found to have breached the broadcasting standards. In May 2009, ACMA pinged Nine over two Footy Show efforts both by Sam Newman, in April and May 2008 (the infamous mannequin segment involving The Age writer Caroline Wilson). He and Nine were ordered to apologise to Wilson and Newman was taken off air for a while.

The attitude of the AFL to this latest breach will also be interesting. They disapproved of the comments made in the Wilson case (and he should have gone over that performance), but she is a powerful member of the Melbourne media. The member of the public abused in this case is far less important to the AFL. Will the organisation tolerate this because Nine is also powerful (Eddie McGuire is president of Collingwood), or will the league have the guts to tell Nine that that’s enough abuse and intolerance from Newman?

The lightness of the penalty from ACMA and why Nine jumped at it is that the network will get a tax deduction for making the donation to charity — 30% of the $200,000. So taxpayers will be partly subsidising the next breach by Newman; highly unsatisfactory, to say the least. He is taking the mickey out of us and Nine is having a lend of taxpayers, large and small. — Glenn Dyer

Phone tapping scandal — it’s not over yet

“Scotland Yard was tonight edging closer to reopening its criminal investigation into the phone hacking of public figures by the News of the World.” — The Guardian

Tweeting the news, when nobody else will

“Adam Penenberg heard about the verdict immediately from the defense lawyer. Hours later, he was amazed to see there had been no major media coverage at all. So he turned to Twitter.” — ReadWriteWeb

Journalism still alive and kicking

“We’d like to start with some good news: journalism is not dead.” — The AWL

Viral video hits Billboard’s 100

“Viral videos tend to have a short lifespan online. The best ones might attract a few million views on YouTube and get a mention on a late-night talk show before fading into oblivion.” — New York Times

Should words die so that language might live?

“Now let’s be clear about this: it’s okay to have a noisome toxin or a noisy tocsin — but you just can’t have a noisome tocsin or a noisy toxin. Got it?” — ABC News Editors’ Blog