Is it Lazar hitting back at ABC? It appears Ian Lazar might not be happy with Monday’s Four Corners report on the ABC that painted him as, well, a white-collar crook who preys on the weak and powerless, boosted by his underworld connections. In a lengthy YouTube video posted on a website custom-made for the purpose of clearing his name (, someone claims almost everyone interviewed for the Four Corners expose is, themselves, corrupt. The domain information on who registered the site is private, so we can’t say for sure Lazar or his associates put it up. The website’s contact section links to an address in Hong Kong.

With the Law and Order sound effects superimposed over a slow pan of the journalistic code of ethics, the video uses gavel sounds and guilty stamps over the faces of many of Four Corners’ key witnesses (no one spoke on the video). But the colourful attempt at a PR counterattack didn’t last long — this morning we looked again and the clip had been removed because it “violated YouTube’s terms of service”. — Myriam Robin

Rundle: dispatch from the 18c trenches. That the Racial Discrimination Act 18c battle is turning into a disaster for the government has been clear for some days now — with latest reports that Liberal members who captured Labor multiculti seats are now considering crossing the floor, in a desperate bid to not have their promising political careers sacrificed for Andrew Bolt’s right to practice homebrew eugenics.

But you know that a rout is on when the thinktank commanders start going into reverse. Thus Adam Creighton in The Australian writes that this cause is “low down” on the list of priorities and is “sapping the Coalition’s political capital at the very time it needs all it can get to convince voters to take painful medicine in May”. Along the way he airs the usual batty opinions about teh Leftz, and wilfully mangles the Bolt case in Bolt’s favour.

Ultimately however, Creighton condemns “hyperbolic moralising” about “the sanctity of free speech” as “intellectual crack” for political warriors. Exactly! Take this comment from the Centre for Independent Studies from 2011:

“Sometimes it takes an injustice to beget justice. So it may be with Andrew Bolt’s [judgement] … Probably not many Australians knew the extent to which courts and government curtail freedom of expression. They do now.”

Written by, oh, Adam Creighton! His time with the think tank appears to have dropped off his CV somehow, now that he’s portraying himself as an arbiter of common sense. His solution: the government should pay for News Corp employee Bolt to appeal the judgement in the High Court. Small government at work. And more clear thinking from the Right. — Guy Rundle

Massive cuts in US newsrooms. The blood and red ink is still flowing in newsrooms across the United States. It’s been a particularly bad week: over 300 jobs cut by Advance Publications from papers in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cuts came a day after Digital First Media, which owns 75 newspapers across the US, said it would cut 50 jobs and end the planned attempt to centralise national and international news for its papers.

Advance Publications is controlled by the Newhouse family and better known for its ownership of iconic magazines including The New YorkerVogue and Vanity Fair. Despite these assets, Advance’s newspapers are bleeding and have been doing so for years. So it has been progressively restructuring and changing the way it operates. That process hit the papers on the east coast late last week.

The axe fell heaviest on the  loss-making Newark Star Ledger paper — 167 jobs, including 25% of the paper’s newsroom. Another 124 full- and part-time jobs were eliminated at the company’s weekly newspapers and dailies in Trenton, Easton, and South Jersey. At the website, 15 of 77 employees were cut. All up the toll was 306 people. — Glenn Dyer

ABC gets lewd on Snapchat. It’s no secret Facebook’s cool factor has taken a dive in recent years. The yoof of today are migrating to smaller, more exclusive social platforms — and TV networks are picking up on the trend. Last year American programs Geordie Shore and Girls dipped their toes in anonymous social network Snapchat, and now the ABC is following suit …

In the lead-up to Chris Lilley’s new comedy Jonah from Tonga, ABC TV has launched the first official Snapchat account for an Australian television character. Beats all those actual penis shots, we guess …

Front page of the day. With Oscar Pistorius in the stand this week, South Africa’s tabloids are in overdrive …

Peter Fray

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