Attorney-General George Brandis’ views on free speech when applied to News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, March 24, 2014:
“People do have a right to be bigots, you know … People like Mr Bolt should be free to express any opinion on a social or a cultural or a political question that they wish to express.”
Brandis’ views on free speech when applied to Fairfax media’s editorial cartoonist Glen Le Lievre, August 4, 2014:
“I thought the cartoon was deplorable. I think that critics of Israel’s foreign policy of course have every right to express their views. But I would have thought that a responsible media organisation would have a very good look at itself when it publishes cartoons [of] the kind we haven’t seen since Germany in the 1930s.”
According to Brandis’ very own bigot-o-meter, offensive claims about Aboriginal people gaming the system are OK for publication, but racial stereotypes about Jewish people are not. Both groups have experienced racism, vilification and attempted genocide, so Crikey wonders: why the distinction?
Of course, critics of Fairfax’s decision last month to publish Le Lievre’s cartoon (which Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir has now retracted and apologised for, while The Australian has republished it) can still take their concerns up in court under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act … but they’d better get in quick.