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Aug 6, 2014

'I hit back and told people to get fucked': Mike Carlton explains why he quit

Former Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton says the decision to suspend him came from Fairfax metro chief Sean Aylmer, who overruled Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir.


Former Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton says the decision to suspend him came from Fairfax business and metro publisher Sean Aylmer, who overruled Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir in deciding to suspend Carlton for four to six weeks after reports he had been abusive to readers in emails surfaced in The Australian.

Carlton says after he wrote a column two weeks ago criticising Israel’s actions in Gaza, he’s received endless abuse from offended readers.

“I’ve been called a bag of Nazi slime, a Jew-hating racist … endlessly,” he told Crikey this morning. “Much of it has been obscene. I suppose, half-a-dozen times, I hit back and told people to get fucked”.

One of these emails surfaced on Andrew Bolt’s blog on Monday, and in today’s edition of The Australian, several of Carlton’s abusive responses to readers are extracted.

This morning, Aylmer went on Fairfax-owned radio station 2UE and told Garry Linnell and John Stanley that Carlton and Fairfax had “parted ways”.

“Many readers wrote to Mike but what got him into trouble is the way [Carlton] responded to those readers, and it was totally inappropriate and using inappropriate language,” Aylmer said. “It’s important to stress it’s not the [original] article itself but the way he treated readers.

“Yesterday the editor-in-chief of the Herald Darren Goodsir rang him and said, ‘You need to apologise’. As the afternoon rolled on we spoke to him last night and as more of these emails emerged we spoke to him again and said we would suspend him, and he resigned on the spot.”

Carlton said he agreed to apologise to “a handful of readers”.

“That was all going to happen and it was fine. But as I understand it, Darren [Goodsir] was overruled higher up by a man called Sean Aylmer.”

In a statement this morning, Aylmer confirmed the decision to suspend Carlton was his.

“Last night I decided that an apology from Carlton was not sufficient and I suspended him. He subsequently resigned,” Aylmer said. “Such conduct will not be tolerated. Fairfax expects much higher standards from its staff, columnists and contributors.”

Carlton says there’s no doubt there was a co-ordinated campaign to oust him by the Israel lobby in Australia. “That was twinned by a campaign by News Corp — because they hate my guts, but also because it destroyed a rival columnist. And now, Fairfax has handed News Corp that present, gift-wrapped.”

“What cheers me up is that I’m getting tremendous support from Herald colleagues who I respect, and colleagues right throughout journalism.”

Several Fairfax senior reporters have shared their regret at the paper losing Carlton this morning. Gold Walkley-winning investigative journalist Kate McClymont tweeted that today was “a grim day for our profession”.

SMH and Age contributing editor Michael Pascoe described Carlton as one of Fairfax’s “best columnists”.

“To lose one of your best columnists may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness,” he tweeted, referring to the loss of legal writer Richard Ackland, who parted ways with the SMH in June after writing a column for The Saturday Paper.

Broadcaster Phillip Adams also tweeted his regret, saying it was a shame to lose Carlton. “Mutual hostility for many years but Mike writes a good column,” he said. “Will be missed.”

Last night Goodsir issued an apology to readers for Carlton’s abusive emails:

 “This behavior is completely unacceptable,” he wrote. “I have asked Mike to apologise for these actions. Mike regrets his behaviour and will be contacting affected readers to apologise.

“On behalf of the Herald, I too apologise for any offence caused.

“In dealing with our readers, it is a basic principle that our staff, columnists and contributors should always behave with respect and courtesy.”

It was the second apology issued by Goodsir in two days — on Monday, the SMH’s editorial apologised for the cartoon that had illustrated Carlton’s article two weeks ago.


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92 thoughts on “‘I hit back and told people to get fucked’: Mike Carlton explains why he quit

  1. wilful

    I give Fairfax five years, tops.

  2. paddy

    Umm…Cough…. Perhaps Crikey could give Mike a gig?

  3. caf

    Publish the reader letters. The appropriateness of the response can’t be judged otherwise.

  4. pritu

    Any sort of criticism of Israel’s actions draws an organised, voluminous and vituperative response. Basically a form of mega-trolling. Rational discussion is obliterated by this means. Goebbels would be proud of them!

  5. JimDocker

    Have they not been reading his twitter account? He tells people to get fucked on a pretty regular basis. I sometimes disagree with Carlton, but the world is a better place for his views.

  6. Robert

    There goes my last reason to read the Saturday SMH

  7. Aton

    If you hire Mike I’ll reactivate my subscription that day!!

  8. Diane Bell

    The cartoon wasn’t anything but thought provoking. Arking up like this showed Mike’s cartoon had touched a nerve. Yes, my Fairfax subscription is looking shaky but Ross Gittins and Peter Martin help keep me sane so there is a reason to stay….
    Good luck Mike.

  9. Russell

    So it’s all a conspiracy by “the Jewish lobby” and News Ltd… Oh really? How revealing.

    Mike Carlton also couldn’t resist firing off a parting snide shot at those employers and colleagues who had employed and supported him for decades… The Herald was “a once great newspaper,” he said. So when was it “great”? Two weeks ago when it was still encouraging and paying him handsomely to take pokes at everyone he disagreed with?

    So who will employ him now? I hope not Crikey, please… Let him go to New Matilta or Green Left Weekly, who no doubt agree with his “progressive” views about Israel.

    And yes, it does sound like The Australian was stirring the stew… Well, tit for tat, Carlton regularly got stuck into News Ltd’s journalists and staff with the all the venom that is now typical of ” progressive left-wing” opinion.

    Now, when did “left wing” become so poisonous, intolerant of diverse opinion, authoritarian and quite frankly, racist?

    I’m not going to cancel my Herald sub over this. I did that a long time ago.

  10. zak lloyd

    So Fairfax it is OK for red neck readers to get stuck into Mike and call him every abusive name known, but he must not respond in kind. Well fuk you and your papers, I will stick to social media and the Independent press. We know the Torys havent got their grubby scheming lying paws all over them.

  11. marcfranc

    I’ve just cancelled my SMH subscription, and I urge others to do the same. There seems to have been orchestrated pressure by the Israel lobby on Fairfax to dump Carlton over the original column, not his intemperate responses to criticism. Let’s show them we have the numbers. I’ll resubscribe if Mike Carlton is reinstated.

  12. Yclept

    So where are the apologies from the rascist trolls who attacked Carlton…

  13. Alex Smith

    I will subscribe with real money to Crikey if Mike is on here..I am sick of vested power interests running my country.. he gave fair comment where it was due and he has been vilified in a coordinated attack by News and the Likuud front

  14. My Comment

    Carlton light is now Carlton bitter? Small beer in any case.

  15. frey

    Hmmm, I see Andrew Bolt is defending free speech yet again folks??

  16. Lach Hud

    I too have cancelled my Saturday subscription to the Sydney Morning Herald this morning over this abject cowardice by their management to pressure from the far right and worse still the nutters at News Corp.

    If the people funning Fairfax had even an ounce of common sense they’d be showing this cowardly, and obviously not very bright, muppet, Sean Aylmer the door today and begging Carlton to come back.

    Other publications are no doubt on the phone today trying to sign him and his loyal readership base up. Fairfax are experts it seems in destroying their own business.

  17. DF

    Where’s the Commissioner for Free Speech when you want him?

  18. Dennis Bauer

    Good on you Mike you got real courage, what a bunch of bloody Hypocrites, don’t know if that is spelt right but it is supposed to mean Muddock’s goons, there is people in the ABC that are frighting of him, does he run nearly all the media in Australia by proxy??. I hope Crikey can help you if that was your desire, I promise Crikey $20.00 if they hire you, it’s a pittance but every bit counts. A few more may feel like me, because in todays climate you have courage. Thank you.

  19. Jaybuoy

    Mike insulted five SMH readers.. when you alienate 30% of the customers you probably do have to go..

  20. Tom Jones

    Mike’s acerbic wit will be missed at the SMH. It is amazing to watch how some non performer will dig away at someone who can deliver. Sally Pearson seems an apt comparison.

  21. My Comment

    Crikey, please don’t hire Carlton. I want to read thoughtful articles by authors who are willing to consider the issues, not those who abuse readers who disagree with their viewpoints.

  22. Stephanie

    This could be the final straw for my smh subscription too. I’m currently contemplating my Crikey renewal…

  23. David Hand

    This is a step forward for efficient reading of publications and newspapers. Carlton can go and write for the Guardian, thus corralling all the lefty journos in one place where they can then be ignored by the rest of us.

    I encourage all current Guardian subscribers to keep it up so it doesn’t go down the gurgler like every other left wing ghetto outlet (except Crikey). Otherwise, when it fails, Carlton, Lenore Taylor, First Dog and all those other ideologues of the left might return to the mainstream.

  24. pinkocommierat

    The Fairfax newsroom must be empty.

  25. Dogs breakfast

    If someone writes abusive personal emails to you, and you respond with personal abuse, it hardly warrants a suspension. Personal emails are just that.

    Of course it is a little more complex, most people would appreciate that you can’t respond to effwit customers in the voice you would prefer, from your work email, but in journalism isn’t authenticity a currency with some value?

    Or perhaps I am still too naive for my own good. As someone who has to hold his tongue, I appreciate that people like Carlton are given a voice.

    The Jewish response to any criticism is the same as their response to Gazan rockets; disproportionate, contemptible, unethical, unreasoned, outrageous.

    I would be looking forward to any Carlton commentary on Crikey.

  26. zut alors

    Agree with Paddy @ post #2. Fairfax may have handed News Corp a gift but Crikey is being given a prime opportunity now that Carlton is available.

    There’s no longer any reason to read the SMH; I used to enjoy kickstarting Saturday mornings with Mike’s wit & wisdom.

  27. gerri willesee

    Mike Carlton got it right. The Jewish lobby is the bane of journalists lives. I once criticised Israel’s actions on a radio station then owned by the NSW Labor Council. By the time I got off-air head honcho John MacBean was waiting in the office. He made clear that Jews and Israel were off my agenda. I didn’t agree. Ita Buttrose took the job.

    My memory of the Jewish lobby – it’s large and effective and persistently persistent and wastes so much time they should be billed for it.

  28. harry freedman

    I challenge carlton to produce the emails he responded to when he was rude and offensive. I have seen 4 of them and his rude, irrational and factually void responses were not justified. He may well have received other abusive emails which may or may not have justified a rude response. but he chooses to use that as an overall excuse for his unjustified misconduct to others.
    another deception from a journo claiming to have the higher moral ground

  29. gerri willesee

    And by the way – Give Mike Carlton his column back. I’m teetering on the edge of cancelling my sub.

  30. Russell

    Not understanding the Carlton cheer squad here… If you are anti-Murdoch and anti-Isreali, you will be forgiven anything.

    But quite frankly, if I abused my employer’s customers and told them to “F— off”, I would not expect to last the day out.

  31. pertina1

    “Independent Always”… what bullsh*t! Predictably gutless performance by SMH management.

  32. JohnB

    Remarkably, it took 28 comments before the obvious point was made.

    Carlton is old enough to know that swearing at one’s customers is not acceptable in any organisation.

    His writings may be great on occasion, but a line must be drawn somewhere and he crossed it. Whether or not I might get to read the original comments and Carlton’s response is irrelevant.

    The point is the clear lack of respect for others, regardless of how well or otherwise they phrased their disagreement. No employer should be asked to tolerate language like that from a senior professional staffer or, in fact, from any employee. Ever.

    Unless he can demonstrate that he will in future act civilly, I suggest that Mike Carlton plan his retirement, starting yesterday.

  33. Marks

    The preciousness and hypocrisy of people to be offended by a swear word while the mangled corpses of children are still warm. Such warped perspectives and values are rancid.

    Can you imagine if it were your children?

    I’m sick to death of the Australian press censoring criticism of Israeli policy and human rights violations. I’m offended that we quake in our boots in fear of being labeled ‘anti-semites’ for speaking up for innocent people who are not Jewish. If innocent Jews are killed, apparently it’s ok for us to show concern.

    In Australia we allow dual citizens (Jewish – Israeli – Australians) to train and fight in the IDF and others here in our community support Israeli military adventures openly. Just why should this be beyond scrutiny and criticism?

    How come the ‘anti-semite’ label has became a dog whistle that makes our press and politicians cower and scrape upon command?

    Criticising Israel policy is clearly not being antisemitic, especially since many Jews don’t support Israel, zionism or the narrative used to account for Israel forming the identity of ‘Jewishness’.

    Like any other culture/country/religion/people Israel and the Jewish community has its fair share of crazies and extremists – more than its fair share I would suggest – that need to be held to account for their action in a secular society.

    The difference seems to be that if you are Jewish you can play the racist card at the same time you actively support apartheid and killing children. Enough of this double standard; get on with the business of debate and let’s stand up for secular values and human rights in Australia irrespective of race, colour and creed.

    In my book this requires calling a spade a spade. So, call me an anti-semite and I’ll tell you to f**k off as well. This is truly an idiotic and insulting label given the political and human rights context that devalues debate and controls language for the benefit of bigots who want to silence dissent.

  34. zut alors

    It’s obvious Mike Carlton has borne plenty abuse over the years from offended readers, people who disagree, nutters etc. I imagine his hands have been tied much of the time in defending himself – despite a percentage of the communications he’s received being abusive and personal.

    It’s understandable that Carlton reached saturation point – age delivers the bonus that one often doesn’t give a toss for the consequences any more. Had I written him an abusive email I would’ve been primed & prepared to cop one back.

    But such a reaction requires thick skin.

  35. Gratton Wilson

    I’m not suggesting that Mike is a bigot but what happened to his right to be one? What happened to his right to speak his mind to the people who directed their communications at him? How come an employer can suspend employment for extracurricular activities?

  36. John Taylor

    I suppose David Hand we would be all better off absorbing the blitherings of the nutjobs and spitebats employed by Murdoch? At least they are all confined to the Limited News Sty, where we can ignore them?

  37. Karen

    Give Carlton a gig, Crikey!

  38. MarilynJS

    Goodsir and Aylmer are so terrible that often times their editorials sound like Andrew Bolt has written them. They are destroying once great papers.

    Carlton’s cartoon was spot on, even if he didn’t do it. The Jews in Sderot were sitting on the hills and partying as they watched the bombs murder innocent children. I am sick to death of the Australia Jewish lobby poisoning everything.

  39. RoseL

    Why is everyone assuming these were even Fairfax customers? Anyone can send an email to Mike at his SMH address from anywhere in the world. We all know how quick the hasbara brigades are to attack any criticism of the Israeli government.

  40. jmendelssohn

    I just heard Richard Glover describe the readers who trolled Carlton with abusive emails as “customers” which means he, like the Fairfax proprietors just doesn’t get the relationship between readers and writers in the age of interactive journalism.
    It is no longer the case of journalist =knowledge, reader = response. There is a dialogue, a discussion, a debate. If one party degenerates into racist abuse and slime talk, the other party is perfectly entitled to tell them to F*** Off.
    Carlton made the right call.

  41. David Hand

    Not to be confined to Murdoch at all John.
    When Gina rescues Fairfax, we can see an improvement in their news balance as well.

    But don’t be sad. You’ve still got the ABC.

  42. zut alors

    Great point made by RoseL – what proof is there this handful of wounded souls are Fairfax readers/supporters?

    Sean Aylmer continues the recent tradition of appalling business decisions by Fairfax having alienated god-only-knows how many thousands of Carlton devotees for the sake of a vocal few.The few aren’t going to save Fairfax – someone please explain it to Aylmer.

  43. Yclept

    But not for long David, Tony is under orders from Lord Murdoch to close down the ABC. So no doubt it will happen – we all know who is running this country.

  44. Patrick Brosnan

    Fairfax are a bunch of idiots. If they think they are making some sort of moral stand then they are complete morons, The Australian is making merry at their expense and the point that Carlton legitimately made WRT to Israel’s immoral actions in Gaza has been lost. We have lost one of the few voices brave enough to call the Israeli government for the callous murderers of children that they are. Supporters of Israel would claim that I was an anti-semite for that last sentence, and they’d be showing themselves to be calculating fanatics. Unfortunately they now have the field, the cowardly bullies.

  45. Patrick Brosnan

    “swearing at one’s customers is not acceptable”
    Remarkably it took twenty eight comments for some right wingers to embarrass themselves with their intellectual shallowness. Swearing at “ones” (oh it sooo hard to get good help these days) customers is probably ‘bad form’ if you work in Myer, however there is a rich history of the creative arts telling critics to fuck off when those critics are simply abusive morons. ‘One’ finds this entirely acceptable.

  46. John Taylor

    So balance is when all the media says is all one way David Hand? Sounds like fascism to me. Actually, we’ll have independent media – as well as the ABC which has been constantly identified as the most trusted news source in the country – across political lines too. Funny how you rusted on con-artists never seem to be able to explain that one. My only other question though is that given you despise anything that does not toe your exceedingly narrow and unimaginative line – why are you trolling Crikey?

  47. Kevin Herbert

    If you take last Sunday’s reported Zionist flash mob of 7000 who met in a Dover Heights park following a call to arms via text, and you add say another 10,000 such Zionists from Melb, plus another 1000 each in Perth, Adelaide & Queensland, that’s a cyber total flash mob of 20 thousand.

    One text call from the Executive Council of Jewry (ECAJ)to all 20 thousand to bomb Carlton’s email with sat at least 3 emails, means that a total of 60 thousand emails is obviously possible…thus the crash of his Google email site.

    I suggest that Crikey posters & their friends return the favour by posting a suitable message on the ECAJ website…just Google ECAJ & hit Contact.

    I intend spreading this campaign via Facebook.

  48. Gerryod

    There goes my SMH subscription – so sad to lose this most acerbic and entertaining columnist. Guardian and Crikey should bring him on board!

  49. Venise Alstergren

    The freedom of speech and, ipso facto, the right of journalists to question the status quo has reached its nadir.

    The Fairfax press, granted their temporary reprieve from financial annihilation, have proceeded to piss their goodwill against the nearest wall-perhaps Gina the Rhine Maiden has already bought out the company? The lengthy coverage of the little boy whose parent/s left him was as rancid a coverage of anything the Hun could come up with. Icky wicky sugary self-indulgent tripe.

    If the so called comments by the outraged pro-Israel commentariat isn’t the work of the Jewish lobby I’ll eat the grass in their leader’s lawn.

  50. David Hand

    It’s simple John.
    I trust the ABC.
    I believe it has a left wing bias.
    I trust the Australian.
    I think it has a right wing bias.

  51. John Taylor

    A non-answer worthy of a free puppy or squirrel, David. Balance for you is where right wing opinion is dressed up as fact and is “telling it like it is” where as objective fact, if you don’t agree, is dismissed as left wing opinion. What are you going to do when the MSM finally collapses, taking the sinking Australian etc with it? Yell at the wind and the sun? Oh, wait…..

  52. zut alors

    David Hand, so when the ABC (‘Media Watch’) reports an adverse finding by the Press Council relating to a September 2013 front page story in The Australian misrepresenting an IPPC finding on the rate of global warming which way do you jump – ABC or The Oz? It’s a tough one…

  53. Michael Au

    Perhaps Mike should have kept his mouth shut…let all the taunts on Twitter get to him & take his own life. SMH just lost a great journo….unsubscribing now.

  54. outside left

    Verrender , Ackland and now Carlton. Freaking disgusted

  55. Peter Dillon

    Irony: Vic Alhadeff resigns from CRC because he writes in support of Israel, doesn’t tell anyone to eff off, doesn’t talk about “race” memory or write anything racist.

    Mike writes a racist article illustrated by a racist cartoon and tells all his detractors to eff-off. Suddenly it’s a Murdoch, News Limited conspiracy.

    But Mikes been shot at by the VC, knows what burnt babies smell like, has a Jewish son-in-law (and doesn’t he like to tell everyone), so it MUST be a conspiracy. By people who don’t care as much as him.

  56. Scott Grant

    I suppose one must give them (Fairfax) some credit for courage (in the “Yes Minister” sense). Can you imagine one of Rupert’s rags doing that to one of their most read columnists? They would have cover-to-cover outrage for weeks to defend their lackey.

    By the way, if you have not come across it before, here is an interesting perspective on the Palestinian situation, recorded a couple of years ago.


  57. botswana bob

    What a mob of jellybacks inhabit Fairfax. Carlton is an outstanding journalist. Has anyone ever heard of the managerialist toadies that caved in to the Israeli lobby and sacked him?
    This will cost Fairfax dearly in reputation and readers. I’m quite sure I’m not the only subscriber who is pulling out and their reputation and standing is headed to the bottom where they can join citizen [American] Mudrok’s LtdNews trash.

  58. David Hand

    Hey John,
    “Objective facts” are such a devalued currency in the media in 2014. That’s why it pays to get news from a range of outlets with a range of perspectives.

    It’s touching that you believe the left has objective facts whereas the right have mere opinions. This is yet more of the quaint world view so many in the left wing ghetto share.

    The danger in such a misunderstanding is that you don’t hear what middle Australia is saying or hearing. Reading the Australian broadens the mind of your average leftie. I recommend it.

  59. Steven Grant Haby

    Mike has unfortunately been ‘got at’ by nameless trolls and others pushing various agendas.

    His ‘modus operandi’ should have been to respond on an intellectual level rather than resorting to purile swearing and name calling. My father always said that arguments are won on intellectual content rather than shouting and screaming – even though it may be tempting to do so.

    If Mike had (a) ignored or (b) called these trolls / lobby groups / flashmobs out then the situation today may well be quite different.

    That said treating readers / customers (to quote Glover on ABC702) with the same disrespect as they treated Mike is and should not be tolerated.

    I myself have been bullied and harassed by such lobby groups in the past over an annotated bibliography I was writing for VCE (Year 12) students in 1993 (I am a librarian) relating to Middle Eastern history since the end of WW2. In the end I wiped my hands of the project after receiving many anonymous phone calls and threatening letters from nameless people and one particular organisation in Melbourne. My sanity is perhaps more worthy than a book.

    Mike should have risen ‘above’ the abuse and trolls from such bodies and ‘cash for crowd’ people.

  60. Daemon

    Seems to me folks shouldn’t be so precious. If someone suggests I get fucked, I offer them a similar, though usually far superior response. In terms of the israelis, and their no nonsense sycophants both here and including Rupert and his semitic chums in New York jewry.

    It needs to be pointyed out to the folks from Jerusalem, that a) there were no Arabs at Auschwitz, but there were Gypsys, homosexuals, disabled people and the list goes on.

    Israel has the Wiesenthal centre to keep reminding themselves of the hatred of their kind by the Germans, and the fact that the Germans went after them. Everyone else has gotten over it. It’s high time Israel got over it as well, because for the record, 1600+ targeted civilians isn’t 6 million jews, but back then the weapons weren’t as accurate and the intelligence wasn’t so high end.

    We now have Gaza, to remind us of the issues that were of trouble to the Germans.

  61. Liz Connor

    I’ve actually stopped looking in mainstream Australian media for any kind of sensible or sensitive reporting on the conflict in Gaza.
    Instead I’ve been doing daily research into the whole background (from 1897 to 2014) via dissenting US alternative news Websites, and in the process I’ve been linked to so many other excellent sites, youtube clips etc, that I’m ashamed of our parochialism. And dissenting Jews are very much in evidence, e.g. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.
    Broaden your outlook, Australians. There’s a world out there that sees the big picture and is worried – not of much hyped ‘terrorism’ but of the global power of the transnational military-industrial complex that incites reactions from people without power.

  62. Ian

    Dogs breakfast@25,

    I doubt Crikey will be hiring Mike because Crikey itself is pretty much pro-Israeli. (Note the paucity of articles dealing with the current Israeli criminal acts against Gaza for instance.)

  63. Ian

    Dogs breakfast@25,

    Crikey is pro-Israel itself. I doubt it will employ Mike.

  64. Steven Turbit

    Actually, I would like to see the Saturday Paper give him a gig. When you consider the background of the owner, the fact that it is published on a Saturday and that it has so many former Fairfax journalists would be such a beautiful irony.

  65. Itsarort

    If Antiochus IV had been successful in his endeavours, perhaps Carlton would still have a job…?

  66. John Haag

    It’s a great shame that Australia is gradually giving ground to extremist Likudniks. Mike Carlton will be remembered as a man of principle who slung insults at the untouchables. Soon there won’t be any dissenting views allowed in the media re Israel.

  67. AR

    How much lower can the SMH’s journalism go? How much longer can Baird, Williams and one or two others (not looking at you, Hartcher)continue with what is little more than a suburban throwaway these – not even an Oz comic strip though Non Sequitor is brilliant.

  68. Gruffalo

    When did News Limited start hiring journalists? Good strategy.

  69. smash

    OK I’m done too. I’ve read the SMH every Saturday for 40 years. Calling Fairfax Israel apologists may be going to far but what happened to good old fashioned BALANCED REPORTING. Fairfax, like Israel, is being run by fuckwits!

  70. botswana bob

    Who will the Sniveling Morning Herald hire to replace him? Mark Regev?

  71. CML

    Well there goes my last reason for buying the SMH on a Saturday. I really enjoyed reading Mike Carlton’s opinion pieces, precisely because he always ‘told it like it is’. And that is exactly what he did in writing the article which caused his departure from Fairfax.
    Despite the fact that the Guardian doesn’t come in print form, it is now the only ‘newspaper’ worth reading. I do hope Mike will write for the G sometimes. Don’t think Crikey would be able to handle the truth re Israel.

  72. Northy

    Oh come on, Fairfax had little choice but to suspend him once it was drawn to their attention how abusive his emails were. You can’t represent a reputable organisation and tell people who contact you to ‘f*** off’. And to those of you saying you will cancel your Fairfax subscription – thanks very much for helping to further increase News Corp’s dominance. It’s exactly what they want.

    Thankfully the SMH is still Australia’s most-read publication according to the latest EMMA metrics and they have more digital subs than all News Corp titles combined. Without the SMH, we’d be even more screwed.

  73. Marks

    I stand with Carlton.

  74. John Taylor

    Another David Hand misrepresentation (and not a little patronising, but given the preopnderence of conservatives to use insult and put down in place of rational discussion, not surprising) “It’s touching that you believe the left has objective facts whereas the right have mere opinions. This is yet more of the quaint world view so many in the left wing ghetto share.”

    Utter rubbish suggesting I said that David – I was merely pointing out a particular habit of conservative commentators – that’s all. Can I have the puppy you just pointed out?

  75. David Hand

    Sorry I misunderstood you John. When you wrote, “Balance for you is where right wing opinion is dressed up as fact and is “telling it like it is” where as objective fact, if you don’t agree, is dismissed as left wing opinion.” I thought you meant it.

  76. Dan B

    Comments 2 and 7 and 13 – HEAR!

  77. Dingoes Breakfast

    It appears almost everybody hates Jews except Islam followers who love to kill them but everyone else wants to kill Muslims. So I don’t think telling a Jew to ‘get fucked’ is as bad as the genocide being carried out by Islam in Iraq by ISIS.

  78. Lord Muck

    Yes, Daemon, an appropriate rejoinder in this case would have been “go forth and multiply”. Then again, given the fertility rate of the West Bank Jews, perhaps this is not good advice?

  79. AR

    LordM – the command in Genesis was “..go forth & multiply and replenish the Earth” after that little difficulty with the Flood. I think we could adjudge that the Earth is overly stocked, with humans at least so maybe Ebola can be weaponised?

  80. Mike R

    August 6, 2014 will be forever known as an unprecedented day of infamy. We woke to the terrible news of the resignation of Mike Carlton from Fairfax media. The full extent of this horror is reflected in number of comments in Crikey (74) in less than 24 hours.

    Naturally, this has excited so much more commentary and mass venting of spleens, than events of much less significance, such as a chemical warfare attack in Syria which killed only 1400 or so and which at best resulted in about 25 Crikey comments .

    The martyrdom of St.Michael is akin to the most significant martyrdom, for at least two millennia, at the hands of the you know whos. In St.Mike’s case, the horror was compounded by his self-immolation. Mike hammered the final nail in by impulsively resigning.

    The feast of St.Michael (Michaelmas) now needs to be abolished and replaced with a day of mourning. Ashes and sackcloth optional The only thing that should be retained is the ceremonial eating of a goose.

    By the way there are several medical treatments available for thinning of the epidermal layer. I hope Mike avails himself of such treatments.

    I also see that there is another daily communique in Crikey about the “L’Affaire Carlton”. I wonder if the wolf pack has stopped salivating.

  81. John Taylor

    With but a handful of quality exceptions (none of whom are employed by Limited News – and Mike Carlton was one) watching the MSM in action is like watching maggots eating a roo carcasse.

  82. Ian

    Mike R,

    The difference between the crimes committed in Syria and those by Israel against Palestinians is that Western governments condemn the former and pretend the victims are the aggressors in the later.

    The reason for the outrage against the rogue state you seem eager to protect is that, among other things the people have to express their disgust as Australians since our government (presently headed by Abbott)won’t do it.

    If our government is too lilly-livered to condemn Israel we must.

  83. David Hand

    I don’t get that at all. Why should the attitude of a western government have any bearing at all on the level of “outrage” that should be expressed?

    Unless the outrage is some form of judgement over what western governments should or should not do of course.

    Yep, your view is clear. The only bad guy in the middle east is Israel. Care to contradict me and mention someone else?

  84. Dan B

    I am interested in your interpretation of “rogue state”. Which state do you refer to? Surely not Israel, nor Syria for that matter? If those countries are in fact whom you refer I would be most interested to hear how you have come to this wild conclusion.
    Facts, please.

  85. Ian


    I’m not asking you to get it?

    Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and others are also the bad guys but right now the focus is on Israel whose outrageous behavior (and yes that is a value judgement) is made possible by the US government and the complicity of its minions like the Australian government. Notice I said government and not people.

  86. Ian

    One definition of “rogue state” is a state that consistently violates humanitarian law and ignores UN resolutions. Israel and Syria are both rogue states at present and Israel has been one for 66 years.

    South Africa was a rogue state too but its apartheid regime was benign when you compare it to Israel’s.

    One definition of a rogue state that that I regard as false and a perversion of the English language is, as many would have it, a state that seeks to be independent of US domination. Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and more recently Russia are countries often so labelled.

  87. Mike R

    Ian . Are you are being intentionally or unintentionally hilarious? You seem to be an unreconstructed Cold War warrior. If counties are opposed to the U.S., you propose that as a consequence, they thereby become immune to the charge of violations of humanitarian law.

    You have included in your list that well know paragon of human rights North Korea. Accordingly when the Islamic State, which is currently in conflict with the U.S. , finally exterminates all the other religious groups in Syria and Iraq, that will be OK by you and they would not qualify, despite genocidal tendencies, for the status of rogue state. Truly bizarre!

  88. Mike R

    Ian . Are you are being intentionally or unintentionally hilarious? You seem to be an unreconstructed Cold War warrior. If counties are opposed to the U.S., you propose that as a consequence they thereby become immune to the charge of violations of humanitarian law.

    You have included in your list that well know paragon of human rights North Korea. Accordingly, if the Islamic State, which is currently in conflict with the U.S. , finally completes the slaughter of all the other religious groups in Syria and Iraq, that will be OK by you. In your considered opinion , due to their opposition to the U.S., such slaughters do not violate human rights and I.S. could not be considered as a rogue state. Truly bizarre!

  89. Mike R

    Sorry about the double post above, but it was worth repeating .

    As for Ian’s other inane comment (82) regarding pretending to be victims, Hamas runs a good line at that. Did you notice that during the recent 3 day ceasefire no Palestinians in Gaza died? i.e. the defensive tactics of Hamas worked for those 3 days. Not firing missiles at population centres in Israel resulted in no incoming missiles. Amazing!

  90. Ian

    Mike R @88,

    Your whole post utterly misrepresents what I say. What I am saying is those countries I mentioned – Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia etc are bad guys (David Hand’s expression). Israel and Syria are on the other hand rogue states because their violations are on a much grander scale than the others.

    All these states apart from Syria are supported by the US. I nowhere said that Iran and North Korea are not bad guys, they are but they are both bad guys AND independent of the US and that is what really galls the US and its vassals. I go further; Russia is not even a bad guy and Venezuela is a good guy.

    I will not let Israel off the hook by simply grouping them with others and criticizing them all as a group. That diminishes the criticism that Israel so deservedly gets. Right now and repeatedly over the years Israel suppresses the Palestinians in the their occupied territories and every few years launches a vicious attack on them.

  91. Ian

    Mike R @89,

    Talk about inane. Tell me which people are being occupied, suppressed and subjected to blockades, house demolitions and constant harassment on a daily basis? Which people are trapped in a giant concentration camp or trapped in a territory occupied by the military, thrown into prison on all sorts of pretexts and so on?

    If you can get the answers to those questions right then perhaps you might ask yourself, “who is the real victim here and who is resisting being victimized?”

    That is my last word on the subject since I realize that you are simply another troll trying to create smokescreens to cover Israel’s crimes against humanity.

  92. Mike R

    Ian, with your comments (90) I see you are a great fan of the Tony Abbott system of ranking into goodies and baddies. Would you care to share your rankings for all the 193 member countries of the UN? It would make interesting reading.

    I know your rating system is highly personal but I would dispute your rating of Russia of not being a bad guy . The human rights record of Russia currently is not brilliant especially with regard to gay rights and political dissent. Also ask the inhabitants of Chechnya, in particular Grozny for their opinion,see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grozny_(1999%E2%80%932000). You can get a complete catalog of the abuse of human rights in Russia by Putin and his cronies here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Russia .

    I am however happy that you, like the U.S., consider North Korea and Iran baddies.

    Finally, what about using your rating expertise with regard to non-state players such as Hamas, Jaish al-Islam (Gaza), Army of Islam (Gaza and Egypt), Hezbollah, Isis(L), Boko Harem, Ansaru , Al Nusra, the Afghanistanian Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Al Shabab, Riyad-us Saliheen Brigade of Martyrs, Al Quaeda (Global franchise) , Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Magreb, Jemaah Islamiyah. Lashkar-e-Taiba , Jaish-e-Mohammed, Abu Sayyaf Group, Jemmah Anshorut Tauhid, Laskar Jundullah Islamic Militia, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh , Ansar Dine etc. ?

    Ian, too bad you have scarpered off before the hard work was done.

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