“No intimidation or abuse should be tolerated on any side of this debate,” The Australian‘s editorial today proclaimed a day after the paper published a Bill Leak cartoon depicting gay people as Nazis.

The editorial was, of course, referring to the story of calls of threats of physical harm to a Sydney hotel after a successful campaign to stop the hotel hosting an event organised by the Australian Christian Lobby. The paper has talked about the threats since Saturday — the threat was mentioned in both the editorial and in Cut & Paste on Thursday, despite campaign organiser Pauline Pantsdown apologising to the hotel and its staff and saying that it was never the intention for the campaign to be threatening, but to merely replicate the campaign the ACL has waged against the Safe Schools program at specific schools.

But it is curious that a bomb threat made against Joy 94.9, Australia’s only gay broadcast radio station, was not mentioned at all in The Australian today. The station had to be evacuated on Tuesday night, and police cleared the building before staff and volunteers could return. Joy put out a statement specifically stating that the plebiscite would divide the community and create risks for the radio station.

This has been greeted with silence from The Australian, despite yet another editorial claiming the pro-equality side was “the ones likely to spew hatred”. The paper promised to be “equally condemnatory of anyone who oversteps the boundaries on any argument”. And yet nothing on the Joy incident.

The headline of the editorial is “cynicism marries hypocrisy”. Indeed. — Josh Taylor

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Peter Fray
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