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Husar reports have been a shameful public humiliation

Crikey readers take issue with the media's treatment of Emma Husar, and discuss the activist action against Qantas.

Emma Husar

Last week Michael Bradley argued that, even if Emma Husar did have a defamation case against BuzzFeed, it would ultimately hurt her more in the long run. Crikey readers discuss the implications with this, and take issue with some of BuzzFeed‘s reporting. Elsewhere, activist groups are targeting Qantas and Virgin over immigration — but should corporate entities stand against policies the Australian public voted for?

On Emma Husar and BuzzFeed

Terry Mills writes: The question is: should unsubstantiated and in some cases anonymous allegations be ventilated through the media in excruciating detail before a proper investigation has taken place? The second question is, do we have an adequate mechanism for such allegations to be investigated free of political interference, whether real or implied?

What we have seen here is the shameful public humiliation and career destruction of an individual before the facts of the matter have even been investigated.

Frank Johansen writes: Whatever happened to the innocent until proven guilty ethos? At the moment these are just allegations by a possibly disgruntled ex-employee. How about an in-depth look at the person making the allegations. This bandwagon journalism is no credit for anyone and certainly not what I would expect from Crikey.

Len Heggarty writes: Does Emma Husar have a case since this sensationalist writing of this piece.
Is this not a bit over the top? “Emma Husar is, politically, not so much toast as she is one of those bits of the toast that get stuck in the bottom of the toaster, lingering and charring until you finally find the right pointy instrument to get them out.”

Emma Hasar is a human being, a person with feelings, a person who is emotionally injured and we get this description that is “toast”.

Robert Pullan writes: Secrecy is the core of the problem. Indeed. The law of defamation is hugely adept, and successful, at keeping the censorship it imposes secret. No one knows the details of the oceans of information of public interest denied to the public, because journalists and publishers — nearly all of us in the digital age — necessarily become accomplices through self-censorship. Even the miniscule portions which reach the point of judicial determination are settled on “terms not to be disclosed”. Our system of open justice makes one vast exception comprised of the dark matter of information of public interest.

Dear old Michael Bradley makes an implicit admission of this — don’t tell him his defo summary is inadequate, he tells us. He knows. At the point where the argument concerns the law, we can shut up. So a promising woman politician is bullied out of office and the one making the threat of defamation is a (male) creep organising against her and the facts, as usual, have not been adequately ventilated. Isn’t it astonishing that the public is increasingly hostile or indifferent?

Peter Wileman writes: It’s tough at the trough! What Barny can get away with, no woman could survive. Some are as tough as old boots, such as Bronwyn Bishop who is still trading on her parliamentary career… The high living Julie Bishop continues to enjoy the first class benefits and free earrings, and it’s all water off the duck’s back, but the kind of muckraking that’s happened with Husar leaves me a little sickened.

Bushby Jane writes: Where was BuzzFeed when Barnaby Joyce was behaving more badly than Emma Husar? Whole thing seems to have been selective reporting, and Alice Workman has lost me. Turnbull is as usual hypocritical and dishonest, I don’t understand why Shorten doesn’t remind him of his “no knowledge” of Barnaby’s stuff.

On the Qantas and Virgin protests

Albert Zhou writes: I think the activism is clearly effective and a great thing. But it represents the lack of leadership from government, which is not a good thing. And it’s not exactly a long-term solution to political activism and leadership.

Graham writes: Personally, I would hassle Qantas to provide a choice on their lounges other than Sky News. I acknowledge that the vast majority of their customers may well be ultraconservative alt-right white males but….not all.

BeenAround writes: If the LNP will not listen to citizens, then citizens must take whatever action is available to them to effect change. But the LNP is so tone deaf in respect of the wishes of real citizens, they characterise collective citizen action groups as the enemy.

Taubada writes: The problem ignored by Marchant is that the policy of offshore detention and repatriation of asylum seekers is overwhelmingly supported by the Australian public. I would be surprised if Qantas particularly acted against such strong public opinion.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name.

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