Larry Pickering
(Image: Larry Pickering)

In another disturbing sign of how anti-Semitism is being tolerated on the Right, The Australian‘s farewell to its former cartoonist Larry Pickering entirely ignored his hatred of Jews.

Pickering, a ’70s-era cartoonist, was also a conman, bankrupt, serial scammer and profoundly bigoted, with a passionate hatred of women, Muslims, LGBTIQ people — whose murder by Islamic State terrorists he claimed to support — and Jews. His “cartoons” of Julia Gillard were misogynist garbage; even The Australian, which ran its own sexist campaign against Gillard, today described them as “extreme in their vulgarity and sexual coarseness”. The publication’s managing editor Helen Trinca went further, tweeting “he can’t be forgiven his horrible portrayal of women”, even though for many years the paper retained a gallery of Pickering’s work on its website.

But while his homophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny got a mention in a piece absurdly called “Cartoonist Larry Pickering blurred the line” — as though his hate speech was an occasional straying into bad taste — his anti-Semitism was curiously missing. Pickering’s views on Jews and the Holocaust were disgusting.

“The vanity-driven, thieving Jews,” he called them in a 2012 blog post that he removed after bad publicity at the height of the smear campaign against Gillard. “The bleating Jews who actually believe they are God’s people are still combing the world looking for war-crime culprits,” he wrote, before claiming the Holocaust was “one of the many episodes of war and far from the worst in terms of human life”.

That post may have been pulled down, but his blog was a cesspit of anti-Semitism and the usual Jewish conspiracy theories from Pickering himself and his extreme-right followers. Strange that the country’s preeminent right-wing outlet chose not to mention it.