Andrew Broad Nationals Barnaby Joyce
Nationals MP Andrew Broad (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Understandably, the idea of letting Andrew Broad get off lightly (no pun intended) was not Crikey readers’ intention. Bernard Keane, writing on the National Party’s propensity for these type of scandals, polarised some readers, who took exception to the idea that unearthing the Barnaby Joyce affair wasn’t in the public interest. And on the topic of the media’s handling of scandals, readers weighed in on the latest story testing the limits of Australian defamation law.

On the National Party’s woes

zut alors writes: Perhaps the fresh rural air has an effect on libido, rendering it unbridled.

BeenAround writes: Barnaby Joyce’s affair was private and its revelation not in the public interest? That would be the same Barnaby Joyce who vociferously opposed same-sex marriage on the basis of the alleged sanctity of conventional “to death do us part” hetero-only marriage. That is relevant to a number of public issues — including the arrogant hypocrisy of Joyce in a public debate about a needless charade of a non-binding plebiscite that Joyce and other contemptible right-wing moralists foisted on us. Joyce deserves no sympathy from the Australian public.

Vasco writes: What it boils down to is the National Party has always been the party of carpet-baggers and moral turpitude. If the idiot Liberals stopped depending on them to get into government and ran in rural seats they might have a chance of governing in their own right.

Ian writes: Joyce was the family-values toting deputy PM. The fact that the man’s personal behaviour so diverged from the behaviour he claimed to represent to his electorate, in almost every possible way, should be paramount in the minds of all voters. The divergence of what he purports to believe in, and how he acts, is a key discriminant in how voters should assess anything the man says. That makes it public interest.

On Australian defamation law

Daytona Stewart writes: The media will do anything it can to have defamation laws scuttled. Imagine the political and social landscape if the MSM have an open door to assassinate at will.

Ruv Draba writes: If we don’t want trial-by-media then I’d agree that we need a fairer system for pursuing allegations of sexual harassment. You’ve argued in several articles that improving Australian defamation law might help, and perhaps it might. Yet it won’t be enough. What makes such cases so damaging isn’t factual reporting but salacious gossip turning malignant. I don’t see that changing defamation law would improve that one jot.

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